Archive for the ‘ Research/School ’ Category

Social-Cognitive Skills in Dogs

I have discovered Human Development is one of my favorite courses to teach because of the large number of examples of the course material that can be found in the “real world”. Last fall I was just preparing to teach on infant cognitive development, when I heard an interesting piece on NPR about object permanence in dogs. Domestic dogs (unlike their close relatives, wolves) pick up on social cues given by humans (i.e. finger pointing) much in the same way that young children do. I thought this was interesting and I love dogs, so I hunted down the article from the magazine Science and I use it when I teach about the A-Not-B task. Enjoy!

Like Infant, Like Dog

Tomasello, M. and Kaminski J. (2009). Like Infant, Like Dog. Science, 325, 1213-1214.

-Posted by Cassie


Preliminary DSM-V Criteria Released

As you may be aware, the DSM is currently being revised for a May 2013 release. Preliminary DSM-V criteria is available online for public commentary until April 20. Follow the link below to check out the proposed changes!

-Posted by Brianna

Language’s Equal Status

I’ve grown up hearing people say and thinking that the English language was a “complex” language, even more complex than other languages. Now, after minimal reading in linguistics, I know this is a misconception. English may be irregular but it’s no more complex than any other language. The linguist Dan Slobin summarized this point nicely in a Qualia interview.

There’s no way in which you can define one language as being more complex than another. If you look at all of the devices available in a language, my guess is they’ll balance each other off. So, if you lose case-inflection then you’ll have more complicated word order laws and richer uses of prepositions. (Slobin, 2005)

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Time Capsule

The Time Capsule column I submitted has come out in the Monitor on Psychology! Print copies of the magazine came out last week and the online version was posted a day or two ago. You can check out the column at:

Unlike, a peer-reviewed experimental paper, my column went directly to the editorial staff for them to make revisions. While the content is wholly mine, a few revisions were made that I didn’t recognize. For example, the title “Putting Children in the Spotlight” was not mine. One of my original titles was “Blame it on Jimmy Carter,” apparently they didn’t care for that one.

I’m writing on Kurt Lewin, Alan Funt, & Candid Camera for the series next.

-Posted by Tyler

UPDATE: Freedom in Academics

I’ve long known that university professors enjoy Academic Freedom but did not know what freedoms it allowed or rather from what persecution did it protect. Early on, I was sure academic freedom meant something like the joy of having summers off and a long winter break or not having a traditional 8-5 Monday thru Friday work week. Later I thought maybe it related to living the life of the mind, being an intellectual, and being free from more physically demanding laborious occupations. Today, I know academic freedom as it is conceptualized by the American Association of University Professors, is “the free search for truth and its free exposition.” [1]  The AAUP outlines academic freedom as a) Freedom of research and publication; b) freedom to discuss one’s research and express opinions in the classroom; and c) freedom from institutional censorship when speaking or writing as a citizen.

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Veteran Suicide

Tonight on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer there was a segment on the alarming new statistics on the rate of suicide among returning United States soldiers (1) . The Army has recently confirmed suicide rates have doubled in recent years for active personnel, almost 700 cases since 2000. Furthermore, attempted suicides and self-injurious behaviors have quardrupled. The Army’s top psychiatrist thinks multiple deployments are to blame.

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I’m switching areas…

…to football.

-Posted by Tyler