Congratulations to Dr. Dane Hilton on obtaining his Clinical Psychologist licensure! He explains the process of attaining the licensure and his future plans below.
On November 14 I received an email from the Virginia Board of Psychology that I had been approved for licensure as a Clinical Psychologist in Virginia. This was a pretty exciting moment and marked the final step in a long process that started over 8 years ago when I decided to pursue a career as a psychologist.
To become a licensed psychologist in most states, you must complete your PhD from an APA accredited program, complete a year-long clinical internship year from an APA accredited internship site, fulfill post-doctoral or pre-doctoral supervised clinical hour requirements, and pass the 225 question Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
It’s a lot but I thoroughly enjoyed (almost) every moment of my training and education.
Now that I have my license, I can pursue independent practice as a clinical psychologist. More specifically, this means I can engage in therapy, assessment, consultation, and supervision of trainees within the Commonwealth of Virginia. I am very excited to begin working in the greater Roanoke community to help provide access to mental health services. I do not yet have a specific plan for clinical practice and I am really just enjoying the feeling of relief to have made it over that last hurdle in my clinical training.
I am always happy to talk with students who are curious about the field of clinical psychology or who want to talk about the specifics of education and training.
Congratulations again to Dr. Hilton!
If you would like to know more about becoming a Clinical Psychologist or have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Hilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Nichols continued his tradition of creating a GIF in celebration of departmental birthdays, the first being the legendary ‘flossing’ for Dr. FVN last semester. Watch the video below to see what he did this semester for Dr. O (and her reaction).
What is your name, class year, and your majors/minors/concentrations?
My name is Becca Thompson and I am a senior. I will be graduating with a major in Psychology and concentration in Human Development. I also have minors in Spanish and Sociology.
Where did you study abroad?
I studied abroad in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
What was your favorite moment while abroad?
My favorite moments while abroad (because they are tied!!) would be going to an All Blacks Rugby game, skydiving from 17,000 feet over the gorgeous Lake Taupo, and exploring the only active marine volcano in New Zealand on an island named White Island or Whakaari.
What were you most worried about in terms of studying abroad?
I was worried about being literally on the other side of the world from my family (Maryland to NZ, couldn’t have gone any further away!) I was also worried about missing my pets, let’s be honest.
What did you learn while abroad? (Not just in terms of coursework, but about the culture and, cheesy as it is, yourself?)
I learned about different mental healthcare practices through my abnormal psychology class, which I found very interesting. I also learned about the indigenous people to New Zealand, the Māori. About myself, I learned how strong I am and I furthered my passion of traveling!
Did anything happen that you weren’t expecting? Similarly, were there any moments that particularly struck you while abroad?
I definitely did not expect to meet some of my best friends while abroad. Although we are located all over the place, we still talk often and cannot wait to plan a reunion. There were many twists and turns during my time abroad, but each adventure had its own purpose and lessons.
What are your plans for the future and how will you use what you learned while studying abroad to help you?
Studying abroad helped me to realize my interest in social work through the introduction class I took with one of the best professors I’ve ever had. This class helped me to realize that I would like to pursue child advocacy/family law in order to create change here in America. I would love to go to school in NZ to gain a better and more in-depth understanding of their social work practices, which strive to include all cultures and all people in a respectful manner.
Any advice for other students interested in studying abroad?
Just GO! Studying abroad changed my life and opened up so many doors for me. My time in New Zealand helped me to realize what I would like to pursue after college. I met so many incredible people and I now have an incredible core group of friends spread throughout the United States, as well as an extended family in Palmerston North.
Recently declared psychology majors are required to attend one department orientation. While there, students learn about opportunities in the psychology department and surrounding areas, as well as ask any questions they may have.
Snacks are provided and students are given either a “Get Psyched” T-shirt or stickers for attending.
There will be two more orientation sessions next semester. Stay tuned for those dates, which will be announced in the Spring.
Interested in psychology, human development, or neuroscience?
Then an upcoming talk at the nearby Virginia Tech Research Institute (VTCRI) on November 29th at 5:30 pm might be of interest to you!
The talk, titled “Synapses Lost and Found: Developmental Critical Periods and Alzheimer’s Disease”, is part of the VTCRI Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture series, will be given by Stanford’s Dr. Carla Shatz.
As the talk relates to neuroscience and human development, the psychology department is encouraging and organizing students in multiple classes and in the Neuroscience Concentration and the Human Development Concentration to attend.
The psychology department can provide transportation for students or faculty who need to or are interested in carpooling for the event but we need to know by the end of the day on November 26th (TODAY) regarding whether or not we will take a van.
If you plan to attend the talk on November 29th, please fill out the Doodle poll at: https://doodle.com/poll/cupicv2v6qqmdprv. Feel free to send the survey link to other students or faculty that you think would be interested in attending.
The Salem VA Medical Center offers the chance for Roanoke College undergraduates to gain experience working in research with a seasoned Principal Investigator (PI) on current medical research. Available research projects have 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”.
If you are interested in completing research with the Salem VA Medical Center, please meet with the Director of Undergraduate Research (Dr. Chris Lassiter, Associate Professor of Biology) in the fall semester or early in spring semester to discuss the program.
Application and Requirements:
An overall GPA of 3.4 or higher is preferred (though an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher will be considered).
Materials to submit include:
cover letter (with research interests),
unofficial transcript and
two letters of recommendation
Please submit the above materials to the Director of Undergraduate Research by February 15 for research in the summer or the next academic year (fall and spring semester).
Alumni Lauren Ratcliffe, Sabrina McAllister, Jacob Johnson, and Paige Dzindolet published their research seminar in neuroscience project from fall of 2016 in IMPULSE, an undergraduate neuroscience journal.
Their project, titled ‘During Ascending and Descending Limbs of the Blood Alcohol Concentration Curve’ uses a computerized trail making test in place of driving performance tests in order to better ascertain neurocognitive impairments associated with varying blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. Follow this link to go to the original article.
Students in Dr. Nichols’ research seminar in neuroscience have published their projects at a rate of one student publication per year.
Congratulations to our alumni on their recent publication!
Graduating Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Psychology from Roanoke College in 2017, Ratcliffe obtained a B.S. in Psychology and a concentration in Neuroscience. Ratcliffe is currently pursuing a Psy.D. at Mercer University in Clinical Medical Psychology with an emphasis on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ratcliffe also works as a research assistant at Mercer.
A Phi Beta Kappa member, McAllister obtained a B.S. in Psychology, a minor in Biology, and a concentration in Neuroscience from Roanoke College. McAllister graduated with ten semesters of psychology research experience in 2018. She is currently working as a psychometrist at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA, with a goal of pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Graduated in 2017 from Roanoke College with Honors in Psychology, a minor in Biology, and a concentration Neuroscience. He studied in Germany in the summer of 2016 and was recruited to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. Johnson intends on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology to teach college-level courses and perform therapy.
Dzindolet graduated in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor Biology. In 2016, Dzindolet interned at Virginia Museum of Natural History where she worked with dinosaur bones and fossils, among other things. She is currently interested in obtaining a position involving Forensic Psychology and Criminology.
Saint Joseph’s University, ranked as one of America’s best colleges in 2011 by USNews, is hosting a virtual open house on Monday, November 12th at 2:00 pm.
The university offers an MS in psychology with particular emphasis on experimental psychology. This is a full-time program designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the scientific study of psychology. All students in the program are assigned to a mentor and conduct an empirically based research thesis under his/her direction.
Information on how to attend the open house can be found here
In an interview with a student assistant, recent graduate Maddie McCall ’18 describes life after graduation and recalls her favorite memories from Roanoke College.
To start off, can you tell me a little about yourself?
Just graduated in May of 2018, with a BA in Psychology and Honors in Sociology, with two concentrations, Human Development and Information Analysis. I was the VP of Psi Chi, a member of RCPA, wore all of the hats for the now inactive (RIP) chapter of Mu Beta Psi, was president of Lamba Alliance, and was active in a bunch of other clubs. I was also the Head Academic Coach, a Research Assistant to the wonderful Dr. Khoo, and was lucky enough to be the Head Student Assistant for the Psych Department (which I miss dearly).
What was graduating like?
Graduation was such a fun time (even waiting in the basement of West before line up)! I was the first person in my family to go to college, so being able to walk across the stage, shake President Maxey’s hand, and get my diploma… it meant so much, both to me and my family. But being able to stand next to all of my friends, who have all worked so hard the last four years, made it even more special. Plus, finally getting to step on the seal was pretty cool 😉
What are you doing now after graduating?
After graduation I moved to Northern Virginia, where the people are diverse but all suck at driving. It sort of reminds me of Freshman year, where I’m starting fresh and finding my tribe. Apps like MeetUp have totally helped me branch out and meet new people! I’ve joined some board-game groups and have tried my hand at Bob Ross paint-alongs 😊 Oh! My roommate and I also adopted a gray cat named Groutfit (all gray outfit = groutfit, because of course).
I’m also working as a Survey Analyst at a market research company called Resonate.
How did you get your position? What do you do for them?
I honestly got this job mostly through my two seminar projects. Basically, what my job entails is creating hour long surveys on Qualtrics that then get sent out to thousands of people (a much bigger N than I was used to at Roanoke), monitoring and QA-ing the data, and delving deeper into and analyzing the “why” of human behavior. While at Roanoke, I used Qualtrics to create both my Soc and Psych senior seminar projects, which gave me a lot of experience at different features and logics Qualtrics has available. That, along with research experience on campus (which comes in handy when researching and writing the actual questions in a non-biased way) and just being open to learning new experiences was incredibly beneficial. (But, really, it was the fact that my now-boss asked me if I knew any jokes during my final interview… It’s like my whole life was leading up to that moment.)
What do you miss about Roanoke College? What is your favorite thing about having graduated?
I think one of my favorite things about having graduated is that I’m now 3.5 hours closer to my family. I also have a lot more free-time on my hands with just working a 9-5. However, there’s a ton that I miss from Roanoke, but mostly the people. (There’s something special about going to Sheetz at 1 in the morning and seeing people from your 9:40 class.) I miss being able to walk across campus and seeing so many of my friends and professors, all of the different events constantly happening, and those mountains. Man, you can’t beat those mountain sunsets.
But mostly, I’m going to miss Ellen’s Christmas trail mix!
What plans do you have for the future?
While I enjoy the job I currently have (HR gave me a Nerf gun on my first day, we have Bagel Wednesday’s, Snacktastic Friday’s, our teams are named after comic book groups, and we have Mystery Events twice a year!), ultimately, I would love to go back to school – both to learn and to teach. I would love to one day be a psych professor of my own. 😊
Do you still have an opportunity to utilize your knowledge of memes?
… I’ve begun to incorporate memes into my team’s group chat at work, so…
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and experience new things (both academically and otherwise – you have no idea how they might benefit you when applying for jobs/grad school).
Stay on top of your LinkedIn profile.
Take it all in
And of course, because I’m me and I’m incapable of ending anything without a pun:
What do you call two monkeys who share an Amazon account?
Prime mates (because, let’s face it, those Prime rates are bananas)
We miss you, Maddie, but are glad that you are doing well! Thank you for taking your time to talk with us about life after graduation! (And for the cute cat pictures and fabulous memes/puns.)
If you have any questions about Qualtrics and/or job searching, feel free to email Maddie at email@example.com. She will be happy to help you!
Want to gain more experience, add to your resume, and find out more about a career you are interested in?
Consider attending the Psychology Internship Information Session on Tuesday, October 30th from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm in Life Science 502!
The information session is your opportunity to learn more about available internships in psychology, as well as requirements and deadlines. You can also get advice on how to present yourself well with resumes and cover letters.
Pizza will be provided, but please bring your own drink.
RSVP by Monday, October 29th at noon, by either calling (540)375-2462 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or want more information, please contact Toni McLawhorn from Career Services or Dr. Mary Camac. They will happy to help you!
Don’t miss out on this opportunity (including the free pizza)! We hope to see you there.
Interested in working with children after graduation?
Casa de Esperanza, a non-profit in Houston, Texas, provides residential care to children from birth through six years of age. These children are in crisis due to abuse, neglect, or the effects of HIV. Among their different programs is the Hands of Hope internship.
These interns, most of whom are recent college graduates, join the organization for a year working full-time. Interns live with the children they are caring for in agency homes, alongside generally three other interns who all share the responsibility of taking care of the children. One intern is designated the foster parent. Interns come from all across the United States. In addition to taking care of household needs, making sure they get to their appointments, and other such responsibilities, these interns also work with “case workers, psychological staff and community volunteers”.
In order to apply, one must be 21 years old, willing to work full-time for a year, a valid U.S. Driver’s License, and a college degree is preferred. Furthermore, one must be in good physical shape and be flexible and patient.
On Saturday, October 6th, beginning at 11 am, the community walked in support of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). There were more intrinsic reasons, of course, for their choice to walk; these were often reflected in the different colored necklaces participants hung around their necks, each representing something important to them.
Members of Psi Chi and RCPA were there, representing the college and their respective organizations. Professors were there to show their support as well.
Overall, it was a successful event and we look forward to participating in the years to follow.
Missed out on the Psychology Department’s Graduate School Panel?
Want to ask a few more questions about navigating graduate school applications?
Want to ask current graduate school students questions?
If you are any of the above, then consider attending the webinar hosted by the psychology department from the University of Alabama! Current PhD candidates will be there to answer any questions you might have about the process, or if you just want some advice.
The online webinar will happen on Wednesday, October 10th at 5 pm CST or 6 pm EST.
This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about graduate school applications, ask any lingering questions, and learn about current graduate school student’s experiences.
During the spring of 2018, I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Palmerston North, New Zealand. While abroad I had the chance to take ‘Abnormal and Therapeutic Psychology,’ which gave an interesting overview to how different countries treat different psychological conditions. My favorite part of the class came through the literature review project we had at the end of the semester. I chose to complete my literature review on eating disorders. My future career plans are veering more towards social work and a law degree, but my background in psychology will help me to understand some of the situations my future clients may be going through. My favorite memory while abroad is skydiving from 17,000 feet over Lake Taupo!
Thanks to Rebecca Thompson for providing this cool description of her study abroad experience in Palmerston North, New Zealand! It sounds like an incredible and worthwhile adventure, though we are glad to have you back on campus.
Dr. Dane Hilton will be discussing mental health in rural Appalachia tomorrow (Wednesday, October 3rd) at 7:00 pm in Life Science 502. Specifically, in terms of prevalent mental health diagnoses and problems with accessibility to treatment in these areas.
This talk is sponsored by the Roanoke College Honors Program.
Dr. Dane Hilton was asked by a student assistant to discuss mindfulness meditation, specifically about what mindfulness is and the many misconceptions regarding it. Thank you, Dr. Hilton, for taking time to write this post. Enjoy!
Mindfulness meditation is a topic that has exploded into the popular culture in the past 10-15 years. In 2018 alone, dozens of books have been published with Mindfulness as the main subject, with titles including Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids by Whitney Stewart, Falling Awake: How to Practice Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and the cutely illustrated A Sloth’s Guide to Mindfulness by Ton Mak. A quick search of Google Scholar for the term “mindfulness meditation” included in anything published in 2018 gets you 129,000 hits. I will admit I did not filter through all of those results to verify but the point is this: mindfulness is getting a lot of attention.
As a researcher of mindfulness meditation, I am glad that this topic is getting its time in the limelight. Mindfulness has the potential to improve the lives of humans in a variety of ways, though the questions of how, in what ways, for whom, and under what circumstances are still up for debate and empirical examination. While I am happy on one hand, on the other hand I do worry about issues that arise with the rapid increase in interest surrounding mindfulness. As we all know, popular things are marketable things. They generate buzz, get people to click on your article or blog post (like this one!), and make publishers excited when you come to them with a “cutting edge” book that claims to cure all that ails you. When demand increases, everyone is more than happy to contribute to the supply. Unfortunately, that increased quantity doesn’t equal quality. Quite frankly- you may not even get what you think you are getting…So I want to briefly talk about what mindfulness is, clarify what it is not, and present some literature supporting why I still believe you should care.
Let me be clear: mindfulness meditation is not new. It is not “cutting edge.” It is not a product of new technology or “third-wave” psychology or even a better understanding of human nature. Mindfulness is actually quite old. The mindfulness that most folks think of today is actually rooted in thousands of years of history in Eastern religions, including Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The practice itself is not new. What is new is the recognition by researchers in health and medicine that meditation can have profound physical and psychological effects on the body. I will mention some of these toward the end of this post. Regrettably, the influx of passengers on the mindfulness bandwagon- that, I must admit, includes me- has sometimes led to a watering down, or even total misrepresentation, of mindfulness.
So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness, simply put, is an open and nonjudgmental stance toward one’s present moment experiences. In other words, mindfulness is an approach to existence marked by awareness and acceptance of the full spectrum of human experience- including all the things we think of as positive (e.g., joy, surprise, laughter, love), negative (e.g., sadness, fear, loss, anger), and anything in between. We can be mindful of physical sensations (e.g., breath, pain, fatigue), thoughts (e.g., “I’m awesome,” “I feel so stupid right now”), emotions (e.g., sadness, happiness, irritation), interactions with others, experiences of the outer world, and even our relationship to ourselves via our inner world. It is an approach to living that allows you to experience fully- embracing, rather than fighting, all the things that come with being human.
So what is mindfulness not? It is not a “tool.” It is not one more technique you pull out of your grab bag of breathing exercises, stress relief tactics, and progressive muscle relaxation scripts to use when life starts getting to you. It is not a shield from the tension and busyness of this thing we call life. Despite the fact that mindfulness is clearly not meant to beat back hectic schedules, difficult relationships, troubling inner thoughts, or anxiety about impending deadlines, much of the information you will find on mindfulness presents as just that- a tool to guard against the horrors of 21st century life. Decreased stress, increased sense of well-being, better clarity of thought, and improved psychological functioning are certainly potential byproducts of regular mindfulness practice but to say that you should engage in mindfulness with those things as the goal is to totally miss the point. All the cool effects of mindfulness that make for attention grabbing headlines are, in fact, just side effects of a more open, aware, and accepting approach to the stuff life slings our way.
Another thing that mindfulness is not is a religion. I think this is an important distinction because in my short time practicing mindfulness and talking with others about it, the issue of whether mindfulness is indicative of a specific religious group or set of beliefs is often a sticking point and potential barrier to individuals looking further into it. While mindfulness meditation certainly does have roots in religion and can even be traced back to specific religious teachings, as I mentioned a few paragraphs back, the basic tenets of mindfulness meditation can fit within any number of worldviews and beliefs. If you believe that life happens now- not 5 seconds ago or 5 seconds from now- then mindfulness might just be for you.
So now that we have a brief outline for what mindfulness is and what it is not, we still have the question of why you should care. The first reason I will suggest is simply an opinion- and probably a philosophical one at that. Life is happening now. Life is happening in this present moment and once that moment passes, it is gone for good. A mindful stance to life helps us to experience these moments more fully- in essence, living more fully. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t want my life to pass by not having had the chance to truly live it. The second reason comes from my practical and scientific side- mindfulness appears to be immensely beneficial to those who practice it. As I said earlier- health and wellness are not the explicit goals of mindfulness practice, but it does have some super nice side effects.
Mindfulness practice has been associated with improved cognitive functioning (Zeidan et al., 2010), fewer depression and anxiety symptoms (Chiesa & Serretti, 2011; Hofmann et al., 2010), improved adjustment to major health problems (e.g., cancer diagnosis; Ledesma & Kumano, 2008), less pain and improved functioning in those with chronic pain (Zeidan et al., 2012), greater engagement in positive health behaviors (Jacobs et al., 2016), improved self-regulation and greater resilience in children (Coholic et al., 2012; Semple et al., 2010), and functional brain changes in areas associated with self-regulation/emotion regulation, higher cognitive function, and memory, among other functions (Gotnik et al., 2016; Gartenschläger et al., 2017). This isn’t even close to a comprehensive list but you can check this article for a well-written overview of some of the benefits of mindfulness practice. There is a reason so many people are studying mindfulness and other forms of meditation. It is an exciting time in research as we come to better understand the numerous effects of mindfulness and the mechanisms by which these effects occur.
I will end this post with a final thought on our conceptualization of mindfulness. You may have seen a picture depicting a cartoon human whose thought bubble is “mind full” while his cartoon dog’s thought bubble is “mindful.” The dog is supposedly more mindful because his thought bubble reflects the environment he is in- sun, grass, trees- while the human’s mind is filled with busyness- thoughts of other people, cars, music, bills, etc. I get the artist’s intention but I still think this misses the mark. Part of being human is that our minds are often wild and out of control. Even in this state, we can be mindful of our experience. It is when we stop fighting against the experience of the moment that we can start to appreciate living in the moment. This is mindfulness.
Roanoke College’s Psi Chi chapter was recently featured in the latest edition of Eye on Psi Chi,the official International Honors Society’s magazine.
In this Fall 2018 edition, all chapters throughout the country were able to share their accomplishments from the previous semester. These categories include: Community Service, Convention/Conference, Fundraising, Induction Ceremony, Meeting/Speaker Event, Recruitment, and Social Events.
Open to the Roanoke/Salem/New River Valley community, the Out of the Darkness: Suicide Prevention Walk will commence at 11 am on Saturday, October 6, 2018, startingat the Cregger Center.
Registration/Check-in begins at 10 am.
This is the fourth year that Roanoke College has hosted the Suicide Prevention Walk. Last year, psychology professors and students, including representatives of Psi Chi and RCPA, supported the event by volunteering and/or walking.
If you are interested in attending the event, then please register here. You can also donate through the link, which takes you to our team’s page. So far, we’ve raised $75, with our goal being $100.
We would love to have you join us in support of the Out of the Darkness Community Walk!
Dr. Lindsey Osterman was recently interviewed by a student assistant on a podcast about ESP or extrasensory perception.
ESP is believed to be akin to a “second sight” or “sixth sense”.
For their 149th episode, the podcast, Serious Inquiries Only, focused on a meta-study published in the American Psychologist that indicates there might be some truth to the existence of ESP.
As a follow-up to their initial podcast, they asked Dr. Osterman, an expert in Experimental Psychology, to discuss the article and whether the findings reported in the meta-study were legitimate.
According to Dr. Osterman,
“…the podcast itself [Serious Inquiries Only] is a show about science, philosophy, and current events, all discussed from a ‘skeptical’ perspective in the truest sense of the term ‘skeptical.’ The host (Thomas Smith) is committed to approaching all the topics he covers with both curiosity and a critical evaluation of the evidence, and he does his best to correct for (and be transparent about) the preexisting biases that might be contributing to his thinking about those topics.”
Dr. Osterman had been featured on Serious Inquiries Only two years previously, where she discussed a critique on the history of evolutionary psychology published by a historian.
Both of my appearances served a similar goal, which was to provide a nuanced and evidence-based opinion about a scientific-sounding claim that was not actually rooted in high-quality evidence. In the first one [from two years ago], I responded to an interview that Thomas conducted with a historian, who had published a very-detailed — but in my opinion, very ill-informed — critique of evolutionary psychology.
Similarly, in this latest podcast, Dr. Osterman responded to a conversation…
[Smith] recorded with a professor of philosophy and a clinical psychologist about a review paper (published in American Psychologist, a respected, peer-reviewed journal), which argued that the empirical evidence for psi (or paranormal cognitive abilities, like being able to see the future) is very strong and consistent. My contention was that the article omitted critical details about the evidence, and in turn, presented a case that looked much stronger than it actually was.
Thank you to Dr. Osterman for being awesome as usual.
For those interested in knowing more details about the article and what Dr. Osterman found within it, the links to the podcasts are below. The first episode has been included for those who want to know what sparked the debate and to have a better idea of what Dr. Osterman and Thomas are discussing in the later episode.
In addition, click here for the link to the PDF of the article that sparked this debate.
The following is a brief interview with Dr. Stacy Wetmore, a new tenure-track professor at Roanoke College. A student assistant was recently able to interview her to learn more about her, her interests, and some cool facts that readers may not know. There’s a picture of a cute puppy at the end of this interview: keep reading to see it.
So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from what you’re used to?
So far, I’m loving it!! I’m excited that the semester is underway and I get to teach some really interesting topics. I like that I have fairly small class sizes and I will know all of my students’ names in no time. RC is similar in a lot of ways to where I most recently taught, so now it’s just a matter of learning the little quirks about how about things work here. One thing that is a little different are the class times, so I’m always a bit nervous I’m going to be late!
Where did you go to undergraduate and graduate school?
For my undergraduate (BA in Psychology) and Master’s degree (Experimental Psychology) I was at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. And I got my PhD from the University of Oklahoma. (Dr. Osterman and I actually met there many years ago!!!).
What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?
Currently, I’m teaching two sections of the INQ 260 Psychology in the Media, and one PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology. In the near future, I’ll be teaching Cognitive Psych and Research Methods. I will also be developing (over the upcoming years) a new INQ 110, a Memory course, and a Psychology and Law/Forensic Psych course as well.
What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?
My most exciting research experience was getting to be a Postdoctoral Researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London, in Egham, England. I hadn’t yet finished my dissertation, but accepted a position overseas to work on a project evaluating the U.K.’s eyewitness identification system/technique. I got to be a researcher, without any teaching responsibilities for 1.5 years and learned a lot of new stuff, as well as did research that could inform policy abroad.
In terms of research interests, Dr. Wetmore explains…
The overall focus of my research examines the intersection between cognition and the legal system. Research that I have been involved in, thus far, has been in three major areas.
The first is research on jailhouse informants. Jailhouse informants are a leading cause of wrongful conviction, yet very little is known about this form of evidence, including how jurors perceive and weigh this information, and if there are effective safeguards against it.
Another cause of wrongful conviction that I have studied are eyewitness identifications. Specifically, my research focused on show-up identification procedures, in which the individual must make a decision from a single face. My colleagues and I found that the show-up was a more unreliable memory test than a more traditional six-pack lineup. I’m interested in developing other procedures or methods of evaluating eyewitness memory in order to make it a more effective source of evidence at trial.
Lastly, related to eyewitness identifications, I’m interested in facial processing and memory in general. Humans are made specially to be able to process faces super-fast and efficiently, however there are still instances when this mechanism breaks down and I’m interested in examining these instances when it falters. For instance, a well-known phenomenon is the cross-race effect, or own-race bias, in which we are better at identifying someone from our own race better than from another race. Although we know the phenomenon exists, little is known about what cognitively could be different in the processing so I want to investigate this issue further.
What are some random/cool facts about you?
I was a collegiate athlete in tennis.
I lived abroad for 2 years in England as a postdoctoral researcher.
Super allergic to 100% grape juice – but can drink the not healthy stuff, wine, and eat grapes… I think this fits under random.
Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?
I have the cutest (I might be biased) 7 month old puppy, Daisy, that I walk around campus every morning between 6-7 (depending on when I can drag myself out of bed) and every evening, so anyone who runs into us is welcome to say hello. 🙂
Thank you Dr. Wetmore for taking your time to answer our questions, and welcome again to Roanoke College! We are glad to have you here (and Daisy too)!
A student assistant recently caught up with senior Cody Dillon-Owens, who was selected as one of eight recipients of a 2018-19 Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarship worth $3,000!
…Being a part of Psi Chi gave me the opportunity to apply to this scholarship, which I did so at the suggestion of one of my professors. I didn’t know if I would get it because it was a national level scholarship, but I am super grateful that I was one of the few selected to receive it. This scholarship actually allowed me to more or less cover the rest of my costs for senior year, so I’ll be able to focus on saving up for graduate school and getting an apartment next year. That reduced financial burden is a huge stress reliever and I’ll be able to better focus on my studies.
According to Psi Chi’s Scholarship Review Committee and the Board of Directors, Cody’s application “truly stood out to the judges as this year’s Undergraduate Scholarships had just over 165 applications.”
Congratulations Cody from everyone at the psychology department!
Cody is the Head Student Assistant in the Psychology Department and works with Dr. Buchholz on Alumni Relations and Career Development. He is currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology, with a concentration in Human Development; Cody was awarded the Fintel Senior Scholarship, among other awards. You can find his LinkedIn page here.
As fall approaches us here at Roanoke, so do the deadlines for graduate schools.
Cue the mental freak out:
It’s OK, Thor. Just attend the advice panel.
Regardless of whether you are a senior or not, if you are like Thor and want to know more about graduate school programs and the application process, then consider attending the Psychology Department’s Grad School Advice Panel on Tuesday, September 18th at 12 pm in Life Science 502.
The Grad School Advice Panel will be hosted by Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, Dr. Wetmore, and Dr. Hilton. If you have any questions or just want advice, they will be happy to help you!
Oh, there will also be pizza and refreshments provided.
A student assistant for the psychology department recently interviewed Dr. Dane Hilton, a new faculty member this semester, about himself, his interests in psychology, and some other little-known facts.
The following is the interview:
So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from Alabama?
I have really enjoyed settling into the Roanoke area. It is a good bit different from Alabama geographically, as Alabama is fairly flat where I lived in Tuscaloosa. At the same time, I’m from western North Carolina originally and spent five years in Boone for school, so being back in the Appalachian region is kind of like coming home. The area reminds me a lot of some of the cooler places I’ve visited in the south east- it’s a bit like Chattanooga, Birmingham, and Asheville, NC all rolled into one compact and livable place. The college is beautiful and I’ve really loved how down to earth and friendly everyone is. That is one thing that is not different from Alabama- everyone is super friendly!
Where did you go to undergrad and grad school?
I did my bachelor’s at Appalachian State University in psychology and then stayed for two more years to get my master’s in Clinical Health Psychology. I then moved to Tuscaloosa, AL and did three years at The University of Alabama for my PhD in Clinical Child Psychology. Finally, I did my pre-doctoral internship- a year-long clinical residency- at the WVU-Charleston Division School of Medicine in Charleston, WV. It’s been a long road…
What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?
Right now I’m teaching Psychology in the Media and Personality Psychology. I think both of these courses will stay in my rotation for a few years but I will also be teaching Intro to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and hopefully a course in Applied Behavior Analysis at some point in the future.
What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?
My research has always been related to individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in some way, and I will likely continue this line of research for many more years. My primary research program is focused on understanding the relationship between executive function- an important set of cognitive skills- and social functioning in folks with and without ADHD. I also do intervention research- again, primarily in the area of ADHD. I am currently working with the WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine to study the mechanisms of treatment outcome in group-based behavioral parent training for ADHD. I was awarded a grant while on internship to conduct this research and our group plans on applying for a larger grant to continue studying these processes in the next year or two. Lastly, I study mindfulness meditation. I have been leading mindfulness meditation groups for about 5 years and studying the effects regular mindfulness practices have on ADHD symptoms, anxiety, depression, and mind-wandering. I’m currently talking with individuals at RC to begin developing various ways to integrate mindfulness practice into curriculum, wellness programs, and intervention groups.
What are some random/cool facts about you?
Before starting graduate school at Appalachian State, I seriously considered becoming a bison farmer- yes, those giant looking beasts in all the Yellowstone pictures. It was between that and psychology. I honestly think I would have been happy doing either but I’m glad I’m here now. Some other random stuff… I was able to dunk a basketball in eighth grade, I once recorded an album in Chapel Hill, NC with my former folk band Foscoe, and I have hiked over 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail with my wife. That pretty much exhausts my cool facts reservoir…
Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?
Just that I am super excited to be at Roanoke. The psychology department is full of fabulous teacher-scholars who are also super chill and fun to be around. I look forward to getting to know the students here and being a part of the really great community that exists at RC.
Welcome to Roanoke College, Dr. Hilton! We are glad to have you here in the Psychology Department, although being a bison farmer sounds pretty great too.
Kevin Clarke, a 2002 Roanoke College alum, recently succeeded in defending his dissertation!
Dr. Clarke completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Roanoke College. After graduation, he not only went on to pursue a doctorate in theology from Ave Maria University, but also edited the inaugural volume of a new series published by the Catholic University of America Press this past May, titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Sayings of the Fathers of the Church.
After I graduated in December, I started working at a nursing home as the Social Services Director. In Fall 2018, I will start the Master’s of Social Work program Virginia Commonwealth University.
Hoping to gain a little work experience before I take a swing at grad school!
Following graduation I will begin post-baccalaureate work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in order to pursue a career in medicine.
I’ll be working in the psychology field for a year while applying to clinical graduate programs.
Kaitlin was awarded a Fulbright to Copenhagen, Denmark where she will be studying and researching in the field of Organizational Psychology. She then plans to get a graduate degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.
I do not plan on going to graduate school immediately after graduation, but I do plan on going back to Long Island. I am thinking of doing EMT work as well as volunteering to figure out what is in my possible scope of view.
After graduation I will be working as an elementary English as a second language teacher for Prince William County Public Schools!
I will be taking a gap year and preparing for applications for law school.
I plan on becoming an artist. After graduation I will be living in Roanoke to hopefully get a good start on this new path.
After graduation, I will be pursuing a Masters of Arts/Science Degree in Clinical Counseling and relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina. I plan to use my Master’s Degree to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and address the mental health needs of children within marginalized populations.
I am taking a year to gain experience in the field. I will also be preparing to apply for grad school in pursuit of my Master’s degree.
Continuing research in Northern Virginia to gain experience before attending graduate school in 2019.
I am planning on finding jobs or internships that are related to mental health in New York.
I am going to work for the Western Virginia Water Authority for a year and then apply to medical schools.
I plan to take a gap year and gain some clinical experience before hopefully apply to graduate school.
I plan to pursue a career in higher education.
I plan to attend an Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing program. In addition, I hope to travel and see the world.
I finished my course work here at Roanoke College December 2017 and have been working towards my Master of Education with a specialization in supervision and administration. After I earn my masters, it is my hope to work within the higher education setting.
I am planning on attending grad school
I plan on taking the year before furthering my education in Art Therapy.
After graduation, I will be pursuing a Masters of Arts/Science Degree in Clinical Counseling and relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina. I plan to use my Master’s Degree to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and address the mental health needs of children within marginalized populations.
I am taking a gap year of sorts; I’m moving to Dallas, TX to participate in a leadership development program, while I try to decide if I want to go to grad school or not.
I will be attending graduate school, at William and Mary, for a masters degree in Couples, Marriage, and Family Counseling
Samantha Baldwin will be finishing up her student teaching in the Fall 2018. She hopes to go to graduate school in the following year.
Immediately I will be returning to Newport News, VA hoping to work for the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club. I am ultimately aiming to move to California to pursue a career in Event Management.
My goal is to find a full time job after graduation!
Master has given Dobby a diploma, Dobby is free. Except not really because I plan to go to grad school, the ride never ends.
The fifth and final article written for Dr. Carter’s Social Psychology course, Bailey Ratfliff and Erin Kosmowski discuss an article dealing with how much are people willing to pay depending on the situation.
When you go to buy something, like a t-shirt of your favorite band, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just pay what you want? Then, you could go through the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A and be told the car in front of you paid for your meal! These methods are called, respectively, pay what you want and pay it forward, two forms of consumer elective pricing. How much would you pay for that t-shirt if you got to choose the price? What if you decided to pay for the next car’s lunch, how much would you be willing to pay? These studies by Nelson, A. Gneezy, and U. Gneezy, seek to find the relationship between pay what you want and pay it forward amounts. In which method are people willing to pay more?
In study one, which was conducted at Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, participants were told either they could pay their entrance fee forward for another museum goer instead of paying for their own admission, in one condition, or pay what you want in another condition. It was found, in accordance to the experimenters’ prediction, that the pay it forward condition paid more money than the pay what you want condition. In study two, the conditions were the same at the same museum, but the wording of what the people in the pay it forward condition were told was changed. People paid more in both conditions for this study, but still paid more for the pay it forward condition than the pay what you want condition. In study three, study two was replicated but participants were given a colored sticker, blindly labeling them as pay it forward or pay what you want group. The cashier in the gift store then recorded their purchases and their colored stickers to see if either condition spent more in the gift shop. The conditions were found to have spent around the same amount of money. For the final study, conditions were set as in study two but at a coffee shop instead of a museum. Again, those in the pay it forward condition paid more than those in the pay what you want condition.
The researchers believed that descriptive norms were playing a role in the participants’ actions. In the first two studies, people fell subject to the norm of reciprocity. Since another person paid for them, the participants’ felt that they had to do the same for a future attendee. Subjects experienced kindness and generosity and felt as if they must pass it on to reciprocate. There was also some pluralistic ignorance occurring, leading the participants to believe the norm was to pay more and followed suit. People may have privately believed they should pay less but decided to pay more because they believed that’s what others did.
The study does a good job supporting its hypothesis and eliminating any confounding variables that may have also explained the results, though it does not go into further details. They do not discuss if witnessing an act of generosity will impact the participant’s amount paid. Another thing that would have added to the study was to see how the amount paid could be manipulated through a third party’s actions, such as having the earlier guest pay more for the participants’ ticket or witnessing someone pay more for the pay what you want than average. They also focus on for profit organizations so adding a nonprofit organization to the study could show very different results.
The fourth article written for Dr. Carter’s Social Psychology course, this post discusses the power of the “like” system. Written by Julian Edwards, Emily Jones, and Brice Hinkle, the original source can be found here.
Have you ever felt inadequate after seeing only one like on your selfie? If you are an avid Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or some other social media user, the culmination of likes on a picture or video is crucial. The incorporation of the “like” system in social media has changed the way in which people view themselves. You expect people such as your family or close friends to like your posts, but what if that is only 10 to 20 people? What does this say about you
as a person? It is common to believe that the more likes one receives the better they believe others see them, thus determining how they see themselves. The presence of active and/or immediate feedback on a picture you are proud of can make or break how you view yourself. Because of this, social media has become a large factor in the level of self-esteem a user may have. The more likes someone receives the greater self-esteem they will have. Also in contrast, if a person were to receive little to no likes on a selfie or family picture they may begin to suffer through low self-esteem. To help support this claim a study was conducted by researchers Anthony L. Burrow and Nicolette Rainone titled “How many likes did I get?:
Purpose moderates links between positive social media feedback and self-esteem” (Burrow & Rainone, 2016).
In this study, participants first had to complete several forms and surveys – demographics form, a survey measuring their purpose in life, and a personality inventory (which was not used in the experiment). After this was completed, the experimenters told the
participants they were there to test a new social media site a lot like Facebook and to get started, they had to set up a profile and take a picture of themselves for the experimenter to upload (Burrow & Rainone, 2016). The experimenter told the participants that their picture would be shown on the test site for five minutes and that other users could see and like it. Five minutes later, the experimenter came in the room and told them how many likes their picture got. The amount of likes the experimenter told the participants that they got were a randomized average number of likes, more than average number of likes, or below average number of likes. Afterwards, participants completed another survey, which measured their self-esteem. The results found that the groups that showed a low purpose and low self-esteem were affected more by their number of likes more than the groups with high purpose and high self-esteem, who were not as affected by the likes (Burrow & Rainone, 2016).
The researchers established two groups: high purpose and low purpose. In each group, the self-esteem manipulator was introduced to affect self-esteem positively, negatively, or not at all (high, low, and average likes). The participants in each group then reported their post-experiential self-esteem (Burrow & Rainone, 2016). Because the experiment showed no correlation between high purpose and a high number of likes, it can be assumed that the
participants with high purpose also have self-esteem high enough that it is unaffected by an otherwise effective self-esteem booster: a high number of likes that they receive. Those with low purpose can be said to have a lower baseline self-esteem and so are more affected by a high number of likes (Burrow & Rainone, 2016).
One critique would be that the researchers should have included an “average purpose” group apart from the “high purpose” group to be manipulated to see more precise results.
Additionally, it would have been nice to have reported any findings on a decrease in self-esteem for a fuller picture of the effects.
The lesson that can learned from this article is that self-esteem is that although there are a countless number of things that go into a person’s self-esteem and sense of purpose in life, social media affects them much more than someone thinks.
In another post written by students of Dr. Carter’s Social Psychology course, Corey Woodford, Hannah Lester, Michaela Hicks discuss an article on leadership titled “Two ways to the top: Evidence that dominance and prestige are distinct yet viable avenues to social rank and influence.” The original article can be found here.
How do people reach leadership positions? Is it because they are generally likable and compassionate about the group? Or is it because they are ruthless and their followers are too scared to do anything but listen to them? Maybe it is a combination of both. Researchers Cheng, Tracy, Foulsham, Kingstone and Henrich formed an experiment that tests these theories. They wanted to know if dominance and prestige work together to get people to the top. In the case of this study, dominance is a force and intimidation and prestige is being able to share your experiences and knowing how to gain respect. Cheng et al. performed two studies that tested the roles in which dominance and prestige play in the selection of a leader. They used students from the University of British Columbia, who had no prior knowledge of each other before the study, as participants for both of the studies.
The first study’s goal was to distinguish whether or not dominance and prestige are acceptable ways of predicting social influence. It was set up as a round robin setting where groups of 4 to 6 of the same gender, not already acquainted with each other, completed an assignment, then interacted with each other, and then were asked to fill out a questionnaire at the end. Each side of the table was recorded by a video camera looking exclusively at one side of the table. The questionnaire provided peer ratings on who seemed to have more influence, who had more “dominance and prestige” in their group, and the likeability of the group members. The results of the study concluded that, in fact, both dominance and prestige predict greater social influence, but that they are different paths to attaining social rank, with prestige seen as more likeable than dominance.
Going off the first study, the second study’s goal was to “determine whether gaze allocation patterns corresponded to perceived Dominance and Prestige”. In other words, do dominant or more prestigious individuals receive more visual attention? The participants watched a series of video clips used from the first study, and were asked to think of who they would want to work with on the same task if they were in the room doing the same thing. The participants were wearing eye trackers so the researchers were able to see who they looked at the most while watching these video clips. The results showed that people do tend to notice who the dominant or more prestigious person in the room is, and they subconsciously do visually fixate on them, meaning they receive more visual attention.
Study 1: with 191 participants, this study compensated them with a chance of extra compensation during the study. The participants first completed an individual activity and then a group activity. The group activity was recorded for 20 minutes.
Study 2: 59 participants were involved and were instructed to watch 6 twenty-second videos. This study was used to determine a relationship between gaze allocation patterns and perceived Dominance and Prestige.
While the study was something always relevant and very interesting, it did have some aspects that it did not take into consideration. First, the study did not use co-ed groups. Especially in today’s time, gender norms are a hot topic and are of interest to many people. A future study could use co-ed groups to help distinguish between gender norms that influence leadership positions. Second, the participants of the study were of all different ages. Age is indicative of knowledge and when you are older you can be seen as more superior of those who are younger than you. Keeping age brackets for each group would have been a beneficial addition to the parameters of the study. With these critiques in mind, a future study would be beneficial to really dive into the psychology of leadership positions from a non-age or non-gender biased study.
In society, men are expected to conform to gender-stereotypic attributes in order to prove their masculinity. Some of these attributes include; being tall, athletic, having an active sex life,
and being assertive or dominant. Studies have shown if a
man is in a sense “less masculine” they will compensate for this by presenting themselves in a more stereotypical
masculine manner. In the study, Manning Up, researchers, Sapna Cheryan, Jessica Schwartz Cameron, Zach Katagiri, and Benoît Monin conducted two experiments, in which they examined three techniques that men may use when they perceive a threat to their
masculinity: avoid feminine preferences, embrace masculine preferences, and claim masculine attributes. The question the researchers were asking is whether or not men are more likely to distance themselves from feminine preferences when their masculinity is threatened versus the responses of those men who are not threatened.
In the first study some of the male participants were randomly assigned to receive false feedback that they had failed a test of masculinity (a score of 26 out of 100) while the other
participants received a non-threatening score (73 out of 100). The participants were then asked to rate how much they would like to receive three very masculine products and three very feminine products. Results from study one suggest that men who have their masculinity threatened are more likely to distance themselves from stereotypically feminine preferences, but do not embrace stereotypically masculine preferences more than non-threatened men.
In the second study, researchers tried to instill a different type of threat to masculinity (telling participants they were
physically weaker than other males) to see if threatening
one specific aspect of masculinity causes men to embrace
another aspect in order to compensate. Participants were
asked to take a test of handgrip strength. Having a strong
hand grip is associated with being more masculine.
Some of the participants received false feedback that their score fell along the female distribution while the other participants were told their score fell into the male distribution. Afterwards they were asked to complete a questionnaire which included masculine and feminine attributes such as: height, handiness with tools, number of previous relationships (all masculine attributes), and personality traits (both masculine and feminine attributes). Participants then
repeated the grip test which reinforced their false feedback and were asked to rate their interest in receiving five masculine, three feminine, and seven neutral products. Results from this study
found that men who did not have their masculinity threatened showed no difference in their preference for masculine and feminine products while men who were threatened showed less interest in feminine products. Researchers also found that men who had their masculinity threatened were more likely to exaggerate their other masculine attributes; they claimed to be taller, have more past relationship partners, and higher levels of athleticism and aggressiveness than men in the non-threatened condition
Researchers examined the strategies used when there is a perceived threat to masculinity. They threatened masculinity as a whole as well as physical masculinity and then examined the ways the participants compensated for the blow. Researchers also said that men who are threatened are more likely to embrace masculine attributes over preferences. An example being, if a man feels his masculinity is being attacked it weighs more for him to defend his physical traits (strength, height and build), compared to him trying to declare his masculinity through his masculine preferences (liking trucks and hunting). Researchers discovered that rejecting
feminine preferences was more reassuring to their self image rather than restating their masculine preferences.
In this study, researchers provided insight into the strategies men employ when they feel their masculinity has been
threatened. However, there are three limitations that can be
observed in this study. The first limitation of this study is the
fact that they only focused on how masculine attributes were
affected when men were under masculinity threat. If they
wanted to get a more well-rounded perspective, they should
have also examined how feminine attributes were affected by
masculine threats. In addition, in two of the studies, they used a
subset of product preferences making it difficult to decipher the
results of masculine versus feminine preferences. Finally, when
concluding this study, it wasn’t clear from the results whether or not distancing oneself from a stigmatized outgroup versus a
related identity would be sufficient in responding to masculinity
Your family members have designated you as the ‘chooser’ of the group. The responsibility weighs on your shoulders. You try to remain calm.
‘Focus,’ you tell yourself. ‘Should I purchase the double chocolate ice-cream from x-brand, or the devil’s chocolate ice-cream from y-brand?’
The choices are the same in terms of the contents and price, but they have different names and are from different brands. You cannot decide between the two as you feel equally about both of them, so you ask for the advice of your family; they reply negatively towards the y-brand and you feel relieved, finding yourself agreeing with them, and choose the ice-cream from the x-brand instead.
While a silly example, this dilemma helps illustrate an interesting observation about humans, at least of European descent (or influenced by Western culture): when we are highly ambivalent towards two choices, we are more easily influenced in our decision. According to psychology researchers, Mr. Andy Ng, Dr. Michaela Hyne and Dr. Tara MacDonald, those of European descent are more likely to be influenced either positively or negatively when unsure of what to think about two objects or subjects. Yet, they also point out that East Asians exhibit greater levels of tolerance towards conflicting views or when possessing high levels of ambivalence towards objects/subjects. In other words, those of East Asian descent or region are more likely to hold two conflicting ideas in their minds without the need to pick one as superior to the other.
The Psychology Department hosted their research poster session on Thursday, April 19th 2018. Many students presented on their research projects and internships; students were also able to donate to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention while choosing which professor they’d like to see pied with whipping cream and sprinkles. Great job to everyone who presented and thanks to everyone who came!
So, naturally, the psychology department decided to celebrate Belated April Fools the following day.
What resulted was nothing less than genius.
Part of this included a revenge plot that had been brewing for years.
Dr. O tells her side of the story below:
Weeeeeell… It all started many moons ago, in Spring 2014, when Dr. Nichols was on his way to do an optical illusion demonstration in his Research Methods class and got the bright idea to don his George W. Bush mask (a prop in the demonstration), his trench coat, and his fedora (all together, a rather intimidating combination), and slowly peeked around the doorway of my office in an attempt to get me to pee my pants.
It very nearly worked.
After I recovered from my extreme fright, I told Dr. Nichols in no uncertain terms that wearing a mask in public on a non-Halloween day was highly illegal behavior (which we later confirmed), and that I wouldn’t tolerate it in my workplace. I also vowed, privately, to seek revenge upon him at the first opportunity.
And I bided my time, quietly, patiently. Until one day, in February 2018, I walked into Life Science 502 a few minutes before the start of my Quantitative Methods class and noticed atop the “technology tower” in the corner of the room… The Mask, completely unattended (and very creepily staring at the ceiling with its vacant, soulless eye-sockets). Immediately, I grabbed The Mask and ran back to my office to conceal it until April 1st.
Over the intervening weeks, I discussed with esteemed colleagues on what prank I might involve the mask. Many excellent ideas were put forward (e.g., perhaps we could dangle the mask by a string from the ceiling; perhaps one of us could put on the mask and startle Dr. Nichols as he had startled me), but eventually, we landed on the following plan:
We would construct a lifelike “scarecrow” from garbage bags, recycled paper, and dress the scarecrow in the mask, trench-coat, and fedora (the latter of which Dr. Nichols usually leaves in his office). We would sit the scarecrow in Dr. Nichols’s desk chair, and Dr. Buchholz would construct a complicated pulley system connecting the office door to the desk chair, so that when Dr. Nichols entered his office, the chair would spin around to face him, and hopefully cause Dr. Nichols to shout in alarm.
The plan went off without a hitch, but I found Dr. Nichols’s reaction somewhat underwhelming. So, over the course of that fine Monday, the scarecrow moved around from office-to-office, scaring a number of colleagues (including myself, somehow), and I came up with one final step in the plan.
At the end of the day, Dr. Nichols was teaching his Neuroscience lab, and a few minutes before the end of class, I donned the scarecrow’s disguise, and seated myself, perfectly still, in Dr. Nichols’s chair. When Dr. Nichols entered his office, he thought it was just the scarecrow, and was not alarmed until my hands sprang into the air like scary claws and I yelled “RAAAAWR” and Dr. Nichols said “Ah!” and it was my very favorite moment of my entire life.
And that is the story of the mask.
Dr. Nichols confirmed the events of that fateful day, telling his side of the story:
The mask is something that I use in PSYC 202 to tell a hopefully amusing story about some silliness my friends and I did in college. However, I scared Dr. Osterman with it in her first year at Roanoke College when I wore it down the hall on my way to class. Since then, I include in class a life lesson that apparently wearing a mask in public outside of Halloween is illegal in many states, including Virginia. Apparently, the last time I used the mask in PSYC 202, I left it in the classroom and Dr. Osterman found it, planning a frightening surprise when the chance arose.
On Monday morning, April 2nd, I came into the office a little bit later than I usually do since my kids were on Spring Break and I didn’t have to get up as early as I normally do. I said ‘hi’ to Dr. Buchholz, who ‘just so happened’ to be out in the hall on my way in. I opened my door and noticed that someone seemed to be sitting in my chair with a hat and trench coat on and remembered thinking something like ‘That’s weird that there is someone sitting in my office chair in the dark. Huh, how about that?’. Then when I opened the door completely, the chair swung around and it looked quite realistic. I started slightly before realizing it was my mask. I was quite impressed by the system of fishing line that was rigged up to get the chair to move that way!
Then, at the end of the day after the dummy had been moved around to the offices of other department faculty, I came back to my office after my afternoon class was over. The day had not gone well at all because of technical difficulties preparing for Neuro lab, so I was feeling exhausted but glad that the lab had gone alright in the end. Dr. Allen was waiting out in the hall and took out her camera to film me entering my office, which seemed suspicious. I remember saying something like ‘I’ve seen it already’ because I expected the dummy to be back in my office, though suspected something else to possibly be going on.
When I entered the office, the dummy sprung to life as it jumped out of my chair! I started on the inside but didn’t have too much of a physical reaction, though it was a very good set-up with Dr. Osterman inside a padded suit so that it looked pretty much just like the original dummy, even though someone was now inside it.
I very much appreciated the thought and planning that went into both surprises! It’s great to work in a department that enjoys one another so much. 🙂
Stop by the table outside of Colket or by the box in the hallway of the 5th floor to choose your victim(s) to get pied! The professor with the most money in their jar will get a special pie, with sprinkles.
All proceeds will go to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Dr. Dane Hilton, a new faculty member in the Department of Psychology, is recruiting student research assistants to start in the fall.
The research conducted in the lab will focus on:
Cognitive mechanisms of social encoding
Mindfulness meditation and other alternative treatments for self-regulatory deficits
Improving measurement of social information processing
The use of technology in psychotherapy research/intervention
Treatment mechanisms in ADHD Parent Training
He is looking for research assistants who:
Are conscientious and hard-working
Have excellent time-management skills
Are intellectually curious
Interested in ADHD, executive function, or social interaction (preferred, not required)
Are familiar with MS Office/Google Docs
Have some familiarity with research methods and statistics (preferred, not required)
Interested in applying technology (e.g., smartphones, activity trackers, etc.) to research (not required)
Research assistants will be involved with many aspects of the research process, including developing experimental materials, data collection (in and outside of the lab), data entry, and literature reviews. Highly motivated students will have opportunities for more involvement in study design, statistical analysis, and other more advanced aspects of the research process.
Interested students from all class years are encouraged to contact Dr. Hilton for an application (email@example.com).
The Psychology Department would like to welcome Dr. Dane Hilton as our newest tenure-track professor starting this upcoming fall semester. Dr. Hilton obtained his Masters in Clinical Health Psychology from Appalachian State University and his PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Alabama.
At Roanoke, Dr. Hilton will be teaching courses such as Abnormal, Personality, and Clinical Psychology. His research interests focus specifically on social encoding, executive functioning, and mindfulness. Dr. Hilton has conducted research on social skills in youth and emerging adults, especially those with ADHD, and on psycho-social interventions for those with executive functioning deficits.
Dr. Hilton is currently looking for student research assistants to start next semester. If you’re interested, follow this link to learn more.
Welcome again to Dr. Hilton! We are excited for him to be joining the department!
Are you looking for internships? Job opportunities? Then consider attending to Alumni Career Fair! The event will be held on Thursday, April 12th, from 5-7 pm on the main level of Colket.
Why should you attend? According to Director McLawhorn of Career Services, alumni from around 30 companies/organizations/career fields of various industries and geographic locations will be there to share about their career fields, as well as provide information about internships and/or job opportunities that may be available at their respective places of employment.
Some company recruiters will be there as well.
Things you should know before you go:
Neat, but casual clothing is fine.
It’s highly suggested that students bring resumes, but they are not required. (Students can contact Career Services for assistance with resumes prior to April 12.)
Dr. Stacy Wetmore, a new faculty member in the Department of Psychology, is recruiting student research assistants to start in the fall.
The research conducted in the lab will focus on:
Intersections between cognition and the legal system
Factors that influence eyewitness identification accuracy and confidence
Underlying processes of memory for recognizing faces
Examining the perceptions of cooperating witnesses (including jailhouse informants and accomplice witnesses)
Examining and understanding the safeguards that are in place to help jurors evaluate cooperating witnesses
Looking for research assistants who:
Are conscientious and self-motivated
Are able to juggle a variety of tasks at once
Are intellectually curious (ideally with knowledge of cognitive psychology)
Share some level of interest in the above topics
Are familiar with MS Office/Google Docs
Have some familiarity with research methods and statistics (preferred, not required)
Research assistants will be involved with many aspects of the research process, including developing experimental materials (e.g., mock crime videos and mugshots), data collection (in and outside of the lab), data entry, and literature reviews. Highly motivated students will have opportunities for more involvement in study design, statistical analysis, and other more advanced aspects of the research process.
Interested students from all class years are encouraged to contact Dr. Wetmore for an application (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Psychology Department would like to welcome Dr. Stacy Wetmore to our faculty as our newest tenure-track professor. She will be joining in the fall of 2018 and will teach Research Methods, Cognitive Psychology and other topics in the cognitive domain.
Dr. Wetmore received her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Oklahoma with minors in biological and quantitative psychology. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London from 2015-2016 and, most recently, taught at Butler University.
Dr. Wetmore’s research interests are focused primarily on studying the complexities and implications of the psycho-legal field. Her current research involves comparing the performances of lineups and show-ups, in addition to studying the cross-race bias in recognition memory.
She is also seeking student research assistants of all class years. To learn more, follow this link.
We are excited to have Dr. Wetmore joining the department next semester!
Kaitlin Busse, a senior majoring in psychology and a student assistant for the department, was recently awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant for Denmark.
In this post, Busse discusses with a student assistant what she will be doing while in Denmark, how she learned about the Fulbright program, and advice she has for students considering applying to Fulbright and any other research/internship opportunity.
Can you tell me a little about yourself and what you will be doing in Denmark?
I am a psychology major, sociology minor, and human resources concentration, and my interests are in organizational psychology. I was awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant to Denmark and I will be in Copenhagen from August 2018 until June 2019. I will take master level classes at Copenhagen Business School, where I plan to take classes about leadership and organizational change, employee identity, and diversity management, and about Danish culture and how it influences their organizations.
While there, I am also planning to assist my affiliate, Dr. Sara Louise Muhr, with a project she is working on about improving organizational cultures for women in academia in the European Union. Part of the Fulbright experience involves a project in which you immerse yourself in the community. I am planning to partner with an organization called, Crossing Borders, where I will help teach professional development skills to refugees in Denmark.
How did you learn about the opportunity?
I actually learned about Fulbright while on my May Term to Sri Lanka. My professor, Dr. Katherine Hoffman, was a Fulbright ETA (she taught English) in Sri Lanka, and we interacted with their Fulbright Commission. I did not actually think about applying for a Fulbright until the second semester of my Junior year. I had just gotten back from studying abroad in the Netherlands and I loved immersing myself in another culture. After I came back, I received an email from Dr. Rosti about a Fulbright Information Session meeting.
What made you choose Denmark?
I wanted to go to Denmark because they are known for the great working environments and are constantly ranked one of the best places to work (and also one of the happiest countries)! My research interests lie in creating better work environments, especially in relation to work-family issues, which is what the Danes are known for! Also, I initially planned to study abroad in Denmark, but the program was cancelled during the semester that I wanted to go abroad.
Can you give any advice for those interested in applying for the Fulbright, or for research/internship experiences in general?
To people who are thinking about applying for Fulbright, I would say DO IT! It is a lot of work and it is extremely competitive to receive an award, but you develop so much personally, academically, and professionally from the application process. Even if you do not receive the Fulbright award, you end up with a great personal statement from the process.
For those thinking about research and internship experiences, I would also say DO IT! It was actually through one of my internships at a counseling agency that I learned I did not want to be a counselor and was instead most concerned with improving the work environment. Internships have also helped me get to know a little bit more about what organizational psychology and the HR field are about.
For those looking for internships, my advice would be to reach out to your networks and Roanoke College alumni (I actually [found] my first internship at a Roanoke College Career Night in NYC). I would also recommend research too because it allowed me to go in deeper to my studies and learn more about a particular area that I am passionate about.
Roanoke has an amazing research focus in the psychology program, which also gives you the opportunity to have a strong network relationship, present at conferences, and learn more about the research process.
Thank you to Kaitlin for taking her time to answer our questions, and congratulations again on receiving the Fulbright grant! Keep in touch and let us know how it goes! We’ll be cheering you on from the fifth floor of Life Science.
Also, for those interested in the Fulbright Program, click on this link to go to their official website. You can also talk to Dr. Jenny Rosti, who is the Director of Major Scholarships and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer. Her email is: email@example.com.
Today is the SAAM Wear Teal Day of Action, sponsored by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
April is the Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Please show your support of survivors and ending victim blame by wearing teal today and/or following this link to the Resource Center’s official site to learn how to get involved.
You can also find information for survivors as well as family and friends on learning more about sexual violence and how to prevent it and connecting with victims or families.
The NSVRC is also a place to find help.
Please join us in supporting SAAM and today’s Day of Action.
Kaitlin Busse, a psychology major and student assistant, was recently awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant in Denmark!
Psychology faculty congratulated her on receiving the Fulbright grant, saying:
We are very proud of Kaitlin’s achievement; it is truly an honor. Kaitlin is the third Psychology major to receive a Fulbright in the last two years. Congratulations Kaitlin and good luck in Denmark! – Dr. Buchholz
Dr. Powell added:
Kaitlin is driven by an intrinsic motivation to succeed and to make the most of the educational opportunities available. Here at Roanoke, she has worked with myself and another faculty member in the Business Department to diversify her research experiences, which has led to her presenting projects at several disciplinary conferences. she also studied abroad at an institution well-known for their Industrial Organizational Psychology faculty and courses, and she acquired competitive summer internships to further expand her social capital and see the concepts she’s learned in action. A Fulbright Scholarship is an extraordinary next step for her! As she completes additional coursework and conducts a study under Dr. Muhr’s supervision, I am confident that she will thrive in Denmark. I am incredibly proud of what she has accomplished and look forward to hearing how it goes!
Keep a lookout for a follow-up post wherein Kaitlin will discuss what her project will entail, how she came to know about Fulbright, and advice for students interested in pursuing a Fulbright or any internship/research opportunity.
If you are graduating this year and looking to apply to graduate schools or would just like to learn more about the process, then consider attending Ms. Brook’s talk on Tuesday, April 10th at 6 pm in Life Science 515!
A recruiter and retention specialist for graduate programs at Radford University, Ms. Brooks will demystify the process, providing tips towards strengthening your application and answer any questions you may have.
Do you want to get ahead, catch up, or just want to take an interesting course over the summer?
Then consider signing up for psychology summer courses!
Three 300-level courses will be offered, including History of Psychology, which is a requirement for psychology majors, Abnormal Psychology, IO Psychology, and Drugs & Behavior. In addition to the 300-level courses, the psychology department will also be offering a 260 INQ course taught by Dr. Whitson that will also count towards a major in psychology.
If interested, please talk to your advisor(s) and sign-up through Webadvisor while spots remain!
Students who declared a psychology major recently, including those who declared last semester but were unable to attend, are required to attend the New Majors’ Orientation on either Monday, March 26th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm or Thursday, April 5th from 5:00 – 6:00 pm in Life Science 502.
You only need to attend one session, so pick whichever date works best for you and sign up here through SONA.
The first weekend of spring break, Drs. Buchholz, Osterman, Carter, and Findley-Van Nostrand, in addition to several students, traveled to Atlanta to present their studies at the 2018 Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference.
The students in attendance included:
Cody Dillon-Owens ’19, who presented on “Understanding moral decision making using self-driving cars.” This study was supervised by Dr. Buchholz and included several other students, including Megan Miller ’18, Allison Smith, Lauren Powell ’21, and Seth Poore ’20. They found that participants generally thought positively of self-driving cars. Faced with a moral dilemma on who to save during an impending crash, the participants were generally more likely to save themselves and their mothers over anyone else. Participants were also more likely to save “significant” individuals rather than strangers.
To learn more about the study, please contact Dr. Buchholz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren Furlow ’19 and Nicole Moughrabi ’19 presented on the “Allocation of Mate Budgets as Function of Environmental Threat and Life History Strategy.” From Dr. Osterman’s lab, Furlow and Moughrabi added to further research to the field discussing how “women’s mating psychologies shift as a function of early environment and current environment demands.”
To learn more about this study, email Dr. Osterman at email@example.com.
Sabrina McAllister ’18, a member of Dr. Nichols’s lab, discussed the results of her study titled “Time Perspective as a State-Based Measure.” To learn more about her study, follow this link. (If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Lauren Powell ’21, also a member of Dr. Buchholz’s lab, discussed the study titled “The moral dilemma of self-driving cars.” As this study was conducted alongside the first discussed study, the same researchers also worked on this inquiry. The main goal in this study was to see how gender and empathy would affect how the participants answered the moral dilemmas. However, the results showed that neither gender nor empathy predicted the answers, but that there was a “three-way interaction between gender, cognitive empathy, and affective resonance.” They also found that men possessed significantly more positive attitudes towards self-driving cars than women.
In addition, Drs. Osterman and Findley-Van Nostrand also presented their research. Specifically, Dr. O presented findings found in conjunction with Dr. Gornick of the Virginia Military Institute, Mr. Brian Matera, and Mr. Alexander Carr, titled “Trait Empathy Moderates Belief Bias in Emotionally-Evocative Reasoning Tasks.” To learn more, please contact Dr. Osterman at the above mentioned email address.
Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand’s study was titled: “Sense of Belonging Drives Intentions to Leave STEM in Undergraduate Students: Mediated and Short-Term Longitudinal Association.” She worked alongside Drs. Sophie Kuchynka, Jennifer Bosson, and Richard Pollenz, all from the University of South Florida. If you are curious about the study and want to learn more, Dr. FVN can be contacted at email@example.com.
Finally, the day before the official SPSP conference began, Dr. Carter presented his study on “The Effect of the American Flag on Political Attitudes Has Declined Over Time: A Case Study of the Effect of Historical Context on Priming Effects,” at the JDM preconference.
The preconferences are one-day, mini conferences that allow for colleagues to gather to discuss their specific areas of interest. For Dr. Carter, this was to discuss the changes since the first study he and his fellow researchers had conducted in 2011, wherein his research revealed that using the American flag as a primer has become less effective in shifting participants towards more politically conservative attitudes and beliefs. The effect is shown to be roughly zero at present. To learn more, please contact Dr. Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Unfortunately, no pictures were taken of Dr. Carter while he was presenting at the JDM preconference. Instead, Dr. O provided a dramatic reenactment via hard work and editing skills.)
When asked about the experience, Dr. Osterman said…
We had a fantastic time at SPSP, and all of our student presenters did a wonderful job of talking about their research with other scholars. They represented the college and department exceedingly well.
Cody seconded this, saying:
SPSP went really well! It was a wonderful opportunity to present research to a large body of our peers in psychology, as well as learn about a lot of the exciting new research that’s being conducted in the field. I definitely look forward to attending my next conference!
Congratulations to our students and professors for their successful SPSP conference!
On March 13th, 2018, the psychology department held their Psi Chi Induction Ceremony. Thirty-four students were inducted this semester into Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology and one of the largest honor societies in the United States.
Following lunch, Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand began the ceremony by making the opening remarks. Students were then given their certificates and the nominations for the new executive board for Psi Chi were held. Dr. Osterman ended the ceremony by leading the recognition of the outgoing and incoming executive boards.
Pictures of the new members of Psi Chi followed the conclusion of the ceremony, including:
Students who were not able to attend the ceremony but are new members of Psi Chi are as follows:
Ciprianna O. Azar
Alexander J. Glando
Elizabeth Q. Helminski
Jeanette L. Kurtic
Logan E. Miner
Jeanne M. Skulstad
Natalie M. Slemp
Allison L. Smith
Thomas E. Thomas
Caroline G. Wagoner
Taylor C. Ward
Griffith E. Wood
Emily A. Wright
In order to be accepted to Psi Chi as an undergraduate student, one must:
be enrolled as a major or minor in a psychology program or a program psychological in nature
have completed at least 3 semesters or equivalent of full-time college coursework
have completed at least 9 semester credit hours or equivalent of psychology courses
have earned a cumulative GPA that is in the top 35% of their class (sophomore, junior, or senior) compared to their classmates across the entire university or the college that houses psychology (minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale)3
have a minimum 3.0 GPA average for psychology courses
Some of the benefits include:
International recognition for academic excellence in psychology.
Distinguished members can be found here, including Albert Bandura, B. F. Skinner, and Philip G. Zimbardo.
Over $400,000 are available annually in awards and grants.
Psi Chi’s Career Center
Free access to three publications:
Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research
Eye on Psi Chi
Psi Chi Digest
For more information, follow this link to the official Psi Chi website.
Congratulations again to our new members of Psi Chi! They’ve worked hard and we look forward to seeing what they will do in the future.
Congratulations to Molly Zydel ’19 for being awarded the Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant!
Zydel will use this grant towards funding her Distinction Project, titled “Perceptions of Foster Care Youth’s Academic Identity: Comparing Reports from Foster Parents and Former Foster Care Youth.” Specifically, she will be using the grant in order to offset the costs of compensating participants for their time.
She has been a member of Dr. Powell’s research lab since fall 2016.
Zydel also went to Thailand as part of Dr. Powell’s May Term last summer. You can read about the trip here.
The Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant was founded in honor of Mamie Phipps Clark. Graduating in 1943, Clark was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University.
As such, this grant is awarded to Psi Chi students and faculty advisors who are seeking to study diverse populations and issues.
For more information about the research grant, click here.
Congratulations again to Molly Zydel! We’re proud of you and look forward to learning about the results of your Distinction Project!
On March 27th from 7 pm – 8 pm in Life Science 515, Psi Chi will be hosting a presentation by researchers from Salem Veteran Affairs Medical Center for students interested in learning about their research, as well as internship opportunities!
Congratulations to Kaitlin Busse ’18 and Riker Lawrence ’20 for their successful poster sessions at the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Conference in Richmond, Virginia!
Part of Dr. Powell’s lab, Busse and Lawrence presented two posters on their findings from researching work-life balance and perceptions of organizational climate and job satisfaction in employees from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Last semester, students from Dr. Nichols lab published a paper titled “Exploration of Methodological and Participant-Related Influences on the Number of Artifacts in ERP Data.”
Under the direction of Dr. Nichols, Ms. Stephanie M. Shields and Ms. Caitlin E. Morse conducted a study in order to see how the number of trials needed to collect enough data for Event-related Potential (ERP) could be minimized through the reduction of artifacts.
Typically, this type of research requires a number of trials in order to collect enough data. Oftentimes, several of these trials have to be discarded as a result of artifacts, or errors.
Shields, Morse, and Nichols focused specifically on the connections between “the number of trials that have to be eliminated due to artifacts and a set of methodological variables, physical considerations, and individual differences.”
To read more about what they found as a result of their research, follow this link to the original article.
Related: Ms. Shields was awarded a Fulbright grant to return to Germany to study bat vocalizations and vocal learning in Munich, Germany from September 2017-July 2018. Prior to this, she spent a summer in Hamburg, Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service Research Internship in Science and Engineering. While there, she completed a research project with Ph.D. student Signe Luisa Schneider on electroencephalography (EEG), learning, and memory. (To find out more about this latter project, follow this link.) Shields also completed over three years of research in the psychology department and had other articles published as well. She graduated with a major in psychology, a concentration in neuroscience, and a minor in German. She plans on earning a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
Related: Ms. Morse currently works as a Licensed Nursing Assistant at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire. Graduating from Roanoke College with a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science in 2017, she followed this by attending the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences where she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in order to become a registered nurse. While at Roanoke College, she worked as a research assistant in the psychology department for around three and a half years, starting in 2013. She has also participated in two other published articles through Dr. Nichols lab, alongside Ms. Shields and other students. Her Linked In account can be found here.
A two year, full-time program providing students with advanced training in research methodology, data analysis, and the core principles of psychology. Students gain invaluable experience by working with faculty conducting research in a number of different subfields, as well as developing a wide range of knowledge in psychology.
Students will be required to develop, test, and defend a thesis project based on empirical research.
Through applying the basic principles of psychology to the workplace, I/O strives to improve not only the workplace, but also the “quality of work life for employees.”
Radford offers a two year, terminal master’s degree based on a “practitioner-scholar” model that applies to a number of career paths; the M.A. option includes a thesis project that prepares students for further studies.
A required internship, as well as a client-based project for each of the six I/O courses
37 credit-hour program (9 hours per semester; 1 credit summer internship)
Counseling (Psy.D.) at Radford University focuses on rural mental health, with emphasis on “cultural diversity, social justice, and evidence-based practice in psychology.”
The program is designed for students “interested in pursuing careers as psychologists in mental health settings and institutions where clinical supervision and the direct application of counseling, therapy, and psychological assessment are required.”
APA-accredited, follows a practitioner-scholar model, and includes a 2,000 hour internship.
Applicants must have completed a Master’s degree from an accredited institution where “they provided face-to-face counseling services by August of the year in which they wish to enroll in the Psy.D. program.”
While the program focuses on rural practice in their coursework and internships as they are located in rural Appalachia, they offer field placements in Roanoke for those wanting experience in a city environment.
Accepts graduate applications at any time but does not start reviewing them until the end of January.
Applications for these programs are due February 15th. These applications must be online, require a non-refundable payment of fifty (50) dollars, and degree–seeking students must submit official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended. The application will automatically be forwarded to the selected department for evaluation.
To learn more about admissions and to find the link to the application, click here.
Have you recently completed a research study, are an undergraduate student, and want to present your findings at a well-regarded conference?
On Friday, April 13th, 2018, the University of Virginia’s annual L. Starling Reid Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference will occur.
This event highlights “outstanding empirical research conducted by undergraduate scholars.”
The proposal deadline has been extended to Monday, March 15th, 2018 at 8:00 am.
Accepted students will be notified by 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 22nd.
Due to the high volume of applicants and the limited number of spots available, this conference is competitive.
Presentation formats are either research talks lasting around fifteen minutes, or posters. The selection process for research talks are more competitive, but if an applicant fails to secure a research talk position, then they will automatically be considered for a poster.
The application is now live and can be found here. For more information about the conference, follow this link.
If you have any questions, please contact UVA psychology department’s Taylor Young, who is the Interim Undergraduate Coordinator. His email is email@example.com.
Growth Through Opportunity is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
GTO is looking for students who are respectful of others, positive, dependable, patient, flexible, and creative, among other traits.
Through the program, students partner with first responders at local fire stations, police departments, sheriff’s offices and courthouses, making this an ideal program for those especially interested in psychology, sociology, social work, criminal justice, education, communications, and business.
In addition to gaining experience with varying levels of our justice system and with first responders, students will also develop such skills as developing educational curriculum, teaching/job coaching, and fundraising and marketing.
Students can volunteer,intern, or complete service hours. (Though it is too late in the current semester to set-up an internship.)
Students work as job coaches with recent high school graduates with disabilities (physical, emotional, learning, behavioral), called ‘cadets,’ as they work on-site with members of our justice system and first responders. Each student will have a small group of cadets, around four-to-six, that they will look after.
The program would be both spring and fall, from five-to-twenty hours a week, or from 9 am – 2 pm Monday through Thursday, though students will have to be there all of that time.While students are not paid, GTO is applicable for academic credit or service/volunteer hours, as well as gaining invaluable experience and connections.
Furthermore, GTO will also be at the upcoming job fair on March 19th, 4:30 – 6:30 pm if you are interested and would like to speak to a representative.
Finally, if you are interested but cannot commit to the time or both semesters, the GTO team is currently working with the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services to create a summer camp where students will have the opportunity to be involved.
For those who are interested, please send a letter of interest and resume to Dawn Martin at GTOdawnmartin@gmail.com or contact her at (540)204-5945 if you have any questions.
Martin is a 1998 graduate of Roanoke College with a bachelors degree in psychology. She is happy to help interested students in finding a place at GTO.
Interested in working in the non-profit sector, or just interested in helping kids learn?
Not sure what you’re going to do yet?
Then consider applying to the Literacy Lab, a branch of Americorps.
The Literacy Lab’s mission is to provide low-income children with individualized reading instruction to improve their literacy skills, leading to greater success in school and increased opportunities in life. In Richmond they serve children K-3, partnering with school districts to help close the literacy gap, by embedding full-time, rigorously-trained tutors in elementary schools.
The Literacy Lab works in Metro DC, Greater Richmond, Baltimore MD, Kansas City, MO and in the upcoming year, Springfield MA. Students who are graduating this year and are unsure what their next steps should be, may consider applying to this amazing service term. The position is rewarding, and the professional skills developed could help with a career in the non-profit sector. There is also an expansive Americorps alumni network that you’d also become a part of.
You can choose to serve full-time as a literacy tutor for the rest of the 2017-2018 year (through July 2018), or for the next year (August 2018- July 2019).
There is also another program called “Leading Men Fellowship” through the Literacy Lab which is a year-long opportunity from August 2018 – July 2019.
You can find the applications for all three of the above opportunities here. To learn more about the Literacy Lab in general, follow this link for the general website.
Congratulations to Dr. Powell (Roanoke College), Dr. Freedman (Dartmouth University), Dr. Le (Haverford College), and Dr. Williams (Purdue University) for their recent publishing in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, titled “Ghosting and Destiny: Implicit theories of relationships predict beliefs about ghosting”!
The research article focuses on two studies conducted by the authors to determine how implicit theories such as destiny and growth influence relationship terminations and how participants view “ghosting.”
For more information, follow this link to see the original study.
Again, congratulations to Dr. Powell and her fellow researchers for their manuscript publishing!
Then please consider applying to the Yale University program in Organizational Behavior.
The Yale University program in Organizational Behavior is seeking several summer research assistants (20 hours/week; ~$350-400/week) to work on research projects at the Yale School of Management in New Haven, CT. This internship would start in the summer of 2018 and last from around June 15th to August 15th (exact dates are flexible). This internship is designed to support individuals looking to strengthen their research skills before applying to a graduate school PhD program in organizational behavior, or a related behavioral science field. Therefore, a critical component of this summer research experience will be ongoing mentoring and guidance from faculty and graduate students, and we highly encourage those from underrepresented and/or non-traditional educational backgrounds to apply.
Research assistants will collaborate with faculty (Professors Amy Wrzesniewski, Cydney Dupree, and Michael Kraus) and graduate students on day-to-day research being conducted, which includes: programming surveys on Qualtrics, data collection in the lab, field, and online environments, analyzing and summarizing data, revising/editing manuscripts, assisting with literature reviews, IRB proposals, and presentations, and attending research meetings and workshops. At the end of the 8-week internship, all interns will present their research progress at a mini-conference hosted by the School of Management.
On Tuesday, January 23, 2018 Amanda Knox’s documentary was shown at Roanoke College in preparation for her visit the next evening.
While the room quickly filled up to watch the documentary, this would be nothing in comparison to the following night, when hundreds of people arrived at Olin Theater in order to see Amanda Knox in person.
In her presentation, Knox described the events of the past, emphasizing why truth matters and how her experience could have easily happened to anyone.
The events were hosted by the Turk Pre-Law Program’s Gentry Locke Speaker Series, the Public Affairs Society, and Community Programs.
Last December, Christmas was made particularly special for a class at Oak Grove Elementary School in Roanoke, Virginia.
As reported by the local WDBJ7 news station, Roanoke College students and biology professor, Dr. Frances Bosch, delivered toys they had altered to Mrs. Gruber’s special education classroom.
For children with disabilities, finding toys that look like them can be difficult and they can sometimes feel left out as a result.
As Dr. Bosch points out,
[… because only] twenty percent of the population have a disability of some sort, it is unlikely that major manufacturers would make toys to truly give every child a toy like them.
Yet, for students of this classroom, and for many other children as a result of the Toy Like Me project in Roanoke and the UK, finding toys that represent them has been made a little easier.
The Toy Like Me project at Roanoke College began when Dr. Bosch was researching for her 2015 May Term class, and she read about the Toy Like Me program started by Rebecca Atkinson in the UK.
Atkinson recognized the need for more diversified toys and started the program in order to lobby major toy manufacturers into producing toys more diverse toys.
The following year, while planning for her 2016 May Term class, Dr. Bosch decided not to wait for toy manufacturers to start diversifying their products.
I contacted Rebecca and asked if we could modify toys and give them away in the name of Toy Like Me.
So, the May 2016 class modified $300 worth of toys, and we gave most of them to Carilion Clinic’s Children’s Hospital in Roanoke.
This was not the end, however, as this project would spark continued projects in the name of Toy Like Me at Roanoke College. As Dr. Bosch describes,
Last school year, we did a Santa Claus Toy drive, and gave away $1600 worth of toys. [We] then gave toys away for Valentine’s [Day], and again in April.
My May 2017 class modified $700 worth of toys for the Pediatric Oncology ward at UVA through RC alumna Karra (Slaughter) Lee, who is a PA in that ward.
This year’s Santa Claus toy drive saw toys go to children in several schools in Roanoke City and County.
Including Oak Grove Elementary.
Last semester, we partnered with Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand’s Developmental Psychology classes. They modified toys with us, then participated in the delivery of toys to Oak Grove Elementary.
According to Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, her students worked with Professor Bosch, the “heart and soul of the program” in order modify the toys based on each individual student.
If someone is in a wheelchair, a doll can be modified to include a wheelchair; if a child has a feeding tube, a tube can be inserted in toys; if a child wears glasses or has crutches, they add those […]
For Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, the Toy Like Me program was “a memorable experience” as she “loved seeing the kids get so surprised and excited over the toys, and it was a great opportunity for my students as well.”
Dr. Bosch notes plans to partner with Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand’s class again this semester, as well as with Psi Chi, the Honors Society for psychology.
The Psychology Department would like to invite the campus community to attend a presentation by Dane Hilton, a candidate for a tenure track professor in the department, on the “Social Functioning and the Executive System: Improving Theory, Informing Intervention” TODAY in Life Science 402 at 4:00 pm.
For more information, please contact Dr. Buchholz.
Interested in conducting research on increasing political tolerance?
Thanks to a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, the lab of Dr. Kurt Gray is looking for a few motivated undergraduates for a full-time paid 8-week summer internship (June 18th to August 10th). Interns will receive hands-on experience with study development, data collection, and data presentation, in addition to receiving $2,800 each.
To apply, please submit a CV and a letter addressing the following questions: 1) What does political tolerance mean to you? 2) Why do you want to join this summer program? 3) What unique perspectives can you provide this internship program? 4) What are your long-term career goals?
Please e-mail Emily Kubin (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject title Summer Internship 2018 by February 15th, 2018.
Last December, Roanoke College’s psychology department hosted a school outreach program. Students were able to learn more about psychology through group sessions with individual professors and were able to see first-hand how optical illusions work through an experiment. Following this, students were also able to enjoy a lunch with both psychology professors and current psychology majors at Roanoke.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the program. It looks like it was a lot of fun!
If you are looking for ways of gaining clinical research experience working with youth over the summer, considering applying to the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at Ohio University.
Through this 8-week program, students will gain experience by attending seminars, working with mentors on research projects, and building a set of skills and a portfolio that will stand out to graduate schools including an independent project focused on some aspect of treatment related to youth with SEB.
Accepted students will be given a stipend of $4000, along with housing, meals, conference travel, and research incentives.
Eligible students must have at least a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate classes and must be a US Citizen or permanent resident. Applicants who have taken research methods will be more competitive, but this is not required. Finally, students from diverse or minority backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.
All applications must be submitted by February 23, 3018 at 5 pm.
To learn more about the program and how to apply, click here or on the above image to go to the official website.
The following is a transcription from an in-person interview with Victoria Preston at Fruitions where a student assistant was able to talk with her about her research and internship experiences at Roanoke College and Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare.
Can you tell me a little about yourself? (Such as interesting hobbies and your favorite color?)
I’m a psych major. I don’t think I have any interesting hobbies. I like animals and my favorite color is green.
What kind of classes are you taking this semester?
This is my last semester, so I’m at the very end of what I need to be taking. I’m taking a seminar course [for psychology], and then I’m taking a sociology class because it’s interesting to me. I [also] work for Dr. Powell on a research lab.
How do you like seminar?
It’s kind of challenging just because you’re working in a group to come up with a project. Most of the groups are four people, [but] we’ve got three, so it’s just kind of difficult to get everyone on the same page, to get everyone to meet on time, [and] to get the work done, but it seems to be going well so far.
How do you like Dr. Powell’s lab?
I love it. This is my second year working for her, second semester I guess, and her lab is about an emerging adult study or doing something with adolescents. Last semester I just worked in helping other students with their research- I didn’t do anything of my own. (…) This year I’m doing my own study from a previous student’s and some of her work. I have someone working for me this time. So, (…) I really enjoy it and you get the experience of what working in a research setting would be and you get her attention to help with anything else that you need.
So, what are you doing specifically in the lab?
There’s a Roanoke College student who graduated last year who did a study on emerging adults and talking, ghosting, friends with benefits, that kind of relationship. I’m doing a secondary data analysis of her study. Dr. Powell and Dr. Friedman did a study on a ghosting, so I’m taking some of their information and putting it together and running my own analysis of it: dealing with if there’s a time frame, what blocking is, if we can accurately define what “talking” really means. [Talking is] different for every person. That’s basically what I am doing this semester.
In addition to working in the lab, you also completed an internship. Can you tell me about that?
I interned at Blue Ridge Behavioral Health Care in the Child and Family Services [Department]. I was toying with the idea of working with children and families and I wanted to intern at a place that was local enough to where I could potentially work there because I am from Salem. [Interning at Blue Ridge] was just the best option and was something I was vaguely familiar with.
What did you learn from your experience at Blue Ridge?
A lot of what I did there was observing group therapy or sitting in on family assessment planning. If there was a kid that needed some sort of services but couldn’t afford it, they would go to this board and make their argument for the government or organization to pay for it. What I learned was that there are a majority of people who need the help that Blue Ridge is giving but they can’t afford it. That was kind of surprising to me because you think “oh, you know everybody has insurance, that insurance just pays for it” but that was not the case. [I also] just figured out my own personal biases in working with kids because I still want to work with children – I eventually want to be family therapist. Maybe. Working with kids, you think it’s going to be one thing and then it’s an entirely different thing.
I did learn a lot about what it was like to work in an actual office setting, which was really important to me because the only other job I’ve had I was working at a jewelry store. That was just really interesting to me to just see how complicated the behind-the-scenes of mental health is and trying to get people the services that they need.
Were there any moments during your internship that really surprised or struck you?
Since there are children and family services in that building, I thought it was only going to be kids needing some sort of residential treatment or psychiatric testing but it’s anything that has to do with children. […] I’m not sure… There were a lot of interesting experiences that I never anticipated or expected to see.
How do you plan on applying what you learned in your internship to what you’d like to do in the future?
The reason why I wanted to intern at a local place was because I plan on applying for a job there, so basically just taking all of the things I observed and kind of deciding if that’s the path that I want to go down since I’ll only have a bachelors [degree]. You can’t really do a lot, so I’ll probably end up being a case-worker. Just taking the things that I saw and learned in my psych classes, counseling classes, or my abnormal classes- even some of my sociology classes. I’ve taken a lot of juvenile delinquency and behavior classes and the things I’ve learned in my classes [I’ve also] seen first hand. When you do an internship, you have to write daily reflections of what you did and how it applies to what you learned and I could apply 90% of what I saw [interning at Blue Ridge] to something that I learned in my classes.
What’s some advice that you have for students who want to complete an internship?
Definitely do it. If I hadn’t taken the internship, then I would have no idea where to go or where to apply. Experiencing something is good but also being able to network and having people that you can then go to or have them be a reference for [is good as well]. I only interned for two months, so you don’t have to have a long internship to get a full experience . You can just do it for a summer. I would tell everyone to do an internship if they can, especially if they are not a hundred percent certain- even they are a hundred percent certain, but maybe they [realize they] don’t like it that much.
Thanks Victoria for taking time to meet to talk about your research experiences and your internship with Blue Ridge. Congratulations on completing your degree!
For those interested in applying to an internship or wanting to know more about research opportunities, please contact Dr. Camac in the Psychology Department and/or Dr. Lassiter in the Biology Department.
Several psychology students were recently able to present their research at the psychology poster session on December 7th. There was plenty of pizza and drinks for everyone. Great job presenting and thanks to everyone that came!
For students interested in learning how developmental processes relate to school learning and the community, as well as simply how science can be used to improve the lives of adolescents, the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia offers a graduate degree in Educational Psychology – Applied Developmental Science where students will be able to learn about their interests and apply to them to real world settings.
The program is twelve-months long and includes a 6-credit, 200 hour internship experience and is housed through the Curry School of Education, which is ranked one of 2017 best graduate schools for education by the U.S. News. Students who pursue this program later work as educators, researchers, among other various fields.
Students that are interested in the program should either click on the snapshot above to be taken directly to the site or click here. If you have any questions and want to talk directly with someone from the program, please feel free to contact Dr. Ellen Markowitz at email@example.com.
In the midst of winter as the cold seeps into our homes, we often tend to think of what we will be doing in the summer…
For students interested in summer research opportunities (including paid experiences), winter is also a good time to start thinking about applying to these opportunities, as many summer research opportunities have a deadline in January or February.
One notable exception to this is Roanoke College’s Summer Scholars program which has a deadline of March 15th.
Below are some of the opportunities available to students from every major, with the link to the full list of research opportunities here.
Examples from the Social Sciences and Humanities:
Leadership Alliance Mellon Initiative (many humanities and social science majors)
Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
American Economics Association Summer Training Program
American Political Science Association
Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers
Examples from the Sciences:
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs) – Includes the Sciences, Public Health, Psychology, and Anthropology
Pathways to Science
Department of Homeland Security
Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program
Student Conservation Association
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute of Health (NIH) Summer Internship Program
In the final blog post written by students from Dr. Osterman’s PSYC 376: Evolutionary Psychology to be featured on the site, students discuss how males have possibly evolved to detect and respond to cues of ovulation.
The authors, including Sarah Raines, Ryan Casey, Tori Blair, and Chasity Ramsey, focus on defining ovulation from an evolutionary standpoint and then describe the subtle cues of an ovulating woman, including how she dresses.
Providing interesting information on something few of us think of, this is the last of the three blog posts to be featured. If you’re interested in learning more about this blog either click on the screenshot above or the link below that. The other two blogs can also be found on the site.
Good job to everyone who worked hard on these blog posts! They turned out well!
Dr. Powell presented on a study by herself and Sophia Bolton of Duke University, titled “Parental Knowledge and Adjustment of Mothers in a Treatment Facility.”
She posted on Facebook, saying about the experience:
The lab’s first #NCFR17 won’t be our last NCFR! Our projects were well received, catching up with colleagues and networking with new ones was productive, and (last, but certainly not least) the sunny Florida weather was much enjoyed!
Ms. Riker Lawrence also presented on her research, which was in conjunction with Dr. Powell and Dr. Katherine Karraker of West Virginia University, and titled “Caring for Toddlers: Parents’ Experiences, Desires, and Satisfaction.”
Overall, we’re incredibly proud of our department’s Dr. Powell and Ms. Lawrence for their successful presentations at NCFR and for representing the department and Roanoke College well.
The second of three articles written by students in PSYC 376: Evolutionary Psychology to be featured on the blog, this article was written by North Angle, Cristoni Couvrette, and Anne Mette Rasmussen and is titled “Jealousy: Successful Tactic or Harmful Emotion?”
In the post, the authors discuss why we get jealous and the differences of jealousy exhibited between male and females, all from an evolutionary standpoint.
Please click here to read the article, or click on the screenshot above.
For students interested in pursuing a M.S. in Counseling Psychology, consider applying to Tennessee State University.
The program offers offers two paths for students, with a non-thesis option for those who want a master’s level license as a clinician in the Tennessee area, or a thesis option for students considering future doctoral studies.
In the latter course, students work with faculty to gain skills and experiences that appeal to competitive doctoral programs, including TSU’s APA-accredited Counseling Psychology program.
Because TSU is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), they place a great emphasis on diversity and acceptance. Both students and professors work to support “… social change and advocacy through coursework, community service, practicum training, and outreach presentations and workshops delivered to community agencies that speak for underrepresented populations.”
In addition to the brochure attached above, the program coordinator can be contacted at MScounseling@tnstate.edu and the program webpage can be found here.
Applications to the M.S. in Counseling Psychology are currently open, with a deadline of the 1st of February, 2018.
As part of Dr. Osterman’s PSYC 376: Evolutionary Psychology class, students submit a term blog instead of a tradition term paper. Focusing on a specific topic, students form groups and explain the topic from an evolutionary perspective with accompanying memes and other relevant videos in true Roanoke College Psychology Department fashion.
Over the next few weeks, there will be three blog posts featuring her students work, beginning with the current post.
This week’s topic is focused on why humans like drinking alcohol according to evolutionary psychology and was written by Luke Harbison, Maddie McCall, Nicole Moughrabi, and Adora Nguyen.
In the article, the authors address the history of alcohol usage and continue on to describe the many reasons why we consume alcohol, including attempting to explain why our taste for alcohol is so widespread.
Sound interesting? Please follow the link to learn more.
Three current psychology students and one former student at Roanoke College were recently able to present their findings at the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood (SSEA) conference in Washington D.C., alongside the department’s Dr. Powell.
The theme for the SSEA’s 8th biennial conference was focusing on “Emerging Adults as Change-Makers Around the World.”
For these students, the opportunity to present their posters was an incredible experience.
Molly Zydel ’19 commented that…
“SSEA was great! It went very well for all of us with our presentations. At SSEA, we got a chance to talk to other professors, graduate students, and scholars about our research and theirs. It was interesting to get a perspective from others! We also got a chance to pick out different paper sessions to go to, where we got to listen to people present about their whole paper!”
One of the sessions students were able to go to and enjoyed seeing was the scholar Jeffrey Arnett, who created the theory of emerging adulthood as a life-stage.
Dr. Powell further commented on how impressed she was by her students, saying
The students did a great job presenting their posters and interacting with the other scholars. The conference is predominately attended by those who have earned their doctorate degree or who are working on an advanced degree, so the students were definitely in the minority. However, they represented my Developmental Self-Knowledge Lab, the Psychology Department, and Roanoke College incredibly well.
She continued on to discuss how the students found the information presented by other scholars interesting because of the relevance to them, as “the research samples emerging adults (i.e., those between the ages of 18 and 25; and is life-span stage that they are in)” and were on topics such as “… mental health, identity development, romantic relationships, peer relationships.”
We’re proud of our students (both current and former) and look forward to seeing what they will accomplish the future!
As the title says, New Majors’ Orientation has been changed to the Wednesday the 29th and Thursday the 30th of November (the week following Thanksgiving Break).
If you signed up through SONA, then the date has automatically been changed and you do not have to sign up again. HOWEVER, if the day no longer works for you, you will need to sign up for the other day.
The orientation will be at the same time, from 6-7 pm, and in the same place, Life Science 502.
Look forward to seeing you there (the author heard Dr. Powell makes it fun, so don’t stress too much)!
“Do you like watching movies? Do you like winning free money? Would you like a chance to do both at the same time?”
Sound like a dream come true?
Then please plan on attending Psi Chi’s annual movie night on Tuesday, November 28th. Prior to this, submissions for any movie recommendation relating to psychology (like last year’s winner, Inside Out) are open until the end of Tuesday, November 14th. Voting will then continue until November 21st. The winner will receive a $5 gift card to Mill Mountain to contribute towards their coffee fund and preparation for finals.
Think you have a winning movie? Want free coffee or a hot chocolate (or whatever your heart desires from Mill Mountain)? Then please send your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesday, November 14th.
For students interested in pursuing a masters degree in experimental psychology, consider attending Saint Joseph’s University’s virtual (online) open house on Monday, November 13th at 11:30 am.
Saint Joseph’s University offers an intense, full-time program where students acquire a strong foundation for the scientific study of psychology through equal emphasis on coursework and empirical research.
For more information on how to attend the open house, click here. For those interested in the overall program, follow this link to go to the official site.
A brochure for SJU’s M.S. in Psychology can be found here.
In Part I, we talked about the more academic side of the trip and some differences noticed between cultures. In Part II of the Thailand May Term, we will discuss the more inherently fun and less academic parts of the trip, because, even though this was a class, it was still an experience of a lifetime.
For Dr. Darcey Powell, in addition to the conversations the group had with locals, her two favorite experiences were the Muay Thai boxing class and their day as mahouts:
[…] In the Muay Thai boxing class, we learned about that style of boxing and practiced the techniques. As mahouts, we learned how to take care of elephants with respect to feeding and bathing, as well as how to ride elephants, and then put what we learned into practice with our own elephant for the day.
Dr. Darcey Powell
Students’ experiences as mahouts at the Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai was definitely one of the most favorite and memorable experiences of the trip, as Peyton Holahan ’19 recounts:
We spent the entire day playing with and learning about elephants. It really does not get much better than that in my opinion. We were greeted in the morning by the director of Patara who explained their mission as an elephant sanctuary focused on educating individuals about the health and well-being of these beautiful animals. Each person got assigned an elephant (or two) to spend the day with and it was pure magic. I was one of the lucky ones to get assigned both a mom elephant and her two-year-old baby. They told us that they assigned the elephants based on our personalities but I am certainly not planning on having kids anytime soon. I learned how to groom, feed, and bathe my elephants. Bathing them was by far the most fun because this involved getting on their backs and scrubbing them with a brush in the river. This was also really refreshing because Thailand’s climate is HOT.
Along with our elephants we were partnered with mahouts who are the elephants’ caretakers and trainers. Our mahouts assisted us throughout the day in helping us ride the elephants and showing us how to take care of them. Patara is such a unique elephant sanctuary in Thailand in that they do not cage the elephants but rather let them roam freely because their mission is focused on recovery, reproduction, and reintroduction of elephants into the wild. Patara is one of the most humane elephant farms in Thailand for that reason and I am so glad that Dr. Powell chose this once in lifetime opportunity for us all to experience.
Sarah Hughes agrees with Holahan, giving her own description of her experience at the elephant farm.
I had been looking forward to going to the elephant farm since I had signed up for the trip, so I was tremendously thrilled when I found out that we each would have our own elephant for the day. We had the opportunity to feed our elephant sugar cane and bananas, inspect them for good health, bathe them, and ride them for their daily walk. I quickly learned that elephants like to eat a lot and eat quickly. This was because every time I would feed my elephant she would get mad at me and start to yell because I was not feeding her enough at a time and not quick[ly] enough. We then had the chance to speak to them in Thai and make sure they had slept properly the night before and were happy and healthy.
The next part was my favorite part of the trip. […] We had the opportunity to scrub them and play in the water with each of our elephants. It was interesting to see that some of the elephants really liked the water and others did not. Afterwards we rode our elephants to lunch. This ride was not what I was expecting, as we rode for thirty minutes straight up a mountain and only had a rope to hold on to.
Molly Zydel ’19 seconded the opinions of her fellow students, adding that:
The trip as a whole was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience out of the country. As for favorite parts of the trip, I absolutely adored our time in Chaing Mai. The city was gorgeous, and not near[ly] as overwhelming as Bangkok was. It reminded me a lot of home, which is why I think I loved it so much. While we were in that city, we also had an excursion where we got to be elephant care takers for a day. We each had our own elephant and we got to feed them, bathe them, and ride them. That day was phenomenal. It feels so surreal, even though I have pictures to prove it happened.
Hughes also mentioned a number of other fun activities that students were able to experience.
Some other things we did during the trip were visiting many temples all over Thailand, including the Grand Palace. We went to an adventure park at our hotel in Phetchabun, which is in the mountains, visited a factory, and went to Koh Samui, which is a gorgeous island in Thailand. We also were able to take a Muay Thai Boxing class, go to a rooftop restaurant, explore local night markets, and speak with monks.
Molly Zydel described her experience in Thailand as
[…] phenomenal. […] I could say so many things, but they all lead back to the statement of if you get the chance to travel abroad like this, do it. You won’t regret it. Even if it scares you half to death, do it. You find out somewhere in the middle of all of it that the experience is more exhilarating and eye-opening than it is scary. You change so much as a result of spending 3 weeks in another country that has such a different culture. Thailand was amazing. I just want to go back.
Ultimately, as Kiah Coflin ’19 concludes,
There are only so many aspects of a culture you can learn through a classroom […] [as seeing things] first hand teaches lessons better than any textbook ever can.
To see more pictures, go here to the official Facebook for the Thailand May Term. If you haven’t read the first part of the Thailand blog post, click here.
Thank you to everyone who helped with this post and were willing to write and submit pictures.
Twelve students from multiple disciplines, including psychology, went to Thailand this past summer with psychology professor, Dr. Darcey Powell to study emerging adulthood as part of a May Term program at Roanoke College.
Over the course of three weeks, students were able to compare the empirical articles they had read before departure with their own experiences as they traveled across Thailand to cities including Bangkok, Phetchabun, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui. While there, they discussed cultural similarities and differences with local emerging adults in Thailand. By traveling from city to city, students were able to see how socioeconomic settings and geography affect the lives of different emerging Thai adults.
As Peyton Holahan ’19 recalls,
The readings for our May Term were really interesting and relevant to the cultures and places we encountered. The topics in our readings varied from the collectivist[…] ideals in Thai society, to the importance of education, to the role of the transgender community in Thailand. Almost every day, we would have group discussions about our assigned readings and consider how the readings related to what we experienced or could possibly experience in our daily ventures.
When asked to talk about one of the most interesting parts of their trip, multiple students talked about their visit to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok where they were able to interact with Thai students. Through talking one-on-one with each other and asking questions about their social and academic lives, they came to realize that perhaps they were not so different after all.
Holahan describes how her group quickly learned that social media plays a huge role in Thai student’s everyday lives, just as media does in the United States. In fact, because of the interactions with the Chulalongkorn students, Ms. Holahan came to realize that:
[…]the Thai students in Bangkok had very similar lives to our own in that most of them were working towards getting a degree and were still financially dependent on their parents. Spending the day at Chula and getting to know Thai students on a personal level completely contradicted my initial belief that our cultures were so far apart.
Sarah Hughes ’19 also mentioned her experiences talking with the psychology graduate students at Chulalongkorn University.
[…] It was funny[;] the first question they asked was about our current president and our political systems. They did not understand that our political system creates conflicts because in Thailand everyone worships the Royal Family. […] One conversation that stood out to me was when a student asked if our traffic jams in the U.S. only lasted approximately thirty minutes. I thought this was a strange question, but I shortly learned that it is easier to walk somewhere than drive because traffic jams can last for three hours.
Sarah Hughes ’19
Molly Zydel ’19 noted that for all the similarities, Thai and USA cultures are fundamentally different.
Thai culture is very different from US culture, in so many ways. First off, it is a collectivist[…] culture, meaning they emphasize the collective whole rather than the individual. This was observed in many ways, but especially in the way they treated each other. I never once saw a Thai person yelling. Thai people are also much more conservative. They don’t really like talking about themselves.
Molly Zydel ’19
This was most noticeable during the talk with graduate students from Chulalongkorn University, as Zydel continued on to say.
[…] As Americans, we were much more open to answering questions about ourselves, but when we asked them questions, the Thai students often struggled in speaking up to answer them, especially when we asked questions that were uncomfortable in the first place (e.g. we asked about sex outside of marriage and if it happened, and that question clearly made them uncomfortable).
Through their traveling, students were further exposed to various ways of thinking about life and their own culture. For Sarah Hughes ’19, the first few moments in Thailand were a startling contrast with her home in Maryland.
As soon as we landed in Bangkok I noticed many differences. For starters[,] the airport was half-inside and half-outside. We had been traveling for 23 hours in nice cold air conditioning and the second you stepped into the airport it felt like 100 degrees or more because of the humidity. Before our trip, everyone had told us to prepare for the heat but none of us expected it to be as hot and as humid as it was. I am from Maryland near Washington D.C. and I thought I knew what humidity was, but oh[,] I was wrong. The humidity in Thailand was something I have never experienced before.
Sarah Hughes ’19
Later, Ms. Hughes began to notice something else about the differences between the United States of America and Thailand.
In the United States we tend to separate poor areas from the rich areas, but in Thailand you will have a gorgeous temple that the Rama (king) built next to shacks that people live in. It stood out to me because you would have thousands of tourist[s] admiring these stunning buildings and next door are [the homeless] or people that live in a small shack without running water.
These observations fall in line with the readings, as Peyton Holahan noted…
I remember leading a group discussion on two readings about the importance of social class in society. These readings directly related to our experiences because it was clear that social class in Thai society affected the paths of Thai emerging adults as to whether they got an education or started working at a young age to support themselves. Social class was a key factor in many of the places we visited because we witnessed higher social classes in urban areas like Bangkok.
In cities like Bangkok, education was emphasized for emerging adults because they were in an urban setting with plenty of accessible resources that stressed academic goals for better jobs and opportunities. On the other hand, we also witnessed the extent of lower social classes in more rural areas like Phetchabun. In such areas, emerging adults usually resorted to working at young ages to support their families instead of pursuing higher education because it was rarely an option within their socioeconomic sphere.
In addition to these observations and experiences, students were also able to have some fun as well. Continue to part II to learn about some of the student’s and professor’s favorite parts of the trip, including getting to spend the day with elephants.
To see more pictures of the trip, click here to go to the official RC May Term Facebook Page.
The Psychology Department would like to congratulate Dr. Powell and Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand on getting their manuscripts accepted for publishing this semester!
Dr. Powell has published two articles this semester. The first was in conjunction with Elizabeth Babskie and Aaron Metzger, titled “Variability in Parenting Self-Efficacy Across
Prudential Adolescent Behaviors” and can be found here.
The second article, titled “Prospective Parents’ Knowledge About Parenting and Their Anticipated Child-Rearing Decisions,” has received special promotion by the National Council of Family Relations as one of the five “early view” articles from their journals for October, and was co-written with Dr. Katherine Karraker of West Virginia University.
Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand has also had a manuscript acceptance for her article on “Affective-interpersonal and impulsive-antisocial psychopathy: Links to social goals and forms of aggression in youth and adults”, which is co-authored with Tiina Ojanen, a professor at the University of South Florida, and will be published in the journal Psychology of Violence.
For Dr. FVN’s description of her article and findings, please follow this link.
Again, congratulations to both professors on their recent article acceptances!
If you recently declared a major in psychology either this semester or last semester, you are required to attend the New Majors’ Orientation either on Wednesday, November 8th or Thursday, November 9th in Life Science 502 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.
Please sign up through SONA and select which day you will be attending.
If you have any questions, feel free to email Dr. Powell at DPowell@Roanoke.edu.
If you are considering becoming a professional counselor, then look into attending the Virginia Tech Counselor Education Open House on Friday, November 3rd. The event will last from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and you can drop-in anytime to chat with students and faculty and to tour the facilities.
Interested? Please RSVP by emailing: email@example.com
The psychology department would like to offer their sympathy and support to Ryan Hedgpeth and her family.
Ryan, a senior psychology major and volleyball player at Roanoke College, was driving back to school after visiting her friends at the University of Pittsburgh over fall break last Thursday when she was involved in a single-car accident and was seriously injured.
She’s currently in the intensive care unit at Charleston General Hospital in West Virginia. Her coach, Blair Trail, told The Roanoke Times reporter, Mark Berman, that Ryan is conscious but sedated and that she is responsive to commands and can communicate, using a card to spell out words.
Ryan will have a long recovery process ahead of her and has already undergone one surgery but is scheduled for more.
Her dog, Blue, was also injured in the accident but stayed with her until help arrived. He has undergone surgery and will need physical therapy as well.
If you want to help Ryan and are looking for ways to support her and her family but aren’t sure how, there is a gofundme page for Ryan here.
Interested in internships? Then join us on Thursday, November 2nd, from 11:45 to 1:00 in Life Science 502 for an information session to learn about the different opportunities available, as well as their requirements and deadlines, and much, much more!
Pizza will be provided, but please bring your own drink.
RSVP by Wednesday, November 1, noon, to 540-375-2462, or to firstname.lastname@example.org
A student assistant was recently able to interview Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand amidst the chaos and confusion that is midterms about herself and her research interests, as well as her recent manuscript acceptance in the journal Psychology of Violence.
So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from Florida?
It’s great! Definitely different from Tampa. Smaller city, slower pace, cooler weather…all good things for me.
Can you tell me about your academic background?
I did my undergraduate degree at the University of South Florida. I also remained there, for a variety of reasons, for my Ph.D. (and Masters along the way). Towards the end of my doctorate, I broadened my interests some and was involved in a couple of projects outside of the Psychology department that involved applying psychology to the problem of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) student persistence. These projects ended up leading to an offer to remain as a postdoctoral researcher after wrapping up my dissertation. So, after my postdoc, here I am!
What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?
Right now I am teaching PSCY221- Developmental Psychology, and PSYC321- Child Development. In the near(ish) future I will teach these, as well as Intro to Psychology, Adolescent Development, and a Research Seminar in Developmental Psychology.
What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?
My research interests are related but twofold. In my primary research, I am interested in peer relationships and social behaviors during adolescence and early adulthood. In this line, I have
focused on aggression among peers, underlying motivational factors, and the ways in which aggression is tied to social status among peers. I also have continuing research aimed at understanding the role of the self in aggression and prosociality, and my studies in these area are driven by both developmental and social psychology literatures and studies. In my second line of research, I’m also interested in understanding how social experiences, like felt belonging, as well as self-concepts and motivation may drive interest and persistence in STEM disciplines. Much of the research in this area is also related to academic persistence and achievement more broadly, but has some specific nuances related to the STEM context.
I recently heard that you have been approved to publish an article in a journal, can you tell me more about that?
Sure! The paper will be published in the journal Psychology of Violence, and includes two studies (one in early adolescence, and one in young adulthood) examining two forms of psychopathy, social goals, and forms of aggression. In previous research, we’ve demonstrated that social goals for status predict heightened aggression (especially relational aggression) over time in adolescents, and social goals for closeness and affiliation are related to lower levels of aggression. In a separate line of research, psychopathy and callous-unemotional traits are consistently tied to high aggression. In our study, we demonstrated differences in relationships between psychopathy and social goals based on form of psychopathy (one form entailing interpersonal manipulation was related to social goals, whereas the other form entailing behavioral impulsivity was not), and that social goals mediated the links between psychopathy and aggression in both age groups. So, within the context of psychopathy as a risk factor, targeting social goals may help in aggression-related interventions.
What are some random/cool facts about you?
First, my husband and I have an 1 ½ year old son, who keeps us busy and I’m forever in awe of. Second, I am a huge Formula 1 racing fan! We have a lot of awkward hours in our house where we will wake up to watch the European races live. It’s a much more complex sport than you might think, and the psychology of the drivers, their competitiveness, decision making, team dynamics, etc. is really fascinating.
Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?
Everyone here has been super welcoming. So thanks!
Congratulations Dr. FVN for your recent manuscript acceptance and thank you for taking time to answer our questions!
We are incredibly proud and excited to announce that four psychology students were recently accepted as new members to Phi Beta Kappa, the United State’s most prestigious honor society for the liberal arts and sciences.
When asked how they felt about their acceptance, students replied:
“I’m so honored to be accepted into Phi Beta Kappa and be recognized for my accomplishments at Roanoke!” – Megan Miller ’18
“When I found out I got Phi Beta Kappa I was very excited and proud of myself. I have worked very hard over these past years and it’s an honor to be recognized for it.” – Taylor Kracht ’18
“I am honored to learn my Roanoke Professors nominated me for Phi Beta Kappa. Acceptance into this honor society is especially meaningful because it recognizes the broad array of pursuits that I have had the good fortune to enjoy at RC.” – Laura Sullivan ’18.
Congratulations to Megan Miller ’18, Laura Sullivan ’18, Taylor Kracht ’18, and Sabrina McAllister ’18! We are incredibly proud of you and look forward to seeing what you will accomplish in the future!
As this is the beginning of the first official week of Hell (in other words, midterms; the second official week of Hell being finals), we thought sharing some tips on how to survive would be helpful.
In Part I there were tips about starting the semester off to a good start and what to do in preparation for classes. In Part II, we will cover what cognitive research and educators* recommend for learning in class during and after, and, most importantly, how to study for those exams you’re dreading.
Before we begin, here’s a picture of a bunny:
Do Not Skip (Unless You Absolutely Have To)
Simply put, you won’t learn if you don’t go.
Even if the lecture is essentially a review of the material you already read, just showing up and hearing the material again will allow the information to more easily become part of your long-term memory.
Furthermore, teachers will often explain the material in different ways, so if the way the book describes a concept does not make sense, the teacher’s description may help clarify what you did not understand. Teachers also tend to add additional information that they believe is relevant to the class that is not included in the book but most likely will be on the test.
Take Notes By Hand
There are exceptions to this as students become more accustomed to taking notes with a laptop than with a pen and paper. Even so, the use of a laptop could distract both you and your neighbors as the temptation to look on social media and the internet is tempting, so be careful in how you use your laptop and where you sit. The authors of the study suggest turning off your WiFi so the internet and social media will be less tempting.
The reasons behind the insistence on using the traditional method of taking notes is related to the lower levels of information processing generated when using a laptop. Students take notes with their computer mindlessly, while those who use a pen/pencil and paper must process the information and convert it into something that is not word-for-word, but will make sense to them in the future.
In other words, those who write on a piece of paper know that they cannot copy everything down and therefore have to pick and choose what is the most important information to write down in a concise manner. This method of note-taking therefore leads to greater comprehension of the material.
Obtain Slides Before Class
That way, you will not have to write everything down that your professor talks about, but can add to the information already shown. You can pay more attention to what the professor is saying instead of madly trying to copy everything down before they go to the next slide.
Most students leave immediately and focus on whatever they have to do next, but the authors of the article recommend going back over notes from your lectures later on in the day. By doing so, you can fill in whatever information you remember but did not get a chance to write down, as well as to find where you need more information on a topic.
In addition, write down whatever questions arise from your studying and try to answer them yourself before turning to your book. The authors say just spending fifteen minutes looking over your notes can help you better understand and remember what you learned that day.
By studying this way, you don’t have to re-learn everything the night before the test but can instead simply review the easier concepts and focus more on what you really struggled with.
Preparing for Tests
Advice for this section is essentially what has already been discussed. Research shows that students tend to study at the last minute by looking over notes and rereading material paying close attention to highlights, but that these methods do not work as well as one might hope. Instead, the authors recommend studying over a length of time and using active studying techniques (Putnam et al., p. 656).
Don’t cram everything at the last minute, instead, space out your studying over the course of several days. You’re still spending around the same amount of time, but you are learning much more from these study sessions than from one gigantic cramming session the night before (or day of).
Cramming may seem to work in the short-term, but for long-term memory retention, spacing out your studying sessions will drastically help your performances on tests.
The authors also make note of how rereading should be for when you are confused about a topic after quizzing yourself, not when you want to remember something. If you want to remember something, quizzing will help much more than simply reading over what you’ve already read before.
Reasons of Quizzing
This emphasis on quizzing yourself is based on a learning tool called “retrieval practice.” By quizzing yourself, the authors point out, you are literally doing what you are going to have to do for the test: retrieving information from memory.
The authors provide a few more ways to improve results from study sessions. Besides the read-recite-review method and other methods discussed in part I, the authors also recommend the use of flashcards. Use memory retrieval and do not look at the answer side when trying to answer the question; in addition, make sure you keep using the card until you have gotten the answer right at least three-to-four times. Finally, don’t just define the term, but try explaining the term to a friend; this method also helps retention.
Some Other Tips
The authors provide a helpful link towards balancing studying and retrieval practicing through suggesting looking up something called successive relearning (Putnam et al., p. 656).
Continuing on, if there are a lot of terms you need to memorize, using mnemonic techniques can be useful. Mnemonics are probably familiar to you; teachers use them often, such as when you are learning the order of operations in math. Teachers will probably use “PEMDAS” to help you remember, with each letter corresponding to something else: Please (parenthesis), Excuse (exponent), My (multiplication), Dear (division), Aunt (addition), Sally (subtraction). You can use mnemonics to help you in college as well, either through this particular way or through loci, which are mental associations formed with objects or buildings familiar to us in order to help us remember harder things.
The Final Exam
By following the suggestions above and in part I, the Final Exam will not seem quite as daunting as before and you might even be able to get a good nights rest. Be sure to start studying well ahead of time and test yourself on what you recall, reviewing what you cannot and making sure that everything you do remember is correct.
Put studying at the top of your priority list (you and/or your parents are paying a fortune for you to learn), but also remember to have fun with your friends and reward yourself for what you have accomplished so far. Exercising can be a great method of stress relief, as well as getting a regular amount of sleep.
In the end, it’s easy to get caught up in the multitude of activities and assignments we involve ourselves in, but be sure to just take a few minutes for yourself to just… breath.
Everything will be okay.
*The information discussed in Part I and Part II is taken from a study conducted by Dr. Adam L. Putnam of the Department of Psychology in Carleton College and Victor W. Sungkhasettee and
Henry L. Roediger, III of the Psychological & Brain Sciences Department of the Washington University in St. Louis. Their study, published in 2016, is titled “Optimizing Learning in College:
Tips From Cognitive Psychology” and can be found here.
It happens a lot, that dreaded “study-a-day-before-the-test” deal that causes lots of stress and results in multiple brews of coffee.
There might be highlighting.
There will definitely be crying.
Office hours might be a thing and there will probably be some frantic texts and emails sent to both professors and friends, swearing that this will “never happen again” and “when did we even learn this?”
You might look like this:
Even so, you study on and you pray that everything will be okay. You stay up all night studying, maybe getting a few hours of sleep if you’re lucky. You promise yourself that next time, you’ll do better.
If this is something you have experienced, then the information provided in a recent study* published through the Association for Psychological Science will help immensely.
In the study, the authors attempt to provide tips both from research in cognitive psychology, as well as through their own experience as educators. They provide advice for studying before classes, during, and after, as well as a lot of tips for preparing for tests.
In this part, we will discuss methods of studying and preparing before classes. In part II, we will discuss methods of better learning during and after class and in preparation for exams. Finally, parts I and II will both include memes simply for pure entertainment.
Besides the usual “don’t study at the last minute” that a lot of people know about and yet still happens because, well, life happens, there are also a number of other things that contribute to learning effectively.
Rereading textbooks and notes, generally only focusing on the highlighted words, does not work as well as we think it does. For short-term, those tricks might work, but in the long-term, studies have suggested that these methods consume a lot of time without much real output (e.g., Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan, & Willingham, 2013).
Basically? You might be okay on the midterm, but for long-term memory retention, specifically regarding that cumulative final you’re dreading, this method of studying probably won’t work as well as you might hope.
So what should you do according to Putnam, Sungkhasettee, and Roediger III?
Starting the Semester
Most of this is common sense, but try to minimize the late-nights spent studying by getting organized early in the semester so that you can minimize later stress when weeks like midterms come and assignments never seem to end. Starting good habits when stress levels are low can also help immensely during these dark times of never-ending homework.
Organization is incredibly important to maintaining both sanity and grades, while still somehow managing to get sleep and having a social life. Therefore, going to the first day of classes and carefully reading over the syllabus is key to juggling this impossible balancing act. By reading the syllabus, you will know what is happening in the class and when assignments are due, so you won’t be blind-sided by multiple projects hitting all at once. Putting your assignments all into a calendar, an excel spreadsheet, or on your phone and making a habit of checking a month ahead every week can help to maintain a good overview of your classes. This can also help you to know when you need to start studying, like when multiple projects are due on the same day.
The authors also recommend setting calendar reminders a week prior to exams, projects, or recurring assignments and quizzes so nothing gets forgotten (Putnam et al., 2016).
Buy the Books
In order to succeed in the class, you need to have the books. Buying textbooks can be incredibly expensive, but be careful of used textbooks, especially if they have highlighting because the previous owner(s) may not have recognized the crucial parts of the text.
Do Not Attempt Multitasking
Multitasking is bad.
It does not work.
Repeatedly switching attention from one task to another can make learning less effective (e.g., Anderson & Fuller, 2010; Craik, Govoni, Naveh-Benjamin, & Anderson, 1996). Any kind of multitasking, in fact, from having a Facebook tab open to listening to music can impair your ability to learn even if you don’t think it bothers you (as qt. Willingham 2010a). Try to make a habit of turning off your media while studying at a quiet place (meaning, unfortunately, Mill Mountain does not count).
Preparing for Class
Sometimes it’s hard to get all of the assigned reading done before class, but by doing so in an effective manner, you will get more out of the class. Don’t try to read as quickly as possible, even if you feel like you’re getting piled down with homework. As the authors point out, comprehension takes time and while reading quickly may get you through the text, you likely won’t be retaining the information you read (Rayner, Schotter, Masson, Potter, & Treiman, 2016). Try to make sure you understand the material before moving on to the next thing; reading is pointless if you don’t remember what you read.
In addition, while highlighting and underlining are popular, studies show that they do not really contribute towards recall later on (Dunlosky et al., 2013). Instead, try these tips:
Answer the Comprehension Questions Prior to Reading
While seemingly counter-intuitive, attempting to answer the questions before reading the chapter can help activate what prior knowledge you do have on the topic and make it easier to connect with the new material. Research also shows that by doing so, you will better be able to remember the material as well (e.g., Pressley, Tanenbaum, McDaniel, & Wood, 1990; Richard et al., 2009).
Ask Yourself Questions While Reading
By actively asking questions about the material you are reading, you will have better comprehension regarding what you read as well as for the future when you make study guides. Potential questions could include defining the topics you are learning about as well as asking yourself “Why is this true?” or “What parts of this page are new to me?” (Putnam et. al., 2016; R. Wong, Lawson, & Keeves, 2002).
“Read, Recite, and Review”
Instead of highlighting or simply reading, read the assigned chapter and then try to recall the major points of the chapter. After that, go back through the chapter and focus on what you missed. This way of studying may take more time, but in the long run, it’s more effective in remembering the material than simply reading or highlighting.
So, what sort of things should you do while in class and what are the best methods of studying for tests (like, say, impending midterms)? Continue on to part II to see what cognitive psychologists and educators recommend doing in order to survive college!
*The study, titled “Optimizing Learning in College: Tips From Cognitive Psychology” was put together by Adam L. Putnam, from the Department of Psychology, Carleton College and, Victor W. Sungkhasettee and Henry L. Roediger III from the Psychological & Brain Sciences Department, Washington University in St. Louis. The link can be found here.
A student assistant for the psychology department was recently able to interview Dr. Travis Carter, a new Psychology professor at Roanoke College this year, as a follow-up interview to learn more about him, his interests in psychology, and other cool things as the semester is now in full-swing. The following is the interview:
So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from Maine?
I think it’s great! Everyone I’ve met has been incredibly welcoming, and although we’ve just started to explore the area, it seems like there’s a ton of stuff to do. And yes, it is very different from Maine in a lot of ways, but I think the biggest differences will be apparent this winter. I am not going to miss shoveling 3+ feet of snow from my driveway.
Can you tell me a little about your educational background?
I did my undergrad at the University of Chicago, which has a reputation as a large research university, but the undergraduate population is actually not all that big, so it operates more like a liberal arts college. I received my PhD from Cornell University, and then returned to Chicago for a postdoc in the Center for Decision Research, housed in the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?
Right now, I am teaching PSYC-251: Social Psychology and PSYC-204: Quantitative Methods in Psychology. I’ll continue to teach those courses in the future, and will teach what I hope will be a fun INQ-120 course this coming spring, called A Perfect World. It aims to examine past utopian visions through the lens of modern psychological research. Next year, I’ll also be teaching some upper level courses, including a course in Judgment and Decision Making, and one on Social Cognition.
What are your past and current research interests?
I continue to have a diverse range of research interests, examining everything from political attitudes to consumer behavior to a fairness bias exhibited by Major League Baseball umpires. Broadly speaking, I’m interested in the ways that our judgments, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors can be biased by both external forces (subtle exposure to a symbol in the environment, a manager screaming at an umpire about a bad call) and internal motivations (political ideology, desire to gorge yourself on potato chips).
What are some random/cool facts about you?
Just this summer my wife and I had a baby, who I think is in the running for cutest baby of all time. (And as someone who studies biased beliefs, I can comfortably say that my opinion about her cuteness is completely objective.)
Other than that, I love music, technology, and the boring sports (baseball, soccer).
Thank you Dr. Carter for taking time to answer our questions and congratulations on having a baby! We’re glad to have you at Roanoke College!
On Saturday, October 7th beginning with registration at 10 am in the Cregger Center, Roanoke College will be hosting the Out of the Darkness Community Walk to help fight suicide. Following registration, the walk will start at the back quad beginning at 11 am.
If you would like to participate in the walk, then please register today through the link in the flyer. RCPA and Psi Chi Students will also be there to help support the event and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
This event is part of Mental Health Awareness Week sponsored by Roanoke College’s Student Health and Counseling Services.
Other activities hosted this week include a Suicide in the Media Discussion Panel on Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 6:30- 8 pm in Massengill Auditorium which is open to all, followed by a Mental Health Education Fair and Free Depression Screening Event on Thursday, Oct. 5th from 5-7 pm in the WELL (Alumni 216).
For this latter event, students can call Student Health and Counseling Services (540-375-2286) to schedule a screening or they can drop-in. Screenings are confidential.
If you’re interested in any of these activities and want to learn more, there will be a table set up on Monday (10/2) and Wednesday (10/4) outside of Commons where information will be provided and ribbons for Mental Health Awareness will be given out.