Department of Psychology News

Faculty Recognized for Teaching at Annual Honors Banquet


Last week, Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek celebrated faculty, staff, and students for their accomplishments throughout the past academic year. Debora Baldwin, associate professor of psychology; Bruce MacLennan, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Anthony Nownes, professor of political science; and Marianne Wanamaker, associate professor of economics, each received the Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award.

UT Expert: “Spring Forward” Time Change Can Wreak Havoc on Mood, Health

Theresa Lee

This weekend, we turn our clocks forward an hour. It’s a shift of only sixty minutes, but it’s enough to disrupt the body’s internal clock. The “spring forward” time change is often more difficult than the “fall back” change because it means an hour less sleep. Theresa Lee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, says even an hour change in your routine can leave you feeling temporarily sleep deprived. And if you’re already sleep-deprived, the one hour could compound the problem.

WUOT: Internal Clocks and Bright Lights From Above

Ahead of Daylight Saving Time on March 9, WUOT’s Brandon Hollingsworth interviewed College of Arts and Sciences Dean Theresa Lee about the mental and physical effects of the twice-yearly time shift for the station’s series, The Method. The Method is a series that explores the intersection of science and society. Then Matt Shafer Powell finds

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The Christian Science Monitor: Look up. Is that a crocodile?

The Christian Science Monitor, along with several other national and international news outlets, have covered a UT study that has found that crocodiles can climb trees. The study by Vladimir Dinets, published in the journal Herpetology Notes, finds that certain species of crocodiles are adept at climbing trees. In fact, the reptiles could climb more than

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WBIR: Study links alcohol use & domestic violence

Gregory Stuart, a psychology professor, was interviewed by WBIR-TV’s Robin Wilhoit about his research which shows that use of alcohol, not marijuana, leads to violence between partners. The 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

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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.

WBIR-TV: Study, Gut instincts predict marriage success

Michael Olson, associate professor of psychology, was interviewed on WBIR-TV about his recent research which finds that spouses’ automatic attitudes, not their more thoughtfully held conscious attitudes, are a good predictor of marital satisfaction. It is the first study to look at the long-term implication of automatic attitudes—positive or negative thoughts, feelings or actions that

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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.