Divisions & Units - Social Sciences

Poor sleep triggers viral loneliness and social rejection

August 14, 2018

UC Berkeley psychologists have found that sleep-deprived people feel lonelier and less inclined to engage with others, avoiding close contact in much the same way as people with social anxiety. Moreover, even well-rested people feel lonely after just a brief encounter with a sleep-deprived person, triggering a viral contagion of social isolation. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, are the first to show a two-way relationship between sleep loss and becoming socially isolated, shedding new light on a global loneliness epidemic.

Environmental regulations drove steep declines in U.S. factory pollution

August 9, 2018

he federal Clean Air Act and associated environmental regulations have driven steep declines in air pollution emissions over the past several decades, even as U.S. manufacturers increased production, a study by two University of California, Berkeley, economists has shown. The study, forthcoming in the American Economic Review, found that polluting emissions from U.S.

New graduate program aims to keep languages from disappearing

July 27, 2018

In an effort to preserve and nurture languages at risk of disappearing — and serve a growing interest among students — UC Berkeley is offering a new designated emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization. The new program, available to students in any Ph.D. program at Berkeleyis an interdisciplinary collaboration of the departments of Ethnic Studies and Linguistics and the Graduate School of Education.

Odds of living to 110-plus level out — once you hit 105

June 28, 2018

Want to be a supercentenarian? A new study by Kenneth Wachter, professor emeritus of demography and statistics, says the chances of reaching 110 are within reach – if you survive the perilous 90s and make it to 105.

Everything big data claims to know about you could be wrong

June 18, 2018

When it comes to understanding what makes people tick — and get sick — medical science has long assumed that the bigger the sample of human subjects, the better. But new research led by UC Berkeley psychologists suggests this big-data approach may be wildly off the mark.

Hindu and Muslim children show unexpected religious tolerance

June 15, 2018

In a region of India with a long history of tension between Hindus and Muslims, children of different faiths are showing unexpected tolerance for one another’s religious beliefs and customs, according to a new study led by UC Berkeley psychologist Mahesh Srinivasan.

Economics prof gets first-hand taste of fake news

May 25, 2018

Economics professor Yuriy Gorodnichenko published a paper this month arguing that automated Twitter bots could have played a small but potentially influential role in the 2016 Brexit vote and 2016 U.S. presidential elections. When his paper was picked up by Bloomberg, he soon got a first-hand taste of how "fake news" can spread in today's social media climate.

Social Sciences: Distinguished Teaching and Service Awards

The dean and chairs of the Division of Social Sciences initiated the Distinguished Teaching Award to encourage and reward faculty members who have been exceptionally generous and effective in both undergraduate and graduate teaching.  The Distinguished Service Award recognizes a faculty member who has made extraordinary service contributions to their department and to the campus.

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2016 – 2017

Distinguished Teaching Awards

A scholar’s take on Starbucks, anti-bias training and the Berkeley experiment

April 30, 2018

When Starbucks announced plans to conduct anti-bias training at its 8,000 outlets following the unprovoked arrests of two African-American customers in Philadelphia, UC Berkeley psychologist Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton was at once impressed and skeptical. Read more...