Human Behavior

You Are Probably Burned Out at Work

Dr. Christina Maslach is the research psychology pioneer of job burnout. In addition to award-winning articles and books that Maslach has written on the subject, she also constructed the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), the most widely-used tool for measuring job burnout around the world. 

A Pan Am Stewardess Found Freedom in the Skies

HOLLY BOROWIAK-ROGERS STILL REMEMBERS the flyer pasted up on campus: “You want to travel? Call this number.” It was 1970, and she would soon see her four years at Cal come to an unceremonious end—literally. After National Guardsmen gunned down four students at Kent State, Berkeley administrators had canceled graduation.

From the Fall 2021 issue of California.

Eric Stover Has Spent a Career Unearthing Atrocities

ERIC STOVER HAD NO PROFESSIONAL PATH when he set out backpacking from Alaska through Central and South America in early spring 1975. At 23, he was inspired by wanderlust. “I wanted to be the next Kerouac, but it didn’t work out that way.” By the end of that 16-months-long trip, Stover was clear about his life’s mission. The journey of realization started in Chile, where Stover has family and where he witnessed dictator Augusto Pinochet’s bloody crackdown against critics. Argentina was more of the same.

From the Fall 2021 issue of California.

Post-Pandemic, Teletherapy Is Here to Stay

DR. HANNAH ZEAVIN’S WORK explores the question of how we recover from trauma, and the roles that technology and media play in how we understand each other and ourselves.

From the Fall 2021 issue of California.

Birth Rates are Declining Rapidly! Don’t Panic.

The number of babies born in the United States has been decreasing for six straight years, giving rise to many alarmist headlines and widespread hand-wringing over an impending population implosion. Elon Musk has called it “potentially the greatest risk to the future of civilization” while a recent BBC headline warned of a “‘jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born.” 

Calculating the Emotional Cost of Remote Learning

The past year has been very difficult for the kids. Prolonged school closures, which have lasted over a year for most middle and high schoolers in California, have deprived students of normal social and academic interactions—during one of the most important stages in their social-emotional learning. Adolescent brains are particularly geared toward seeking status and respect among their peers.

Men Behaving Badly: David Buss on the Ancient Origins of Sexual Harassment

IN MARCH, FACING MULTIPLE COMPLAINTS of sexual harassment, New York’s three-term Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, issued an apology. “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable,” he said. “I never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone pain.”

“One of the pioneers of evolutionary psychology, David Buss lays out a theory of sexual conflict between men and women involving a co-evolutionary arms race.”

From the Summer 2021 issue of California.

Death, Life, and The Right to Draw Your Own Line

DEBORA ENDED HER LIFE on a clear spring night in a Japanese hotel in San Francisco. She had sent her farewells to a few of us—close friends and her sister’s family—and left final instructions on the table beside the bed. Just after midnight, she drank two small bottles of the barbiturate, Nembutal, washed down the bitter taste with fruit juice, fastened a plastic bag over her head, and lay down on the bed to die. She knew it would be quick.

From the Summer 2021 issue of California.

The Myth of the Asian Woman

“Why and how is it,” writes Laura Hyun Yi Kang in her 2020 book Traffic in Asian Women, “so many Asian women continue to suffer in the same coeval space of so much publicity, knowledge production, and activism?”

We All Waste Food. One Researcher Wants to Know Why and How We Can Waste Less.

One July morning in 2016, in the predawn quiet of a Nashville suburb, Laura Moreno and her team of assistants looked more like investigators on a clandestine raid than scientists. With goggles, gloves, and coordinated efficiency, they removed garbage bags from every bin on the block, just barely beating the garbage truck to the spoils. They spent the next several weeks in an unventilated facility where they sorted and tallied everything from unpeeled bananas and sprouting russet potatoes to half-eaten take-out and sealed boxes of cereal.

A Social Media Celebrity Talks Leaving Twitter, Finding Joy

Friends have called me “Twitter famous,” but you’ve probably never heard of me. One night in 2015 I fell down an internet rabbit hole. It started with a list of violent acts against women and stopped  when I read a graphic description of violence against a woman who said the wrong name during sex. I sort of lost it. My thumbs couldn’t keep up with my brain as I tweeted on my phone.

From the Winter 2020 issue of California.

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