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Highlights from the SPSP-Funded University of California Well-Being Conference

Image of attendees of University of California Well-Being Conference 2017

The first ever University of California Well-Being Conference (UCWBC), sponsored in part by a SPSP Small Conference Grant, provided a unique opportunity for researchers across the University of California (UC) system to connect and share their latest findings and insights on the science of well-being. Held at UC Riverside from March 3–5, 2017, and co-hosted by Dr. Ye Li at the UC Riverside School of Business, the conference brought together approximately 70 faculty members, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate students from the Riverside, Irvine, Berkeley, LA, and Davis campuses.

Highlights of SPSP Funded Small Conference on Architectural Psychology

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By Sanaz Talaifar and Sam Gosling

Does your research area deserve more attention? Do you want to bring together scholars, policymakers, and/or practitioners to exchange ideas about a specific research topic or problem? If so, the SPSP Small Conference Grant could be a great opportunity for you.

Onward and Upward with Psychology

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By Alexander Danvers

The first ever meeting of the Society for Improving Psychological Science (SIPS)—even that name is uncertain—was radically different from a typical psychology conference. Attendees didn’t just learn about new research on how the scientific process can be improved, we worked for three days to try to immediately and tangibly improve psychological science.

New Directions in Intergroup Contact

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By Tessa Thwaites

In our extremely diverse world, contact between different groups – be they differences in gender identity, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation – is increasingly frequent. In these situations of intergroup interactions, we are faced with a choice: we can react with anxiety and hostility and enact segregation; or we can react with understanding and tolerance and promote positive intergroup contact.

Psychology In the Light of Evolution

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By Alex Danvers

Without evolution, your thinking is impoverished. In introducing speakers Leda Cosmides and Joseph Henrich at the SPSP Annual Convention symposium “Big Questions in Evolutionary Science and What They Mean for Social-Personality Psychology,” moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt argued that not reading their work is “a huge missed opportunity.”

How Discrimination Shapes the Health of American Racial and Ethnic Minorities

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By Lauren Howe

Racial and ethnic minority Americans have worse overall health than White Americans. What causes this difference, and what can we do to close this gap?

Talk About Your Body!

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By Alex Danvers

Charlotte Markey only had one couple get in a fight as a result of her study—mildly surprising, given that she forced same-sex romantic partners to rate what they thought their partner’s ideal body shape was in front of each other.

Is It Better To Be Feared or Loved: Comparing Dominance Vs Prestige-based Leadership Styles

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By Luke Wilmhurst

There are two classic approaches to leadership. You can win the respect and admiration of your staff, giving them the inspiration to give their very best effort.

Or you can just scare the hell out of them.

From a subordinate’s perspective, the first approach seems much more preferable. But which one is really more effective? These two leadership styles can be understood as dominance (i.e., leading via power and fear) or prestige (i.e., influence via a positive reputation) based on approaches.

Patience Can Be Primed

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By Luke Wilmshurst

Every day, people make a countless number of choices, often without even realizing how small decisions can add up to have significant consequences in the long-run.

Whether it's making an effort to eat healthier food, or sticking with an exercise program, or saving money, over time these small actions can become the foundation of a better life in the future. The problem is, these activities are enjoyable right away, while the payoff for making these sacrifices is usually far enough in the distance that motivation becomes a problem.

Can Digitally-Mediated Communication Compare to Face-to-Face Communication?

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By Vivian P. Ta

Gone are the days of face-to-face only communication. Technology provides us with many fast and easy ways to connect with and communicate with others, such as through text messaging, instant messaging, and others. But can digitally-mediated communication compare to face-to-face communication?