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Psychology News

Addressing Perception

Addressing Perception

November 16, 2015

A couple on the tiny Hebridean island of Colonsay in Scotland were planning their wedding earlier this year when the bride’s mother sent her daughter a photograph of the dress she planned to wear. When the bride showed…

Photos by Djak Azran.

No RuPaul-ogies: Alpha Mulugeta

November 16, 2015

“I like my body,” Alpha Mulugeta ’06 declared with a subtle rasp to his voice. A midsummer cold belied his normally dulcet tone. “I’m gender variant, but that doesn’t mean I want to be a…

Morteza Dehghani and a team of psychology researchers and computer scientists at USC Dornsife have developed a new text analysis software program for social scientists.

A TACIT Understanding

November 3, 2015

According to a 2015 Global Web Index report, today’s average adult spends 6.15 hours a day online. More than a quarter of this time is spent on social networking sites. Life in the digital age means an abundance —…

Health care stereotype threat stemming from commonly held beliefs about unhealthy lifestyle choices can jeopardize care outcomes, according to a study by Cleopatra Abdou of psychology.

Health Care Stereotype Threat

October 30, 2015

Warning: Stereotypes may be harmful to patients’ health. A national study led by USC Dornsife’s Cleopatra Abdou found that people who encountered the threat of being judged by negative stereotypes related to…

According to psychology professor Donna Spruijt-Metz, who researches ways to combat childhood obesity, Halloween offers parents an opportunity to talk to their kids about healthful eating.

Tricky Treating on Halloween

October 30, 2015

When Donna Spruijt-Metz was young, her mother would sit down with her after trick-or-treating on Halloween and help her sort her candy. “We had a joke about how she loved the mini-Hershey bars, so she would negotiate…

Confronted by odd moments of “cultural disinfluency,” people perform better on cognitive reasoning tests and are less likely to buy things. Photo: iStock.

Shocked into Clarity

October 29, 2015

Halloween-decorated plates at a Labor Day party. A bride in a green gown with her groom in a purple tuxedo and no wedding party. An obituary that declares of the deceased: “Regina had no hobbies, made no contribution to…

Failure can be a rewarding experience if the brain is allowed to learn from mistakes. Photo by istock.

Rewards of Failure

August 26, 2015

Many political leaders, scientists, educators and parents believe that failure is the best teacher. Scientists have long understood that the brain has two ways of learning. One is avoidance learning, which is a punishing,…

The study findings may offer a tasty salvo against rising obesity rates and health care costs. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

A Gift for Better Eating

July 28, 2015

It’s not easy to lose weight in our “super-sized” nation, but researchers at USC Dornsife and the USC Marshall School of Business have found that even modest incentives to eat smaller portions work in a big…

Research by Norbert Schwarz has found that a fishy smell can boost our critical thinking. Photo courtesy of Norbert Schwarz.

The Smell of Suspicion

June 30, 2015

Around the world, from Lithuania to Lesotho, when anyone wants to describe something as suspicious they use a metaphor linked to smell.  And not a pleasant smell. In the English-speaking world we use the expression…

Data scientist and researcher Ravi Iyer believes psychology is an important tool for understanding people-generated data. Photo courtesy of Ravi Iyer.

Data King

June 24, 2015

Have you ever pondered what Stevie Wonder album is the world’s best? Or, which are the best TV shows to binge-watch? Do you want to know which are the most important goals in life? Or, has it even crossed your mind to…