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Psychology News

The stress of frequent exposure to family conflict takes a toll on the teenage brain, according to researchers in USC Dornsife's psychology department.

Parents’ yelling takes heavy toll on teens

June 22, 2015

Parents’ yelling is a turnoff for teens, but don’t mistake their emotional shutdown as a sign of ennui. It may be a sign of aggression. In a recent study, researchers at USC Dornsife explored how the stress of…

Professor of Psychology Margaret Gatz is determined to help families of dementia sufferers recognize early symptoms of the disease. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Forgotten Memories

June 11, 2015

When aging grandfather and Mariachi musician Don Memo Valdez becomes increasingly forgetful and irritable, his family starts to worry. Don Memo’s wife expresses dismay at her husband’s memory lapses while his…

Psychology alumna Kina Grannis is a 29-year-old singer-songwriter who runs her own music label. Photo by Yoni Goldberg.

In Her Element: Kina Grannis

June 1, 2015

In the era of vinyl records, when the album’s lyrics were printed in full on the back cover, it was easy to see what a singer wanted to express. Even cassette tapes included a printed insert of lyrics. These days, with…

Wendy Garcia-Nava came to USC with support from the Neighborhood Academic Initiative. Photo by Gus Ruelas.

A Prophetic T-shirt

May 14, 2015

There’s a snapshot of Wendy Garcia-Nava as a fourth-grader that’s downright prophetic: She’s standing by a fountain in Pardee Plaza, shyly waving at the camera. The T-shirt she’s wearing reads:…

Meet three USC Dornsife graduating seniors: Shea Livingston, Karen Arcos and Thomas Armstrong.

Three of the Best

May 13, 2015

Shea Livingston After Shea Livingston’s grandfather died in 2010, she and her mother were sorting through his papers when they found an extraordinary document: a leather-bound graduation program embossed with the words…

In a recent Barbra Streisand Lecture, psychotherapist Esther Perel explored the complexities of sustaining desire in long-term relationships and offered recommendations for rekindling eroticism. Photos by Susan Bell.

Unlocking Erotic Intelligence

May 7, 2015

When Esther Perel arrived at USC to deliver a Barbra Streisand Professor Lecture on April 27, she began by talking about her recent TED Talk on infidelity. “Monica Lewinsky started the day and I closed the day,”…

Known for his creative and visionary research on crime and schizophrenia, Sarnoff Mednick was a trailblazer who was not afraid of controversy. Photo courtesy of Laura Baker.

In Memoriam: Sarnoff Mednick, 87

April 23, 2015

Sarnoff Mednick, professor emeritus of psychology at USC Dornsife, has died. He was 87. Mednick died on April 10 in Toledo, Ohio. He suffered from Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Mednick was the first scientist to…

Assistant Professor of Psychology Henrike Moll, director of USC Dornsife’s Minds in Development Lab. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Understanding Suspense

April 9, 2015

Here’s a psychology experiment you can try at home: Watch a Hitchcock film with someone and observe how they respond as the story unfolds. Hitchcock’s plots are like the Swiss watches of suspense, designed to…

Shopping while hungry may lead you to spend more than 60 percent more and buy more non-food items than less hungry customers, research by Norbert Schwarz indicates.

Binder Clip, Anyone?

March 26, 2015

It’s almost lunchtime. You are hungry, but decide to stop at an office supply store before eating to pick up a few items. New research by USC Dornsife’s Norbert Schwarz, Provost Professor of Psychology and…

Daphna Oyserman, Dean’s Professor of Psychology at USC Dornsife and co-director of the USC Dornsife Mind and Society Center. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

When I Grow Up, I Will Be...

March 4, 2015

Devil’s Night in Detroit, the eve before Halloween when youths traditionally tear up the town, got Daphna Oyserman thinking. Oyserman had just arrived in nearby Ann Arbor for her doctoral studies at the University of…