Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Psychology

Winter 2011

Five ways to focus your attention

If attention were a coin, it would be slipping through our fingers countless times a day. Here are a few simple tips to help you keep a grip.

Do one thing at a time. Such advice is easy to ignore when you just want to check your phone while someone is talking to you. But it’s nearly impossible to pay attention to two things at once. “Even with pretty easy tasks” says Lisa Fournier, an associate professor of psychology at Washington State University whose research focuses on selective attention, it can still be hard to successfully divide your mental faculties. And before you brag about … » More …

Winter 2011

Video: Smart Apartment Research

On-going research at Washington State University is exploring how homes can be built or retrofitted to make living a little bit easier. With the work of AI Lab Manager James Kusznir, doctoral student Aaron Crandall and other faculty and students, WSU’s Smart Apartment is exploring the practical applications of how to help elderly people stay in their homes, and to create more efficient living spaces.

From WSU News; video by Matt Haugen

Read more:

When Memory Fades (Winter 2011)

Using technology to address the challenges of aging (Fall 2011)

G. Roger Spencer DVM
Winter 2011

Outsmarting Dementia

We used to believe, says neuropsychologist Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, that if a person lived long enough, he or she would develop dementia.

Now we know better, she says. Whether caused by Alzheimer’s or other disease, dementia is not a normal aging process. Many people, such as G. Roger Spencer and colleagues pictured here, remain completely alert and engaged well into their 80s and 90s and older.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the chance of someone over 85 having the disease is nearly 50 percent. Other dementia-causing diseases raise that risk even higher. So what is it that enables someone to escape the dementia odds?

Besides age, … » More …

Fall 2011

Using technology to address the challenges of aging

An increasing number of families know the stress of trying to deal with an elderly parent or spouse who is losing his or her ability to live independently. How can we maintain dignity for those who are having trouble completing daily tasks? How do we keep our elders safe, and who takes care of them?

A WSU research team, led by Diane Cook, Huie-Rogers Chair Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, professor in the Department of Psychology, will be studying approximately 10-20 residents in Horizon House, a Seattle-based continuing care retirement community, for three years as part of … » More …

Summer 2003

The best organizations are run by lovers

Counseling psychologist Allen Johnson has been called everything from a “headpeeper” and “bug doctor” to a “shrink.” He takes issue with the latter label. In reality, he says he’s “an expander.”

He believes in the human capacity to create a better, more joyful world. It’s a message he gladly shares with others in his conversations, seminars, and two books, This Side of Crazy and The Power Within: The Five Disciplines of Personal Effectiveness.

After completing a doctorate at Washington State University (’85 Coun. Psych.), he spent six years as the principal organization and leadership development consultant for ICF Kaiser, an international, 3,500-employee construction and engineering … » More …

Summer 2007

Happy—and healthy—ever after

“In sickness or in health. . .”

That noble sentiment of the traditional marriage vow says your spouse promises to stick with you if you get sick. What it doesn’t say, and what a study by Washington State University psychologist John Ruiz (photo) and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University now shows, is that your spouse’s personality can help you heal–or speed your demise.

And, in the happiest of endings, being satisfied with your partner, no matter what his or her personality, is like an inoculation against all the bad things wrought by depression and anxiety.

Drawing on a subject group … » More …