UW Today

Social science


October 8, 2013

Profile: Brian Wansink, Slim By Design author and 2013 Hogness Lecturer

Brian Winsink

Wansink explores mindless eating and how cues in our environment lead us to eat too much of the wrong foods.


September 25, 2013

Digital applications can enable or limit, say authors of ‘The App Generation’

Image from the cover of Cover of "The App Generation" co-authored by UW's Katie Davis.

There’s often “an app for that” these days, but for young people such digital shortcuts can be as limiting as they are convenient, says the University of Washington co-author of a new book titled “The App Generation.”


September 17, 2013

Emotional attachment to robots could affect outcome on battlefield

A United States Army explosive ordnance disposal robot pulls the wire of a suspected improvised explosive device in Iraq.

As the military designs field robots to be more human or animal-like, it’s important to study whether soldiers could become emotionally attached to the mechanical tools and less willing to send them into harm’s way.


In spite of economic recovery, U.S. poverty rate remains high

Man on bench, from West Coast Poverty Center web site.

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau today show that, for the second year in a row, the poverty rate for the U.S. remained stable at 15 percent in 2012. Although the median annual income did not fall in 2012, it remains 8.3 percent below median income in 2007.


September 11, 2013

UW engineers to make cookstoves 10 times cleaner for developing world

An example of one of the more efficient cookstoves used in developing countries.

University of Washington engineers have received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to design a better cookstove, which researchers say will use half as much fuel and cut emissions by 90 percent.


September 10, 2013

New UW-based organization aims to prevent suicides

Forefront image

Forefront: Innovations in suicide prevention, a new University of Washington-based organization launched Sept. 10, will help Washington state lead the way to new policies and programs to solve what is regarded as a major public health problem.


September 9, 2013

Nearly half of state’s distracted drivers are texting

texting while driving

In our state, texting on a hand-held device diverts drivers’ attention more than any other distraction.


September 5, 2013

Redesigned feminine hygiene product tackles problem of human trafficking

Pad-insert-cropped

A group of University of Washington graduate students wanted to help save victims of human trafficking. Along the way they won two prestigious national design awards for their efforts and hope to raise money to help even more people.


August 14, 2013

UW geographer devises a way for China to resolve its ‘immigration’ dilemma

Chinese farmers who move to cities without official permission don't qualify for basic social services.

University of Washington geographer Kam Wing Chan is in China this week, explaining how that country can dismantle its 55-year-old system that limits rural laborers from moving to and settling in cities and qualifying for basic social benefits.


August 5, 2013

Abused children found to smoke more as teens and adults

Photo credit: Shkumbin, Wikimedia Commons.

Researchers have long suspected some kind of link between childhood abuse and smoking. But in an interesting twist, UW researchers found a connection not between whether or not an abused child will ever begin smoking, but to how much they smoke once they do start.


July 16, 2013

Eye-tracking could outshine passwords if made user-friendly

A human eye.

University of Washington engineers found in a recent study that the user’s experience could be key to creating an authentication system that doesn’t rely on passwords.


July 10, 2013

Global study stresses importance of public Internet access

Computer users in Bogota, Colombia.

Millions of people in low-income countries still depend on public computer and Internet access venues despite the global proliferation of mobile phones and home computers.


July 9, 2013

School policies reduce student drinking – if they’re perceived to be enforced

Wine and hard liquor bottles photographed through a multiprism filter.

Every middle and high school has a policy against drinking alcohol on campus, but not all students follow the rules. New research suggests students are less likely to drink if they believe their school will strictly enforce its policy.


July 1, 2013

Calming your dog’s anxiety during noisy Fourth of July

Photo credit: LuKaS Cuba, Wikimedia Commons.

Dog owners everywhere feel a pang of anxiety as the Fourth of July approaches. Will their pooch simply hide under the bed when fireworks go off or run for the hills? If you’re the owner of a dog with noise phobias, what can you do?


June 25, 2013

More women pick computer science if media nix outdated ‘nerd’ stereotype

A young woman working with a computer.

The media often portray computer scientists as nerdy males with poor social skills. But a UW psychologist found women will want to study computer science if they don’t buy into the stereotypes.


June 20, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court decision to bar gene patents opens genetic test options

BROCA gene test

The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision June 13 to bar the patenting of naturally occurring genes opens up important clinical testing options for a variety of diseases.


June 17, 2013

Fiber-optic pen helps see inside brains of children with learning disabilities

Person holding pen and pad.

For less than $100, University of Washington researchers have designed a computer-interfaced drawing pad that helps scientists see inside the brains of children with learning disabilities while they read and write.


June 13, 2013

UW research: World population could be nearly 11 billion by 2100

World map gives graphic representation of population changes by 2100.

A new United Nations analysis, using statistical methods developed at the University of Washington, shows the world population could reach nearly 11 billion by the end of the century, about 800 million more people than the previous projection issued in 2011.


June 5, 2013

Congolese rape survivors helped by cognitive processing therapy

Congolese training class

Short-term therapy from paraprofessionals improved the mental health of Congolese women who suffered sexual violence.


A walking revolution helps older adults get and stay active

uneven sidewalk

Older adults are assessing their neighborhoods to make them more amenable to a favorite physical activity: walking.


May 30, 2013

Big feet preference in rural Indonesia defies one-size-fits-all theory of attractiveness

Karo Batak women at work

In most cultures, a woman’s small feet are seen as a sign of youth and fertility, but that’s not true of all cultures, including the Karo Batak on the island of Sumatra.


May 29, 2013

Early brain responses to words predict developmental outcomes in children with autism

Child in autism study plays with toys

The pattern of brain responses to words in 2-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder predicted the youngsters’ linguistic, cognitive and adaptive skills at ages 4 and 6, according to a new study by UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences.


May 22, 2013

Practicing medicine pharma-free in a drug rep-filled world

Pharma-free medical practices refuse gifts, lunches and samples from pharmaceutical industries.

A rural family medicine group is an example for other community physicians seeking to wean themselves from pharmaceutical industry influence.


May 21, 2013

The tea party and the politics of paranoia

Cover of "Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politcs in America"

New research argues that the tea party owes more to paranoid politics of the John Birch Society and others than traditional American conservatism. “True conservatives aren’t paranoid,” says political scientist Chris Parker. “Tea party conservatives are.”


May 17, 2013

Youth bullying because of perceived sexual orientation widespread and damaging

Anti-bullying poster.

Harmful effects of bullying are profound for youth struggling with identity and self-worth, and can lead to depression and thoughts of suicide.


May 14, 2013

DNA analysis unearths origins of Minoans, the first major European civilization

Illustration of the Bull-leaping Fresco from the Great Palace at Knossos, Crete

The maternal genetic information passed down through many generations of mitochondria is still present in modern-day residents of the Lassithi plateau of Crete.


April 3, 2013

Diversity programs give illusion of corporate fairness, study shows

Black and white hands clasped.

Diversity training programs lead people to believe that work environments are fair even when given evidence of hiring, promotion or salary inequities, according to findings by UW psychologists.


April 2, 2013

South African gender, sexuality and race topic of Samuel E. Kelly lecture April 18

headshot of Amanda Lock Swarr

Amanda Lock Swarr, a UW associate professor in gender, women and sexuality studies, will deliver the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity’s ninth annual Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Thurs., April 18.


April 1, 2013

News Digest: Built “ecologies” lecture April 4, cybersecurity competition winner, autism awareness lectures

Example of HOK design

Built “ecologies,” resource integration subject of lecture April 4 || UW wins sixth consecutive regional cybersecurity competition || Autism center lecture series in Seattle, Tacoma


March 27, 2013

Federal ‘detainer requests’ for suspected immigration violators cause longer jail stays, increase cost, UW research shows

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests a suspect.

Jail stays and costs increase when federal immigration authorities request that inmates be held under what are called “detainer requests,” according to UW research.


March 19, 2013

Jordanna Bailkin studies postwar Britain in new book ‘The Afterlife of Empire’

"The Afterlife of Empire" was published in November 2012 by the University of California Press.

UW History Professor Jordanna Bailkin discusses her new book “The Afterlife of Empire.”


Grieving parents find solace in remembrance photography – with photo gallery

baby hands

A UW anthropology student investigated how remembrance photography helps grieving parents, and how the practice’s resurgence could signal a change in the way death and dying are dealt with in our society.


March 18, 2013

UW students create, harvest fog in campus ‘hoop house’

Facutly members examines creen of green matting in haze of fog

University of Washington students have been testing low-cost materials capable of harvesting water from fog.


March 11, 2013

Long-term relationships, access to data drive sustainability institutions’ success

College of the Environment logo and Mount Rainier

Successful sustainability initiatives need to be grounded in long-standing relationships among scientists, local communities and decision-makers, UW’s Lisa Graumlich told a session on sustainability science at AAAS.


March 4, 2013

United States lags behind many developed countries on key health measures

Dr. Christopher Murray in Tanzania

A public symposium on the Global Burden of Diseases study will be held on campus Monday, March 11.


February 13, 2013

Psychology in the real world: Public lecture series begins

Poster for the 2013 psychology lecture series

The eighth annual Allen L. Edwards Psychology Lecture Series will spotlight “The Science of Psychology in the Real World,” exploring psychological aspects of the natural world, adolescence and the law.


February 5, 2013

Scholars urge Supreme Court to keep Voting Rights Act provisions ensuring equal access

Voters cast ballots in the 2012 election.

Political science and law scholars from the UW and elsewhere file a brief saying the Supreme Court should fully uphold the Voting Rights Act in a case out of Shelby County, Alabama.


February 4, 2013

Ralina Joseph studies multiraciality in new book ‘Transcending Blackness’

"Transcending Blackness," by Ralina L. Joseph.

Ralina Joseph, UW associate professor of communications, discusses her book, “Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial.”


January 29, 2013

More sex for married couples with traditional divisions of housework

Photo of husband and wife sharing chores

Married couples who divide chores in traditional ways have more sex than couples who share so-called men’s and women’s work.


January 23, 2013

Better outlook for dwindling black macaque population in Indonesia

a group of black macaques in Indonesia

Hunting and habitat loss harm the critically endangered Sulawesi black macaque, but new research shows the population has stabilized in the past decade.



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