Activists protest imprisonment, potential deportation of undocumented grandmother

August 2016

Ana Muñiz, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, was quoted in a CBS news article on the imprisonment and potential deportation of an undocumented grandmother who has been held in prison for months on allegations of gang involvement.

From CBS News:

"This is an illustrative case of how gang profiling criminalizes people based on where they live and who they know rather than what they do,” Muñiz said in a statement.

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MFI Webinar Replay Video

August 2016

In case you missed the Metropolitan Futures Initiative (MFI) webinar session, or you would like to watch it again, the replay video is now available.

The MFI Research Team presented further insight about the latest two quarterly reports released:

View Webinar Replay


Twitter shows promise in rapid assessment of collective traumas' local impact

August 2016

An alternative to using Twitter geotags and hashtags to identify community members who have experienced collective trauma, such as a school shooting, shows promise in helping researchers rapidly assess local effects. The approach, developed by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, was deployed to study the impact of deadly gun violence at UC Santa Barbara, Northern Arizona University and Oregon’s Umpqua Community College.

Followers of local Twitter accounts, such as the city hall’s, were identified, and the tweets of these likely community members were then downloaded for data analysis. Results of the UCI team’s work will be published in the December issue of Psychological Methods, a peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Psychological Association.

Goodrich selected as a Switzer Fellow

August 2016

Kristen Goodrich, Ph.D.student in Social Ecology, was selected as a Robert and Patricia Switzer Fellow. Switzer Fellowships are awarded to graduate students in New England and California whose studies and career goals are directed toward environmental improvement and demonstrate leadership in their field.

Goodrich is one of twenty new Fellows for 2016 and joins a network of nearly 600 Fellows located across the country and around the world. She studies how nature-based solutions, particularly those that promote ecosystem services, can improve both environmental conditions and quality of life, particularly in the San Diego-Tijuana binational context. Currently, Goodrich is a researcher for the National Science Foundation’s Flood Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environments (FloodRISE) project and a research associate for the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs and Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation.

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How false memories form

August 2016

Linda Levine, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, and her research, was mentioned in Pacific Standard.

From Pacific Standard:

“People can falsely create, or come to believe, that emotional events occurred that never occurred, people can misremember the details of emotional events, but what they don’t seem to do is have an emotional event occur and then shove it into some basement of their subconscious and not be able to recall it,” says Linda Levine, a psychology professor at the University of California-Irvine.

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Does religion matter in determining altruism?

August 2016

Azim Shariff, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, and his colleagues re-analyzed data from a previous study that found that children from Christian and Muslim households, across six countries, behaved less altruistically than their peers from non-religious homes.

From 13.7: Cosmos & Culture:

When Shariff and his colleagues took a close look at the original dataset, they found that the authors had made a mistake in carrying out their intended analysis: They failed to appropriately consider variation in altruistic behavior across the six countries tested. As a result, a difference in altruistic behavior that should have been attributed to country was instead attributed to religious affiliation. In a conversation by e-mail, Shariff explained:

What experts wish you knew about false memories

August 2016

Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of Social Ecology, was quoted in Scientific American.

From Scientific American:

According to Loftus: “The one take home message that I have tried to convey in my writings, and classes, and in my TED talk is this: Just because someone tells you something with a lot of confidence and detail and emotion, it doesn't mean it actually happened. You need independent corroboration to know whether you're dealing with an authentic memory, or something that is a product of some other process.”

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How the candidates' talking points are getting inside your head

August 2016

Peter Ditto, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, was quoted in Wired.

From Wired:
“Inspiration encourages you to think in broad terms, and not focus on detail,” says Peter Ditto, a psychologist at UC Irvine. On a psychological level, inspiration isn’t all that different than anger—they’re both emotions disruptive to rational thought.

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These 6 surprising habits can increase your empathy

August 2016

Paul Piff, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, and his research on the feeling of awe, was mentioned in Reader's Digest on one of the ways to increase one's empathy.

From Reader's Digest:

One University of California, Irvine, study found that after being placed in a forest of eucalyptus trees, "people felt smaller, less self-important, and behaved in a more pro-social fashion," wrote researcher Paul Piff, Ph.D, who worked on the study. The researcher concluded that feelings of awe, like those inspired by nature – or even something more simple, like looking at a photo of Earth from space – can increase empathy.

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