Jim Goodson

Welcome New Graduate Students!

The Psychology department is very pleased to welcome our incoming class of new graduate students. We look forward to their contributions to the department and the scientific community!

Jim Goodson

Passing of James Goodson

With deep sadness, we announce the passing of our former colleague, James L. Goodson, 48. A behavioral neuroendocrinologist by training, Jim's research focused on neural networks and nonapeptide circuits that regulate social behavior in animal species (specifically in songbirds). Jim was a very productive and successful scientist, having published in a wide variety of high-impact journals (e.g., Science, PNAS, etc.), and he was also a dedicated environmentalist. Jim was a valued and beloved member of our department. To read a tribute to Jim, see here.

Keith Rayner

Women in Cognitive Science Award

Prof. Keith Rayner has been awarded the Women in Cognitive Science Outstanding Mentor Award. The award recognizes, "scientists who have demonstrated sustained, effective mentorship of female students and who have also served as a research advisor or supervisor to one or more female students".

Christine Harris

Jealous Dogs

In the first empirical study of its kind, Dr. Christine Harris and former honors student, Caroline Prouvost find that humans are not the only social species to display jealous behaviors. Dogs do so too, suggesting that jealousy is likely hard-wired and may not require complex cognitive attributions. This research has been featured widely in the media. To learn more, check out the New York Times, Washington Post, Time, NPR’s “All Things Considered" or just google dog jealousy.

Chris Bryan

Little Helpers

Kids don't always have to be stubborn ... at least if you ask them in the right way. New research by Dr. Christopher Bryan demonstrates that changing a couple simple words in your request to a child for help (i.e., asking them to "please be a helper" versus just "please help") can have positive behavioral consequences, perhaps through appealing to aspects of their central identity and character. To find out more, see the story in The New York Times, NBC Today, Yahoo! News, and NPR.

Norman Anderson

Distinguished Emeriti Award

Norman Anderson has been awarded the prestigious 2013-14 Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award, which is presented annually to one or more distinguished emeriti to honor outstanding scholarly work or educational service performed since retirement by a University of California emeritus or emerita in the Humanities or Social Sciences. The Constantine Panunzio selection committee is proud to honor and acknowledge your remarkable achievements and contributions on behalf of the University of California, and in particular, the UC San Diego campus.

Speed Reading

Speed reading app is suspect

Many people would like to read faster, and unsurprisingly there's a smart-phone app for that. Software developers cashing in on speed-reading enthusiasts have created software that eliminates the need to move your eyes while reading. But don’t throw away your books and e-readers just yet – research by Liz Schotter, Randy Tran and Keith Rayner suggests that the eye movements we make during reading actually play a critical role in our ability to understand what we’ve just read. APS covers the story.


Teaching Excellence

The Department of Psychology congratulates Professor Leslie Carver for being awarded the 2014 Chancellor's Associates Faculty Excellence Award for Graduate Teaching. The prestigious Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards are given annually to six University of California, San Diego professors for excellence in teaching, research, community service, and visual and performing arts.
"Professor Carver is one of our most skilled and talented teachers, and her contributions to graduate teaching are truly impressive."
- Jeff Elman, Dean of Social Sciences


Talking About Numbers

A study by Jessica Sullivan and David Barner (featured on KPBS and UCSD News) suggests the structure of language affects how children acquire early number words like "one" and "two" - the foundations for learning mathematics. The group studied young children learning languages which have "dual morphology" - special grammatical marking that occurs whenever speakers talk about sets of exactly two. They found that children who spoke these languages, despite receiving little experience with numbers and counting, were significantly faster than children who spoke other languages to learn the meanings of the words "one" and "two". READ MORE


Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof. Keith Rayner has been awarded the 2014 William James Lifetime Achievement Award for Basic Research and named FABBS Foundation Honoree. William James Lifetime Achievement Award is APS's highest honor in recognition of "a lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology." The FABBS Foundation’s “In Honor Of...” program recognizes eminent, senior scientists who have made important and lasting contributions to the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior. These honors highlight Keith's many past achievements and the continuing influence of his scientific insights.


Improving Self-Control

Science Daily and Forbes News break news on a technique to enhance a form of self-control through brain stimulation developed by the Aron lab and their collaborators at UTHealth (originally published in J Neuro).


Stuart Anstis awarded Kurt-Koffka medal

The Kurt-Koffka award is to honor scientists who advanced the fields of perception or developmental psychology to an extraordinary extent. The award reminds of Kurt Koffka, a pioneer of Gestalt Psychology, in particular in the fields of perception and child development. This was the seventh time that the Kurt-Koffka medal was awarded. In a ceremony that took place on June 26, 2013, Prof. Anstis was honored for his work on visual perception.


Department Highlights

  • Experimental Design

    Exploring Experimental Design

    Have you ever thought about what it takes to design a successful experiment? How do you know that you’re asking the right questions? Students from Gail Heyman’s Topics in Learning Science class are here to help! Their short film is designed to guide students new to the idea of experimental design through the basics of the scientific method.

  • Lying

    Lying, Cheating Kids

    A new study by Chelsea Hays and Dr. Leslie Carver finds that children who have been lied to are more likely to lie and cheat themselves. Read more on NBC San Diego.

  • Huffington Post

    Health Guilt

    Research by Nicole Henniger, Dr. Ryan Darby, and Dr. Chris Harris reveals that emotional experiences during patient-physician interactions are crucial in determining how individuals make subsequent medical decisions. Huffington Post covers the story.