Browsing: Social Sciences

Lynn Lewis-Bevan ’17 has some advice for freshmen feeling pressured to declare a major — don’t. Lynn, who credits her father with encouraging her to “see the science behind everything,” was introduced to a Jane Goodall documentary in third grade and she was hooked on studying the natural world. Initially, she wanted to become a veterinarian but surrendered that dream because she didn’t want to euthanize animals. She almost gave up her science dreams because she was advised by administrators in her North Carolina high school, who told her that they didn’t see her doing well in science. The reason?…

In a new article in the Yale Daily News, “The Dark Side of Diversity,” Stony Brook Professor and LDS Faculty Director Todd Pittinsky asks why the media confuses a plus from an ampersand. When Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd, announced his “Us + Them” tour, with “a story that’s about whether love trumps everything,” Pittinsky noticed that the media kept calling it the “Us and Them” tour. This struck home because Pittinsky’s recent book, Us Plus Them, was also constantly referred to as Us and Them. In its small way, says Pittinsky, this mistake shows how hard it is for people…

Defying conventional wisdom and the polls, Stony Brook University Political Science Professor Helmut Norpoth predicted Donald Trump’s victory using a model with a remarkable record of predicting election outcomes. Based on his analysis of primary voting, Norpoth gave Trump an 87%-99% chance of beating Hillary Clinton nearly one year ago. He stuck by his model in press interviews despite an overwhelming consensus of pollsters and pundits promising a Clinton victory. Norpoth’s projection is based on a statistical model that relies on presidential primaries and an election cycle as predictors of the vote in the general election. Under the model, winning the early primaries…

Sharon Benedett ’18 loves to talk, so it’s fitting that the Stony Brook senior is devoted to the field of linguistics. Sharon’s affinity for language — or at least conversation — was noted as early as primary school. “My report cards always read, ‘Socializes too much in class.’ I was one of those people who really love to hear themselves talk,” she says. As a native of upstate Webster, New York, Sharon grew up thinking of Stony Brook as a state park in the Finger Lakes region. But when she began her college search process, she soon learned about another Stony Brook — the…

We hear a lot about campus and workplace microaggressions — small, casual, almost unnoticeable degradations of people in marginalized groups such as ethnic minorities, women, disabled people or transgender people. Microaggressions are a real diversity issue with real consequences. But if people are expressing negative attitudes in passing, aren’t they also expressing positive attitudes in passing? Yes — those are microaffirmations. In a new article for Kappan, Stony Brook University Professor Todd L. Pittinsky emphasizes what social scientists, administrators, advocates and policy makers have been ignoring — the small actions in everyday life that make people feel welcome, valued and encouraged.…

There’s a lot of talk about empathy — but what does it mean to empathize with someone? In common usage, “empathy” means “sympathy” — feeling sadness or sorry for someone. That’s usually what it means in social science research, too. But it shouldn’t. Empathy is a sharing of someone else’s feelings and those can just as well be feelings of pleasure, joy and success. That’s called “empathic joy,” but it’s rarely recognized, let alone researched, in the social sciences. Professor Todd L. Pittinsky of Stony Brook’s Department of Technology & Society and his colleague, R. Matthew Montoya, of the University…

The School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University is presenting a three-part educational series, “What Ought to Be: Cultural Proficiency and Trans Care Across the Lifespan: Trans 101, Client Engagement and CBT.” These courses can be taken individually or, for a more comprehensive look into this topic, you can attend all three sessions. Licensed social workers can earn four continuing education contact hours per session. Transgender and Gender Non-conforming (TGNC) people are those who have a gender identity that is not fully aligned with their sex assigned at birth. They often face widespread discrimination and mistreatment within the healthcare…

At the end of August, an assembly line of students from Stony Brook’s School of Social Welfare filled more than 100 backpacks with school supplies they collected as part of their Bachelor of Science with a minor in Social Work (BSW) service project. The Undergraduate Social Welfare Alliance (USWA) presented the Long Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence with the backpacks that held supplies donated by students, faculty and staff from the School of Social Welfare. The backpacks were then given to homeless and at-risk children in our local communities who returned to school with the basic supplies they needed. The…

A colorful and provocative exhibit at Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery tells the story of Stony Brook’s longtime engagement with classic pop music via a collection of album covers from the library of the university’s radio station, WUSB. As renovation on the Stony Brook Student Union — which houses the campus radio station — approaches, WUSB personnel packed up archives of vinyl and acetate record albums. WUSB disc jockey and Staller Center Outreach Director Paul Newland mentioned to his colleague, Karen Levitov, director and curator of Zuccaire Gallery, that the radio station was temporarily storing the treasured collection for an anticipated move…

Millions of years from now, an aspiring anthropology student may brush the dust off a gleaming gold artifact we call the Hubbard Medal, and wonder to whom it belonged. But today, we know the most recently minted Hubbard Medal belongs to world-renowned paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey, research professor in Stony Brook University’s Department of Anthropology. Meave is also director of field research at the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya, a unique nonprofit initiative co-founded by the Leakey family and Stony Brook to drive research at one of the best locations on Earth for studying the origins of humankind. The National Geographic…

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