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Here, you will find original content published in 2019-2020. Posts that are published elsewhere will include a link to the site.
What is evolvED? evolvED is all about evolution and (higher) education. I mean evolution in both the “change over time” way — think, how can we select for the best parts of higher education? In what ways is it changing, or not? — but also in the specific scientific sense as I explore ways in […]
Another year, another round of “best of” book lists. Each year, I strive to branch out in the topics I read about and diversify my knowledge. This year was filled with a particular emphasis on higher education books (comprising about 23% of my books) given that I began my post-PhD career in higher education research. […]
Attachment theory is one of the most enduring theoretical frameworks in psychology, spanning the areas of developmental psychology, social/personality psychology, and evolutionary psychology. Broadly, classical attachment theory, originally developed by John Bowlby, focuses on the development of attachment bonds between parents and infants, and how those early attachments influence social development throughout childhood and into […]
I’ve been a dedicated non-fiction reader since I was an undergraduate (I have read exactly two fiction books in the past decade), but it was only a few years ago that I had discovered history of science as a genre. And I wish I had discovered it sooner. It has become my absolute favorite go […]
If you have been even peripherally paying attention to social science over the past decade, you may have noticed that there’s a big problem: “classic” findings from social science continually fail to replicate when a new team of researchers conduct the study. The replication crisis, especially in the field of psychology, has captured mainstream media […]
With the COVID pandemic continuing to rage across the world, we are witness to enormous levels of global cooperation and kindness as we all do our best to navigate the “new normal” of mask wearing, awkward social interactions, and constant uncertainty. But why are we doing any of this? Why are millions of humans donating […]
Life history models of sexual development are popular for understanding female sexual development as it relates to early experiences in the rearing environment. Broadly speaking, life history models suppose that early stressful environments will lead to accelerated maturation, manifesting as earlier timing of menarche, which subsequently leads to earlier age at first sex, and more […]
Brief psychological and behavioral interventions are popular in education, with promises of big impacts on academic outcomes for students. However, these kinds of brief interventions nearly all suffer from the same problem: generalizability. It’s one thing to demonstrate that an intervention works in a particular class, school, or sample, it is another beast entirely to […]
Many edtech products begin as startups, and a foundational approach to think of a startup idea is the problem-solution model: identify a problem and create a product that solves that problem. This process has produced many EdTech products used in education today—e-books, flashcard apps, learning management systems, just to name a few—that focus on solving […]
Higher education is facing many problems: the cost is way too high, students are underserved, dropping out at alarming rates, and have skyrocketing mental health issues. Why are these things happening? How do we fix it? I don’t have the answers, but I certainly have reading recommendations. As I’ve moved professionally in to education research, […]
Ethnic Spaces on Campus Positively Impact Minorities, but Not Whites: What are Potential Inclusive Solutions?
A new study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science tests how ethnic and cultural spaces on college campuses impact perceptions, experiences, and outcomes for minority and White students. Ethnic spaces increased minority students sense of belonging, their perception of how much the university values minority students, their felt support by the university, and their […]
Humanistic psychology, the perspective that humans are inherently good and strive to be better, is ubiquitously associated with Abraham Maslow and his famous pyramid of needs culminating in self-actualization. Introductory psychology students around the world learn about this foundational perspective of psychology usually in the first section of their course. It is often, however, regulated […]
High quality research is the foundation from which effective and impactful EdTech is built on. Educators, institutions of learning, and companies depend on research to make informed decisions about what products and interventions to implement. There is, of course, some responsibility on those choosing products to do their due diligence on the research backing such […]
The academic job market is notoriously competitive–PhDs in my field (psychology) often spend years on the job market for the chance to land a tenure-track position. When I was in the fifth and final year of my PhD, I knew it was highly unlikely that I would land a job as a professor, even with […]
I’ve spent my entire adult life thus far at university. I began my undergraduate degree at 17 years old and just graduated with my doctorate at 28. And, I now work at a non-profit education innovation hub affiliated with the largest university in the United States. I have devoted so much time to my education […]
Peak interview season has passed and you’re starting to see all the “I’m excited to share that I’ll be joining the Psychology Department at University X this Fall” tweets on your feed. Although exciting for those that beat the odds and landed a coveted tenure-track position, the reality is that the majority of psychology PhDs […]
Does Spanking Cause Negative Developmental Outcomes? Yes, But Our New Research Suggests That Effects Are Probably Smaller Than What We Think.
The debate over whether it is moral to spank children is well-regarded as ‘over’ in that there is a strong consensus both publicly and scientifically that it is immoral to spank children. Spanking, defined here as hitting a child on their buttocks or extremities using an open-hand with the intention of modifying undesirable child behavior, […]
Human diversity is complex and controversial, but we know more about our diversity now than at any other point in human history. Charles Murray’s latest book, Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class, has stirred up op-eds and disagreements in which critics have correctly focused on Murray’s suboptimal description about polygenic scores and […]
Are Replication Rates in Psychology Actually Better Than Expected? (Despite Them Still Being Terrible, Of Course)
I’ve been doing research into open science and the replication crisis in psychology recently for work (to make a case for open science practices in the education technology industry), and stumbled across this article on the replication crisis in psychology by Ulrich Schimmack. One particular part of the article caught my attention (highlighted in the […]
Memoirs are a new genre I’ve been exploring recently, The Education of an Idealist being my third over the past few months, preceded by Educated: A Memoir and Becoming (Michelle Obama needs no subtitle). The common thread throughout each has been the personal education journey of the subject, despite the actual journeys of Tara, Michelle, […]
A goal of mine for 2020 is to write more — a goal many academics commit to each year. This year, however, as I have stepped away from the ivory tower, I am going to make a concerted effort to write more public essays and blog posts now that I am far less tied to […]
Like many soon-to-be PhDs, I entered my doctoral program with all the hopes, dreams, and intentions of landing a tenure-track professor position after graduation. Like more soon-to-be PhDs, I actively pursued — and landed — a great ‘alternative’ job outside of the ivory tower. For those in the academy that know me personally, most were […]
This year has been filled with many wonderful books. Below are my top five most interesting books I read this year. These five books are diverse, each covering a different knowledge area, which I think is reflective of my effort to branch out (I even read a novel this year — a first in many, […]
If you pay even the slightest attention to college teaching news, you’re familiar with the term “flipped classroom”. The “flipped classroom,” aside from being the latest teaching trend in higher education, is a teaching strategy in which the ‘content’ part of college classes is moved to outside formal class time, whereas the ‘homework’ part of […]
Jaimie has been out of town for nearly a week at her annual industry conference. Despite having been together for over a year, her boyfriend, Johnathan, still feels anxious when she is away on business trips. His anxiety has deepened because Jaimie has been “too busy to talk on the phone.” When Jaimie does finally […]
Are Life History Trade-Offs Based On Function? A New Study [IN BUGS] Suggests Caution of Basic Theoretical Assumption
When I get to my office in the morning, I go through my email and read my journal alerts of the newest academic papers published. I often come across papers that are interesting, but today I came across a paper that really blew me away. Why? Because it used a clever research design to yield […]
I got to my office the other morning with the goal of organizing my last data set needed for my PhD dissertation. The study is a small survey data set of 52 heterosexual couples, mostly adults in their 20s, who reported on a variety of self-report sexuality and relationship measures — pretty standard psychological research. […]