Social & Behavioral Sciences

Is he really that into you?

November 1, 2017

Women who grow up without a caring father, or who even are reminded of painful and disappointing experiences with their father, see more sexual intent in men. New research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that women who were reminded of a time that their dad was absent from their lives […]


Agricultural productivity drove Euro-American settlement of Utah

October 30, 2017

On July 22, 1847, a scouting party from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stood above the Great Salt Lake Valley in modern-day Utah; by 1870, more than 18,000 followers had colonized the valley and surrounding region, displacing Native American populations to establish dispersed farming communities. While historians continue to debate the drivers […]


Interpreting hurricane forecast displays is difficult for general public

October 5, 2017

The 2017 hurricane season has highlighted the critical need to communicate a storm’s impact path and intensity accurately, but new research from the University of Utah shows significant misunderstandings of the two most commonly used storm forecast visualization methods. The study, published by Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, looked at summary displays and ensemble displays […]


Caution ahead: The growing challenge for drivers’ attention

October 5, 2017

Many of the infotainment features in most 2017 vehicles are so distracting they should not be enabled while a vehicle is in motion, according to a new study by University of Utah researchers. The study, led by University of Utah Psychology Professor David L. Strayer, found In-Vehicle Information Systems take drivers’ attention off the road […]


Premature births cost health plans $6 billion annually

September 21, 2017

A new study estimates employer-sponsored health plans spent at least $6 billion extra on infants born prematurely in 2013 and a substantial portion of that sum was spent on infants with major birth defects. Birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies and are a leading cause of infant mortality in the United States. More than […]


Black, white or multicultural: Constructing race in two countries

September 18, 2017

A new study demonstrates the strong influence ancestry plays in Americans’ interpretation of whether someone is black, white or multiracial, highlighting differences in the way race is socially constructed in the U.S. compared to other parts of the world. The three-phase study, led by Jacqueline M. Chen of the University of Utah and published in […]


A magic formula to predict attraction is more elusive than ever

August 30, 2017

Dating websites often claim attraction between two people can be predicted from the right combination of traits and preferences, but a new study casts doubt on that assertion. The study, which used speed dating data, found a computer could predict who is desirable and how much someone would desire others — who’s hot and who’s […]


Nature imagery calms prisoners

August 28, 2017

Sweeping shots of majestic landscapes. Glaciers, forests and waterfalls.  Research published today shows that these images, shown to people deprived of access to nature, can reduce tension, help defuse anger and make some of the harshest environments, like a solitary confinement cellblock in a maximum-security prison, a little easier to bear. The study, published in […]


Should I stay or go?

August 17, 2017

Now a new study offers insights into what people are deliberating about and what makes the decision so difficult, which could help therapists working with couples and stimulate further research into the decision-making process. The study, led by U psychology professor Samantha Joel, was published in Social Psychology and Personality Science. Co-authors were Geoff MacDonald […]


Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients, new study finds

July 25, 2017

Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. After participating in a single, 15-minute session of one of these mind-body therapies, patients reported an immediate decrease in pain levels similar to what one might expect from an […]