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The Daily brief: July 7, 2011

ASA president | Sociology professor Cecilia Ridgeway, who is known for her research on gender inequality, was named president of the American Sociological Association. Her term as president-elect begins August 23; she becomes president on August 20, 2012, succeeding University of Wisconsin-Madison sociology professor Erik Olin Wright.

Emotional control | Humans modulate negative emotions in two ways, according to a Stanford study: through distraction or reevaluating the situation that’s triggering the emotions. In practice, the difference is between reading tabloids to in the dentist’s office to avoid thinking about a root canal or considering the procedure’s benefits and looking at the bright side, according to author and postdoctoral research fellow Gal Sheppes.

Water management | In her survey of California groundwater management, Law School graduate student Rebecca Nelson found that the state doesn’t centrally organize data, making it difficult to coordinate new methods of managing water and making it easy for local agencies with water troubles to hide their woes from the state government. However, some agencies have started to create partnerships that improve the groundwater management planning process and increase transparency.

Overheard | “If I could wave a magic wand and take away all your pain, what would you be doing in a month?” – School of Medicine associate professor Sean Mackey, elaborating in a Wall Street Journal article on how he judges patient pain.

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