Stand small in a redwood forest and feel awed by the enormity of the trees around and above you. Such a feeling -- awe in nature -- can promote altruistic, pro-social behavior, according to research byPaul Piff, an assistant professor of psychology and social behavior.
Piff's research was recently cited in Psychology Today. Such an experience in nature, the article says, "puts our individual lives in perspective by helping people realize that there is something much bigger than yourself in the universe."
The 2,000-plus wrongful convictions compiled in UCI's National Registry of Exonerations are just scratching the surface, according to Maurice Possley, a senior researcher for the registry. Tracking down and verifying those wrongful convictions -- which stem from misleading evidence, mistaken witness identification, false accusation, official misconduct and inadequate legal defense -- is a laborious process that relies on published news reports and exonerated defendants coming forward.
"We don't know how many cases there are," Possley told the Los Angeles Times. "We don't know how representational it is of the system. But the more we look, the more we find."
The April 2017 Social Ecology E-Newsletter has been published. Don't miss this issue's story on Ph.D student Janice Phung, who is researching how a martial arts program helps kids cope with autism. Also, check out a study by Roxane Cohen Silver, professor of psychology and social behavior, that found that people who experience adversity are likelier to become more extreme in their political beliefs.
New report by the National Registry of Exonerations
African Americans are likelier to be wrongfully convicted of murder than people of other races, and are also likely to spend more time in prison before being exonerated for their crimes, according to a recent report by the National Registry of Exonerations.
Be like water. Change. Adapt to shifting circumstances.
These kid martial artists don’t spar with each other. But they do learn a host of martial arts techniques – boxing, kickboxing, grappling – to use correctly in different situations. They learn to kick gentler if training partners aren’t holding protective pads. They learn never to use their skills at home or school, but that it’s acceptable to defend themselves against attackers and flee.
Two Social Ecology students recently received Graduate Research Fellowship Program scholarships from the National Science Foundation. They were among 2,000 awardees selected from more than 13,000 applicants, and will receive $34,000 annual stipends and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance for UCI.
Susan Bibler Coutin, professor of criminology, law and society and anthropology, discussed the history of the sanctuary church movement with NPR's Code Switch. Churches today are responding to President Trump's immigration crackdown by shielding immigrants who face deportation, and allowing them take sanctuary at church, where immigration agents usually don't arrest them. Churches did the same thing in the 1980s, when Central Americans fleeing war in their home countries came to the U.S. -- and faced potential deportation. Churches went public with those stories, and led a movement that ended up changing culture and policy.
Charis Kubrin, professor of Criminology, Law and Society, is quoted in Univsion News discussing her research on how immigration affects crime levels. Contrary to what many people believe, Kubrin found that greater levels of immigration in a community correlated with lower levels of crime. Her study, co-authored with Graham Ousey of the College of William and Mary, will be published in the inaugural issue of The Annual Review of Criminology.