The effectiveness of a simulated natural environment, risky behaviors in adolescence, and the accuracy of human memory when testifying in court: These are some of the important issues addressed in this year’s eighth annual Allen L. Edwards Psychology Lecture Series. Three notable UH psychology professors have dedicated decades to research that applies directly to the real world. Their topics are to examine the impacts of nature, adolescence, and the legal system on human psychology. Connecting reality with technology
Peter Kahn, a psychology professor at the CIW, has spent more than 10 years conducting research from his Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems (HINTS) Lab. The HINTS Lab seeks to discover the influence of nature on human psychology. “People are destroying nature very quickly,” Kahn said. “Thus people are suffering from that degradation of nature psychologically. Depressions and medical problems arose because of that. ” Kahn gave a lecture Feb.. 20 about the relationship between nature, simulated nature, and human psychology.
His research has also addressed a question of whether or not the influence of nature on humans can be replaced by technology if real nature vanishes. To answer this question, Kahn conducted two experiments that tested participants’ stress levels depending on whether or not they had access to a view of real nature. The results showed that people who had access to this view were less psychologically stressed than those who had a simulation of nature or no view at all. In the first experiment, he created three conditions in which participants’ heart rate ND blood pressure were being measured and recorded.
In condition one, a view of real nature is visible through a window in a room. In condition two, the window is blocked with no natural view at all. In condition three, a real-time view of the same nature captured by an HAD camera is played on screen inside the same room with the window blocked. In the second experiment, several participants’ social interaction behaviors in an office with no window were compared with those in the same office with a technological window. The result showed that participants’ social interaction behaviors were better with a technological window than with no window at all. Genealogical nature is better than nothing. ” Studying risky behaviors in adolescents Kevin King, whose lecture was given Wednesday, focuses his research on understanding risky behaviors in adolescence. “Adolescence is an important period to study because teenagers are given a lot of freedom and independence in this period, and thus problems like substance use and delinquency are creeping up due to that independence,” King said. One of King’s ongoing research projects is to recruit teenagers from communities and eave them participate in experiments to expose them to various social and emotional contexts.
The idea is to study how these contexts influence their ability to self- regulate. “Exposure to stressful life events seems to be impact,” King said. “The self- regulatory abilities of teenagers that have been exposed to a higher level of stress tend to be impaired. ” In his other ongoing research project, King and his colleagues went to a Juvenile prison and taught some of the Juvenile prisoners meditation. They measured prisoners’ self-regulation to see if it was improved due to the training.
King said this project is currently still in the process of data collection, and further conclusions are yet to be drawn. “My research is to figure out who among teenagers are most likely to be at risk and how we can help them develop better self-regulation abilities,” King said. Human memory and legal systems Geoffrey Loft’s studies how human perception and memory impact the verdict of legal cases. “In so many legal cases that involve legal testimonies from eye witnesses, is it possible that those witnesses are incorrect in believing what they saw happened? ” Loft’s said.