Department of Psychology News

Thanks + Giving: UT Researcher Says Gratitude May be a Key to Happiness


‘Tis the season to be grateful. And being grateful for what you have may be the key to happiness, according to research by a UT professor. Jeff Larsen, associate professor of psychology, investigated whether the maxim “it’s more important to want what you have than to have what you want” is true.

Fish Want to Play Too


Discover magazine featured the research of Psychology Professor Gordon Burghardt and his colleagues Vladimir Dinets, a psychology research assistant professor, and James Murphy of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC. They are the first to document play with objects in a cichlid fish species. There are hundreds of species of cichlid, including tilapia,

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Crocodiles Use Teamwork to Trap Their Prey


Discovery featured research by psychology research assistant professor Vladimir Dinets that took advantage of the reach of social media to gather eyewitness accounts worldwide of crocodile and alligator predatory behavior. The accounts uncovered that crocodiles work as teams in their attacks.

UT Study Finds Crocodiles are Sophisticated Hunters


Recent studies have found that crocodiles and their relatives are highly intelligent animals capable of sophisticated behavior such as advanced parental care, complex communication, and use of tools for hunting.

Which Deaths Matter?


The Atlantic featured a story that examines why and how the media covers deaths. “When it comes to the humans behind these statistics…not all casualties are covered equally. Researchers have found that the U.S. media gives more sustained and personalized attention to some deaths than to others,” it read. One factor that enables ample coverage

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The Badness of Crowds: Pick Your Peers Wisely

Wall Street Journal

Research by a psychology professor was included in The Wall Street Journal. According to the article, research by assistant professor Garriy Shteynberg helps explain how financial contagion spreads and how to protect yourself against it. Paying attention to the right people turns out to be hugely important, according to the article. Several recent experiments led

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World Cup Fever: Study Shows Group Fervor Stems from Shared Experiences

The 2014 World Cup has captured the attention of billions of viewers around the globe. New research from UT suggests that it is the shared attention that makes these games so emotionally compelling. Assistant Professor Garriy Shteynberg and Associate Professor Jeff Larsen from the Department of Psychology conducted the study, which showed that emotional events are more intense when viewed simultaneously with other group members.