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Psychology

Fall 2013

Booze, Sex, and Reality Check

Last August, before starting classes, before even really getting to explore campus, the 4,000-some members of the freshman class were required to take an hour-long clinic designed to improve their behaviors.

The Booze, Sex, and Reality Checks program came during the Week of Welcome. Amidst the moving in, concerts, picnics, and open houses, WSU’s new students ducked into cool classrooms for versions of a seminar on drinking and sex.

“We don’t normally have firsthand interaction with students,” says Leah Hyman, a human development graduate student who broke form to assist a WSU drug and alcohol counselor in the workshops. In a field rife with … » More …

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 …