The truth about lying during the COVID-19 pandemic

man crossing fingers behind back

Robert Feldman, was recently featured in a New York Times article regarding an increase in the rate at which people are lying during the COVID-19 pandemic— particularly about symptoms and other health concerns. As the number of well-documented instances of dishonesty regarding symptoms increases, a new study by Brock University has found thirty-four percent of Covid-positive research participants had lied about their health when asked by others. But what is leading to all of this dishonesty? Feldman uses his experience researching deception to weigh in. 

Fall 2020 Newsletter

autumn leaves over the campus pond

Catch up with the latest PBS news in our Fall 2020 Newsletter, including spotlights on our talented students, faculty, and alumni!

Read full issue

Features include:

  • Children Use Race and Gender To Form Beliefs About Social Status, Research Finds
  • Influences of Stigma on Health Outcomes and Interventions
  • COVID-19 Research Update
  • Motherhood on the Brain
  • Spotlight on Alumni
  • Research Highlights
  • Awards and Updates
  • In the Media

Influences of stigma on health outcomes and interventions

woman sits in the shadows at train station, people walking by

Determining where stigma exists and what effect it’s having on our communities is vital to learning what we can do to counteract its harmful consequences.

Allecia Reid, social psychologist at UMass Amherst, is studying the impact of stigma on the health of communities, as well as how to improve the efficacy of health-related interventions. Her work also considers how the social connections we make affect the health behaviors we choose, and how our thoughts and attitudes may incite changes in this behavior.

Children use race and gender to form beliefs about social status, research finds

kids with arms around each other

The age when children begin to think about stereotypes and possibly shape them into individual beliefs is a crucial moment in their social development.

New research at UMass Amherst is trying to uncover at what point stereotypical beliefs may emerge, and how they can evolve into prejudicial attitudes.

As children learn about the world around them, they are paying attention to constructs of society like wealth, power, and access to resources. In a recent study, researchers have gained more insight into whether children consider race and gender when deciding how to rank the social status of an individual or group.

Preference for alcohol is encoded in reward-centered brain region

people drinking at wine bar

The likelihood of becoming addicted to alcohol varies widely from person to person, even when comparing people with similar health history. New research at UMass Amherst has uncovered a brain region that plays a role in determining how much alcohol a person is inclined to drink. This knowledge furthers our understanding of the brain mechanisms behind alcoholism, which could help to design future treatments.