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Changing the Climate on Climate Change

Representatives from 195 countries and the European Union convene in Paris today for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, in an attempt to reach a binding agreement to implement strategies aimed at combating global climate change.

Progress has been made in recent years, as nations have made various pledges to reduce carbon emissions and transition toward renewable sources of energy. Last year the United States and China – the world’s largest carbon polluters – reached a landmark mutual agreement targeted at curbing emissions.

While such advances are promising, researchers argue, that policymakers have largely ignored the central role of human behavior as a contributor to climate change, and its many solutions.

“Significant further actions are needed at the federal, state, and local government level, as well as in industry, civic organizations, and individual households,” according to researchers Sander van der Linden…

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Satiated, Stuffed, and Spatially Impaired?

This is a photo of pumpkin pie.Thanksgiving is traditionally a day for expressing gratitude and spending time with friends and family. But for many of us, it is also a day for eating — a lot. From stuffing to pumpkin pie, the Thanksgiving table is typically laden with a bounty of fat- and sugar-filled treats.

While we might be familiar with the feeling of a “food coma” that can set in after an indulgent meal, new research suggests that a few days of high-fat, high-sugar eating — say, Thanksgiving followed by a weeks’ worth of leftovers — may impair a specific cognitive function: spatial recognition.

To better understand the impacts of a so-called “energy rich” diet on spatial learning and memory, researchers Dominic Tran and R. Frederick Westbrook (University of New South Wales in Australia) conducted a series of experiments in which…

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Reducing Intergroup Conflict Through Contact

The world is a diverse place containing people of different races, ethnicities, and nationalities. This diversity, although beneficial in many ways, can also lead to tensions resulting in conflict between groups. Such strife occurs at every level of society, and the negative social and political outcomes it produces have led researchers to investigate ways to reduce conflict and prejudice. In a 2015 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, researchers Gunnar Lemmer and Ulrich Wagner (Philipps-University Marburg, Germany) examined the effectiveness of intergroup contact at reducing ethnic prejudice.

The intergroup contact theory is based on the idea that interactions between members of different groups help improve intergroup attitudes and reduce intergroup tensions and prejudice. Lab-based and real-world studies have examined the impact of different types of interactions — including face-to-face contact, indirect forms of contact, and virtual contact —…

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Best Practices in the Applied Psychology Classroom

This project was supported by the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science, which invites applications for nonrenewable grants of up to $5,000 to launch new, educational projects in psychological science. Proposals are due March 1 and October 1.

TF_Bradshaw_1Psychological science teachers from the high school level to the university level met in April 2015 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach to trade educational tips and best practices with one another. The networking workshop and luncheon, held in conjunction with the Human Factors and Applied Psychology Student Research Conference, was supported by the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science.

TF_Bradshaw_2The workshop featured four speakers who highlighted exceptional teaching practices for applied psychology, including methods for teaching students to apply psychology as well as for…

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Teaching Ethics to Undergraduate Psychology Students

This project was supported by the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science, which invites applications for nonrenewable grants of up to $5,000 to launch new, educational projects in psychological science. Proposals are due March 1 and October 1.

Ana Ruiz and Judith Warchal of Alvernia University received a grant from the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science to create a resource for incorporating ethics into the undergraduate psychology curriculum. Teaching Ethics to Undergraduate Psychology Students (TEUPS) is the resulting website that provides a centralized location for educators looking for activities, articles, books, associations, videos, lectures, awards, and other resources that are related to teaching ethics. The website is based on ideas Ruiz presented in a Teaching Tips article published…

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