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Psychology News

Incoming psychology freshman Jessica Wynn (left) gives her younger sister, Jada Combs, who traveled from their home in Washington, D.C., to help her move in, a squeeze. Photo by Pamela J. Johnson.

Never Routine — Class of ’18

August 22, 2014

Smoothing a hand over the comforter and propping up a few pillows, Shermayne Hughes stood back. The bed was made. Her only child was officially moved into her new home at Fluor Tower. “I can’t believe my…

Alumni and friends Dawn McDaniel and Marat Zanov work at Georgia-based Virtually Better, Inc., to develop virtual reality treatments for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which frequently affects veterans. Both earned Ph.D.s in psychology at USC Dornsife. Photos courtesy of Marat Zanov and Dawn McDaniel.

Virtually Cured

July 31, 2014

Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often experience a cluster of symptoms, including flashbacks and nightmares, emotional numbness and hyperarousal, which results in difficulty sleeping, angry…

Henrike Moll (left) and Morteza Dehghani of psychology with books and toys they will use when they interview children for their study on how humans create alternative worlds to make decisions. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Pretending: Not Just Play

July 24, 2014

We all wonder what might have been. How would reality be different if a certain event had not occurred? If you had taken that job or married that person? “People especially tend to do this when a negative event happens,…

Research by USC Dornsife's Justin Wood showing how visual cognition emerges in the newborn brain could be used to develop new technology to help the blind. Wood has won an NSF award to further his research. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Early CAREER Award

May 27, 2014

Justin Wood, assistant professor of psychology at USC Dornsife, is interested in how humans and other animals learn to understand the world. His research, which examines the origins of knowledge by testing how cognition…

Stephanie Wetzel, a psychology major, with her poster explaining her award-winning research into the relationship between a child's admission to a pediatric intensive care unit and the development of acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder in the young patients and their families. Photo by Heather Cartagena.

Symposium Superstars

May 14, 2014

The daughter of a pediatric intensive care (PICU) physician, USC Dornsife psychology major Stephanie Wetzel grew up observing her father make his rounds as he cared for children suffering from life-threating illnesses or…

Wendy Wood, USC Provost Professor of Psychology and Business, and vice dean for social sciences at USC Dornsife, has led a study showing that women at their fertility peak do not seek out particularly masculine or genetically fit males.

What Women Want

May 13, 2014

Over the past two decades, studies in reproductive biology and psychology have purported to show a correlation between what women want in a male partner and their time of the month — demonstrating that which guy catches…

Selfie-Esteem

May 5, 2014

Jason Zevin, associate professor of psychology and linguistics at USC Dornsife, is a co-author on a recent study in <em>The Journal of Neuroscience</em>, which finds that the predictive power of our brains might play an important role in human communication. Photo by Michelle Boston.

The Brain Is a ‘Prediction Machine’

April 30, 2014

Our brain activity is more similar to that of speakers we are listening to when we can predict what they are going to say, a team of neuroscientists has found. The study, which appears in The Journal of Neuroscience, provides…

At the "Plankton Races" science station, students from Foshay Learning Center use pipe cleaners, cork, paper clips and other items to create plankton-like structures to study buoyancy, density and surface area. Their goal is to construct a form that will hover in a small tank of water without sinking or floating to the top to study how phytoplankton and zooplankton function in seawater. Photo by D.J. Kast.

H20 Robo Kids

April 8, 2014

At his playground, fourth grader Leonel Aquino ditched the jungle gym to construct from polyvinyl chloride pipe an underwater remotely operated vehicle — or ROV. “This is like making Legos but bigger,” said…

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang receives the Early Career Award, established to honor an individual no later than 10 years after receipt of a doctoral degree. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Early Career Award

March 27, 2014

USC Dornsife’s Mary Helen Immordino-Yang has been awarded the Early Career Award for 2014 by the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The international organization will confer the award for excellence in…