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What's New in the Psychology Department

March 30, 2017

It has been another exciting and productive year in the Psychology Department! A key mission is to integrate our undergraduates into our cutting-edge research labs. Boston College Magazine featured undergraduate participation in five science labs, including Gorica Petrovich's Neurobiology of Feeding Behavior Lab. Here are some other examples of research in which our undergraduates are involved:

  • Elizabeth Kensinger studies how stress and sleep interact to influence memory.  
  • Jim Russell challenges the popular view that children have an innately fine-tuned understanding of other people's emotions.
  • Liane Young is probing why our moral values are so central to our identities.
  • Alexa Veenema is using animal models to discover how social behavior is differently regulated in males vs. females.
  • Ellen Winner and Sara Cordes are seeking the effects of intensive ensemble El Sistema music training on young children's executive functioning.  

This year we are joined by three new faculty members: Joshua Hartshorne (language acquisition), whose article in Psychological Science on the asynchronous rise and fall of cognitive abilities across the life span was one of the five most viewed articles in 2015; Katherine McAuliffe (prosocial behavior), whose research on how fairness develops in seven cultures was recently published in Nature; and Maureen Ritchey (cognitive neuroscience), who was named a "Rising Star" in psychology by the Association for Psychological Science. Another recently hired faculty member, John Christianson, has just been named the Gianinno Family Sesquicentennial Assistant Professor in recognition of excellence in research, teaching, and service.

We are so grateful for the generous gifts we have received from our alumni, including an anonymous gift of $10,000 to support undergraduate and graduate research, and we hope you will consider making a gift to the Psychology Department. We use these funds to do many important things—such as send more of our undergraduate and graduate students to conferences.

We encourage you to stay in touch and let us know how you are doing, how you are faring in your career, and how your major has been of benefit to you over the years.


Ellen Winner
Chair, Psychology Department

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