Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus explores the myths of memory

January 2017
 
Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior and Criminology, Law and Society, is featured in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald for her research on memory, and the development of false memories. During her lecture at the University of Sydney in Australia, Professor Loftus identified numerous ways in which false memories can be created.

A matter of life or death

December 2016

What drives decisions by autonomous vehicles in dire situations?

Despite dramatic reductions in accident-related fatalities, injuries and damages, as well as significant improvements in transportation efficiency and safety, consumers aren’t as excited about the promise of autonomous vehicles as the auto industry is. Research shows that people are nervous about life-and-death driving decisions being made by algorithms rather than by humans. Who determines the ethics of the algorithms?

Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., said recently that these ethics must be derived from “deep and meaningful conversations” among the public, the auto industry, the government, universities and ethicists.

Azim Shariff, Assistant Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine, and his colleagues­ – Iyad Rahwan, Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass., and Jean-Francois Bonnefon, a Research Director at the Toulouse School of Economics in France – have created an online survey platform called the Moral Machine to help promote that discussion.

Launched in May, it has already drawn more than 2.5 million participants from over 160 countries.

The Electoral College was never going to save you, despite what you wanted to believe

December 2016
 
Peter Ditto, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is quoted in Mashable over why people remain hopeful
of the possibility of the Electoral College voting against Donald Trump, despite evidence proving otherwise.
 
From Mashable:
 
Peter Ditto, a professor of psychology and social behavior at University of California, Irvine, compared Clinton
fans' hope in the Electoral College to Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare during President Barack Obama's
two terms in office. 
 
"I don't know if they believed it was going to work, but they hoped," Ditto said. 
 
And while the chances of an Electoral College stunner were never more than vanishingly small, Ditto said it made sense for fervent Clinton fans and
Trump detractors to hope. 
 
"This is just an absolutely natural thing that people do," he said. 

Read Article
 

Amanda Knox: Why Do Innocent Women Confess to Crimes They Didn’t Commit?

December 2016
 
Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior and Criminology, Law and Society
is quoted in Broadly for her research on false memories. She gives insight as to how innocent women fall victim to
confessing to crimes they are not guilty of.
 
From Broadly:
 
"Women go into therapy for depression and eating disorders," explains Elizabeth F. Loftus, a false memory expert
at the University of California, Irvine, "and come out of it thinking they were raped as a child." Loftus' research
advocates against repressed-memory therapy, where therapists seek to treat their patients' symptoms of psychosis by encouraging them to
"remember" repressed traumatic experiences, but in fact implant false memories, often of childhood sexual abuse. She tells me that in her laboratory
experiments, she's able to implant entirely false memories into "an average of 30 percent of normal, healthy people (of both genders.)"

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5 science-based ways to break the cycle of rage attacks

December 2016

Paul Piff, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is featured in Psychology Today for his research
on awe. He, among other experts, provide 5 recommendations to defuse outbursts of anger, based on making
better lifestyle choices.Piff reports that feeling a sense of awe encourages altruism, loving-kindness, and
magnanimous behavior.

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Wish you were here

November 2016
 
Nancy Guerra, Dean of School of Social Ecology and Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is quoted
in Coast Magazine for her experiences conducting behavioral research all over the world. 
 
From Coast Magazine
 
Guerra, the new dean of the School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine, has traveled widely throughout the world doing
behavioral research and loves to “visit new places, try new food, learn about the local culture, make new friends,
and gain a window into people’s lives.” That window tells a lot, she says. “I am always amazed how much we have
in common – we all want safe and secure communities, good food, health, friends and families, community support,
and purpose and meaning in our lives.”
 
 

Preventing mental illness with a stress vaccine

November 2016
 
Sarah Pressman, Associate Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is quoted in The Atlantic over the
purpose of stress, noting why experiencing stress was intended to protect humans from danger.
 
From The Atlantic:
 
For all its potential harm, stress is not all bad. “Stress as stress is functional,” says Sarah Pressman, an associate
professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine. “You don’t want to feel calm and
happy when a tiger jumps at you. You have to activate the right systems to make you run away [from danger].”
 
 

Science says these 7 tactics will help you win any argument

November 2016

Peter Ditto, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is quoted in both the Nordic Business Insider and New
York magazine. In light of the recent elections, he, along with other experts, identify what tactics must be used in
order to convey your opinions during a political argument in a courteous and educated way.
 
From both New York and Nordic Business Insider:
 
"When people have their self-worth validated in some way, they tend to be more receptive to information that
challenges their beliefs," political psychologist Peter Ditto from the University of California at Irvine tells New York
Magazine.
 
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