UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT NEEDED

Dr. Dickens’ social psychology research lab at Spelman College is looking to hire an undergraduate research assistant to help with research focused on the experiences of Black women in STEM education.

During a 6-week summer program (June 7th – July 16th, 2021), students will have the opportunity for one-on-one mentorship and research experience with a faculty member. This opportunity will be virtual but working full time for the full 6-week commitment is required for the program. A stipend will be provided.

Responsibilities of the research assistant include:

  • Recruiting study participants
  • Data collection and analyses
  • Attend weekly lab meetings

It is preferred that interested students have the following qualifications:

  • Strong academic performance in psychology with a GPA requirement of 3.25 (overall and major)
  • Dependability and initiative
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Rising juniors and seniors preferred

Selection into the program is rolling and will last until March 19th, 2021.

If you are interested in applying, please complete the online application using this link and email your curriculum vitae/resume, and your most recent unofficial academic transcript to the lab director Dr. Danielle Dickens, at ddickens@spelman.edu.

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Roanoke College Summer Research Opportunities

Image from https://www.illustrationhistory.org/illustrations/summer-psychology-session

Are you still debating what to do over the summer but are interested in research? Roanoke College offers several opportunities to get involved with research this upcoming summer.


Roanoke College Summer Scholars

As the March 15th deadline quickly approaches, we will highlight Roanoke College’s Summer Scholars program. Summer scholars work one-on-one with faculty on a project that will be presented during Family Weekend (late September/early October). On-campus housing is provided and summer scholars will be paid $3000 and earn a summer course credit.

To apply students must have a 3.0 or higher GPA, have completed 8 units by the start of the grant period, and plan to return the following fall. The application consists of a cover sheet, a student application for summer scholars, and a faculty nomination to mentor a summer scholar. These forms and more information about the process can be found on the summer scholars page, here.

Below are some past psychology majors and their summer scholars projects:

2018

Aislinn Foutz. Parental and Peer Factors in Children’s Theory of Mind Development. Major: Psychology. (Faculty Mentor: Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand, Psychology)

Yipeng Wang. Gender Difference of Domestic Abuse and How Honor Culture Would Affect those Differences. Major: Psychology. (Faculty Mentor: Lindsey L. Osterman, Psychology)

2017

Sabrina McAllister. Time Perspective as a State-Based Measure. Major: Psychology. (Faculty mentor: David Nichols, Psychology)

Megan Miller. Self-driving cars as a test of the potentially harmful effects of empathy on moral decision making. Major: Psychology. (Faculty mentor: Chris Buchholz, Psychology).


Summer Research Incentive Program

As part of the Summer Experience Incentive Program, students are provided reduced summer tuition for one unit of internship, research, or independent study credit. To qualify for reduced summer tuition, approval for their project must be received no later than May 15th.

Students have the responsibility of finding a faculty member who is willing to supervise the project. It is recommended that students start working on proposals by Spring Break to give faculty members time to review the plan and give the students time to make revisions and acquire needed signatures.

Projects, required reflections, final paper, and final reflection (3-page minimum) must all be completed and submitted to their faculty supervisor by September 30th. Students in the program are also required to participate in a showcasing event.

A more in-depth description of the program, as well as the applications for the program, can be found on the Summer Research Incentive Program page, here.


Salem VA Medical Center and Roanoke College Undergraduate Research Experience

Please note that the program is currently on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic but those interested should email the director of undergrad research at research@roanoke.edu to get on the mailing list for when applications become open.

This collaboration with the Salem VA Medical center allows Roanoke College undergraduates to work in research with a Principal Investigator (PI) on current medical research and present it. Research has included topics such as “Predictors of Treatment Response Among Veterans with PTSD”, “Mental Health in Rural Veterans with and without Traumatic Brain Injury”, and “Effect of Exercise Training on Inflammation and Function in HIV Infected Veterans”.

It is recommended interested students meet with the Director of Undergraduate in the fall semester or early in the spring semester to discuss the program. To apply, students must submit a cover letter (with research interests), a curriculum vitae, an unofficial transcript, and two letters of recommendation to the Director of Undergraduate Research by the deadline.

More information about expectations and other important information can be found here.

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SPSP Conference 2021

On February 9-13, eight students attended the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference virtually,  to present research through poster sessions and to attend presentations. The students included Sophie Bacon ’20, Carolynn Bructo ’21, Ben Campbell ’22, Sydney Caulder ’21, Kira Hunt ’21, Abbie Joseph ’21, Naomi Painter ’22, and Carly Schepacarter ’21.

This blog post will highlight reactions to presenting and attending the SPSP conference virtually.

Sophie Bacon ’20

While presenting a poster at a virtual conference was a different experience, I ended up finding a silver lining! Something that I ended up enjoying about the virtual format was having all of the information about the conference and the research that was being presented at my fingertips. I think I ended up reading and viewing more posters on the SPSP app than I did at a different conference that I attended in person!

Carolynn Bructo ’21

It was exciting to have my independent study project accepted for presentation at the SPSP convention. SPSP is the biggest organization of social psychologists and personality psychologists globally, and it is an achievement to have my work displayed. A benefit of the online format of the conference was that it was low pressure. Instead of a formal presentation, attendees can look at the poster and post any questions they may have. The online format also provided flexibility. I did not have to miss any classes, and I could look at other presentations in my free time. Although the experience of an online conference was undoubtedly different from getting to travel, I enjoyed the opportunity.

Ben Campbell ’22

I thought the conference did the best it could to make it interactive and interesting for presenters and attendees. I uploaded my poster and then added a 4-minute recording of myself presenting my study. I saw that several people watched and liked my poster/presentation. I however did not receive any questions for my Q&A, so I hope that the attendees found my work to be interesting and easy to comprehend. Though being online was a bit disappointing, I found it to be a great experience for me to present my work. 

Sydney Caulder ’21

My experience at the SPSP conference this year was a true reflection of these uncertain times. Although the way that it was conducted was unconventional, I was still met by a few professionals in the field that were supportive and interested in my work. I appreciated the organization into subsections of research and those who conducted the conference were able to keep a personalized feel. Overall, I enjoyed the experience of getting a taste of what conferences are like!

Kira Hunt ’21

Presenting at SPSP this year was certainly different because of the online format. I felt less pressure about having an audience because I recorded a video of me presenting the poster but I did miss the exhilaration from being around other people. However, I didn’t feel as though I missed seeing any posters I wanted to see, and having access to so much information for several days was nice.

Abbie Joseph ’21

Presenting at SPSP was a great experience, even though it was completely virtual. People from all across the country (and even across the world) were able to see the research I was doing and ask me questions. I was able to view as many posters as I wanted to on the app, and I still learned about a lot of the research that was going on, just like I would have if the conference was in person.

Naomi Painter ’22

Presenting virtually at the SPSP 2021 conference was an eye-opening experience. I greatly enjoyed the freeform aspect of a virtual conference that encouraged exploration and illustrated increased accessibility I had not experienced in past conferences. With the online platform, I was able to view multiple posters and recorded presentations at my own pace and convenience. As a presenter, I appreciated the various means by which questions and comments could be communicated in addition to the expanded time for individuals to view the poster and materials beyond a limited time period.

Carly Schepacarter ’21

Presenting at SPSP was a really positive experience. While I was skeptical at the beginning about an online conference, I feel like it was easier to navigate and find talks/posters I was interested in, as well as for others to engage with my work more than just for the hour that my presentation was scheduled. There was a whole host of topics to explore and I really enjoyed taking the time to listen to a few presentations and enjoy the conference environment (and the psychology meme group!). I would definitely present at another virtual conference and recommend the experience to others.

Congratulations once again to all those that presented at SPSP!

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SPSP CONFERENCE Posters 2021

On February 9-13, eight students attended the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference virtually,  to present research through poster sessions and to attend presentations. The students included Sophie Bacon ’20, Carolynn Bructo ’21, Ben Campbell ’22, Sydney Caulder ’21, Kira Hunt ’21, Abbie Joseph ’21, Naomi Painter ’22, and Carly Schepacarter ’21.

This blog post will highlight the posters that the students presented and a brief summary of their research.

Sophie Bacon ’20

Research has shown that social networking platforms (Instagam, Facebook, Snap Chat, ect) afford the opportunity for identity development, specifically through engaging in different types of self-presentation. In this study, we examined the association between social goals (including, authenticity, the need for popularity, and need for belonging) and presentation of the real, ideal, and false self on social media.

Our main findings were that Authenticity predicted greater real self-presentation on social media, a high need for popularity predicted higher false self-presentation, and a high need for belonging predicted greater ideal self-presentation.

Carolynn Bructo ’21

In this study, we examined achievement goal orientations (mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance) in association with intention to remain in STEM majors and differences in these variables and associations by gender and unrepresented minority status in a large sample of undergraduate students. Results suggest achievement goals are meaningfully related to STEM persistence.

Ben Campbell ’22

This study aimed to expand on past research on relational aggression in adolescents, but in emerging adults (age 18-25). Relational aggression is an indirect form of aggression used to harm relationships (e.g., silent treatment, excluding others from a peer group, gossiping, verbal threats). We examined associations between relational aggression, resource control strategies (coercive and prosocial), social status (popularity, likeability, and social status insecurity), dominance, and prestige. Results showed that like in adolescents, relational aggression in emerging adults is associated with higher use of dominant behavior, coercive resource control strategies, greater social status insecurity, and greater valuing of popularity. This suggests that people who desire popularity and dominance within a peer group use higher amounts of relational aggression to attain and maintain that status.

Sydney Caulder ’21

Research has found that narcissism predicts heightened provoked aggression and hostility. However, less understood is the role of hostile attribution bias (HAB) in these associations. In this study, we examined multiple conceptualizations of narcissism (grandiose and pathological) in relation to HAB and aggressive responses to provocation.

Kira Hunt ’21

My poster “Ignoring Red Flags” pertained to online dating and how self-efficacy in romantic relationships impacted how much-emerging adults self-disclosed (i.e. shared information about themselves) to hypothetical online romantic matches. I also wanted to determine if disclosure levels would change if these hypothetical online romantic matches differed in physical attractiveness and were paired with vignettes that varied in honesty. We found that self-efficacy was not associated with disclosure and photo attractiveness did not influence participants’ disclosures but the level of honesty did influence disclosure. Participants were less likely to disclose and continue communicating for deception vignettes.

Abbie Joseph ’21

This project explores the use of ghosting as a romantic relationship dissolution strategy and its association with post-dissolutional cyberstalking behaviors. Due to the uncertainty that ghosting involves, it was expected that ghosting would be associated with more severe and more frequent cyberstalking behaviors than relationships ended by other strategies (e.g., an explicit breakup).

Naomi Painter ’22

COVID-19 has impacted the food industry’s means of operation and employment. We examined the effect of stigmatization against Asian restaurants on the perception of contamination and willingness to order takeout. We found statistically significant effects as participants with a higher fear of contamination were less likely to order takeout and were also less likely to order Chinese food.

Carly Schepacarter ’21

This project’s goal was to determine if people experiencing a negative life event have different tastes in art than others, as well as if interacting with art can help those people have an improved emotional state. In the first study, we were interested in studying if individuals reported a different preference for art after recalling a negative event, and we wanted to know how exposure to art would impact their emotions. Ultimately, participants did not have a specific preference for a subject matter in art, but there was an interaction between Prime and Order which means that the Prime did impact the emotional state of the participants when they did the emotion questionnaire right after the prime, but this effect disappeared when they did the art rating first. The second study tested if this happened because of some impact of the art task, or because of natural decline over time. The results indicated that participants who completed an art task had more positive emotions on a questionnaire than those in a non-art control task. From this, we can say confidently that experiencing art after recalling a negative event increases positive emotions more than the control task. Research from this project was used to create paintings for Hopetree Family Services in Salem, VA.

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Black History Month at Roanoke College

We dedicate every February to Black History Month. A month that celebrates the incredible achievements of African Americans and highlights and recognizes their central role in U.S. history. Roanoke College is celebrating Black History Month through a series of events, of which more information is provided below.

Keynote Speaker – “An Evening with Yusef Salaam”

Date: Tuesday, February 23

Time: 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Where: Virtual webinar

Roanoke College Blood Drive

Date: Thursday, February 25

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where: Fintel Library – Preregistration required

Community, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Symposium 

Date: Saturday, February 27

Where: Roanoke College Campus

Schedule of events:

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

  • Morehead Hall – Service Learning – Micah’s Backpack Weekend Food Program; Habitat for Humanity “Horses for Habitat”
  • Morehead Hall – Community Art Activity

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.

  • Morning Reflection with President Michael C. Maxey

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

  • Virtual – “Black History and Black Lives Today,” panel discussion moderated by Dr. Shannon Anderson featuring Dr. Jesse Bucher, Jordan Robinson ’22, and Jordan Bell

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • Virtual – “King’s Complicated Legacy: Persuasive Non-Violent Action & Resistance,” panel discussion moderated by Courtney Penn and Aaron Rogers ’21 featuring Dr. Paul Hinlicky, the Rev. Dr. David A. Jones and Cathy Bonilla ’14

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

  • Virtual – Healing Circle – “Unpacking the Current Climate of America,” moderated by Heather Gunn, LPC

2:15 p.m.

  • Virtual –  Closing Session – “The Work to be Done”

More information on each event and registration details can be found here. We hope to see you at these events!

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Online M.S. in Applied Psychology at Shippensburg University

For those students still looking for graduate programs, Shippensburg University, located in south-central Pennsylvania, is providing a complete asynchronous (online) program that can be completed in one year as a full-time student or two years as a part-time student. To earn the degree, a total of ten courses (thirty credits) of graduate work is required.

The program according to Shippensburg University “emphasizes the application of psychological principles and methodologies to real-world problems.” Many of their graduates assume research-related roles (e.g., program evaluation, survey research, data analyst, etc.) across various areas in business/industry, government, and non-profit settings.

Students in the program are able to pursue one of two specialties. Those interested in quality control careers can pursue a Six Sigma greenbelt certification. Those who are interested in working with individuals with learning or social impairments such as those with autism can earn a Behavior Specialist Certificate which provides advanced coursework in applied behavioral analysis.

Remote assistantships are available on a competitive basis but are subject to change based on university funding.

Shippensburg University has rolling admissions which allow students to begin and complete the program in any term.

More information on the program can be found on their official webpage found here. For answers to any other questions or more information about the program, feel free to contact the graduate program coordinator, Dr. Thomas Hatvany at Tchatvany@ship.edu.

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Congrats Dr. Powell and Alumnae Jensen ’17 and Preston ’17 on Recent Publication!

Congratulations to Dr. Powell and co-authors Katherine Jensen ’17 and Victoria Preston ’17  on their recent publishing in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, titled “‘Talking’ as a Romantic Interaction: Is There Consensus?”

Abstract: “Emerging adults (EAs) use many phrases to refer to their romantic interactions. In two studies (N1  = 110; N2  = 222), EAs’ knowledge and perceptions of “talking” were examined. In Study 1, a majority of college students had heard of “talking,” and perceived “talking” as distinct from “friends with benefits” (FWB) and dating. In Study 2, about half of a broader EA sample had heard of “talking” and perceived “talking” as being significantly less emotionally and physically intimate, and less committed than dating; they did, however, perceived “talking” to be similar in some ways to being FWB. Additionally, EAs varied in their agreement regarding the what, why, and how of “talking.” Incorporating these results into youth relationship education programs may be beneficial to promoting healthy relationship development and reducing relational uncertainty.”

For more information on the article, follow this link, and once again congratulations to Dr. Powell, Jensen, and Preston for their recent publication!

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