UW Today

Social science


April 16, 2014

Metoyer to present 10th annual Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture

Cheryl Metoyer sits reading a book

In her lecture “Are We There Yet? The Four Directions in Native American Higher Education,” Metoyer will talk about the historic development of Native Americans in higher education.


April 14, 2014

Babies prefer fairness – but only if it benefits them – in choosing a playmate

During the "choice trial" of a research experiment, a baby chooses one experimenter to play with.

Babies as young as 15 months preferred people with the same ethnicity as themselves — a phenomenon known as in-group bias, or favoring people who have the same characteristics as oneself.


April 2, 2014

Science-themed music videos boost scientific literacy, study shows

Student-worksheet-cropped

As the United States puts ever-greater emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to keep competitive in the global economy, schools are trying to figure out how to improve student learning in science. University of Washington researchers think music may be the answer for some students.


March 31, 2014

UW launches online bachelor’s degree completion program in social sciences

A large 'W' is at the north entrance to the UW campus.

A new UW online bachelor’s degree completion program in social sciences is intended to provide a flexible, lower-cost option for individuals who want to finish their college education without coming to campus.


March 14, 2014

Distance to supermarket makes no difference to diet quality, UW study says

a refrigerator section at a grocery store containing fruit

A new UW study conducted in Seattle shows that people bypass supermarkets and ethnic stores near their homes to shop at their preferred grocery.


March 13, 2014

Negative effects of joining a gang last long after gang membership ends

Bloods gang sign.

Joining a gang in adolescence has significant consequences in adulthood beyond criminal behavior, even after a person leaves the gang. Former gang members are more likely to be in poor health, receiving government assistance and struggling with drug abuse than someone who never joined a gang.


March 11, 2014

No one likes a copycat, no matter where you live

Two girls hold up similar drawings of flowers

Very young children often don’t view an artistic copycat negatively, but that changes by the age of 5 or 6, even in countries that place less value on intellectual property rights than the U.S.


February 11, 2014

Data on today’s youth reveal childhood clues for later risk of STDs

condom TILE

Findings from UW longitudinal surveys of nearly 2,000 participants suggest that efforts to curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases should begin years before most people start having sex.


February 4, 2014

Personal experience, work seniority improve mental health professionals’ outlook

photo of a man looking down at his feet

One might think that after years on the job, mental health workers would harbor negative attitudes about mental illness, but a new UW study suggests the opposite.


January 30, 2014

When songs trumped rifles, new book by Guntis Šmidchens

A black and white photo of a Baltica Folklore Festival procession in Riga, Latvia in July 1988.

In his new book “The Power of Song,” Šmidchens explores what is often dubbed “the Singing Revolution,” a passive resistance movement that took hold in the Baltic nations.


January 27, 2014

‘Achieving Health for All’ is topic of 38th Annual Faculty Lecture Feb . 6

Gloyd with grads

Dr. Stephen Gloyd, professor of global health and health services, will discuss creative responses to reducing inequity worldwide.


January 24, 2014

How strong of a football fan are you? There’s a test for that

Seahawks-fans

UW psychologist Anthony Greenwald has developed a scientific test to measure the strength of one’s support for a football team.


January 13, 2014

Cognitive training shows some lasting effects in healthy older adults

elderly man teaches chess

The national, decade-long ACTIVE study showed that cognitive training can help the elderly maintain certain thinking and reasoning skills useful in everyday life.


January 8, 2014

Despite declines in smoking rates, number of smokers and cigarettes rises

smoking in flight

Population growth since 1980 drives increases in the number of smokers in countries including China and Russia, while Canada, Mexico, and the United States see strong declines


January 7, 2014

‘Sharecropper’s Troubadour’: The life of singer, union organizer John Handcox

"Sharecropper's Troubadour" by Michael Honey.

UW historian Michael Honey talks about his latest book, “Sharecropper’s Troubadour: John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union, and the African American Song Tradition.”


January 6, 2014

Babbling babies – responding to one-on-one ‘baby talk’ – master more words

talk to opa

Common advice to new parents is that the more words babies hear the faster their vocabulary grows. Now new findings show that what spurs early language development isn’t so much the quantity of words as the style of speech and social context in which speech occurs.


‘Future of Ice’ initiative marks new era for UW polar research

FutureofIce

The UW’s new “Future of Ice” initiative includes several new research hires, a new minor in Arctic studies and a free winter lecture series.


December 16, 2013

5 effective parenting programs to reduce problem behaviors in children

father holding daughter's hand

UW researchers evaluated about 20 parenting programs and found five that are especially effective at helping parents and children at all risk levels avoid adolescent behavior problems that affect not only individuals, but entire communities.


December 9, 2013

Communities across U.S. reduce teen smoking, drinking, violence and crime

Fewer high school students across the U.S. started drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, committing crimes and engaging in violence before graduation when their towns used a prevention system developed by UW’s Social Development Research Group.


December 3, 2013

New book ‘Going Viral’ explores nature, impact of Internet virality

Book cover for "Going Viral" by Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley of the UW Information School.

Will we of the early 21th century be remembered for Internet memes like Grumpy Cat? “Going Viral,” a new book by Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley of the UW Information School explores the nature of virality and impacts of virality.


Project to gauge effects of Affordable Care Act in Washington state

clinical hands

The overall purpose of the project, called UW-SHARE, is to obtain a benchmark, pre-ACA picture of health-care use, health, health-related attitudes, and access to health insurance.


November 20, 2013

Study shines light on what makes digital activism effective

Protestors hold up a Facebook placard in Tahrir Square

Digital activism is usually nonviolent and tends to work best when social media tools are combined with street-level organization, according to new research from the University of Washington.


November 14, 2013

A decline in creativity? It depends on how you look

paint_buckets_image_smaller

Recent research suggests that young Americans might be less creative now than in decades past, even while their intelligence — as measured by IQ tests — continues to rise. But new research from the UW Information School and Harvard University hints that the dynamics of creativity may not break down as simply as that.


October 30, 2013

A first step in learning by imitation, baby brains respond to another’s actions

child plays pat-a-cake with an adult

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery for adults, but for babies it’s their foremost tool for learning. Now researchers from the University of Washington and Temple University have found the first evidence revealing a key aspect of the brain processing that occurs in babies to allow this learning by observation.


October 21, 2013

‘Pushback’: Resisting the life of constant connectivity

Two friends check their smartphones.

Researchers at the University of Washington have studied and named a trend lots of people can identify with: the desire to resist constant connectivity and step back from the online world.


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.



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