Emotion affects political tolerance, UNL professor finds - Omaha.com
Published Monday, July 1, 2013 at 1:30 am / Updated at 6:53 pm
Higher education
Emotion affects political tolerance, UNL professor finds

LINCOLN — A new study by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln political science professor shows that political intolerance results from fear combined with doubt and uncertainty.

Ingrid Haas, an assistant professor of political science, examined how emotion affects political tolerance. Her study found that people who are uncertain tend to be open to new ideas if they feel safe.

But if uncertain people also feel threatened, they tend to close ranks and become rigidly intolerant of other beliefs.

In a series of experiments, researchers asked participants to consider several scenarios designed to elicit uncertainty or threat. They then asked participants questions to determine levels of political tolerance and ideologies.

The researchers found that the reactions did not depend upon whether the participants were liberal or conservative.

Haas and her co-author, William A. Cunningham of the University of Toronto, said their findings could reveal new routes to political understanding.

The research was published online June 12 in the journal Political Psychology.

SCC among best for associate degrees

Nebraska's Southeast Community College is ranked among the nation's top associate degree producers by Community College Week, which annually publishes a top 100 list of colleges that offer associate degrees.

Southeast Community College has campuses in Lincoln, Beatrice and Milford.

Southeast ranked second nationally in the precision production category, which includes computer-aided design, precision machining, manufacturing engineering technology, welding and the like.

Other top programs include agriculture, agriculture operations and related science, which were fifth among two-year schools and 10th overall; engineering technologies and engineering-related fields, which were 17th among two-year schools and 30th overall; and all disciplines — non-minority, which were 40th among two-year schools and 59th overall.

Based in Fairfax, Va., Community College Week describes itself as an independent voice covering community, technical and junior colleges. Its rankings are based upon U.S. Department of Education data from about 1,200 community colleges in the United States. The rankings include four-year schools that offer associate degrees.

Suarez to lead college system's trustees

Michelle Suarez of Lincoln was elected chairwoman of the Nebraska State College System board of trustees at its June board meeting.

A Scottsbluff, Neb., native, Suarez has been principal at Everett Elementary School in Lincoln since 2010. She also spent three years as principal at Calvert Elementary School. She was appointed to the seven-member state college board in 2007.

“I strongly believe education transforms lives,” Suarez said. “The work we do as a board impacts individuals, families, our communities and regions, the state of Nebraska and beyond.”

Gary Bieganski of Chadron, Neb., was elected the board's vice chairman. He is president emeritus of McCook Community Hospital and has served on the college board since 2006.

Four new members for Creighton's board

Creighton University has elected four new members to its board of trustees.

They are the Rev. Gregory J. O'Meara, the new rector of Creighton's Jesuit community; the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, a Marquette University administrator; Jim O'Brien, an Omaha businessman and outgoing president of the Creighton University National Alumni Board; and Julie Hefflinger, an Omaha native who will be the next president of the National Alumni Board.

Clinical psych training at UNL wins award

The clinical psychology training program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln recently was named as one of the top programs in the United States.

The program was selected the 2013 Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Outstanding Training Program, a recognition given to one program every two years.

The program trains graduate students to become clinical psychologists with expertise in behavior therapy. Eight or nine students are admitted each year. Graduates have gone on to develop mental health programs at such places as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and state hospitals. Others have taken positions at major universities and research centers, such as Yale University School of Medicine and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

David Hansen, a psychology professor who serves as director of the program, said graduates have had successful careers with “varied and important clinical, research and professional contributions.”

Daniel Smith, professor and co-director of the Charleston Consortium Clinical Psychology Internship Program, said UNL's psychology interns number among the best in the nation.

“Our faculty has come to see UNL as a 'known quantity' of the highest quality when it comes to evaluating internship applicants.”

Contact the writer: Leslie Reed

leslie.reed@owh.com    |   402-473-9581    |  

Leslie covers higher education issues and events affecting Nebraska college students and their families.

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