Faculty Research: Motivational processes in Sport Education programs among high school students

Unknown-1 Chu, T. L., & Zhang, T. (2018). Motivational processes in Sport Education programs among high school students: A systematic review. European Physical Education Review, 24, 372 394.doi:10.1177/1356336X17751231

Within this systematic review, Drs. Chu and Zhang focused on the motivational processes in a Sport Education curriculum and found that through their theoretical frameworks­­—self-determination theory and achievement goal theory—Sport Education has a positive influence on motivation that is consistent across different environments, and that diverse educational settings need to be examined for possible differences in the impacts of motivation on Sport education programs.

Faculty Research: Anger in the Classroom

Ryan_2014Martin, R. C. (2018). Anger in the classroom: How a supposedly negative emotion can enhance learning. In H.L. Schwartz & J. Snyder-Duch (Eds.), Teaching and Emotion: New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 153, 37-44.

This chapter describes some of the common reasons why teachers become angry (e.g., students failing to follow directions, students being disrespectful) and outlines different approaches to using that anger in a productive                                                   way.

Faculty Research: Gender and Social Conformity in Voting


Weinschenk, Aaron, Costas Panagopoulos, Karly Drabot, and Sander van der Linden. Forthcoming. “Gender and Social Conformity: Do Men and Women Respond Differently to Social Pressure to Vote?” Social Influence. 

We re-analyzed data from a large-scale field experiment (N=344,084) on voter turnout in order to determine whether men and women respond differently to social pressure aimed at voter mobilization. On the whole, our analyses confirm prior findings that social pressure increases voter turnout but uncover little to no evidence of gender differences in receptivity to social pressure cues in the context of political participation.

Faculty & Student Research: The Neuroscience of Prosocial Thought & Behavior

DCBDr. Cowell

In this article, we argue that a growing body of evidence from developmental neuroscience suggests the role of basic processes, namely attention and approach/avoidance build to form more complex social abilities, like morality.

Cowell, J. M., Calma-Birling, D., & Decety, J. (2017). The developmental social
neuroscience of prosocial thought and behavior. Current Opinions in Psychology.

Faculty Research: Cognitive Empathy in Preschool Children


Dr. Cowell

This is the first developmental neuroscience article to explicitly differentiate between different aspects of empathy neutrally in children. In particular, we find differences when children see another individual in pain and are asked to consider how much pain they are feeling (cognitive empathy) and when children are asked how sorry they feel for that individual (empathic concern/sympathy). These two processes work on different timescales in the preschool child’s brain. Interestingly, preschool children’s neural responses of empathic concern and sympathy are related to their parents’ own empathy.

Decety, J., Meidenbauer, K., & Cowell, J. M. (2017). The development of cognitive empathy and concern in preschool children: A behavioral neuroscience investigation. Developmental Science.

Faculty Research: Harm and Morality

Dr. Cowell

Together with Jean Decety (U of Chicago), we argue for the primacy of perceiving harm as a fundamental component of morality. Recent evidence from social neuroscience highlights the shift from the basic aspect of perceiving potential harm to the self (something infants are capable of) towards a mapping of this harm-to-self understanding towards harm-to-other. This transition, coupled with the development of perspective-taking, attention, and self-control lead to adult-like moral judgments.

Decety, J. & Cowell, J. M. (2017). Interpersonal harm aversion as a necessary foundation for morality: A developmental neuroscience perspective. Development & Psychopathology.