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Psychology News

Exploring the Mind of an April Fool

Exploring the Mind of an April Fool

April 1, 2016

Despite the fact that fooling others on the first day of April is a long-standing tradition in certain American, European and Asian cultures, April Fool’s Day tricks are often successful. Wouldn’t you think that…

Late psychology professor J.P. Guilford believed that through cultivating traits such as creativity and analytical reasoning, students could learn to be smarter. Photo courtesy of USC University Archives.

Late professor’s revolutionary model of intelligence valued creativity, critical thinking

March 15, 2016

For those of us who flounder while trying to calculate a tip or parallel park — but flourish when asked to write a poem or analyze a painting — we have Joy Paul “J.P.” Guilford to thank for validating…

Photos by Djak Azran.

No RuPaul-ogies: Alpha Mulugeta

March 7, 2016

“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…

California Crown clothing company was founded by Jay Perlman, left, and his business partner Misu Minhaz. Both men graduated from USC Dornsife in 2012. Photos courtesy of Jay Perlman.

Alumnus nurtures an idea and grows a business with the help of his Trojan community

March 2, 2016

When Jay Perlman rolled out of bed one morning in 2013, he saw a notification in his email that a new order had been placed to California Crown, his fledgling online clothing company. When he logged in to the site to take a…

Alumnus and USC Dornsife professor Jonathan Kellerman is the best-selling author of 47 books. Photo by Joan Allen.

Novelist Jonathan Kellerman explains how his psychology training informs his writing

February 22, 2016

In 1974, Jonathan Kellerman, then a graduate student in psychology at USC Dornsife, was driving to work at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, where he was interning, when he passed a sign in the window of an antique store…

Blue indicates the location of the tiny locus coeruleus within the brainstem. Photo from Shutterstock.com.

Researchers pinpoint brain region as ‘ground zero’ of Alzheimer’s disease

February 17, 2016

A critical but vulnerable region in the brain appears to be the first place affected by late onset Alzheimer’s disease and may be more important for maintaining cognitive function in later life than previously…

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Ben Carson represent liberal and conservative views. Photo collage by USC Staff.

Purity: It both unites us and keeps us apart

February 2, 2016

Purity is the moral foundation that drives people apart — and a glue that keeps them together, a new study shows. The study, led by USC Dornsife researchers, combined computer science, moral psychology and sociology of…

Identity-based motivation helps students see their difficulties with school as signs that schoolwork is important, which in turn can improve academic performance, according to USC Dornsife researchers.

Digital game aims to motivate students

January 22, 2016

A USC professor’s program to motivate children to achieve success in school and at work will soon be translated into a digital game to help more students succeed academically. USC Dean’s Professor of Psychology…

The default-mode network of the brain shows increased activity when subjects read stories that deal with their core values. Image courtesy of Sarah Gimbel/USC.

Deep thinking in the brain may be spurred by stories with moral quandaries

January 11, 2016

Everyone has at least a few non-negotiable values. These are the things that, no matter what the circumstance, you’d never compromise for any reason — such as “I’d never hurt a child,” or…

Herzliya is located on the central coast of Israel, one of the world's most rapidly aging nations.

Psychology’s Mara Mather to teach course in new partnership with Israeli institute

January 6, 2016

Come spring, students will have an opportunity to study gerontology subjects in the home of one of the world’s most rapidly aging populations: Israel. Professor Mara Mather, who holds joint appointments at USC Dornsife…