Live Law NSF: Translating (Law and Social) Science

January 2017

Jodi Quas, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, and Keramet Reiter, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, joined 3 other scholars to celebrate Life of the Law's 100th episode. They were invited to the NSF Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to share their stories, personal experiences, professional challenges, and discoveries about free speech and the judiciary, children and the legal system, imprisonment and culture, family law and poverty, and hate crimes and incivility in society.

Mothers' Lack of Legal Knowledge Linked to Juvenile Re-Offending

January 2017

Elizabeth Cauffman, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is featured on Fox 47 News and for
her research with her colleague Caitlin Cavanagh. Their research on mothers' legal knowledge and youth
re-offending indicates that when mothers were less knowledgeable about the legal system, their children were
more likely to commit another crime if their mothers did not participate in legal proceedings.

States Consider Options for Young Adults in Justice System

January 2017
Elizabeth Cauffman, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, is quoted in Juvenile Justice Information
Exchange, explaining why young adults have a range of needs that have to be considered when reforming the
youth criminal justice system. Due to a young adult's prematurely developed brain, their needs can drastically vary from person to person

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.)"

Read Article

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.

Read Article