Reducing Institutional Violence: Environmental Risk Factors in Psychiatric Hospitals

All too often, patients in psychiatric hospitals are involved in violent incidents with other patients and hospital staff. These incidents incur significant economic, social and human costs. Although most research has focused on identifying patient characteristics that contribute to violence (e.g., young age, past violence), there is growing recognition that rates of violence can vary tremendously based on the environment. Sara will be using an instrument, PRISM (Promoting Risk Intervention by Situational Management), to examine how environmental factors contribute to variation in rates of institutional violence across units at Napa State Hospital. Through observations of physical surroundings, interviews with patients and staff, and discussion with management personnel, her findings aim to illuminate factors that can be targeted by administrators in violence reduction and prevention efforts.

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Social Science

Sympathy for the Loss of a Comrade: Black citizenship and the 1873 Fort Stockton Mutiny

In 1873, more than 100 Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Stockton, Texas signed a petition requesting formal censure of the post surgeon for his racist refusal to treat a sick and dying man. The officers responded by putting the soldiers on trial for mutiny. Nicks research will look at how these soldiers, most of whom were born into enslavement, came to understand and express their rights as United States citizens. This research will combine primary documentary sources, housed at the National Archives and Fort Stockton, with secondary literature on African American agency, literacy, and solidarity in the Reconstruction Era. Through this work, Nick will explore how the law was used to both assert and contest notions of personhood a theme which remains as relevant today as it was in 1873.

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Social Science

Programa Pueblos Mágicos: A Comparative Study of Equity and Social Inclusion in Talpa de Allende, Mexico

Rural areas compose 86% of Mexicos territory and account for 36% of the population while rural GDP per capita ranges between 27% and 43% of the national average. To address this urban/rural developmental divide, the Secretariat of Tourism created the Programa Pueblos Mgicos (PPM). Its goal was to raise local levels of wellbeing by promoting economic development through tourism. By carrying out a sense of community survey, collecting socioeconomic data, and interviewing residents and town officials, Adrin will explore whether the PPM has resulted in the abatement or aggravation of unequal distributions of wealth in Talpa de Allende, Jalisco. Adrins project will analyze subsets of Talpas population to explore whether the economic development arising from this program has improved the living standards of those who need it the most.

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Social Science

Decolonizing the Bancroft Library

Throughout the 1900s Berkeley Anthropologists documented the ethnographic information of many Native Californian tribes for fear that their lifeways and languages were soon to become extinct in the wake of the burgeoning United States. The Bancroft Library is now steward of these ethnographic collections. While the public institution is responsible to make the collections available to all without bias, one Native Californian community has protested that open access to these collections leaves their community vulnerable to multiple dangers such as misrepresentation in academic articles and potential looting of the sacred sites described therein. Marks research seeks to discover how public access to these ethnographic collections impacts the descendant communities and asks who has the right to access the ethnographic information of these Native Californian tribes?

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Social Science

Care Not Cages: Reformist Mental Health Jail Expansion in California

As the historic prison boom of the past thirty years comes to a halt in California, a nascent jailr boom has snuck onto the scene. Forty out of fifty-eight counties in California are in various stages of building or renovating jails, the most pronounced characteristic among these new jail projects being their emphasis on mental health treatment. Susan will conduct secondary and archival research, interviews with various stakeholders, and observation of political events concerning jail expansion and mental health to investigate the political, economic, and social forces facilitating the newest expression of carceral expansion in California the mental health jail. Her investigation comes during a unique window of opportunity to shift mental health and criminal justice policy due to declining incarceration and increased public enthusiasm for community-based alternatives to incarceration.

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Social Science

High Inequality, Low Creativity? Examining the Effects of Income Inequality on Regulatory Focus

Income inequality is associated with deleterious economic, social, and health outcomes. These negative effects disproportionately affect the poor, but surface across all strata of society. Regulatory focus being promotion or prevention focused is the psychological mechanism that may account for these effects. Promotion focus involves living life through a lens of what one stands to gain, while prevention focus entails living life through a lens of what one stands to lose. Heather will examine income inequalitys effect on regulatory focus, shedding light on one psychological mechanism underlying the negative effects of inequality. Heather will conduct two studies; first examining the correlation between income inequality and regulatory focus on the macro level, and then, using an experimental design, examining the effect of income inequality on regulatory focus on the micro level.

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Social Science

The Permissibility of Using Coercion in Pediatric Healthcare

Why is causing harm ethically justifiable? Diana has always been perplexed that a rational individual would compromise his/her bodily comfort in order to prolong life and create a culture where other people are forced to do the same for the sake of health. Although patient autonomy is legally protected in western healthcare institutions, individuals that are considered minors are not afforded these same autonomy rights. They are, instead, given rights of protection of best interest. This, however, can often create a dilemma when healthcare providers and legal guardians disagree about what constitutes the minors best interest. In her research, Diana will use qualitative analysis to examine this dilemma from the social, legal, and ethical standpoints of vaccine and chemotherapy refusals.

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Social Science

#BlackGirlsMatterToo: Understanding and Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline Among Black Girls

Black girls are disproportionately impacted by school discipline policies and practices that render them vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and dehumanization. It has been shown in multiple studies that Black girls who are suspended or expelled are more likely to become incarcerated later. Shelby Macks research seeks to identify factors such as school discipline, criminalization and gender violence in order to understand how enrichment programs can disrupt the school to prison pipeline epidemic among Black girls in Oakland, CA. Her research will employ in-depth interviewing, purposive sampling and non-participant observation of Black girls who are a part of the African American Girls and Young Women Achievement Program (AAGYWA), and Black girls who are not a part of the program at West Oakland Middle School.

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Social Science

Understanding Land and Value: the Cost and Benefits of the Oxford Tract in an Ecological Economics Framework

Land serves as the primary source of energy in the world. UC Berkeleys Oxford Tract is currently under consideration for development from a student garden and research facility to a student housing project. Allegra will create and subsequently critique a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed project versus its current use, bringing forward underlying assumptions which justify costs and benefits that both connect and avoid the relationships land use has to greater ecological systems and constraints. Comparing traditional techniques for economic and financial modeling deployed in land development with ecologically nested models of the economy, Allegra will drive towards defining value and its determination in the case of land use. She hopes to identify tensions between current economic methodology and ecological conceptions of value.

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Social Science

Perceived Fairness of Death-Eligible Court Rulings in Triadic Racial Conditions

Empirically, when there is a black defendant and white victim, U.S. judges and jurors believe the defendant to be guiltier than he/she actually is. Brandon is exploring how we can manipulate the race of the defendant and victim in death-eligible cases to hinder the onset of racially charged, implicit biases within court rulings. The methodologies used are online surveys via Amazon Mechanical Turk and semi-structured interviews. This is a first step in a larger virtual reality research agenda: how virtual reality could manipulate avatarsin terms of raceof the defendant and victim to counteract racially implicit biases. This research could contribute to more just rulings by identifying which racial manipulation is perceived to be the fairest.

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Social Science

Motor Control in a Changing Environment

Elucidating how organisms are able to flexibly move about in dynamically changing environments is a fundamental problem in psychology and neuroscience. Imagine a ballerina practicing in front of warped mirrors: her brain must continually recalibrate the motor commands sent to move the body based on sensory feedback. In this context, there is a mismatch between the distorted visual feedback from the mirror and her internal sense of body position (proprioception). Alissa will conduct a series of experiments that examine how sensorimotor recalibration occurs when there is a mismatch between proprioception and vision. This information should contribute to our understanding of how the brain controls movement, allowing us to produce skilled actions, as well as provide insights that can be used for the rehabilitation of movement disorders.

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Social Science

Role of Motor Inhibition in Forced Reaction Time Tasks

Activities like driving demand the ability to respond quickly and accurately to changes in ones environment. A fundamental scientific question concerns what neural processes determine response time (RT). A widely held assumption is that RT represents the aggregate time required to generate an accurate movement. However, recent research suggests that humans can be forced to accurately produce movements more rapidly than their fastest voluntary RTs. Inhibition of the motor system is known to be involved in motor planning processes during the performance of voluntary RT tasks, which raises the question: is motor inhibition absent during non-voluntary RT tasks? Jeremy aims to answer this question using non-invasive brain stimulation while participants perform RT tasks to record brain activity related to the presence, or absence, of motor inhibition.

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Social Science