Skip to main content Skip to navigation
College of Arts and Sciences Psychology

In a pandemic, why do people seek to help others?

Craig Parks.Heartwarming examples of people across the country stepping up to help others in the face of a deadly disease raise the question of why people share resources and risk their own health and safety to help strangers. Craig Parks, professor of social psychology and WSU vice provost, provided insights about such “prosocial” behavior in a recent article by Galadriel Watson in The Washington Post.

“‘Prosocial’ means that when you have a choice between acting in your personal best interests or acting in the » More …

Researching potential negative effects of cannabis

Medicinal Marijuana.Coughing fits, anxiety and paranoia are three of the most common adverse reactions to cannabis, according to a recent study by the WSU Health and Cognition Laboratory.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,500 college students on the type and frequency of adverse reactions they had experienced while using cannabis for their study in the Journal of Cannabis Research. They also collected information on the students’ demographics, personality traits, cannabis use patterns » More …

Where you live may influence your baby’s behavior

Babies lying down.Infants from rural families tend to display negative emotions such as anger and frustration more frequently than their urban counterparts, according to a recent study in the Journal of Community Psychology.

Babies born in big cities, on the other hand, typically are less fussy and not as bothered by limits set by their caregivers.

The study, led by WSU psychologist Maria Gartstein and » More …

Doctoral students pack years of research into three minutes

Three minute thesis contestants with Dean Jockers.Why people cannot regenerate lost appendages the way some frogs and other animals do is the question at the heart of Robyn Reeve’s doctoral research in biological sciences. Explaining her work clearly in a mere three minutes won her both first place and the “People’s Choice” award in the College of Arts and Sciences’ (CAS) recent qualifying event for WSU’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Contest of 2020.

For her presentation, “Leptin: integrator of immune response and regeneration,” Reeve will » More …

2019 news recap: CAS research made headlines worldwide

CAS logo on white with borderFrom Instagram selfies to an ancient tattoo tool, research from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) made headlines around the world in 2019. The University distributed press releases for more than 65 scientific papers last year, including many from CAS faculty and scientists. Together, the findings were seen potentially billions of times by readers and viewers worldwide, elevating WSU’s profile as a premier public research university.

Four CAS stories graced the top 10, and eight more rounded out the top 50 stories. » More …

2020 MLK service awards

Award winners holding their awards.Chioma Heim, an undergraduate advisor in the Department of Psychology, and Aydan Garland‑Miner, a women’s studies major, were honored with Distinguished Service awards at the 2020 WSU Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

“This year’s recipients are blazing a trail through equity and inclusion issues with their creativity, hard work, and compassion for others,” said Allen Sutton, executive director for the WSU Office of Outreach and Education. “Each winner, in some way, advances Dr. King’s dream of a just society for all people. » More …

Increasing student and faculty engagement

Students in a large classroom.Teaching Psychology 230 – Human Sexuality – puts Blythe Duell in front of up to 500 undergraduate students each class session. It’s a massive crowd compared to her previous teaching job at a small college in the south. She was intimidated upon returning to WSU in 2018 – where she’d earned a PhD a decade prior – to be assigned a class with a large enrollment and very diverse students.

Duell wanted to ensure she was doing everything in her power to make sure students were engaged and » More …

Dr. Universe: Do babies have ways of communicating?

Dr. UniverseHumans come into the world crying, but that’s actually a good thing. In a way, babies start communicating from the moment they are born. Of course, it can be hard for their caregivers to know exactly what they mean with all those cries.

I learned a lot about how babies use emotion to communicate from my friend Masha Gartstein, a professor of psychology at Washington State University. She told me that crying is just one way babies communicate. After two or three months, babies » More …