Department of Psychology

Social Sciences faculty members honored with named, distinguished service professorships

Three social scientists have received distinguished service professorships in recognition of their scholarly contributions and dedication to the University research and teaching mission. Additionally, two social scientists have been appointed to named professorships in the College and the Division, and another as the first to hold the Gary S. Becker chair, named in honor of Nobel Laureate Gary S. Becker, AM'53, PhD'55 (1930-2014).


Janellen Huttenlocher, pioneering scholar in childhood development, 1932–2016

Janellen Huttenlocher, a pioneer in the field of childhood development whose research explored how children acquire language, understand space and learn math, died Nov. 20 in Chicago. She was 84. The William S. Gray Professor Emeritus in Psychology, Huttenlocher was a researcher, teacher and mentor at the University of Chicago for four decades. Her research delved into a broad range of topics such as categorization, spatial coding and memory—themes scholars continue to explore. It was marked by...

The role of physical environment in the ‘broken windows’ theory

For decades, the influential “broken windows” theory has linked signs of petty crime to bigger problems in a neighborhood. Largely left out of such discussions, however, is the role simple perceptual features in physical environments play in encouraging rule-breaking. In a new study, researchers at the University of Chicago explored whether mostly subconscious visual cues embedded in dilapidated buildings, overgrown lots and littered streets can fuel deviant behavior. The study , to be published...

Open enrollment period for faculty, staff Nov. 1-16

The Benefits Open Enrollment period is under way!  From October 31- November 16, 2016, you will be able to make your benefit elections for 2017 by logging in to


You should have received your Open Enrollment Guide at your home address.  The Guide can also be found on the Benefits Website at

Study examines whether loneliness could be heritable trait

Loneliness is linked to poor physical and mental health and is a greater predictor of early death than obesity. Because of such risks, researchers sought to determine whether loneliness was a lifelong trait, not a temporary state. In conducting the first genome-wide association study of loneliness, Prof. John Cacioppo and his colleagues confirmed previous studies showing that the risk for feeling lonely is partially due to genetics, but environmental influences play a bigger role. Their findings...