December 2020

• • • Science Driving Solutions • • •

Healing the divide 

The case for compassion and justice 

For the first Daybreak Dialogues webinar of 2020-21, Dean Nancy Guerra and Richard Matthew, associate dean and director of the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, spoke of the importance of compassion in healing the country’s political divide and outlined a roadmap with the tools needed to help us all.
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How to handle holiday stress

’Tis the season, but it’s not always easy to be jolly

Jessica Borelli, associate professor of psychological science, shares some of her insights into how we can handle stress during this year's pandemic holidays.
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Smiling sincerely or grimacing can reduce pain

Genuine smile or grimace blunts stress-induced physiological responses

“When facing distress or pleasure, humans make remarkably similar facial expressions that involve activation of the eye muscles, lifting of the cheeks and baring of the teeth,” Sarah Pressman, professor of psychological science, says, explaining a study where she found that genuine smiles as opposed to a neutral expression, are beneficial in reducing discomfort and stress.
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Political divide 

Study describes bitter polarization between parties

Peter Ditto, professor of psychological science, is among the co-authors of a study – published in the journal Science – that describes the bitter polarization between the nation’s Republican and Democratic parties as “political sectarianism.”
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Cascading traumas tax coping skills

The most vulnerable are the most endangered

In a commentary published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, Roxane Cohen Silver, professor of psychological science, and her co-authors call for resources to be made available to support community mental health initiatives and programs implemented to address economic and racial inequity.
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Chancellor’s Professor 

Mona Lynch, chair of criminology, law and society, has been awarded the title of Chancellor’s Professor. The title recognizes scholars who have demonstrated exceptional academic merit and scholarly achievement.
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Highly Cited Researcher 

With 650 research publications and 23,446 scholarly citations, Julian Thayer, distinguished professor of psychological science, has ranked as a “2020 Highly Cited Researcher” by Clarivate, a firm providing scientific analytics.
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Salvatore R. Maddi

Salvatore R. Maddi, professor emeritus of psychological science, was an authority on hardiness. His pioneering research changed the perception of stress from an evil to be avoided to an intrinsic part of life that can be beneficial. 
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Social Media Buzz

Our most popular post on social media last month was this story about “A Peculiar Indifference,” written by Elliott Currie, professor of criminology, law and society and listed as a “New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2020.”
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UCI School of Social Ecology
5300 Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway
Irvine, CA 92697

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School of Social Ecology · 5300 Social And Behavioral Sciences Gateway · Irvine, CA 92697-0001 · USA