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.
Sabrina McAlister, a senior at Roanoke College who was previously featured on our site and recently interviewed by our college’s research blog, presents her findings on time perception at the Research Showcase in Fintel Library on September 22, 2017. (The link to the interview by Marcus Stewart can be found at the bottom of the page.)
Megan Miller ’18, another senior psychology student, presented her findings on moral decision making through focusing on self-driving cars. Her project included the results from her survey on SONA, in which students were asked various questions regarding their views on self-driving cars and whether or not they believed these cars were an ethical means to reduce car-related fatalities.
The showcase, featuring research projects from all academic disciplines, kicks off the beginning of the Family Weekend for Roanoke College students and their families.
We’re proud of our psychology students for presenting their intriguing and well-researched projects and we look forward to what more findings will be discovered!
For more information regarding McAlister’s project on time perception, please follow the link below:
In a recent interview with Marcus Stewart for undergraduate research at Roanoke College, Sabrina McAlister ’18 talked about her research project titled “Time Perspective as a State-Based Measure” and gave advice for other prospective Summer Scholars.
For her research as part of the Summer Scholars program, McAlister worked over the summer with her faculty advisor, Dr. David Nichols, a professor of Psychology at Roanoke College whose primary research includes topics in neuroscience, vision perception, and time perception. Together, they examined the structure of the Zimbardo’s Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI), a questionnaire that determines amounts of focus on past, present, and future, for ways to improve the inventory for more accurate results.
To learn more about what they discovered, as well as the the link for Dr. Nichols’ research lab, follow the links at the bottom of the page.
The Summer Scholar Program awards thirteen applicants from all majors with funding every year for independent study under the supervision of a professor. If all conditions are met, the scholar will receive one unit of credit for independent study, which can be counted towards the Honors project if part of the Honors Program. The program typically coincides with Summer Sessions I and II (June & July), but more time can be given if the student’s project requires it.
The deadline for applying to the Summer Scholar Program is March 15 and decisions are made by April 1st.
Want to gain clinical experience as a doctoral student?
Then read on…
Dr. Adam Schmidt, assistant professor and director of the Pathways to Resilient Youth Development (PRYDe) lab, is looking for up to two students who would qualify in the Fall of 2018 to work as clinical psychology doctoral students.
The PRYDe lab is located in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University (TTU) and conducts research in the areas of neuropsychology, forensic psychology, and child clinical psychology with research grounded in neuroscience and developmental psychopathology. The lab has three broad areas of interest, including:
“The impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
The impact of resilience promoting factors on brain/cognitive development.
The utility and incremental validity of neuropsychological assessment in forensic and
Interested students would need to have “a strong academic/research focus and be open to a psychological clinical science training perspective.” In addition, prospective applicants with “substantial coursework outside of psychology (e.g., neuroscience, cognitive science, computer science, criminal justice/criminology, genetics, chemistry, physics, math/statistics, engineering,etc.) are particularly welcome to apply. ” The lab considers competitive students to be those who are interested in “integrating cognitive neuroscience/neuropsychology techniques with theories of developmental psychopathology and applying this approach to investigations of justice-involved youth or youth at risk for such involvement (e.g., youth with a history of significant trauma exposure).”
The deadline for applications is December 1st, 2017.