Department of Psychology News

Stuart Study Explores Tie Between Alcohol, Marijuana Use in Teens and Later Use of Synthetic Marijuana

Teenagers who have symptoms of depression and who drink alcohol or use marijuana tend to use synthetic marijuana later in life, according to a new study co-authored by UT researcher Gregory Stuart. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, is the first of its kind to assess whether marijuana use is predictive over time of the use of synthetic cannabinoids—the group of chemicals that mimic the effects of marijuana.

Science Mag Interviews Grzanka about Toddler Play and Sexual Orientation Study

Science Magazine recently spoke with Patrick Grzanka, assistant professor of psychology, regarding a story about a controversial study that suggests that the objects and people children play with as early as toddlerhood may provide clues to their eventual sexual orientation. Grzanka disputed the study’s methods and significance noting that parents’ own beliefs and biases about gender almost certainly influence how they described their children’s gendered play, which could skew their reporting.

Professors Discuss the Future of Science under Trump

UT’s Gordon Burghardt, professor of psychology, and Nina Fefferman, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, joined Gretchen Goldman from the Union of Concerned Scientists recently on WUOT’s Dialogue.

Burghardt Speaks to Nat Geo About Walrus Play

Gordon Burghardt spoke to National Geographic about the play behavior of walruses. New research shows walruses are playful creatures and like to toy with bird carcasses.

Holy Batcave! Personal Sighting Leads Dinets to New Data on Spectral Bat

Spectral bats, also called false vampire bats for their imposing size—a wingspan of over three feet—are the largest bats in the Americas and typically roost in trees in lowland forests. Vladimir Dinets, UT research assistant professor of psychology, has discovered evidence that the species also can live in caves and is more adaptable than previously thought, thanks to personal observation and information gleaned from social media accounts of tourists.