Department of Psychology News

Learning From Animal Friendships

New York Times

A New York Times article about unlikely animal pairings featured Gordon Burghardt. The Alumni Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology studies animals at play. Burghardt defines play as a repeated behavior that should not contribute to survival. It is spontaneous and voluntary, performed when the animal is healthy

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Anesthesia: States Of Consciousness

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Our brains undergo all kinds of states of consciousness… But how? And what are those states? WUOT’s Chrissy Keuper interviewed Helen Baghdoyan, Beaman Professor, and Ralph Lydic, Robert H. Cole Endowed Professor of Neuroscience. The couple teaches anesthesiology and psychology at the University of Tennessee. They spoke about their research on how the brain regulates various

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UT study finds gratitude is the key to happiness

WATE-TV

‘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 that was featured by WATE-TV. 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”

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

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‘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

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

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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

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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?

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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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