2017 Archives

The study of Flint’s children and their hopes: What we can learn and how it can lead to better ways to help them succeed

November 30, 2017

The trauma of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has undoubtedly left its mark on the city’s residents, yet by all accounts they have shown impressive resilience as many businesses, non-profits and academic institutions restore hope by looking for ways to help the city make a comeback.

Broader gun restrictions lead to fewer intimate partner homicides

November 29, 2017

State laws that restrict gun ownership among domestic abusers and others with violent histories appear to significantly reduce intimate partner homicides, indicates a groundbreaking national study led by a Michigan State University researcher.

MSU anthropologists help families of missing persons find closure

November 22, 2017

When human remains are found in Mid-Michigan and authorities have few clues on who they are, they turn to anthropologists at Michigan State University.

Thanksgiving and pudding? There’s a tale to tell: How a backlash against ‘mixed’ foods led to the demise of a classic American dish.

November 20, 2017 - Helen Zoe Veit, Associate Professor of History, Michigan State University

At the end of “Over the River and Through the Wood” – Lydia Maria Child’s classic Thanksgiving poem – the narrator finally gets to his grandfather’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and settles down to eat.

Head Start may protect against foster care placement

October 30, 2017

Participating in Head Start may help prevent young children from being placed in foster care, finds a national study led by a Michigan State University researcher.

MSU scientist leads NOAA-funded effort to better predict droughts

October 30, 2017

A Michigan State University scientist is leading a competitively funded NOAA research project to create a better system for predicting droughts, a type of climate extreme that causes billions of dollars in direct losses to the U.S. economy every year.

Preschool teachers need better training in science

September 26, 2017

Preschool instructors appear to lack the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively teach their young students science – a problem that is likely contributing to America’s poor global performance in this crucially important subject.

For worriers, expressive writing cools brain on stressful tasks

September 21, 2017

Chronic worriers, take note: Simply writing about your feelings may help you perform an upcoming stressful task more efficiently, finds a Michigan State University study that measured participants’ brain activity.

Can taking down websites really stop terrorists and hate groups?

September 21, 2017

Racists and terrorists, and many other extremists, have used the internet for decades and adapted as technology evolved, shifting from text-only discussion forums to elaborate and interactive websites, custom-built secure messaging systems and even entire social media platforms.

Eleven new studies suggest ‘power poses’ don’t work

September 13, 2017

The claim that holding a “power pose” can improve your life became wildly popular several years ago, fueling the second most-watched TED talk ever but also casting doubts about the science behind the assertion.

Sleep may help eyewitnesses from choosing innocent suspects

September 13, 2017

Sleep may influence an eyewitness’s ability to correctly pick a guilty person out of a police lineup, indicates a study by Michigan State University researchers.

Michigan Lawers Weekly names MSU’s Pope ‘Woman of the Year’

September 13, 2017

Michigan State University assistant professor Delanie Pope has been named Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 2017 Woman of the Year, as selected by her peers.

Improving communication between parents and siblings of special needs youth

August 30, 2017

Parents and siblings of children with limited speech who took an innovative training program created by a Michigan State University scholar significantly improved their ability to communicate with the special needs youth.

Michigan gives economy high marks; lower ones to president and governor

August 25, 2017

Michigan residents are upbeat about the state’s economy but a bit downbeat about their current governor and President Donald Trump in Michigan State University’s latest State of the State Survey results released Friday.

Talking to yourself in the third person can help you control stressful emotions

July 26, 2017

The simple act of silently talking to yourself in the third person during stressful times may help you control emotions without any additional mental effort than what you would use for first-person self-talk – the way people normally talk to themselves.

How marriage may protect transgender couples

July 26, 2017

Transgender people who are married are less likely to experience discrimination than their unmarried counterparts, indicates a national study led by a Michigan State University sociologist.

Does religion protect against suicide?

June 29, 2017

Religious participation is linked to lower suicide rates in many parts of the world, including the United States and Russia, but does not protect against the risk of suicide in sections of Europe and Asia, finds new research by a Michigan State University scholar.

Eating your feelings? The link between job stress, junk food and sleep

June 23, 2017

Stress during the workday can lead to overeating and unhealthy food choices at dinnertime, but there could be a buffer to this harmful pattern.

Let’s improve our civility in discourse

June 23, 2017 - Anne Mervenne and Steve Tobocman

We are inspired and encouraged that restoring civility in American politics was one of the three pillars at this year’s Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference. Daily, if not hourly, our airwaves and computer news feeds are filled with cringe-worthy words, images and actions.

How to attack Africa’s neonatal mortality problem

June 9, 2017

Giving birth at home is the most significant risk factor for neonatal deaths in major sections of Africa – a continent that continues to be plagued by the highest neonatal mortality rates in the world, indicates a new study by Michigan State University scholars.

Are friends better for us than family?

June 7, 2017

The power of friendship gets stronger with age and may even be more important than family relationships, indicates new research by a Michigan State University scholar.

Study examines sexual violence against college women with disabilities

May 16, 2017

College women with mental health or behavioral disabilities are experiencing sexual violence and intimate partner violence that involves intimidation, name-calling and humiliation that specifically targets their disability, according to a new study.

How ex-convicts should approach a job interview

May 3, 2017

For the best chance of getting hired, former inmates should apologize for their criminal past to potential employers, indicates new research that comes amid the nationwide “ban-the-box” movement.

Our freshwater lakes are getting saltier

April 12, 2017

North America’s freshwater lakes are getting saltier due to growing development and exposure to road salt, according to a new, large-scale study involving Michigan State University.

Digital Dig: A new discovery from Ancient Greece

March 30, 2017

Through the careful study of excavation records dating back some 40 years, Michigan State University’s Jon Frey has discovered an ancient gymnasium at the archaeological site of Isthmia, Greece. Frey and his team are performing a “digital dig” of sorts. Rather than using shovels and tools to excavate the site, the researchers are studying a backlog of evidence housed in remote storage.

Genes play key role in parenting

March 27, 2017

A study by two Michigan State University psychologists refutes the popular theory that how adults parent their children is strictly a function of the way they were themselves parented when they were children.

Skilled workers more prone to mistakes when interrupted

March 22, 2017

Expertise is clearly beneficial in the workplace, yet highly trained workers in some occupations could actually be at risk for making errors when interrupted, indicates a new study by two Michigan State University psychology researchers.

Research uncovers key to college freshmen staying in school

March 7, 2017

Incoming college students who already feel a connection to their institution are more likely to fit in and want to remain at the school, especially if they are ethnic minorities, indicates a new study by Michigan State University researchers.

Personality traits ‘contagious’ among children

February 7, 2017

When preschoolers spend time around one another, they tend to take on each others’ personalities, indicates a new study by Michigan State University psychology researchers.

Kids should pay more attention to mistakes, study suggests

February 7, 2017

Children who believe intelligence can grow pay more attention to and bounce back from their mistakes more effectively than kids who think intelligence is fixed, indicates a new study that measured the young participants’ brain waves.

Hollywood and History: Scorsese’s “Silence” and the MSU professor who helped him

February 6, 2017

Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s latest film to generate Oscar buzz is “Silence,” the story of two Portuguese Jesuit priests who brave great dangers to travel to Japan in the 1640's to find their lost mentor. In order to recreate the seventeenth century in a remote corner of East Asia, the director contracted several scholars including a historian from Michigan State University, Professor Liam Brockey.

Affordable water in the US: A burgeoning crisis

January 17, 2017

If water rates continue rising at projected amounts, the number of U.S. households unable to afford water could triple in five years, to nearly 36 percent, finds new research by a Michigan State University scholar.

Is America still an 'empathetic and generous giant'?

January 12, 2017

MSU’s William Chopik led a study examining empathy by country. Countries in dark red have high empathy, while countries in light pink are low empathy. The countries in gray were not studied due to small sample sizes.

Mothers’ lack of legal knowledge linked to juvenile re-offending

January 12, 2017

Youth who commit crimes for the first time are more likely to re-offend if their mothers don’t participate in their legal process. Unfortunately, mothers are widely unfamiliar with the juvenile justice system — and those who know the least about the system also participate the least.

Study reveals best states for lovers

January 12, 2017

In the first nationwide study of positive relationships, a Michigan State University researcher found that Mississippi, Utah and Wisconsin were actually the top states for lovers, while Virginia finished mid-pack. On a regional basis, the Pacific Coast was tops for quality relationships.