Skip to main content

Psychology News

An article written by Mary Helen Immordino-Yang titled “Musings on the Neurobiological and Evolutionary Origins of Creativity” will appear this month in <em>LEARNing Landscapes</em>.

An Inspirational Look at Poetry

December 14, 2011

Like it or not, most people take work home with them. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, a neuroscientist and educational psychologist at USC, takes inspiration from home to work. Dissecting four poems written by her daughter Nora…

Laura Baker's Southern California Twin Project investigates the roles heredity and environment play in producing different behaviors in fraternal and identical twins.

Twin Study Offers Insight into Antisocial Behavior

November 16, 2011

There is good reason students and faculty walking the halls of the Seeley G. Mudd building think they are seeing double — they are. For the past 11 years, hundreds of sets of twins have visited the lab of Laura Baker,…

Antonio and Hanna Damasio, University Professors in USC Dornsife, receive their honorary degrees Oct. 15 from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. Here, Hanna addresses the audience. Photo courtesy of the Damasios.

Antonio and Hanna Damasio Honored

November 11, 2011

University Professors Antonio and Hanna Damasio — who together have challenged dominant 20th-century views about brain function and demonstrated how emotions play a critical role in high-level cognition — have been…

Illustration by Joel Kimmel

First-Year Investigations: Tienju Wang

November 3, 2011

Tienju WangDallas, TexasBiological Sciences It took nine hours of studying for an advanced placement biology exam and a touch of delirium for Tienju “Nikky” Wang to make up her mind. At a young age she aspired to…

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions

November 1, 2011

Everything in life requires making decisions. Even deciding when — or if — to get out of bed. “Or choosing what to wear,” said Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business. “How much…

Mapping the Moral Domain

Mapping the Moral Domain

October 25, 2011

In politics, as in war, everyone believes morality is on their side. And the mingling of political beliefs with moral certainty makes compromise all but impossible, according to Jesse Graham, assistant professor of…

Sonia Narang (B.A., psychology, '99) is director of leadership and development for Sony Pictures Entertainment in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo by Carlos Puma.

The Morale Booster

October 18, 2011

Sonia Narang was living in New York City when during her sister’s visit they found a rat in the apartment. “Remember this was New York City, OK?” Narang said. The pair stayed up all night cleaning. Narang…

In the experiment, people were given popcorn before entering a theatre – some buckets were fresh; others were stale.

Habit Makes Bad Food Too Easy to Swallow

September 8, 2011

Do you always get popcorn at the movies? Or snack while you’re on the couch watching television? A new paper by USC researchers revealed why bad eating habits persist even when the food we’re eating doesn’t…

USC Dornsife's Giorgio Coricelli measured activity in the brain associated with rewards and social reasoning.

Peer Pressure? It's Hardwired Into Our Brains

September 8, 2011

The rewards outweigh the risks — when you’re in a group, anyway. A new USC study explains why people take stupid chances, when all of their friends are watching, that they would never take by themselves. …

USC Dornsife professors Michael Waterman and Margaret Gatz have been awarded honorary degrees.

USC Dornsife Professors Receive Honorary Degrees

July 29, 2011

Waterman Presented Honorary Doctorate by Ambrosia Viramontes-Brody Michael Waterman, widely regarded as the founding father of computational biology, openly admits he has never taken a biology course. There was however a…