Virgin America CEO / Dedman College alum David Cush on KERA-TV “CEO” this Friday at 7:30p CST


CEO, Aug. 7
7:30 p.m.

Virgin America CEO David Cush tells host Lee Cullum why there is such a fight for access to gates at Love Field and how fierce competition in the Dallas market is driving fare wars. Cush warns of potential dangers to the industry due to sweeping consolidation. Learn how Virgin survived a turbulent start after launching the airline in 2007 and how the company built a niche business enticing passengers with creature comforts and competitive prices. READ MORE

About David Cush:

David was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Broadcast/Film and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, in 1982. A year later (1983), he received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from SMU.

George Holden, Psychology, study cited in a story about parents’ unconscious influences on child’s career interests

Fast Company

Originally Posted: June 19, 2015




Ever since your son or daughter was little, you’ve been showering him or her with positive affirmations about the future. “Follow your dreams.” “The world is your oyster.” “You can do whatever you set your mind to doing.” And, one day, when you’re having the “what do you want to be when you grow up” conversation, you get the payoff for all of that empowerment: A crew member on one of the Deadliest Catch boats. An undercover homicide detective. Nik Wallenda’s next protégé.

Kids say the darnedest things—and sometimes their future career fantasies can be downright terrifying. The choices may range from dangerous to financially insecure, and somewhat far afield of what you had in mind, even if you’re loathe to admit it. But be careful in your response. A 2010 report by George Holden of Southern Methodist University found that the way we react to these types of situations can have a great deal of influence on the trajectories our children follow throughout life. The research found that the things to which we introduce them, how we help them navigate obstacles, and how we react to their actions and ideas has an impact on the decisions they make. READ MORE

Andrea L. Meltzer, Psychology, At peak fertility, women who desire to maintain body attractiveness report they eat less

Three independent studies find women near peak fertility who desire to maintain body attractiveness are motivated to eat less — unlike women who are not near ovulation, using hormonal birth control, or not motivated to maintain body attractiveness

Biology isn’t the only reason women eat less as they near ovulation, a time when they are at their peak fertility.

Three new independent studies found that another part of the equation is a woman’s desire to maintain her body’s attractiveness, says social psychologist and assistant professor Andrea L. Meltzer, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Women nearing ovulation who also reported an increase in their motivation to manage their body attractiveness reported eating fewer calories out of a desire to lose weight, said Meltzer, lead researcher on the study.

When women were not near peak fertility — regardless of whether they were motivated to manage their body attractiveness, near peak fertility but not motivated to manage their body attractiveness, or using hormonal birth control, they were less likely to want to lose weight and didn’t reduce their calories, Meltzer said. READ MORE

Learn more about Andrea L. Meltzer

Alan Brown, Psychology, great story, do you mind if I steal it?

New York Magazine

Originally Posted: May 29, 2015

So maybe you didn’t really get a glimpse of Drake during New Year’s in Vegas; that actually happened to your cousin. As it turns out, passing off someone else’s memories as your own is fairly common, at least among the undergraduate participants of a new study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology.

In it, Southern Methodist University psychology professor Alan S. Brown had 447 college students take an online survey about their story-stealing habits. First, a quick and obvious caveat: Researchers couldn’t verify that these students were answering truthfully. That in mind, here’s what he and the rest of the researchers found:

53 percent of participants have heard someone else telling a story that had been stolen from them.

46 percent admitted hearing someone’s story and later passing it off as their own.

32 percent have spiced up their own anecdotes with details stolen from someone else.


The most talked about articles in Clinical Psychology — Elsevier

Congratulations to Lorelei Simpson Rowe , Ernest N. Jouriles and Renee McDonald, Department of Psychology. Their research “Reducing Sexual Victimization Among Adolescent Girls: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of My Voice, My Choice,” is among the most talked about articles in Clinical Psychology over the past 6 months. Read below for the full story.



May 29, 2015

Below is a collection of the most talked about articles in Clinical Psychology over the past 6 months. These articles have been featured in the news and blogs, as well as shared across Twitter and Facebook. Don’t miss out on these articles from some of our top journals.

Internet addiction disorder and problematic use of Google Glass™ in patient treated at a residential substance abuse treatment program.
Addictive Behaviors

How we walk affects what we remember: Gait modifications through biofeedback change negative affective memory bias.
Journal of Behavior Therapy & Experimental Psychiatry

A longitudinal study of electronic cigarette users.
Addictive Behaviors

Wedding-related weight change: The ups and downs of love.
Body Image

Biting versus Chewing: Eating Style and Social Aggression in Children.
Eating Behaviors

The impact of emotions on body-Focused repetitive behaviors: Evidence from a non-treatment-seeking sample.
Journal of Behavior Therapy & Experimental Psychiatry

Reducing Sexual Victimization Among Adolescent Girls: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of My Voice, My Choice.
Behavior Therapy

Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: Preliminary findings.
Addictive Behaviors

Drinking to reach the top: Young adults’ drinking patterns as a predictor of status within natural drinking groups.
Addictive Behaviors

The biomedical model of mental disorder: A critical analysis of its validity, utility, and effects on psychotherapy research.
Clinical Psychology Review

Alan Brown, Psychology, How to Remember Anything

Originally Posted: May 9, 2015

The best way to pick a password or hiding spot you’ll remember is to choose one quickly because you want something that will return to mind quickly:
Via Why We Make Mistakes:

The key to picking a good hiding place is hiding place is making a quick connection between the thing being hidden and the place in which it is hidden, says Alan Brown. Brown is a professor at Southern Methodist University who has studied where and how people hide things. Not long ago he surveyed adults between the ages of eighteen and eighty-five, asking them all sorts of questions about where they hide things. Their answers have provided some illuminating differences. Older adults, for instance, typically hide jewelry from thieves, whereas younger adults tend to hide money from friends and relatives. And while the places they choose may vary, the successful strategies didn’t. One key to picking a good hiding place— or a good password: do it quickly. “I think the only successful way to do it—and this is true with both hiding places and passwords—you have to do it quickly,” said Brown.
Faces can be made more memorable by ignoring physical characteristics and focusing on personality traits. Does this person look trustworthy or likable? This makes your brain process the face more deeply, promoting learning.

Via Why We Make Mistakes:

They found that when faces are judged not by their surface details but for deeper emotional traits—like honesty or likability—the faces are subsequently better recognized than faces judged for physical features like hair or eyes. Why should traits be more memorable than features? Traits appear to require the brain to engage in a greater depth of processing; it takes more work to figure out whether someone has an honest face than it does to determine, say whether he’s got curly hair. And that greater effort seems to make the face stick in the memory. So strong is the effect that one of the leading researchers on face recognition once offered this advice: “If you want to remember a person’s face, try to make a number of difficult personal judgments his face when you are first meeting him.”

Is there a technique that works across the board for improving memory? You can improve recall of most anything by matching the context of where you learned it. READ MORE

SMU Magazine: Dedman College Alumnus Leandre Johns ’02 Talks Uber Career And Detours Along The Way

By: Patricia Ward

Originally Posted: May 4, 2015
Dedman Alumni Leandre Johns ConversationA passion for innovation drives Leandre Johns ’02, general manager of Uber Technologies for North and West Texas. Johns returned to the Hilltop to discuss his trajectory from SMU student to tech executive in a conversation with Thomas DiPiero, dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, April 28.

Johns, a native of Garland, Texas, was a Hunt Leadership Scholar and active in the campus community while earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SMU. He encouraged students in the audience at Dallas Hall’s McCord Auditorium to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible while they are undergraduates.

“Test yourself. Make the most of it. Get involved,” he said. Learning to deal with so many different personalities in a variety of situations as a student “made me a more dynamic person.”

While at SMU, he thought he had his future mapped out. During an SMU Abroad semester in Copenhagen, he was involved in children’s cancer research, which shaped the next phase of his education. He graduated from SMU determined to help cure cancer and pursued a master’s degree in public health at the University of Chicago. As a graduate student, he interned for UnitedHealthcare, then spent three years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago as a healthcare and financial consultant. READ MORE

Driven to Succeed: Uber Leader Leandre Johns to Talk at SMU April 28

Learn why SMU alumnus Leandre Johns is driven to succeed as general manager for the ride-sharing service Uber, one of the world’s fastest-growing technology companies, when he joins SMU Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero in conversation Tuesday, April 28, at 5:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

Leandre Johns 8640 (1)“From SMU to Uber: A Conversation With Leandre Johns ’02” is free and open to the public, with RSVP to requested by Monday, April 27.

Johns, a Hunt Leadership Scholar who earned a B.A. in psychology from SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences in 2002, will discuss how his educational experiences helped pave the way to his current role as North and West Texas general manager for Uber Technologies. The company connects riders to drivers via a mobile app-based service.

In 2014 D Magazine named the Garland native one of Dallas’ “10 Most Eligible Men,” noting, “Leandre’s responsible for some serious transformation in the Dallas social scene.” The magazine even added insight from Johns’ mother, who said, “He loves being involved with the community, reaching back, giving and encouraging others to succeed.”

Prior to joining Uber, Johns worked in the venture capital and startup field as vice president for a healthcare technology and media portfolio company in Chicago. He also spent more than three years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago, consulting in the healthcare and finance sector. He earned his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he majored in finance, entrepreneurship and marketing.

For more details about the event visit:

Ernest N. Jouriles and Renee McDonald, Psychology, virtual training helps assertiveness

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: March 24, 2015

You’re in the car with a guy you’ve been dating for three weeks. It’s dark out, rain beats down on your window and lightning flashes in the distance. He’s ready to take your relationship to the next level, but you want to wait. He says that if you don’t have sex with him, he’ll break up with you, kick you out of the car and tell everyone that you slept with him anyway. Then, he gets aggressive. This particular situation might seem frightening, but it’s all part of a virtual reality training program.

This scene is one of many from a new SMU sexual harassment training program that has the potential to change how sexual violence prevention is handled. A study piloted by SMU’s psychology department, called “My Voice, My Choice,” found that teenage girls were less likely to report sexual victimization after participating in assertive resistance training in a virtual reality environment. The effects continued over a three-month period after the training.

Colton Donica, an SMU senior who assisted as an actor in the program, described a range of sexually coercive situations, including the one above, which program participants are exposed to. READ MORE

Congratulations to the 2015 Research Day Award Winners

Congratulations to all the Dedman College students who received 2015 Research Day awards.

The goal of Research Day  is to foster communication between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU with their peers and industry professionals from the greater Dallas community.

See the full list of Research Day Winners, 2015

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