Over the Top: When One’s Influence Goes to One’s Head (and Beyond)

Contributor: Dana S. Dunn, PhD, author of Assessing Teaching and Learning in Psychology: Current and Future Perspectives, 1st Edition as well as ADJUST and Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century, 10th Edition (with Wayne Weiten and Elizabeth Yost Hammer).   Part of psychology’s mission is to demystify and explain where or why people’s daily perceptions get them into trouble sometimes. Consider some well-known findings from social psychology on how we look. Attractive people, for example, get away with a lot more than less attractive people; we attribute all kinds of favorable qualities (e.g., wit, intelligence, skill) to those Read More…

Are Letters of Recommendation Worth the Effort?

Contributor: Michael G. Aamodt, PhD., author of Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach, 7th Edition. This time of year, faculty are often busy writing letters of recommendation for students applying to graduate school and responding to reference requests from potential employers. Considering the amount of time and effort spent writing letters, completing reference forms, and providing phone references, it makes sense to ask whether letters of recommendation actually predict student or employee performance. Given that one of the basic beliefs in psychology is that the best predictor of future performance is past performance, one would think that references would Read More…

The Artist: A Case Study in Culture and Emotion

Contributor: Dr. David Matsumoto. Last year The Artist won for Best Movie at the Academy Awards. It’s a French romantic comedy drama in the style of a black-and-white silent film. It is directed by Michel Hazanavicius, and stars Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo. The story takes place in Hollywood, between 1927 and 1932, and focuses on the relationship of an older silent film star (George Valentin, played by Dujardin) and a rising young actress (Peppy Miller, played by Bejo), as silent cinema falls out of fashion and is replaced by the talkies. Admittedly, I did not see the film before Read More…

How Psychology Has Developed as a Science

John Cacioppo, author of Discovering Psychology: The Science of the Mind, First Edition, discusses his research on how psychology has developed as a science over the years. He talks about the shift from antagonism between the social and biological approaches to accepting that diverse perspectives give us a more complete understanding of how the mind works. Listen to hear how psychology has emerged as one of the seven hub sciences, and how scientific research has changed this century.


Learning Through Visuals

Contributor: Dr. Haig Kouyoudjian. A large body of research indicates that visual cues help us to better retrieve and remember information. The research outcomes on visual learning make complete sense when you consider that our brain is mainly an image processor (much of our sensory cortex is devoted to vision), not a word processor. In fact, the part of the brain used to process words is quite small in comparison to the part that processes visual images. Words are abstract and rather difficult for the brain to retain, whereas visuals are concrete and, as such, more easily remembered. To Read More…

Feeling a Little Blue During the Holidays? This Could Be Why.

During the holidays many people fear overeating; however, the effect of loneliness, or perceived isolation, can be even more detrimental to one’s health. John Cacioppo, author of Discovering Psychology: The Science of the Mind, 1st Edition, discusses his research on what effects social isolation, or loneliness, can have on people. He talks about what sparked his interest in studying the effects of social isolation, describes perceived isolation vs. objective isolation, and covers the effects of perceived isolation.

Post Author: Talia Wise, Director of Marketing Programs – Content Strategy.