UW News

Department of Psychology


April 15, 2024

Q&A: How claims of anti-Christian bias can serve as racial dog whistles

A brown, leather Bible on its side with the spine facing the camera. The background is white.

A new University of Washington study showed that white and Black Christians perceived a politician concerned about anti-Christian bias as caring more about anti-white bias, being more willing to fight for white people and as less offensive than one concerned about anti-white bias.


April 8, 2024

Everyday social interactions predict language development in infants

A woman sits with a baby facing her on her lap. The woman is talking to the baby using hand gestures. The baby is watching her.

In a study published April 8 in Current Biology, University of Washington researchers found that when the adult talked and played socially with a 5-month-old baby, the baby’s brain activity particularly increased in regions responsible for attention — and the level of this type of activity predicted enhanced language development at later ages.


March 28, 2024

ArtSci Roundup: DXARTS Time and Time Again Exhibition, Meany Hall Concert, Colloquium Lectures and more

This week, head to the Henry Art Gallery for the Freedom in Failure: “That’s how the light gets in” program, learn how virtual reality platforms can advance personalized treatment options for patients, visit the DXARTS gallery for Time and Time Again, and more. April 3, 12:30 pm | First Wednesday Concert Series: Students of the UW…


March 21, 2024

ArtSci Roundup: Calder Quartet, Psychology Colloquium, Black Girls (Re)Creating Space through Digital Practice and more

This week, attend the Psychology Loucks Colloquium, visit the Henry Art Gallery for Martine Gutierrez’s Monsen Photography Lecture, hear from Ashleigh Greene Wade on “Where Can We Be? Black Girls (Re)Creating Space through Digital Practice” and more. March 27, 12:30 – 1:30 pm | TALK | Arctic Ambitions: Navigating Arctic Security Challenges, Husky Union Building Join…


March 7, 2024

ArtSci Roundup: Mark Morris Dance Group, Psychology Seminar, Screening Queer Hong Kong, and more

This week, head to Meany Hall for The Look of Love performance by the Mark Morris Dance Group, learn about recent research at a clinical seminar hosted by the Department of Psychology, tune into a book talk with the Japan Studies Program, and more. March 12, 11:30 am – 12:50 pm | Psychology Cross-Area Clinical…


February 6, 2024

Parents’ conversational approaches about Black Lives Matter differ by race

Signs and people marching for Black Lives Matter

A new study from the University of Washington professor Andrew Meltzoff and Northwestern University showed key differences in the language Black parents and white used to explain Black Lives Matter.


December 12, 2023

Holiday blahs? Why social connection, even talking to strangers, can help

A close up of two women and a girl that look like family, looking at a book or a screen and sharing a laugh.

Milla Titova, assistant teaching professor of psychology and director of the Happiness and Well-Being Lab at the UW, offers strategies for joy this holiday season.


September 22, 2023

Q&A: How new software is changing our understanding of human brain development

An MRI image of a baby's brain

A team including researchers at the University of Washington recently used new software to compare MRIs from 300 babies and discovered that myelin, a part of the brain’s so-called white matter, develops much slower after birth.


April 21, 2023

ArtSci Roundup: Public Lectures, Art Exhibitions, Music Project Festival and more

This week, attend the annual Schiedel Lecture, learn about the transactional relationship between mental health research and care, enjoy the Improvised Music Project Festival held by UW students and faculty and more. April 25, 6:00 – 7:30 PM | 2023 Scheidel Lecture: How We Create Time Through Communication with Dr. Dawna Ballard, Kane Hall A long-standing…


February 3, 2023

Q&A: The benefits and hazards of social media for teens

cell phone screen showing social media icons like Twitter and Facebook

Lucía Magis-Weinberg, a University of Washington assistant professor of psychology, explains how social media use can affect youth mental health.


October 21, 2022

ArtSci Roundup: Miha Sarani exhibition opening, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman conversation, and more

Connect with the UW community every week through public events and exhibitions, summarized in this ArtSci Roundup.


September 29, 2022

International field course held in Indonesia and led by UW professor ends after 30 years

Group photo of people behind banner

Randall Kyes established the International Field Study Program-Indonesia at the UW. The month-long study abroad program provided field-based educational and research opportunities for students from the UW, Indonesia and other participating countries.


August 12, 2022

New faculty books: How your brain works, cycling around the world and more

Four books lined up on a table

Recent and upcoming books from University of Washington faculty include those from the Jackson School of International Studies, the Department of Psychology and the Runstad Department of Real Estate.


May 19, 2022

Q&A: Why discriminatory bias is a public health problem

Tony Greenwald, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington and creator of the Implicit Association Test, explains how public health strategies can help address unintended discrimination.


May 12, 2022

Changes in cholesterol production lead to tragic octopus death spiral

After a mother octopus lays a clutch of eggs, she quits eating and wastes away; by the time the eggs hatch, she is dead. Some females in captivity even seem to speed up this process intentionally, mutilating themselves and twisting their arms into a tangled mess. The source of this bizarre maternal behavior seems to be the optic gland, an organ similar to the pituitary gland in mammals. For years, just how this gland triggered the gruesome death spiral was unclear. But in a new study published May 12 in Current Biology, researchers from the University of Washington, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Chicago show that the optic gland in maternal octopuses undergoes a massive shift in cholesterol metabolism, resulting in dramatic changes in the steroid hormones produced. Alterations in cholesterol metabolism in other animals, including humans, can have serious consequences on longevity and behavior, and the team believes this reveals important similarities in the functions of these steroids across the animal kingdom — in soft-bodied cephalopods and vertebrates alike.


April 29, 2022

ArtSci Roundup

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! Carving out a brave space: Courage in art May 3, 7:00 PM | HUB Lyceum & Online “Have something to say. Be brave enough to say it. Use your art to change the world.” UW Drama Professor and Head of Directing & Playwriting…


April 28, 2022

New meta-analysis examines link between self-harm and stress

A new, University of Washington-led meta-analysis finds that people engage in self-injury and/or think about suicide to alleviate some types of stress; and that there is potential for therapy and other interventions.


April 21, 2022

ArtSci Roundup: A Conversation with Brad Smith, UW Public Lectures: An Evening with Masha Gessen, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! Katz Distinguished Lecture: Abderrahmane Sissako April 26, 7:00 PM | Kane Hall 210 What is the place of West Africa in the world and of the world in West Africa? These are the questions that the Oscar- and Palme d’Or-nominated filmmaker Adberrahmane Sissako…


March 28, 2022

UW graduate and professional disciplines again place high in US News’ best graduate school rankings

campus shot

The University of Washington’s graduate and professional degree programs were widely recognized as among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Graduate School rankings released Tuesday.


December 16, 2021

Bias against Native Americans spikes when mascots are removed

New research led by the University of Washington shows how discontinuing a Native American mascot can stoke racism among a team’s surrounding community.


November 22, 2021

Kids, teens believe girls aren’t interested in computer science, study shows

Children as young as age 6 develop stereotypes that girls aren’t interested in computer science and engineering, according to new research from the University of Washington and the University of Houston.


September 22, 2021

Feeling anxious about in-person work, school? Here’s how to ease the transition

students walking across campus in the fall

People may experience a range of emotions as some in-person routines resume during this stage of the pandemic. University of Washington psychology professor Jane Simoni suggests ways to cope.


September 16, 2021

Rankings: UW among best in world for health and life sciences

building

The University of Washington is among the best universities in the world for the studies of health and life sciences, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2022.


August 19, 2021

Youth mental health during the pandemic better with more sleep, structure and time in nature

girl walking in the woods

A study led by Harvard and the University of Washington surveyed children, teens and their families about the stresses of the pandemic, and ways to cope.


July 16, 2021

20 UW researchers elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences for 2021

Twenty scientists and engineers at the University of Washington are among the 38 new members elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences for 2021, according to a July 15 announcement. New members were chosen for “their outstanding record of scientific and technical achievement, and their willingness to work on behalf of the Academy to bring the best available science to bear on issues within the state of Washington.”


July 13, 2021

From ‘distress’ to ‘unscathed’ — mental health of UW students during spring 2020

A table in the living room with a cup of tea, a laptop and a stack of books on top. Behind the table is a couch and a bike

To understand how the UW’s transition to online-only classes affected college students’ mental health in the spring of 2020, UW researchers surveyed 147 UW undergraduates over the 2020 spring quarter.


April 6, 2021

Back to school in springtime: UW experts offer tips for adjusting pandemic-era routines

University of Washington experts in education and psychology offer tips for families on the return to in-person school after a year of remote learning.


March 17, 2021

‘Forgetting Nature’: Peter Kahn offers warning in short documentary film

The message of “Forgetting Nature,” a new documentary film featuring Peter Kahn, is short but powerful: We humans are losing our connection to the natural world, at our great peril.


March 16, 2021

Relearning normalcy, focusing on the positive: UW psychologist on the vaccine phase of the pandemic

University of Washington psychology professor Jane Simoni discusses how COVID-19 vaccines are gradually spurring the return to normal life, and the role of positive public health messaging.


March 11, 2021

Mindfulness program in campus dorms, groups improved students’ mental health

Students standing silently, eyes closed, in a yoga or meditation class

Amid a growing mental health crisis among teens and young adults nationwide, a pilot program teaching mindfulness and coping techniques to students at the University of Washington has helped lower stress and improve emotional well-being.


March 10, 2021

Helpful behavior during pandemic tied to recognizing common humanity

Woman gives a box of masks to a donation drive at a UW parking lot.

A new University of Washington study finds that an identification with all humanity, as opposed to identification with a geographic area like a country or town, predicts whether someone will engage in “prosocial” behaviors particular to the pandemic, such as donating extra masks or coming to the aid of a sick person.


March 4, 2021

Can’t solve a riddle? The answer might lie in knowing what doesn’t work

Scrabble tiles forming a word with one tile missing

With the help of about 200 human puzzle-takers, a computer model and functional MRI images, University of Washington researchers have learned more about the processes of reasoning and decision making, pinpointing the brain pathway that springs into action when problem-solving goes south.


January 14, 2021

Sexual harassment claims considered more credible if made by ‘prototypical’ women

A man and woman sitting across a desk. Only their hands are visible, using a tablet and notebook.

A new UW study reveals people’s perceptions that sexual harassment primarily affects young, feminine and conventionally attractive women. Women who fall outside that prototype not only are perceived as unharmed by harassment, but also have a harder time convincing others that they have been harassed.


December 15, 2020

How to have holidays ‘full of love and connection’ and set goals for 2021

smiling snowman on campus

The COVID-19 pandemic and social-distancing guidelines have changed how we celebrate the holidays this year. University of Washington psychologist Jonathan Kanter explains that, by being intentional about how we approach and experience the season, we can find joy, and recognize – even embrace – how we’ve weathered this year.


September 8, 2020

ArtSci Roundup: Re/frame at the Henry, Coexisting with COVID-19, and more

During this time of uncertainty and isolation, find solace in digital opportunities to connect, share, and engage. Each week, we will share upcoming events that bring the UW, and the greater community, together online.  Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom Pro via UW-IT.  Re/frame:…


August 24, 2020

ArtSci Roundup: Strange Coupling 2020, Drop-In Meditation Session, and More

During this time of uncertainty and isolation, find solace in digital opportunities to connect, share, and engage. Each week, we will share upcoming events that bring the UW, and the greater community, together online.  Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom Pro via UW-IT.  Lux…


July 31, 2020

Empathy and understanding: UW psychologists offer tips on relationships during the pandemic

University of Washington psychologists say there are ways to approach interactions with friends and loved ones that can provide a positive path forward and help maintain healthy relationships during the pandemic.


July 30, 2020

Video: Meet the real-life kraken: the octopus

Seattle’s new hockey team is named for a legendary creature of the sea, and that’s a perfect fit, according to octopus researchers at the University of Washington.


May 29, 2020

Researchers use brain imaging to demonstrate weaker neural suppression in individuals with autism

an image of a person's eye

In a paper published May 29 in Nature Communications, a team of scientists at the University of Washington, the University of Minnesota and the Johns Hopkins University reports that differences in visual motion perception in autism spectrum disorder are accompanied by weaker neural “suppression” in the visual cortex of the brain, which may help scientists understand sensory hypersensitivity in people with ASD.


May 7, 2020

For Mother’s Day, the gift of compassion: UW psychology professor on celebrating parenthood during a pandemic

What does it feel like to be a mother on this Mother’s Day? And how can we make the day seem special when life feels so uncertain and stressful? University of Washington psychology professor Liliana Lengua offers some perspective.



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