College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology


What’s behind baby’s smile?


Baby in a blue hoodie

Study of U.S. and Dutch infants finds cultural norms influence temperament.

Read more in the Arts & Sciences newsletter CAS Connect

Psychology News

  • Ask Dr. Universe: Why do we feel pain?

    Pain is unpleasant, but we need it for survival. Just the other day I was out exploring when I stubbed my paw and let out a big meow. My nervous system was doing its job.

    Pain is actually the number one reason people see a doctor, said my friend Raymond Quock. He’s a scientist here at Washington State University who is really curious about pain.

    “Pain in many aspects is good,” he said. “It’s a warning that your body is in danger.”

    Find out more

    Ask Dr. Universe

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  • $1.7M to counteract poor decision-making due to sleep loss

    An interdisciplinary team of WSU researchers received a $1.7 million grant to develop and test cognitive flexibility training to combat the effects of sleep loss on decision-making under rapidly changing circumstances. Led by Hans Van Dongen, of the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center, the team includes psychology researchers Paul Whitney and John Hinson.

    The project aims to reduce decision-making errors that contribute to failed military missions, industrial accidents, workplace injuries, financial losses and other serious consequences.

    Funding for the three-year project comes from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, a partnership between the U.S. Congress, military and public to fund groundbreaking, high-impact medical research.

    » More …

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  • Drug addiction: Dogma be damned

    If the reaction one has to drugs is an issue worth considering, the reaction of the general public to drug addicts is of even greater significance. Public reactions often (sadly) determine public policy, regardless of whether logic and history support such decisions.

    Arthur Blume, a professor at Washington State University in Vancouver and renowned psychologist in the field of addiction, wrote a book called Treating Drug Problems that is probably the best Drug Addiction and Treatment 101 course you can find. It’s not written for students of Addiction Science, nor for experts in the field. It is not a self-help book for those struggling to … » More …

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  • What Makes Donald Trump Such A Cranky Baby?

    Maybe Donald Trump acts childish because no one tells him he needs to go to bed.

    Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, brags about how little sleep he gets.

    “Lack of sleep often affects mood in substantial ways,” Paul Whitney, professor of psychology at WSU, told HuffPost. “There is evidence that lack of sleep decreases the ability to regulate emotion, so sleep-deprived individuals may experience greater emotional reactivity and impulsivity.”

    Whitney, who with colleagues has conducted research on the effects of sleep deprivation, explained that lack of sleep profoundly affects tasks that require quick decisions based on feedback from previous tasks.

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  • WSU Vancouver graduation ‘an emotional day’

    Grads celebrate bonds with family, fellow students, face challenge to help ‘transform our world’

    Nearly 1,000 WSU Vancouver students graduated Saturday.

    Shortly before taking the stage at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, Debika Finucane, a 21-year-old psychology student, looked at Paula Achter, 62, who after eight years was receiving a certificate in human development. “We made it, Paula,” Finucane said.

    “We did; we all made it,” Achter replied.

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