Featured Stories

The Origins of Religious Disbelief: Will Gervais

According to recent research, approximately one in five Americans don’t identify with a religion. Will Gervais, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, studies the origins of atheism, and is a recent addition to UK's faculty. In January 2013, he co-authored an article, "The Origins of Religious Disbelief," in the journal, Trends in cognitive sciences. Co-written with Ara Norenzayan from the University of British Columbia, the article defines four different types of atheism and their origins. 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Meaning of Life: Will Gervais

During the 2013 fall semester, University of Kentucky students will have the opportunity to delve into questions that explore some of society's most deeply held beliefs. The ambitiously titled class, "A&S 300: The Meaning of Life - Psychology, Evolution, Religion, and Morality," will be led by Psychology Professor Will Gervais who has focused his research around this very topic.

In the class, students can expect to investigate the psychological and evolutionary underpinnings of religious and moral beliefs through studies of cognitive and evolutionary science. Gervais hopes to use this lens to encourage students to not ask questions around whether or not a higher power exists, but instead question why people believe what they do and the implications of that on society.
 
In this podcast, Gervais touches on these issues and how now more than ever, it's important that we use the tools of science to examine the roles of religion and morality.
 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Technology on Students' Terms: Jonathan Golding

Technology in the classroom is often discussed in terms of solving issues of scale—the rise of massively open online courses just being the largest of examples. Perhaps though, technology may serve the most good when it's scaled to student needs.

Psychology Professor Jonathan Golding has found this to be the case in the many classes he teaches. As he has increasing experimented with tools like Facebook and blogs, Golding has found that the most gains come in the small interactions between students, where they learn to deal with themselves on their own terms, as real individuals. The result: a more productive learning environment made more intimate—not less—by the latest technology. 
 
In this podcast, Professor Golding discusses how he uses modern social media platforms like Facebook to change the way his students interact with him and each other while also noting some of the tensions that exist when incorporating technology into the classroom.
 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Go Small White! Rat Basketball in Psychology 450

When people think of UK basketball, they tend to think of Wildcats, not lab rats... except for students in Fall 2012's Psychology 450: Learning. In the class, students used clickers and treats to train rats to pick up and 'dunk' a small ball to demonstrate how learning occurs. In this podcast, we interviewed some students from the class and watched some rat basketball from the sidelines with Kristina Pattison, the instructor. 

This podcast was produced by Cheyenne Hohman.

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Michelle Martel

This podcast was produced by Cheyenne Hohman.

The Department of Psychology is excited to welcome professor Michelle Martel to its faculty!

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