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College of Arts and Sciences Psychology

Researchers see gene influencing performance of sleep-deprived people

Washington State University researchers have discovered a genetic variation that predicts how well people perform certain mental tasks when they are sleep deprived.

Their research shows that individuals with a particular variation of the DRD2 gene are resilient to the effects of sleep deprivation when completing tasks that require cognitive flexibility, the ability to make appropriate decisions based on changing information.

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Philosophy major contributes to cognitive research

snowman in a hat with scarfGetting ready for school on a snowy day can be quite a challenge for young children. In addition to eating breakfast, getting dressed and packing up workbooks, they have to remember extra things like boots, gloves, a hat, and a coat.

Undergraduate researcher Jenna (Eva) Caneva helped turn this real-life scenario into a simple cognition exercise to test the ability of 6-to-10-year-olds to follow instructions. » More …

Affordable Learning Grants save WSU students thousands

drawing, computer and booksWashington State University faculty members are passing on more than $250,000 in savings to WSU students this fall, using funds from five Affordable Learning Grants and another funded through Academic Outreach and Innovation to develop open-source classroom materials, or OERs.

The University funded the grants over the summer, and the faculty members worked to develop their respective education resources. Most developed their own online textbooks building on existing open-source material. Because open-source OERs are licensed for free distribution and reuse, they allow professors like this summer’s grant recipients to customize course materials for their own classrooms. » More …

WSU leading implementation of online K-12 truancy prevention program

WARNS logoWashington State University is leading the online implementation of a program aimed at reducing school truancy that could positively impact schools across the state, and possibly the nation.

Paul Strand, WSU Tri-Cities professor of psychology; Nick Lovrich, WSU Regents professor emeritus; Brian French, professor and director of WSU’s Learning and Performance Research Center and Psychometric Laboratory; and Bruce Austin, research associate in educational psychology and the LPRC, evaluated and refined the Washington Assessment of the Risks and Needs of Students program. WARNS uses data-driven procedures to track and improve interventions with students. » More …

Long-term cannabis use linked to muted stress response WSU study shows

A new study by Washington State University psychology researchers reveals a dampened physiological response to stress in chronic cannabis users.

Using a nationally recognized procedure designed to provoke elevated levels of stress, Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology, Ryan McLaughlin, assistant professor of integrative physiology and neuroscience, and colleagues in the WSU Department of Psychology examined levels of the stress hormone cortisol in both chronic cannabis users and non-users. » More …

WSU freshman displays grit, glamour, community spirit

Washington State University freshman Emily Durr will have little time this summer between donning her goalie’s helmet and gear to compete in the national lacrosse championships and donning her sparkling crown and gown to compete in the International Junior Miss (IJM) pageant.

The lively and lovely 19-year-old from Tacoma is Washington’s reigning IJM teen queen and a fierce defensive player on WSU’s women’s club lacrosse team. Durr is also a an energetic champion for curing type 1 diabetes, and on May 6 she will lead a team in the JDRF “Walk for a Cure” at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. » More …

Online psychology degree ranks among nation’s best

WSU recently was recognized for excellence in psychology education among colleges and universities nationwide.

Affordable Colleges Online (ACO) ranked WSU’s online degree program in psychology among the 12 “Best Online Psychology Degrees for 2016.” Only one other Pac-12 school made the list of 50 top programs among the thousands of colleges offering online psychology degrees.

Read the full story at WSU News >>