University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is the heart of the University of Southern California. The largest, oldest and most diverse of USC’s 19 schools, USC Dornsife is composed of more than 30 departments and dozens of research centers and institutes. USC Dornsife is home to approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 750 faculty members with expertise across a spectrum of academic fields.

Our frontline scholars are working to find solutions to society’s toughest challenges by advancing human health, preserving and improving our environment, and strengthening our communities. Together, we are defining scholarship of consequence for the 21st century.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 132 articles

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Seeing is believing: how media mythbusting can actually make false beliefs stronger

Instead of debunking false claims, psychology shows promoting the facts is a more effective way to fight the spread of misinformation.
New research hints at why Germany’s death toll from COVID-19 was relatively low while Italy’s and America’s spiked. Piero Cruciatti/AFP/Getty Images

Fast-acting countries cut their coronavirus death rates while US delays cost thousands of lives

Over the first 100 days of the pandemic, countries that quickly implemented strong policies successfully lowered their death rates faster. There were also some surprises in the successes and failures.
It takes roughly 90 years for the living memory of an event to disappear. Anurag Papolu/The Conversation via AP Images

As collective memory fades, so will our ability to prepare for the next pandemic

A global pandemic might be at the forefront of everyone's minds. But we can't assume that future threats will get the attention they deserve from people living in an information-saturated world.
Students without computers are having a rougher time with the new normal. damircudic/Getty Images

Not all kids have computers – and they’re being left behind with schools closed by the coronavirus

This real-time snapshot of the digital divide illustrates why education experts are concerned that school closures could increase achievement gaps.
Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, right, has his temperature taken as he arrives at Ruhenda airport in Butembo in eastern Congo, June 15, 2019. AP Photo/Al-hadji Kudra Maliro

Why the WHO, often under fire, has a tough balance to strike in its efforts to address health emergencies

The World Health Organization is not a disease police force but more of a diplomatic group, aiming to bring countries together to stop disease. Still, it comes under fierce attack.
In places where children die with tragic frequency, the collective grief of parents affects all society. Mary Long/Shutterstock

Measuring maternal grief in Africa

In many sub-Saharan African countries, 20% of mothers have suffered the death of a child, a new study finds. In Mali, Liberia and Malawi, it's common for mothers to lose two children.
Members of the Maryland Air National Guard arrange medical supplies for shipment from the Strategic National Stockpile. Master Sgt. Christopher Schepers/Maryland Air National Guard

Coronavirus: Strategic National Stockpile was ready, but not for this

The paradox of the stockpile is that it's meant to protect against future threats, but is limited by today's imagination about what those threats might be.
Apostle Paul and his followers collected aid, likely for early Christians. Giovanni Paolo Panini /Hermitage Museum via Wikimedia Commons

What early Christian communities tell us about giving financial aid at a time of crises

In the late second century, some Christian groups in Rome began directing financial aid toward people living in another city, who were going through a crisis. That act of giving has lessons for today.
Behavior is changing because of the coronavirus. Is perceived risk the reason why? AP Photo/Steven Senne

Americans disagree on how risky the coronavirus is, but most are changing their behavior anyway

Using a survey taken from March 10 – March 16, social scientists tried to untangle the complicated connection between feelings of vulnerability and behavior change in response to the coronavirus.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally in Los Angeles on Super Tuesday. Ronen Tivony/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Biden’s resurrection was unprecedented – and well-timed

Joe Biden's swift return as a strong candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination was a dramatic shift never seen before in the modern history of Democratic presidential primaries.
A protest against Islamophobia in TImes Square in March 2019. Dev Chatterjee/Shutterstock.com

Islamophobia in the US did not start with Trump, but his tweets perpetuate a long history of equating Muslims with terrorism

In retweeting a doctored image of Nancy Pelosi standing in a hijab in front of an Iranian flag, Trump is playing into fears that Iran and Islam are evil and anti-American.
Benny Marty/Shutterstock.com

US and Iran have a long, troubled history

Some of the major events in US-Iran relations highlight the differences between the nations' views, but others presented real opportunities for reconciliation.
The American Dialect Society chose ‘they’ as its ‘Word of the Decade.’ abstract_art7/Shutterstock.com

For linguists, it was the decade of the pronoun

Pronouns rarely, if ever, change. Then along came the gender nonbinary 'they,' which was just anointed ‘word of the decade.’
President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One, June 6, 2019. AP/Alex Brandon

Impeachment is better than exile

When the founders wrote the Constitution, they had to devise a punishment fitting for a civil servant's impeachment. One possible punishment: banishment from the community.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry speaks during an event about the environment at the White House on July 8, 2019, as President Trump looks on. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Rick Perry’s belief that Trump was chosen by God is shared by many in a fast-growing Christian movement

A Christian movement led by independent religious entrepreneurs, often referred to as 'apostles,' is changing the religious landscape of the US.
Even if the thought counts, the effort might not be worth it. karen roach/Shutterstock.com

Calling donors to thank them doesn’t make them more likely to give again

Like any personal touch, there's a chance this common fundraising step makes people feel warm and fuzzy inside. But a five-year research project found that it doesn't make donors more generous.
A looted Jewish shop in Aachen, Germany on the day after Kristallnacht, Nov. 10, 1938. Wolf Gruner and Armin Nolzen (eds.). 'Bürokratien: Initiative und Effizienz,' Berlin, 2001.

The forgotten mass destruction of Jewish homes during ‘Kristallnacht’

Most histories highlight the shattered storefronts and synagogues set aflame. But it was the systematic ransacking of Jewish homes that extracted the greatest toll.

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