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New Year Resolutions

With a new year often comes a long list of resolutions. On the top of that list usually lies some type of change in diet. Due to the pandemic, many Americans say their diet has gotten increasingly worse. In a Consumer Reports article titled, “4 No-Fail Diet Resolutions,” researchers discuss how to set yourself up for success when it comes to dieting goals.

Federico Quoted in the New York Times

On January 6th the nation watched as a mob incited by President Trump descended on the Capitol. To understand the motivations behind this event, the New York Times interviewed a wide range of experts for their piece “White Riot,”. Christopher Federico, PhD, professor in the Departments of Political Science and Psychology at the University of Minnesota describes the lack of educational and employment opportunities. 
Professor Angus MacDonald

Under UMN Prof's Direction, a Name Change for the Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Angus MacDonald advocated for removing the word "abnormal" from the journal's title, noting that its negative connotations contribute to the very stigma the journal's research aims to address. "Hopefully, steps like this serve as a reminder to scholars about the importance of this work—which is to help people who are traditionally marginalized."

Eating When Stressed - Even Ice Cream - Does Not Help

Many may notice that when times begin to get stressful, they tend to reach for comfort foods like pizza or ice cream. In an AARP article titled, “Tame Your Stress Eating,” researchers have found that two-thirds of Americans have been eating more feel-good foods since the start of the pandemic. When facing long-term stress, cortisol levels stay elevated, triggering a craving for high fatty and sugary foods.

Vilares' research on the impact of stress on how we process sensory...

Iris Vilares, PhD, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota had her research published in Scientific Reports. In the article titled, “Bayesian decision‑making under stress‑preserved weighting of prior and likelihood information” Vilares research addresses the question of whether and how stress affects low-level decision-making, specifically looking at if stress would affect the reliance on sensory versus prior knowledge.

Traci Mann on the Obstacles of Maintaining Weight Loss

“Thinsplaining,” a now-common term, refers to the situation in which a person who has never struggled with weight still assumes they are qualified to give advice or pass judgment on those who do. A Salon article titled, “Thinsplaining is real: Science says permanent weight loss is rare, and thin people don't get it,” explains that maintaining weight loss has very little to do with willpower and more so to do with how the brain reacts to processed foods similar to how it does with an addiction with drugs or alcohol.

MMPI-3 is released

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), developed by University of Minnesota researchers, clinical psychologist Starke Hathaway, PhD, and neuropsychiatrist J. Charnley McKinley, MD, in 1943, is a standardized psychometric test of adult personality. The MMPI helps psychologists to help develop treatment plans, assist with diagnosis and more.

Stellmack’s Custom Converse

Faculty and students throughout the department may have seen Mark Stellmack’s, fun Converse. Stellmack, PhD, is a teaching professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota. Stellmack says his love of Converse started as a kid as “they're the right level of comfortable and cool for all-day wear.” Stellmack’s collection ranges from “blue plaid to paisley to snakeskin and my beat-up pair of lawn-mowing shoes (green, of course, because they just get grass-stained anyway).” Perhaps everyone’s favorite pair though is Stellmack’s custom Gopher-colored pair.

Remembering Professor Neal F. Viemeister

On November 3rd, Neal F. Viemeister, PhD, emeritus professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota passed away peacefully in his home. Over his 40-year career, Viemeister created a renowned psychoacoustics research program that advanced our understanding of how humans process changes in auditory intensity and timing. Findings from his lab contributed to a better understanding of hearing impairment, speech processing for hearing aids, and the perception of speech and music. Viemeister was a world leader in auditory psychophysics and a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, which awarded him the Silver Medal in Psychological and Physiological Acoustics for his lifetime achievements.

Federico Appointed as a Beverly and Richard Fink Professor in Liberal Arts

Congratulations to Christopher Federico, PhD, professor in the Departments of Political Science and Psychology at the University of Minnesota, for his recent appointment as a Beverly and Richard Fink Professor in Liberal Arts. This endowed chair is awarded to faculty who continue to make exceptional contributions in their field in order to help advance their teaching and research.

Bai Awarded Grant for Study on Predicting Support for Political Candidates

Max H Bai, graduate student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, was awarded a grant of $1000 from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. His study, “Does Implicit Racism and Sexism Predict Support for Political Candidates Who are White Men or Candidates Who Are Just Conservative,” will run from 08/01/2020 to 05/31/2021. This study will investigate and clarify whether implicit prejudice is associated with preferences for candidates from a particular demographic group (e.g., White males) or conservative candidates whose policies benefit White males.

Krueger Named on Clarivate Web of Science’s Highly Cited 2020

Congratulations to Robert F. Krueger, PhD, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, for being named one of Clarivate Web of Science’s Highly Cited Researchers 2020. Every year Web of Science identifies the most influential researchers who have produced multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for the field and year. Krueger joins 22 other faculty throughout the University of Minnesota on the list and was on the 2019 list as well. As the Web of Science Group says, “of the world’s scientists and social scientists, Clarivate™ Highly Cited Researchers truly are one in 1,000.”

Frazier on Feelings of Fatigue

Many students across the country have been voicing feelings of fatigue and monotony about school. Pat Frazier, PhD, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, alongside fellow psychology researchers Liza Meredith, PhD, at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and Viann Nguyen-Feng, PhD, at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, has collected data on stressors experienced by students and the efficacy of virtual stress management interventions.

A New American Pastime: Federico on Political Tribalism

This election season has shown the increase in tribalism in politics, where there is a strong divide along partisan lines. In recent years politics have been treated increasingly more like sports. Americans obsess over political updates, commentary, and the bashing of their political rivals. Christopher Federico, PhD, professor in the Departments of Political Science and Psychology at the University of Minnesota, says that “human beings derive a lot of meaning and guidance and esteem from being members of groups,” in an NBC Boston article titled, “America's (New) Pastime: Political Fanaticism.”