How people's political passions distort their sense of reality

December 2014

Peter Ditto, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, was quoted in a Wired magazine article about how beliefs can undermine rationality.  If the solutions to problems do not agree with values, people may not believe that a problem actually exists. “What we’ve got is this contest of moral visions that has become a factual fight because of this tendency of people to change their factual beliefs to fit their moral inclinations,” states Ditto of America’s political landscape.

The article is based on a recent study by Troy Campbell, a consumer behavior researcher at Duke University and a Social Ecology alumnus.

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Kubrin educating U.S. Supreme Court on rap music

December 2014

Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, has co-authored a brief that has been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court. The case involves rap music and Kubrin, with co-author Professor Erik Nielson, filed the brief to explain rap music and to point out that rap is, at times, misunderstood and is often seen as dangerous. The brief was filed in the case of Anthony Elonis who is in prison after writing Facebook postings in the form of rap lyrics (under the name Tone Dougie) fantasizing about killing his wife. Elonis is in the process of trying to get his conviction overturned. He claims that his messages were rap lyrics, not meant to be taken literally or intended as threats, and deserve protection as free speech.

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What science says about the Ferguson case: Memory can be hacked

December 2014

Elizabeth Loftus, Distiguished Professor of Social Ecology, was quoted in Forbes regarding the Ferguson case and how people, not only forget some things that really happened, but also "remember" things that they did not really see. Loftus has shown that memories are not always complete and they can be malleable. Witnesses, to the Ferguson incident, are now saying that some statements that they made were changed to fit details that they learned about the case.

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Why happiness is healthy

December 2014

Susan Charles, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, was quoted in a recent CNN article about happiness and how it is difficult to define but it is wanted and desired. Through her research Charles has found that "older adults may be able to better regulate their emotions than younger people, expose themselves to less stress and experience less negative emotion."

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Center for Evidence-Based Corrections receives funding

November 2014

The Center for Evidence-Based Corrections received $2.1 million continuation funding from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). This funding will allow the Center to continue work in the areas of risk assessment, realignment, and evaluation of prison and parole programs in California. The Center is currently revalidating the California Static Risk Assessment tool, which it developed in 2009, for the newly realigned state and county supervised offenders under California's Public Safety Realignment.

Donor Wall Reception

November 2014

The Social Ecology Dean's Leadership Council and other Social Ecology supporters gathered for a reception on November 12, 2014 to honor this year’s additions to the list of supporters on the Donor Wall in the Social Ecology's Dean's Office. The wall recognizes the many transformative gifts made by both alumni and the community over the last 40 years. This year’s additions include Scott and Laurie Dubchansky, Ronald and Patricia Huff, and Daniel and Jeannette Stokols.

Pictured: Scott and Laurie Dubchansky

Appealing to Justice

November 2014

Chancellor's Professor Emerita Kitty Calavita, and School of Social Ecology Dean and Professor Valerie Jenness, co-wrote Appealing to Justice: Prisoner Grievances, Rights, and Carceral Logic, published by University of California Press. Through interviews with prisoners, prison staff and official records, the book takes us through the byzantine grievance process and gives voices to those who are almost never heard from.

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PPD Distinguished Fellows Mixer

November 2014

Students, faculty, and Advisory Board members from the Department of Planning, Policy, and Design mixed and mingled on November 14, 2014 with the 2014-2015 class of PPD Distinguished Fellows. The PPD Distinguished Fellows include:

  • Allen Baldwin, Founding Executive Director, Orange County Community Housing Corporation
  • Marian Bergeson, Former California State Senator, State Assemblywoman, and Secretary of Education
  • Celeste Cantú, General Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA)
  • Shaheen Sadeghi, Founder, LAB Holding

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New Interdisciplinary Center on Family Violence

November 2014

UCI's new Interdisciplinary Center on Family Violence (ICFV), which unites community partners with faculty from 20 UCI departments, was recently launched. The ICFV aims to be the premier site for research, education, clinical care and community collaboration on family violence prevention and intervention, by bringing together experts in biological and physical sciences, engineering, informations and computer sciences, art, law, medicine and health sciences, social sciences, and social ecology. Dean Valerie Jenness, Terry Dalton, Ray Novaco, Oladele Ogunseitan, Jodi Quas and Ilona Yim are the Social Ecology faculty members involved with the ICFV.

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