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nathan dewall

Off DeWall: Island Cycling Adventure

Submitted by njdewa2 on Sat, 07/23/2011 - 08:51 pm

            What has two steering wheels, a roof, two rows of seats, and four wheels? You guessed it: a bicycle! Today, three students took me on an island cycling adventure. We went to an island just outside of Zhuhai, which faces the South China Sea. There were many people out there enjoying the weather and scenery, including small armies of young children collecting crabs they yanked from the rocks on the sea.

            Because there were four of us—me, my teaching assistants WenWen and Lingnan, and another student named Bi Shuang—we rented a bicycle for four. It was a blast! We cruised around the island, stopping here and there to go out on the rocks next to the sea. We tried to race a couple of the other bicycle groups that passed us. We always lost, but we had a ton of fun competing.

Off DeWall: Class Has Begun!

Submitted by njdewa2 on Sat, 07/23/2011 - 07:10 am

            What a first day! With all of its excitement, anticipation, and curiosity, we began our class yesterday. There are about 50 students in the course. They’re all 2nd or 3rd year students. At Sun Yat-Sen University, they have a separate campus for the 1st-3rd year students. It’s located in a small, sleepy town called Zhuhai (CHEW-HI). Mountains surround the town, rivers snake through campus, and there are luscious trees adorned with Spanish moss. Very pretty!

We began with course introductions and a brief lecture on how to think like a social psychologist. We focused on how social psychologists use the same scientific method that the “hard sciences” use, but that what we measure is often subjective. For example, you can’t go the local supermarket and order a six-pack of self-esteem. How, then, do you measure self-esteem when you can’t put your hands on it and toss it your backseat? It takes work, but you can devise clever and nifty ways to measure most psychological things you’re interested in.

Off DeWall: Connected to Kentucky in China

Submitted by njdewa2 on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 11:28 am

Travelling to China takes a long time. After 24 hours of travelling (and two seriously delayed flights), I’m finally here! What, you might ask, was the first thing that I saw in the airport after getting off of my airplane? A Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant! KFC was the first American fast-food restaurant to open in China. I mentioned the KFC spotting to my hosts, who quickly pointed out how much they loved the Colonel’s recipe. I’m literally on the other side of the globe, yet I still feel very connected to my Kentucky roots.  

Off DeWall: Wired co-Director Goes to China

Submitted by njdewa2 on Thu, 07/21/2011 - 09:14 pm

Off DeWall: Wired co-Director Goes to China (July 20, 2011)

Wired has the mission of connecting members of the UK family with each other and our local and global communities. This is my first blog entry to show you how I live this mission. I’m in the air right now, on my way to China. I’ll be there for a month doing a bunch of different things devoted to connecting members of the UK family to the global community.

First, I’ll be teaching a short course to Chinese students at Sun Yat-Sen University, which is located in a town called Guangzhou (pronounced GWAN-JOE). It’s in the Southern Part of China, making it something like the Miami of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). I’ll teach psychology students about social psychological research—how to do it, how to evaluate it, and how to get excited about it. I’ll focus on my areas of interest: interpersonal relationships, self-control, and aggression.

Second, I’ll give a speech to the School of Psychology on my research program on how people respond to social exclusion. I relish the opportunity to share the research we’ve conducted at the University of Kentucky with the Chinese faculty and students.

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