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From the College of Natural Sciences
Older Adults Are Happier When Space Matches Personality

Older Adults Are Happier When Space Matches Personality

The old saying, "Home is where the heart is," has some new science to back it up. A study has found photos of a person's living space can accurately point at personality traits and the mood of the people who live there, especially as a person gets older.

Natural Sciences Welcomes Two Visiting Harrington Faculty Fellows

Natural Sciences Welcomes Two Visiting Harrington Faculty Fellows

The College of Natural Sciences will welcome two members of the Harrington Faculty Fellows Program, which supports a group of visiting scholars each year.

Evidence Against Physically Punishing Kids Is Clear, Researchers Say

Evidence Against Physically Punishing Kids Is Clear, Researchers Say

A conclusive narrative review has found physical punishment of children is not effective in preventing child behavior problems or promoting positive outcomes and instead predicts increases in behavior problems and other poor outcomes over time. The study by an international group of scientists including a researcher from The University of Texas at Austin was published today in The Lancet.

Blaming the Pandemic for Stress Leaves Couples Happier

Blaming the Pandemic for Stress Leaves Couples Happier

Illustrations by Jenna Luecke

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit during the winter of 2020, locking down entire countries and leaving people isolated in their homes without outside contact for weeks at a time, many relationship experts wondered what that kind of stress would do to romantic couples. What they found was that when couples blamed the pandemic for their stress, they were happier in their relationships.

Meet the 2021 Dean's Honored Graduates

Meet the 2021 Dean's Honored Graduates

Each year, the College of Natural Sciences bestows its highest honors for graduating seniors on a select group of students. These students, known as Dean's Honored Graduates demonstrate excellence across multiple domains, achieving not only academically but in scientific research, independent intellectual pursuits, leadership, service, entrepreneurship and community building. Here are biographies of the 33 outstanding students selected by College of Natural Sciences faculty for this distinction in 2021.

The Case Against Spanking (Audio)

The Case Against Spanking (Audio)

Physical punishment, or spanking, is widely practiced in the U.S. and around the world, although it appears to be decreasing. Parents, caregivers and school administrators who use it say the goal is to prevent unwanted behaviors and teach children to make better choices. But does it actually work? And what long term effects does it have on the physical and mental health of people who are punished this way?

Graduating Researcher and Student Leader Grateful for Mentorship and Support

Graduating Researcher and Student Leader Grateful for Mentorship and Support

In high school, Brett Dolotina looked forward to a diverse, lively campus culture at UT Austin. Austin seemed like a place where people could live freely. Dolotina, who uses they/them pronouns, looked forward to developing their own identity. Dolotina graduates this month as a Public Health and Biochemistry double major and a passionate student leader, with hopes of building a career in research.

How to Retrain for Social Interactions

How to Retrain for Social Interactions

As the number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 increases, the prospect of once again socializing in person is growing more and more likely. However, after months of wearing masks and avoiding face-to-face interactions, many people may have a hard time readjusting. In a recent article, The New York Times reached out to several experts, including The University of Texas at Austin's Marci Gleason, for advice on how best to cope with these impending changes.

Twin Study Shows Why Physical Punishment Leads to Child Behavior Problems

Twin Study Shows Why Physical Punishment Leads to Child Behavior Problems

Harsh parenting practices, not genetics, are linked to higher levels of behavior problems in children, according to a new study in the March 2021 volume of Psychological Science, which studied pairs of twins whose parents disciplined them differently.

20 Cool UT Science Stories from 2020 (Not about COVID-19)

20 Cool UT Science Stories from 2020 (Not about COVID-19)

University of Texas at Austin researchers have been instrumental in tracking the spread of the coronavirus, developing critical antibody treatments to save lives, developing diagnostics and creating the vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 that are currently being distributed around the world.