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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UCI research institute aims to decode valuable information in saliva

August 2016

Douglas Granger, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, and his research institute, Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, were featured in Dental Tribune.

From Dental Tribune:
Saliva is easily obtained and contains a great deal of individual health information. Dr. Douglas Granger, Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, is convinced that salivary diagnostics will become increasingly important in the future.

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The Doom of your memories doesn't really exist

July 2016

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

From Wired:

If you played Doom during its heyday in the 90s, I have some disappointing news: it’s not as frightening as you remember. But that’s just how memory goes.

Think of your most important memories, your most cherished experiences. What you’re remembering probably didn’t happen quite the way you think it did. “If there’s a lot of suggestion or inference or wishful thinking, you can get distortion in memory,” says Elizabeth Loftus, a professor of Social Ecology who studies memory at UC Irvine and has written several books on the subject. “It probably happens quite a lot.”

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Arrested Development

July 2016

Elizabeth Cauffman, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, spoke at TEDx UCIrvine in Costa Mesa. Her research addresses the intersect between adolescent development and juvenile justice. Cauffman asks the fundamental question: are adolescents different from adults in ways that require different treatment under the law? In her talk, she discusses how we can approach this question in a matter that is fair within our society.

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