Department of Psychology News

UT Research Finds Link Between Alcohol Use, Not Pot, and Domestic Violence

Alcohol use is more likely than marijuana use to lead to violence between partners, according to studies done at UT. Research among college students found that men under the influence of alcohol are more likely to perpetrate physical, psychological, or sexual aggression against their partners than men under the influence of marijuana. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to be physically and psychologically aggressive under the influence of alcohol but were also more likely to be psychologically aggressive under the influence of marijuana.

UT Study Finds Crocodiles are Cleverer than Previously Thought

A mugger crocodile balances twigs on its nose to tempt birds collecting small branches to build nests with, at Madras Crocodile Bank, Tamil Nadu in India. Photo credit: Vladimir Dinets

Turns out the crocodile can be a shrewd hunter himself. A UT researcher has found that some crocodiles use lures to hunt their prey. Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, is the first to observe two crocodilian species—muggers and American alligators—using twigs and sticks to lure birds, particularly during nest-building time. Dinets’s research is the first report of tool use by any reptiles.

UT Research Finds Newlyweds Implicitly Know If Marriage Will Fail

Newlywed bliss can overshadow serious marital problems, but a new study by UT researchers shows that signs of a failed marriage are often there from the beginning—if couples look closely. The study, by Michael Olson, associate professor of psychology, and Jim McNulty of Florida State University, finds that spouses’ automatic attitudes, not their more thoughtfully held conscious attitudes, are a good predictor of marital satisfaction.