Spring 2020 Newsletter | In the Media

Paula Pietromonaco, professor emerita, contributes to the Association for Psychological Science Backgrounder Series: "Psychological Science and COVID-19: Pandemic Effects on Marriage and Relationships." She says the current situation shares features with both natural disasters, which have been linked to an increase in divorce, and terrorist attacks, which have been linked to a decrease.

The sleep research of Rebecca Spencer is featured in the documentary series “Babies” that is now airing on Netflix. (E! News, 2/6/20) Her work is also featured a PBS NOVA episode, “Mysteries of Sleep.” A film crew was on campus in March 2019 to film Spencer in her SomNeuroLab at the Institute for Applied Life Sciences. (Nursery World, 2/17/20; News Office release)

Robert Feldman, senior advisor to the chancellor, is quoted in an article exploring the white lies people are starting to tell to avoid online social interactions during the coronavirus pandemic. “People lie because it works,” Feldman says. “We’re all very susceptible to the lies of others, and in fact sometimes welcome those lies because it gives us a graceful way of interacting with other people.” The article quotes him saying that this sort of casual lying is, at least in the United States, “almost a universal kind of behavior.” (The Atlantic, 4/22/20)

Susan K. Whitbourne, professor emerita of psychological and brain sciences, says the idea that people can have a “midlife crisis” doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. She says it is “a mythical creature in psychology.” Whitbourne says researchers “really don’t find evidence that age is associated with any distinct changes in personality that would constitute what is popularly called a ‘midlife crisis.’” She also says people can go through periods of questioning and challenging at any time in adulthood. (Women’s Health magazine, 1/13/20)

Linda Tropp speaks about her work investigating the dynamics of inter-group conflict and facilitating positive dialogue, on the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy's "Story in the Public Square."
Full video: https://youtu.be/lFMqBZ-hw5E