Kathleen Lawler Row, a former professor in the Department of Psychology, passed away Saturday at the age of 66. Her career at the university spanned more than thirty years during which she taught courses in child psychology, positive psychology, and the psychology of religion. Her research focused on health psychology, earning her national recognition for her work. She received the University Studies Award in 2003 for outstanding contribution to interdisciplinary studies and the Chancellor’s Award in 2002 for research and creative achievement.
Department of Psychology News
Websites like Tumblr catalogue pieces of what are deemed “bad art” such as a painting of a dog with colorful stars for teeth or a crying horned animal with human-like hair. Is what makes this art “bad” its unfamiliarity? Would people come to like them if they became more familiar with them? This was a question asked by an international team of scholars including a UT philosophy lecturer.
The College of Arts and Sciences has appointed two new associate deans to enhance the college’s graduate studies and diversity initiatives. Brent Mallinckrodt, professor of psychology, has been appointed associate dean for graduate studies, and Angela Batey, James Cox Professor of Music, has been appointed associate dean for diversity.
The groundbreaking research of Gordon Burghardt, Alumni Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, was cited in a BBC article about cranes dancing. Burghardt studies animals at play. He defines play as a repeated behavior that should not contribute to survival. It is spontaneous and voluntary, performed when the
Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that make a difference in their world. Steve McAmis, a sophomore studying psychology, has the big idea of de-stigmatizing mental illness. Through the help he’s received at UT’s Counseling Center, he’s learned that mental illness is something you have, not who you are.
As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, romantic relationships are on many of our minds. Experts at UT are offering tips to ensure relationships stay healthy and strong. Kristina Gordon, professor of psychology and director of RelationshipRx, a project seeking to make it easier for couples to take good care of their relationship health, says there are some easy steps people can take to build more intimacy and strengthen their relationships on a daily basis.
Christi Culpepper, a graduate teaching associate in psychology, has a big idea that will make her class a little friendlier. Culpepper teaches Psychology 110, a class of mostly freshmen, and noticed that many of her students did not know anyone else in the class. This semester, she’s putting her students into groups and designing discussion areas on Blackboard so they can talk and get to know each other.
Turns out your first time really matters. Research conducted by Matthew Shaffer, a doctoral psychology student, reveals that the first sexual experience can set the tone for the rest of one’s sexual life. The study is published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy and is the first to look at whether the circumstances of losing one’s virginity have lasting consequences.
A UT study suggests that communicating with children positively after spanking them can cause them to exhibit depressive symptoms. The report was originally published in the journal Child and Adolescent Mental Health and was featured recently in Wired magazine. The study posits that having a parent who is the source of both stress and comfort may confuse children.
Deborah Welsh is the new department head of psychology. She served as associate head for the past year and has been the director of the graduate program in clinical psychology. She is a graduate of the 2010-11 UT’s Women’s Leadership Program.