Skip to main content

Psychology News

Alumnus Michael Dawson, Ph.D., '67 has taught psychology at USC Dornsife for nearly 30 years. He is well known for his application of psychophysiology to schizophrenia. Here, he teaches his class on emotion and the heart. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Preventing Relapse

October 16, 2013

One in a hundred people suffers from schizophrenia. Characterized by hallucinations, delusions and gross disorganization of thought and speech, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder. During a…

Ellen Leggett, an expert in the psychology of decision-making, joined USC Dornsife in Fall 2013 as director of the Master of Science in Applied Psychology program. Photo by Letty Avila.

Mastering Human Behavior

October 1, 2013

With nearly a decade of experience in marketing, Daniela Kerfin Canto was savvy enough to know that a deeper understanding of human behavior would help her garner clients. She knew the marketing campaigns she oversaw for a…

Norbert Schwarz will be Provost Professor of Psychology and Marketing and Daphna Oyserman will be Dean’s Professor of Psychology, and professor of psychology, education and communication. Photos courtesy of CASBS at Stanford University.

Psyched Up

September 20, 2013

USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett has announced the appointment of Norbert Schwarz as Provost Professor of Psychology and Marketing and Daphna Oyserman as Dean’s Professor of Psychology, and professor of psychology,…

During the recent USC Dornsife 2020 retreat at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island, doctoral students presented their research and had an opportunity to enjoy the brilliant night sky. Photo by Corey Arnold.

Brainwaves by the Sea

September 17, 2013

Every student knows how vitally important it is to remember information for a final exam. However, trying to memorize your class notes in the library can be challenging. Distractions — the person next to you whispering…

A new study led by postdoctoral research associate Qinghua He of USC Dornsife's Brain and Creativity Institute and published in <em>The Journal of Neuroscience</em> suggests that people who have difficulty reading could benefit from targeted therapies for specific parts of the brain. Image courtesy of Qinghua He.

It Takes a Village of Neurons

August 8, 2013

A combination of brain scans and reading tests has revealed that several regions in the brain are responsible for allowing humans to read. The findings open up the possibility that individuals who have difficulty reading may…

Scientists show that attributing every forgetful moment to getting older can actually worsen memory problems — and reveal a surprising twist. Photo by Rhoda Baer.

Aging Stereotypes and Memory

July 2, 2013

Of the many negative stereotypes that exist about older adults, perhaps the most common is that they are forgetful, senile and prone to so-called “senior moments.” In fact, while cognitive processes do decline with…

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, assistant professor of psychology at USC Dornsife’s Brain and Creativity Institute, is particularly interested in social emotions that promote learning, motivation and resilience, such as compassion, admiration and inspiration. Photo by Steve Cohn.

How Emotions Evolve

June 3, 2013

How do culture and environment shape how we — and our brains — experience social emotions and self? That’s one of the intriguing domains Professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang is exploring as part of her most…

In times of stress, people are just as likely to default to positive habits, such as eating a healthy breakfast, as they are to self-sabotage. Photo courtesy of  Daderot.

Healthy Habits Die Hard

May 29, 2013

Stress and exhaustion may turn us into zombies, but a novel study by USC researchers shows that mindless behavior doesn’t just lead to overeating and shopping sprees — it can also cause us to stick with behaviors…

Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business, contradicts David Buss' well-known study concluding that men and women differ in what they look for in a partner because they are wired differently. Wood said people choose mates based on what will be useful to them in their society. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

Baby, I Love Your Way

May 6, 2013

If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, if you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain . . . The lyrics to this popular ’70s song make choosing a mate sound simple. But Wendy Wood knows…

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang of the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) in USC Dornsife discusses the science behind emotional aptitude during a recent conference about what kind of students to look for in the college admissions process. Photo by Elizabeth Mercer.

Beyond High GPAs and SATs

January 24, 2013

Her audience was admissions officers and counselors from the most elite universities and high schools in the country, all familiar with dissecting GPA and SAT scores to judge the merit of a student who plans to enter…