Department of Psychology News

In Memoriam: Leonard Handler

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Leonard Handler, a longtime professor in the Department of Psychology, passed away February 6. He was 79. Handler came to UT in 1964. He supervised graduate students in the clinical doctoral program.

Huffington Post, Other Outlets Highlight LGBT Study

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Patrick Grzanka and Joe Miles’s study on sexual orientation belief continues to garner national and international attention. The Huffington Post and other media outlets have highlighted the research, which suggests that “born this way” beliefs may not be the key to reducing homophobia.

Study: Whooping Cranes’ Predatory Behavior Key for Adaptation, Survival

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The whooping crane, with its snowy white plumage and trumpeting call, is one of the most beloved American birds, and one of the most endangered. As captive-raised cranes are re-introduced in Louisiana, they are gaining a new descriptor: natural killer. A new study from a UT researcher suggests Louisiana cranes are faring well thanks in part to their penchant for hunting reptiles and amphibians.

In Memoriam: Warren Hurst Jones

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Warren Hurst Jones, former head of the Department of Psychology, passed away on January 4, at his home in Glasgow, Kentucky. He was 71.

In Memoriam: Mark A. Hector

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Mark Hector, a longtime faculty member in the Department of Psychology, passed away, on January 4. He was 74. He taught counseling and psychology at UT from 1973 until his retirement in 2015. Prior to UT, Hector taught math in Navrongo, Ghana, with the Peace Corps and Teachers for West Africa.

Grzanka, Miles LGBT Study Receives International Attention

The International Business Times featured Patrick Grzanka’s recent study, which suggests that “born this way” beliefs may not be the key to reducing homophobia. Read the story online. Grzanka, an assistant professor of psychology, co-authored the study with Joe Miles, also an assistant professor of psychology.

Study: ‘Born This Way’ Beliefs May Not Be the Key To Reducing Homophobia

In recent years, the argument that sexual orientation is innate has become a principal component of the advocacy for the rights of sexual minorities. That belief may not be the most effective way to promote more positive attitudes toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, according to new research from UT.

NIMBioS: Special Collection Explores Origin and Evolution of Play

An adult Gelada monkey plays with a juvenile. A new special issue of Adaptive Behavior examines the evolution and origin of play via mathematical and computational approaches. Credit: Elisabetta Palagi

Research on the evolution and function of play at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis at UT has culminated in a special issue of the journal Adaptive Behavior. The collection heavily features the research of Gordon Burghardt, who works on many aspects of animal behavior, play behavior, ethical treatment of animals, and zoo animal welfare.