News & events

Robert Gifford: Why we put climate concerns on hold for the holidays

Why we put climate concerns on hold for the holiday season (CBC News) Psychologists say people have a tendency to ignore climate concerns when the holiday season rolls around. Robert Gifford comments on why people, despite their best intentions to reduce waste, feel obliged to participate in holiday consumption. This national online story was also picked up by MSN and Yahoo News.

Rober Gifford: Alternative Approaches to Discussing Climate Change

'We're going to die': Toronto mother says young daughter terrified by school presentation on climate change (Vancouver Sun) A Toronto mother says her eight-year-old daughter was deeply terrified after watching a school presentation on the climate crisis. Robert Gifford discusses alternative approaches to discussing the topic with children and adults. This article appeared on the front page of today's National Post, as well as online in other major media including the Ottawa Citizen.

Giving Tuesday is December 3

On December 3rd, the Giving Tuesday sprinkles are coming back to campus as UVic celebrates this global day of philanthropy. For just 24 hours, the worldwide UVic community will be able to demonstrate how much the university means to us by giving back and paying it forward. Every gift, no matter the size, will create memorable learning opportunities for students. Last year, our campus and alumni community gave more than $35,000 to help students launch rockets, host conferences, attend competitions and travel overseas to do volunteer work. Together, those experiences are what makes the UVic student experience extraordinary—much like added "sprinkles" are to a cupcake or cookie.

Caitlin Mahy: Don't Forget to Feed the Goldfish

Don’t forget to feed the goldfish: The Executive Framework of children’s prospective memory development Caitlin Mahy, Ph.D. Brock University September 20, 2019 in COR A228 3:30 PM Abstract How do children develop the ability to remember to carry out their future intentions successfully and independently from adults? This ability, known as prospective memory (PM), relies on a number of cognitive abilities including memory processes and executive processes. In this talk, I will describe the importance of executive control specifically in the development of children’s PM during the preschool years. I will review several studies from my lab that suggest that PM is: (1) affected by cognitive load during the retention interval (Mahy & Moses, 2015; Mahy et al., 2016), (2) related to individual differences in executive control (Mahy & Moses, 2011; Mahy & Moses, 2015; Mahy, Moses & Kliegel, 2014a), (3) helped by an executive reminder only if children have sufficient executive ability (Mahy, Mazachowsky, & Pagobo, 2018), and (4) dependent on memory processes early in development, but increasingly dependent on executive control as children age (Mahy, Mazachowsky, & Lavis, in progress). Based on this work, I will describe the Executive Framework of children’s PM development (Mahy, Moses, & Kliegel, 2014b) and discuss important directions for future research.

John Sakaluk: How strong is the evidence for evidence-based therapies?

Opinion: How Strong Is the Evidence For Evidence-Based Therapies? (Psychology Today) Over the past 10 years, scientists have discovered that many psychological findings may be the product of questionable research practices. John Sakaluk comments on a review he co-authored that looked at the research connected to different forms of therapies.

John Sakaluk: treating depression, insomnia and PTSD

Paper published Aug. 1 looked at treatments for conditions such as depression, insomnia and PTSD (Victoria News) John Sakaluk has released new research calling into question some of the statistics that support psychotherapy for conditions such as depression, insomnia, PTSD and borderline personality disorder. Sakaluk worked with University of Kansas psychology Alexander Williams to explore the "gold standard" for the empirically supported treatments.

Robert Gifford: Why we can't shake our carbon-emitting habits

Why we can't shake our carbon-emitting habits, even as the world burns (Maclean's) Robert Gifford has identified 37 psychological barriers that limit our ability to react to climate change. The barriers, listed and explained in a special climate change issue of Maclean's magazine, fall into seven categories he calls "dragons"- a metaphor to describe the gap between knowledge and action. Gifford is currently working with the federal government to develop more effective climate action programs.

Chris Lalonde: Governments must find optimal regulatory balance with vap

Chris Lalonde: Governments must find optimal regulatory balance with vaping (Vancouver Sun) Although there are laws against underage purchase of alcohol, cannabis, cigarettes and vapes, today's youth are still getting their hands on these substances. Chris Lalonde writes about the trend of teen vaping and the current federal and provincial legislation that prohibits marketing and selling vapes to anyone under the age of 18.

Stephen Lindsay: Does psychology have a conflict-of-interest problem?

Does psychology have a conflict-of-interest problem? (Nature) In a news feature by Nature, the journal explores the question of whether it's a concern that some psychologists don't disclose in research papers the large sums they earn for talking about their work. Stephen Lindsay is one of several experts within this article to comment on the issue.

Congratulations to our Faculty Members

Congratulation to Bonnie Leadbeater for receiving the Faculty of Social Sciences Research Excellence Award, to Cathy Costigan for receiving the Faculty of Social Sciences Outstanding Community Outreach Award, to Louise Chim for receiving the Faculty of Social Sciences Early Career Teaching Award, and to Colette Smart for receiving the Faculty of Social Sciences Teaching Award. Well done and well deserved!

Robert Gifford: Documentaries for Creating Change

Climate documentaries aim to create change, not preach to the converted (National Post) Jeff Bridges wrote and produced a climate change documentary that targets audiences who have been reluctant to act on facts. Robert Gifford comments on the primary reasons for inaction and notes that one way to reach people is to demonstrate how climate change intersects with an issue they care about, such as their health, children or local community. The Canadian Press article was shared by other media outlets, including CTV News. Additional coverage: Jeff Bridges' new climate documentary screening in Vancouver (CTV News Vancouver)

Robert Gifford: on the findings of Environment and Climate Change Canada Report

Climate change report findings (CFAX Radio) Robert Gifford comments on the findings of the Environment and Climate Change Canada report and the intention-action gap with regards to individual and organizational response to climate change. Additional coverage: Experts on Canada's Changing Climate Report (UVic News)

Bonnie Leadbeater: Childhood anxiety tied to school absences

Childhood anxiety tied to school absences (Reuters UK) A new study found evidence that chronic physical problems and anxiety can lead to increased risk of school absences, low grades/test scores and a lower chance of obtaining a college degree or a high-paying job. Bonnie Leadbeater suggests that some absences caused by misbehavior can also be attributed to anxiety.

Bonnie Leadbeater: Family Size and Bullying

Younger siblings with older brothers more likely to be bullied (Daily Mail, UK) A new study suggests that the larger a family is, the more bullying there will be between the ranks of siblings. Bonnie Leadbeater comments on bullying in families and how it can be carried out in different family systems. This article was originally published by Reuters.

Catherine Costigan: Police Integration

Report about police integration for vulnerable populations (CFAX Radio) A report done last year led by Catherine Costigan is being cited in a debate over the City of Victoria's budget considerations over increasing the policing budget. The report found that there was success in integrating police officers into health care as part of the Assertive Community Treatment teams.

Robert Gifford: A Blueprint for Climate Action

Robert Gifford and Margaret Klein Salamon, a former clinical psychologist and director of The Climate Mobilization, join a special episode of CBC’s “The Current” on national radio this morning to discuss the call for globalization to address climate change. Gifford also points out the “dragons of inaction,” a term he uses to describe the major issues that lead to people’s reluctance to take action on climate change.

Bonnie Leadbeater: 20 Years of WITS

After 20 years, anti-bullying program WITS is going strong (Times Colonist) The anti-bullying campaign “Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out and Seek help” (WITS) celebrated its 20th anniversary this week. An article also appeared in Oak Bay News (which also ran in Victoria News). Additional coverage: Esquimalt-based anti-bullying program celebrates 20 years (Oak Bay News)

Bonnie Leadbeater: Youth to be steady marijuana users

Majority of Greater Victoria youth likely to be steady marijuana users: UVic study (Oak Bay News) Research co-led by Bonnie Leadbeater has found that youth are likely to fall into one of five cannabis use patterns. Leadbeater's study on cannabis use in youth looked at those between the ages of twelve and eighteen over a period of 10 years. This article also appeared in Victoria News.

Stephen Lindsay: I Want to Burn Things to the Ground

Opinion: ‘I Want to Burn Things to the Ground' (Chronicle of Higher Education) In an opinion piece by the Chronicle of Higher Education on replicating psychology research, Stephen Lindsay discusses his approach to creating sample sizes and his role as an editor for those who are being published. (Premium subscription required)

Bonnie Leadbeater: Legal Pot Will Mean a Boom in Canadian Cannabis Research

Legal Pot Will Mean a Boom in Canadian Cannabis Research (The Tyee) The Tyee cites a recently published study by Bonnie Leadbeater on cannabis use among youth and notes that with the legalization of the drug this year, more research will be needed to understand cannabis and its impacts on society.

Stuart MacDonald: Breaking down Misconceptions about dementia

Researchers at UVic have been studying the effects of singing in a choir on those living with dementia. In a prominent full-page article in the national edition of today’s Globe and Mail, lead researcher Debra Sheets (nursing) comments on the importance of meaningful social interaction in this community. Stuart MacDonald (psychology) comments on the goal behind the choir and how it breaks down misconceptions on dementia.

New Option to meet Psychology Course Requirements!

We are pleased to offer a new course option for meeting the requirements for the Psychology Major! Students now have the option of taking either PSYC 210 (Conceptual Foundation of Psychology OR a new course, PSYC 205 (Psychology of Diversity). PSYC 205 will be offered in the Fall term on Wednesdays from 4:30 pm – 7:20 pm. In this course, students will explore individual and group differences in identity, mind and brain, and health and well-being. Instruction methods are grounded in indigenous principles of learning and include individual and small group exercises, as well as larger group discussion. Register today!

Bonnie Leadbeater: Youth cannabis users and health

Youth cannabis users more likely to have poor health outcomes: Study (National Post) Bonnie Leadbeater, along with Kara Thompson from St. Francis Xavier University, have followed a group of teenagers for over 10 years to learn the effects of using marijuana at an early age. Leadbeater comments on the findings of the study. Additional coverage: Canadian students who use marijuana end up with poor health, grades: study (Global News) Risks of pot-smoking ignored: UVic professor (Times Colonist) The Simi Sara Show (CKNW) Effects of cannabis use on youth: can we predict the future? (UVic News)

Clay Holroyd, José Ribas-Fernandes and Danesh Shahnazian: Midcingulate Cortex

Brain study by UVic researchers may provide answers to depression, Parkinson's and ADHD (CHEK News) New research from UVic may lead to new answers about depression, ADHD and Parkinson's disease. Clay Holroyd, along with José Ribas-Fernandes and Danesh Shahnazian, have released their research on the midcingulate cortex (MCC). Additional coverage: CBC Radio Brain research sheds light on a mystery (UVic News)

Ames Family Foundation Donates $10,000 to CARTE

The Ames Family Foundation generously donated $10,000 in support of CARTE Academy, a day camp program for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) run by the Centre for Autism Research, Technology and Education (CARTE) at the University of Victoria. CARTE, headed by professor of psychology Dr. Jim Tanaka, is dedicated to enhancing the social and emotional skills of children and adults with ASD. Through their funding for CARTE Academy, the Ames Family Foundation is creating a fun, educational, and inclusive space for children with ASD, in addition to supporting the delivery of workshops for parents and caregivers of children with ASD. We extend our sincere thanks to the Ames Family Foundation!

Bonnie Leadbeater: Recipient of the 2017 Dr. Noni MacDonald Award.

Bonnie Leadbeater's article “Frequent marijuana use and driving risk behaviours in Canadian youth”, published in the March 2017 issue of Paediatrics & Child Health is the recipient of the 2017 Dr. Noni MacDonald Award. The Dr. Noni MacDonald Award, established in 2004, is given annually in honour of the founding editor of Paediatrics & Child Health. The award recognizes an author(s) whose article, published in the journal during the nomination year, has positively affected paediatrics, such as by raising awareness of an issue, presenting new scientific research, or instigating or potentially instigating change.

Justin Karr Receives Prestigious Award

It is with great pleasure that I share this news for your news feeds, Facebook and websites. My graduate student Justin Karr, has received an award from a prestigious journal in our field, The Clinical Neuropsychologist, as part of their Second Annual TCN/AACN Student Project Competition. He recently published in TCN journal one of the pieces from his dissertation:

Erica Woodin, Catherine Costigan: Assertive Community Treatment

Two more city police officers OK’d for social-behaviour team Following the report conducted by Catherine Costigan and Erica Woodin, members of UVic's Psychology department, on the integration of police officers into Victoria's Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams, the municipality has approved further funding for additional police officers to join the initiative. ACT teams are made up of outreach workers, social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists and addiction specialists, who work together to support clients who live with substance use and mental illness. TC UVic News

Robert Gifford: Ideafest | Apathy about climate change

Is apathy about climate change the greatest threat to the planet? Today's Times Colonist featured Wednesday's upcoming Ideafest event "Is apathy about climate change the greatest threat to the planet?" The article included an interview with two of the event's panelists, Chris Bone (Geography) and Robert Gifford (Psychology). TC

Catherine Costigan: Police work benefits the vulnerable

The Times Colonist spoke to Catherine Costigan following yesterday's release of a report co-authored with Erica Woodin which focused on integrating police officers into Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams. ACT teams are made up of outreach workers, social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists and addiction specialists that serve clients living with complex mental health and substance use issues. TC UVic News

Jim Tanaka Receives Engaged Scholar Award

Please join us in congratulating Jim Tanaka for receiving the prestigious Provost’s Engaged Scholar Award. Well done and well deserved, Jim. The award celebrates the integration of outstanding UVic scholarship, teaching and community engagement. The award ceremony is on Thursday March 8, 2018 from 4-6 PM at the Salal Room in the University Club. The event is free and open to faculty, staff, students and the general public. If you plan to attend, please RSVP ( by March 2nd.

Congratulations Donor Award Recipients

Congratulations Donor Award Recipients Kari Duerksen – Howard E. Petch Scholarship Kari Duerksen – Norma Wilson Graduate Scholarship Simen Hagen – Norma Wilson Graduate Scholarship Emily Duggan – Norma Wilson Graduate Scholarship Lisa Gou – R. B. May Scholarship Lisa Gou – Mrs. Annie Greskiw Graduate Award Chantel May – The Arthur Lester Benton Award Jeremy Viczko – W. H. Gaddes Scholarship Julie Prud’homme – The Robert, David & Douglas Vickery Graduate Award Drew Halliday – Dr. Robert Michael Peet Graduate Scholarship Justin Karr – John & Myrtle Tilley Graduate Scholarship Emanuela Yeung – Albert Hung Chao Hong Scholarship

What can you do with your degree?

Wondering how to make the leap from university to a rewarding career? Come to a "What can you do with your degree?" session to explore your career options and hear from a panel of industry experts. They'll describe what they do, how they broke into their job sectors and their best career advice for students! PLUS Attend the 1-hour panel to hear from all speakers—stay after to connect with panelists one-on-one. • Register (and learn about the panelists): • Bonus - Download a "What can you do with your degree?" sheet for your program!

Seats available in PSYC 451C: Decision Making

Deciding on a 400-level PSYC class for the Fall term? Choose PSYC 451C: Decision Making. We will explore exciting recent advances in understanding the mind and brain of how we decide. Topics will range from the role of emotion to how we deal with uncertainty, from moral decisions to addiction, from self-control to free will. Mon/Thurs from 11:30 am to 12:50 pm with Prof. Krawitz. Choice is central to the human experience, enrol today!

Jim Tanaka: Craigdarroch Award

Congratulations to Jim Tanaka for being awarded the Craigdarroch award for Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization. The award recognizes Jim’s work with families, educators, and community professionals to develop innovative, fun and low-cost technologies (computer games and apps) for improving face-recognition skills in children with autism. For a photo that shows Jim accepting the award at the REACH awards (Recognizing Research & Teaching Excellence) ceremony at Royal BC Museum, May 25, 2017 go here:

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State of mindfulness

December 12, 2019 - News

For three years, Faculty of Humanities Dean Chris Goto-Jones has been teaching a free, online course through Leiden University called Demystifying Mindfulness. More than 112,000 people have so far enrolled in the massive open online course (MOOC). Here, Goto-Jones explains the origins, contemporary interest and the continuing evolution of mindfulness in the health sector.

Read more: State of mindfulness
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Three from UVic awarded 3M National Student Fellowships, recognizing leadership

June 12, 2018 - Ring

Three of 10 prestigious 3M National Student Fellowships have been awarded to students in UVic's Faculty of Social Sciences. Cara Samuel (psychology), Maxwell Nicholson (economics) and Michael Graeme (anthropology and environmental studies) join seven others to become Canada's 3M fellowship recipients for 2018.

Read more: Three from UVic awarded 3M National Student Fellowships, recognizing leadership
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Singing to fight the stigma and social isolation of dementia

April 25, 2018 - Ring

"Voices in Motion" is an intergenerational community choir for persons with dementia, their family caregivers and high school students. It's also a UVic research study looking into how participation in an intergenerational choir might foster social engagement and caregiver well-being, improve quality of life for persons with dementia, and reduce some of the stigma surrounding memory loss.

Read more: Singing to fight the stigma and social isolation of dementia
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REACH Awards

April 16, 2018 - Ring

This May, the second annual REACH Awards will celebrate UVic scientists, scholars and artists for their extraordinary contributions in research and teaching—from a field school in Cuba to a performance atop a glacier in BC's interior.

Read more: REACH Awards

View all events on the UVic Psychology calendar.

Clinic closure

UVic Health Services closed for afternoon.

Learn Zen Buddhist Meditation

Zen Meditation is a free program designed to teach meditation and give an experience ofZen Buddhism. This class includes sitting & walking meditation, chanting, and a talk by one of the priests of Zenwest Buddhist Society.


University of Victoria Men’s Soccer vs Benedictine University

Comic Potential

By Alan Ayckbourn

Love, robots, and soap operas: a wickedly funny satire about the rise of artificial intelligence.

Reading Break for all faculties

UVic Gallery exhibits

For archive news older than January 2013, see the news archives.