Category Archives: Undergraduate News

rc psychology highlight: Research

Claire McDonald and Ben Campbell, both psychology seniors at Roanoke College, were recently featured on Roanoke’s website for their research experience. You can check out the full page here.

Claire McDonald, Class of 2022

Claire wasn’t sure what degree she wanted to pursue when she first came to Roanoke College. But during the fall semester of her sophomore year, she enrolled in a developmental psychology class, taught by Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand, assistant professor of psychology. She loved the class and, consequently, found her major.

In the spring of her sophomore year, McDonald joined a lab managed by Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, which focused on adolescent and young adult peer relationships. This sparked her interest in research within psychology. This fall, Claire plans to work as a research intern at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem. She hopes to apply to graduate school to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology with a specific interest in research related to dementia and cognitive impairment in older adults — experience Claire said she hopes to gain at the VA Medical Center. But she’s not the only psychology student that has recently made big steps in their research experience…

“Research has played a huge role in my college career and in my development as a student. It has been the most crucial and beneficial part of my college experience.”

Ben Campbell, Class of 2022

Ben Campbell has used his interest in relational aggression, peer social dynamics and gender to formulate a study. He used the study to apply for the College’s Summer Scholars Program and received the prestigious award, enabling him to carry a project titled “Effects of elicited jealousy on masculinity and relational aggression in men.” You can check out more info on his research journey in our previous blog post, found here.


In recent years, approximately 30 students each semester have been involved in research. The experiences are important not just for information discovery, but also for deepened learning, enhanced training on specific topics or methods, and the development of skills that graduate training programs and employers in careers utilizing psychology look for and highly value. As a research assistant, students also develop professional and mentoring relationships with their faculty mentor, and refine critical thinking and statistical reasoning skills.

“The experience to contribute to a discipline in a larger way is a special opportunity,” Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand said. “Apart from the professional skills developed, the research experiences students at Roanoke are involved in also contribute to the sense of community we have in the department.”

Research is the bedrock of the student experience in Roanoke College’s psychology department, which brought the College its seventh consecutive “Great Schools for Psychology Majors” recognition in The Princeton Review’s annual “Best Colleges” guidebook, released on Aug. 31.

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Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

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CONGRATULATIONS VANESSA PEARSON: HONORS DEFENSE

Vanessa presenting during her defense on May 17, 2021

Congratulations to Vanessa Pearson ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project titled, “Influences on Paternity Leave” on May 17th. Her research mentor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell, was joined by committee members, Dr. Danielle Findley Van-Nostrand and Dr. David Nichols to oversee her defense. Her project abstract is pasted below.

Vanessa with her Honors in Psyc t-shirt!


Project Abstract:
The overall purpose of this study was to understand the factors that are involved when a father is deciding whether or not to take paternity leave with the birth/adoption of a child. The research was centered around two groups of participants. Study 1 sampled fathers with a child under the age of five. Study 2 sampled prospective fathers – men who are not yet fathers but may be at some point in the future. Participants completed an online survey that asked about their demographics, desired days off, and willingness to take certain types of leave. Most of the hypotheses were not significant or unable to be tested due to sample limitations. For example, several social-demographic factors were not associated with the number of days or types of leave one would take. Even though the findings were not significant, this could mean that the proportion of men who are taking or plan to take paternity leave are increasing and the factors that are holding them back are decreasing. Additionally, while fathers were more likely to know about FMLA than prospective fathers, a majority in both samples believed the US did not have an acceptable leave policy.

Congratulations again to Vanessa Pearson ’21 on a successful defense! We look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Maggie lewis, Lauren Powell, Destinee Sinclair, mason wheeler, and Allison tice!

Over the next few days, we will be highlighting the Psychology Department graduating seniors! This post will highlight 5 seniors: Maggie Lewis, Lauren Powell, Destinee Sinclair, Mason Wheeler, and Allison Tice.

Maggie Lewis

Maggie will be working full time as a Recovery Advocate at an inpatient psychiatric facility in my home state. 

Maggies favorite memory was completing mock clinical assessments in Dr. Hilton’s Clinical Psych course. 

Lauren Powell

After graduation, Lauren is continuing her education at the University of Lynchburg where she will obtain her M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling! 

Laurens states: “My favorite memory of the psychology department is doing research with Dr. Buchholz over the course of four years as a part of the research fellows program!”

Destinee Sinclair

Destinee will be attending East Carolina University pursuing a Master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. 

Mason Wheeler

Mason plans to pursue her PhD at Virginia Tech’s Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, studying Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health.

Allison Tice

Allison will be attending Virginia Tech (Roanoke Higher-Ed Center) to receive her Masters of Arts in Counselor Education. She plans to then potentially pursue a PhD and hopefully open her own counseling practice. 

When asked about her favorite memory she stated “I love pie-a-prof! Always such a fun event!”

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Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

SENIOR HIGHLIGHT: Carolynn Bructo, Katherine Caldwell, Alyssa Mattson, grace page, and Vanessa Pearson!

Over the next few days, we will be highlighting the Psychology Department graduating seniors! This post will highlight 5 seniors: Carolynn Bructo, Katherine Caldwell, Alyssa Mattson, Grace Page, and Vanessa Pearson.

Carolynn Bructo

Carolynn plans to go back home to Columbus, Ohio, where she will take a gap year and then apply to Ohio State’s School Psychology program.

Katherine Caldwell

Katherine plans on working until going to graduate school to get her masters. She plans to become a marriage and family counselor in the future.

Alyssa Mattson

Alyssa will be taking an IL course as she resumes her LSAT studies and completes her research practicum. She plans to apply to law schools and resume her job search following her move to Washington, D.C.

Grace Page

Grace will be a part of Liberty University’s Marriage and Family Counseling Master’s program while also working full-time for a local non-profit organization.

Vanessa Pearson

After graduation, Vanessa will be teaching elementary school in Franklin County and will soon start a graduate school program on school counseling. 

Vanessa states: “My favorite psychology related memory is from Dr. FVN’s introduction to psychology class. During the lesson on conformity. We started the class standing up in order to see if anyone would come in late and see if they would sit down or stand up just because everyone else was. It was a fun activity to begin the lesson.”

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Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations Curt Kingery: Honors defense!

Kingery ’21 with his family while rocking his H.I.P (honors in psychology) shirt!

Congratulations to Curt Kingery ’21 for the successful defense of his Honors in the Major Project entitled “Tradeoffs In Designing Ideal Leaders: Does Political Ideology Predict Preferences for Dominant and Prestigious Leaders?” His supervisor, Dr. Lindsey Osterman was joined by committee members, Dr. Danielle Findley Van-Nostrand and Dr. Stacy Wetmore to oversee his defense.

Kingery ’21 and his committee members on his Zoom defense

Project Abstract:

Politicians rise to positions of significant influence through different displays of leadership behavior. Two distinct patterns for climbing social hierarchies, and obtaining leadership roles, have emerged from recent research: dominance-oriented and prestige-oriented strategies. These represent profoundly different navigation tactics that accomplish a singular goal, which is to ascend status hierarchies. Which strategy most effectively gains status depends heavily on contextual factors (such as environmental instability and perceptions of intergroup conflict) and the characteristics and needs of followers. Political candidates’ abilities to display cues consistent with one of these orientations, in the appropriate contexts, will impact perceptions of them by potential supporters who are critical to their political success. Evolutionary and social psychological research suggest followership evolved as a strategy to overcome multifarious cooperation and coordination problems from social group-living. Hence, left-leaning or right-leaning political followers’ preconceptions about the world may predispose them to defer status to qualitatively different leaders. In Study 1, we investigated whether or not political orientation reliably predicted a preference for traits associated with dominance or prestige-oriented leader. Participants designed ideal leaders, purchasing various characteristics with 3 different budgets. The different budgets unveiled trade-offs made under constraints. In Study 2, we replicated findings from the first study, and extended the understanding of circumstantial triggers for different leader orientations by assessing the role of—self-perceived—socioeconomic (in)security and pathogenic vulnerability on revealed preferences for an ideal leader.

Congratulations again to Curt Kingery ’21 on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations Kaillee philleo: honors defense!

Philleo ’21 with her H.I.P (honors in psychology) shirt and bound copy of her final paper!

Congratulations to Kaillee Philleo ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project entitled “The Effect of Transitions on Parasocial Relationships: An Examination of Surrogate Use in College Freshmen During the COVID-19 Pandemic”. Her supervisor, Dr. Lindsey Osterman was joined by committee members, Dr. Todd Peppers and Dr. Stacy Wetmore to oversee her defense.

Project Abstract:

During the COVID-19 pandemic and with the increasing amount of time people spend interacting with media figures through online or broadcast platforms, an interest in examining parasocial relationships has become more popular. Specifically, little research has been conducted on parasocial relationships and their role during a period of transition. For that reason, this study set out to examine the role of surrogates within first-year college students. Specifically, we were interested in examining what interactions existed between engagement in activities (e.g., parasocial, social, and nonsocial), campus connectedness, loneliness, and closeness. While focusing on first-year college students, we also took into consideration the current pandemic and the state of the college during the time of this study. Results echoed previous research findings in that loneliness was found to be correlated with parasocial interactions. Moreover, we found partial support for our hypotheses through the findings that (1) loneliness mediated relationships between campus connectedness and parasocial and social activities, as well as (2) social activities mediated the relationship between campus connectedness and loneliness. Moreover, even though our moderation analyses did not result in significant main interactions, parasocial surrogate use was suggested within our data set. While some clear limitations were present within this study, we offered ways in which future research could continue to examine these variables.

Congratulations again to Kaillee Philleo ’21 on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Blog:https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations class of 2021!

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! With graduation being less than 24 hours away, we want to invite, family, friends, community members, faculty, staff, alum and anyone else to join us in celebrating our 2021 Psychology Department graduates.

Using this link you may record a video, upload an image, leave a message or select some options for gifts to share with our 2021 graduates.

As a member of the class of 2021, I speak on behalf of all other 2021 graduates in thanking the entire psychology department for guiding us and being there for us these past four years. We certainly would not have gotten to where we are today without you all and thank each of you for all of your support throughout these last four years.

Get Connected!
Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

CONGRATULATIONS Grace Page: HONORS DEFENSE!

Grace’s defense on 5/19/2021!

Congratulations to Grace Page ’21 for the successful defense of here Honors in the Major and Honors Distinction Project titled, “Examining marriage: A comparison of perceptions based on religious affiliation and religiosity” (abstract below). Her supervisor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell, was joined by her committee members, Drs. Travis Carter and Kristi Hoffman, to oversee her defense.

Grace with her Honors in Psychology t-shirt!

Project Abstract:
Relationships are oftentimes formed based on the similarities two individuals have in dating relationships; for example, individuals may look for similarities in religion and religious values as a way to choose a partner or to determine the dynamics of their relationships. Furthermore, research has indicated that there is a positive correlation between the similarity of partners’ religious influences and the quality of their relationship. Many religious individuals may often be misunderstood, however, due to existing religious stereotypes. Participants (N = 256) in this study were recruited to take an online survey through Prolific. Using six different beliefs/behaviors, this study examined participants’ self-reports of beliefs and behaviors, whether participants’ reported beliefs aligned with their behaviors, and if participants accurately perceived the beliefs of other religions/worldview’s beliefs. Results indicated that individuals of certain religions/worldviews shared similarities and differences in their beliefs and behaviors. Additionally, two thirds of the behaviors examined aligned with participants’ beliefs and, typically, participants did not accurately perceive the beliefs of others overall.

Congrats, again, to Grace Page ’21 on a successful defense! We look forward to seeing all that you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Senior highlight: Kaillee Philleo, celine taylor, kelsey markle, and melissa DeShaw!

Over the next few days, we will be highlighting the Psychology Department graduating seniors! This post will highlight 4 seniors: Kaillee Philleo, Celine Taylor, Kelsey Markle, and Melissa Deshaw!

Kaillee Philleo

Congratulations! After her graduation, Kaillee plans to move to NYC to pursue her Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. When asked about her favorite psychology-related memory, she couldn’t pick just one, so she gave three! 1. defending her Honors in the major project 2. presenting at SPSP in New Orleans, and 3. work

as a student assistant and “being able to enjoy the April Fools day pranks, share memes with the department, and enjoy all of Ellen’s lovely treats during the holidays”.

Celine Taylor

Celine plans on taking a gap year so she can gain more experience through an internship! Then, she is looking to apply to master programs that involve either mental health counseling or applied developmental

psychology. Her favorite classes in the psych department were the ones that Dr. Powell taught. “She has been such a positive influence and has helped me figure out the track I want to take with psychology due to her passion for her field. The human development concentration has been a great experience and I appreciate all the help she has given me over the past four years!” Congrats!

Kelsey Markle

Congratudlations Kelsey! We are so excited to hear that you will be starting to work in the Roanoke area as a Case Manager for Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare! Wishing you the best.

Melissa DeShaw

After her graduation, Melissa plans to go to graduate school for school psychology! We are very proud of you and cannot wait to see what the future holds! Congrats.

Get Connected!
Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations Carly schepacarter: honors defense!

Schepacarter ’21 with the art she produced for this project and later donated to HopeTree Family Services

Congratulations to Carly Schepacarter ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major and Honors Distinction Project entitled “Art for Healing: Experiencing Art Improves Emotion after a Negative Event”. Her supervisor, Dr. Travis Carter was joined by committee members, Ms. Katherine Shortridge, Dr. Darcey Powell, and Mr. Wes Brusseauto to oversee her defense.

Schepacarter ’21 with her art in Olin Galleries

Project Abstract:

Existing research suggests that making art has benefits for mental health, but can other interactions with art still help people (Henderson et al., 2007)? This project endeavors to address the relationship that individuals have with art, and determine if varied interactions with art can improve one’s emotional state—especially for participants primed to recall a negative life experience. Participants in the first study were primed to recall negative memories prior to completing an art rating task, the Discrete Emotions Questionnaire (DEQ; Harmon-Jones et al., 2016), and an art experience questionnaire. The second study primed participants with the same negative writing task prior to their completion of either art or non-art task. Ultimately, interacting with art evoked more positive emotions in both studies. The results of the research studies and a literature review were used to create works of art for a family services center in Salem, VA.

Congratulations again to Carly Schepacarter ’21 on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

CONGRATULATIONS Sydney Caulder: HONORS DEFENSE!

Congratulations to Sydney Caulder ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project entitled “Exploring Sensation Seeking and Psychopathy Factors: Associations with Risk-Taking Behaviors and Aggression”. Her supervisor, Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand was joined by committee members, Dr. Lindsey Osterman and Dr. Dane Hilton to oversee her defense.

Project Abstract:

Previous research has established a link between sensation seeking behaviors, aggression, risk-taking, and psychopathic personality. The links between both sensation seeking, psychopathy, and risk-taking are well-established, but literature on factors that might mitigate these associations (when healthier coping mechanisms are implemented) is limited. The current study examined associations between sensation seeking, psychopathy, risk-taking and aggression and aimed to extend this research by exploring whether activities that would fulfill sensation seeking tendencies in a safer way may buffer against risk-taking and aggression. Several moderation analyses were conducted to explore the effect of recreational risk-taking on outcomes of aggression and maladaptive risk-taking with predictors of sensation seeking and psychopathy. Correlations replicated previously established associations between these constructs, but the results of many of the moderation analyses were insignificant. However, recreational risk-taking moderated the association between sensation seeking and maladaptive risk-taking, but not as expected. Findings may serve as a good starting point to attempting to understand less maladaptive risk-taking mechanisms.

Congratulations again to Sydney Caulder on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

CONGRATULATIONS Carolynn Bructo: HONORS DEFENSE!

Carolyn defending her project on zoom before her committee.
Carolyn defending her project on zoom before her committee.

Congratulations to Carolynn Bructo ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project! Her project was titled  “STEM Students’ Perceptions of Changes in Motivation and Identity During a Global Pandemic: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective”. Her supervisor, Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand was joined by committee members, Dr. Darcey Powell and Dr. Matthew Fleenor to oversee her defense.

Project Abstract:

Student persistence in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) particularly deserves close attention given the alarming attrition rates from such programs. Education and academic achievement are vital pathways to personal and professional success, and the importance of promoting STEM students’ success to enter this field is arguably more evident yet challenging amid a global pandemic. In this study, we aimed to use self-determination theory (SDT), an established theoretical framework in educational psychology that states that individuals’ internal motivation strongly corresponds with the satisfaction of three specific psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness), to understand better the perceptions of emerging adults’ satisfaction of these needs during an ongoing global pandemic, and how these needs along with science identity relate to intrinsic motivation, achievement, and intention to persist in STEM. We examined STEM students’ satisfaction levels of both general and domain-specific needs using an online survey (N = 60). As hypothesized, students perceived their domain-specific needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness satisfaction to decrease from pre-pandemic to currently. There was mixed support for other hypotheses. Perceived satisfaction in autonomy, across all measures, was significantly positively related to intrinsic motivation. Students’ perceived satisfaction of competence, autonomy, and relatedness in basic and domain-specific measures were significantly associated with amotivation. Science identity was the most significant predictor of intention to leave STEM. Finally, academic achievement was negatively related to perceived autonomy satisfaction. We hope the results from this study can help us better understand how to promote the success of these students.

Bructo’21 with her Honors in the Major t-shirt.

Congratulations again to Carolynn Bructo on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations Morgan Hamilton: Honors Defense!

Congratulations to Morgan Hamilton ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project! Her Project was titled “Family Dynamics and Parents’ Perceptions of Adolescent Social Self-Efficacy”. Her project advisor, Dr. Darcey Powell was joined by committee members, Dr. Hilton and Dr. Jackl, to oversee her defense.

Project Abstract: Throughout adolescence, youth experience increasing autonomy in many aspects of their lives, but especially in social functioning. Previous studies focused on shifts prior to and following adolescence, but less research about the effects of family systems on adolescent-aged children exists. The current study examined how parents’ perceptions of their family’s communication, expressions of affection, reactions to their child’s negative emotions, and their child’s coping is associated with perceptions of their child’s social self-efficacy. Parent participants (N = 146) whose eldest children were between 10 and 15 years old were recruited from English-speaking countries to complete an online survey via Prolific. Analyses revealed associations between affection, family communication, and parents’ perceptions of their reactions to adolescents’ negative emotions. Furthermore, associations between coping, affection, and social self-efficacy were found. Lastly, associations between affection, family communication, reactions to adolescent’s negative emotions, and coping were found with social self-efficacy. Examining the impacts of family dynamics on the child outside of the home adds to the literature about family dynamics and gleans further insight for family therapists about the impact of familial dynamics.

Hamilton ’21 with her Honors in the Major shirt

Congratulations again to Morgan Hamilton on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Senior Highlight: Kira Hunt, Abbie Joseph, David Casson, and Carly Schepacarter!

Over the next few days, we will be highlighting the Psychology Department graduating seniors! This post will highlight 4 seniors: Kira Hunt, Abbie Joseph, David Casson, and Carly Schepacarter!

Kira Hunt

Congratulations to Kira! After graduation, she plans to take a gap year working as a teacher’s assistant while home. Then, she plans on applying to graduate programs in preparation to become a Certified Child Life Specialist. Kira’s favorite memory of the Psychology department was attending the psychology reception for alumni weekend. “It was interesting to hear stories from alumni who had the teachers that I had. It’s also really fun to watch the psychology faculty interact with each other.”

Abbie Joseph

Congrats Abbie! After graduation, she will be attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Abbie’s favorite psych-related memory has been the opportunities to gain research experience and being able to carry out her own research study. She is “very thankful for Dr. Powell and all her patience and guidance!”

David Casson

Congratulations to David! His post graduate plans are to move to Easton, MD for the summer, since his folks have purchased a new house there recently. He will be working a job there over the summer and hopefully gaining resume experience while he plans what to do for a graduate school transition in the near future. David’s favorite memory of the Psychology department  was when he took a Drugs and Behavior class with Dr. Allen. “This class was extremely interesting, thought provoking, engaging, and fun all along the way. Learning how varying forms of substances affect different parts of the brain and behavior in unique ways was something I did not think I would learn at Roanoke.”

Carly Schepacarter

Congrats Carly! In the fall, Carly will be pursuing her Master’s in Art Therapy degree at George Washington University. She hopes to work part-time in a research lab or human services position as she works toward her degree. Carly’s favorite psych-related memory has been working in Dr. Carter’s research lab for the past 3 years! “Our lab meetings have been the highlight of my week each semester and I always appreciated the support I received from my lab partners and Dr. Carter in my time here.”

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

How PSYC 110 Students Pursued Their Purpose

If you are a freshman or sophomore wrapping up this semester thinking, “What am I going to do after I graduate in a few years?” or are wondering, “What should I be doing these next few years to reach my career goals?” then make a note to add PSYC 110 to your Spring 2022 schedule!

PSYC 110 is a P/F course taught each spring that helps students consider their post-graduation pursuits, as well as clarifies for students the resources available to them within the department and across the college. In a typical (i.e., face-to-face) semester, students also shadow a professional in a career of interest to them. In this semester’s remote format, students complete two informational interviews with professionals in careers of interest to them. After completing the interviews, the students created posters summarizing what they learned.

Continue reading for some examples of the posters from this semester’s students.

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Paranoia and Attitudes on Covid-19 Health Guidance

Alise Bennett, Savannah Brown, Emily Gabrielian, & Alyssa Mattson (Advisor: Dr. Chris Buchholz)

Background

A little over a year ago, our world was quickly turned upside down once the news broke that we were heading into a global pandemic due to the coronavirus. With the rise of the pandemic, we also saw a rise in beliefs in conspiracy theories related to the coronavirus. COVID-19 skepticism became extremely present across the United States as some people demonstrated that they did not believe in the seriousness of the virus or that the pandemic was a hoax (Latkin et al., 2021). Recent research has demonstrated that COVID-19 skepticism is strongly associated with a decrease in engagement in COVID-19 prevention behaviors, such as isolating at home, social distancing, and wearing a face mask (Latkin et al., 2021).

Additionally, the research conducted on COVID-19 skepticism noted that the skepticism was associated with political conservation because there was a relationship between the sources of news that individuals consumed, the negative attitudes towards government spending on public health, and believing in conspiracy theories (Latkin et al., 2021). This current study aims to examine the relationship between paranoia levels and compliance in COVID-19 guidelines, such as wearing facial coverings and social distancing, in order to better understand the conspiracy theories surrounding the coronavirus. The possible limitations that may be present throughout this study are that we used a convenience sample from the Roanoke College student population, meaning that our data is not representative of the general population. Additionally, it is possible that when we were analyzing the data that we overlooked certain responses that may have been associated with the objective of the study. Overall, the findings of this study may reveal how paranoia contributes to these greater sociological problems as well as how to effectively address conspiratorial thinking as it affects our daily lives.

Method

Participants. 96 participants were sourced from either INQ-260 Psychology or Psychology 101 classes at Roanoke College. The students were notified about the survey through SONA, a subject pool software, and were given credit for completing the survey thoroughly and fully.

Materials. We used a survey platform called Qualtrics to build and conduct the following survey:

  • Experimental condition: Participants were assigned to one of two conditions: an experimental condition (a short video from John Hopkins University on COVID-19 vaccinations), or a control condition (a short video from Harvard University on mindfulness.)

Following the video, all participants were directed to the main survey:

  • Paranoia scale: a 10-item scale assessing paranoid tendencies.
  • Dark triad scale (Jonastan and Webster, 2010): a 12-item scale assessing the three dark triad traits, such as narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.
  • Covid Compliance scale: an 11-item scale created based on the Health Belief Model assessing compliance with COVID-19 public health guidance. Additional questions included whether participants had previously contacted COVID-19 and their access to protective measures.

Procedure. The survey was live for a roughly three-week period. The participants were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions (videos). After finishing the video, participants will move on to the questionnaire part of the survey. In this section, participants will answer a series of questions ranging from personality and paranoia to questions regarding COVID-19 prevention practices engaged in. At the end of the survey, participants were given the option to redirect to another survey to enter personal information to receive credit. Following the data collection period, data was analyzed and interpreted by our group.

Results

A 2 x 2 between-subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to examine the effects of paranoia on compliance with COVID-19 public health guidance. It was predicted that participants who viewed the vaccination video would be more likely to respond positively to questions relating to compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. A second hypothesis suggested that those who score high in paranoia will score low in compliance to COVID-19, given a perceived tendency towards conspiratorial thinking and a resulting mistrust or disbelief in the effectiveness of COVID-19 preventative measures.

Our results indicated that the experimental condition (watching the John Hopkins University on COVID-19 vaccinations) did not significantly improve compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. As shown in Figure 1, those low in paranoia did show increased compliance with COVID-19 preventative measures; however, this difference was not statistically significant.

Figure 1. Experimental condition and paranoia on compliance with COVID-19 public health guidance.

Between both experimental conditions, narcissism and psychopathy were two dark personality traits found to be significant in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. Those scoring high in narcissism were most likely to report low compliance with COVID-19 public health guidance (see Figure 2). Similarly, those high in trait psychopathy had much lower compliance with COVID-19 protective measures (see Figure 3).

Figure 2. Experimental condition and paranoia on compliance with COVID-19 public health guidance.

Figure 3. Psychopathy and paranoia on compliance with COVID-19 public health guidance.

While our main hypotheses could not be confirmed by this study, our exploratory variables yielded results in line with our predictions. One may attribute our findings to the multiple ways in which paranoia might play out given the context of COVID-19. For example, someone scoring high in paranoia may score low in compliance given a mistrust in these guidelines, or high in compliance given anxiety around contracting the virus. Regarding our experimental conditions, perhaps a short video, regardless of context, is not a “strong enough” stimulus to influence how people would respond to survey questions relating to an event such as COVID-19.

In contrast, our findings suggest that individuals high in narcissism and psychopathy are more likely to disregard COVID-19 public health guidance, in line with behaviors generally observed from individuals with these traits. In the case of narcissism, a preoccupation with one’s own interests, regardless of the consequences or harm it may cause others, may explain this relationship. A general disregard for others and their safety may characterize this relationship as applied to psychopathy.

Reflection

After completing this assignment, as a group, we have a better understanding of research methods overall. While we have participated in other experiments, now we more fully grasp how to design an experiment, clean and analyze data, and write formally for research. Essentially, this class allowed for the hands-on application of the knowledge we learned over our college careers. Additionally, we believe that it may be beneficial if this study was replicated in order to see if our results would be significant or stay the same. It is certainly possible that our participants were only completing our survey for credit in their course, which may have resulted in students not taking the time to provide complete answers to our questions.

Conclusion

The main findings of this study indicate that the Roanoke College students that participated in the survey demonstrated that paranoia had an effect on compliance to COVID-19 guidelines; however, this finding was not significant. Additional findings indicate that the relationship between both experimental conditions and the two dark personalities (narcissism and psychopathy) and compliance to COVID-19 guidelines was found to be significant. Moving forward, academic institutions may be interested in expanding upon this study in order to further understand the association between beliefs in conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and paranoia in order to see if there is a significant relationship. Additionally, it would be very interesting if academic institutions also conducted future studies on the association between narcissism and psychopathy and beliefs in conspiracy theories about COVID-19.

References

Latkin, C. A., Dayton, L., Moran, M., Strickland, J. C., & Collins, K. (2021). Behavioral and psychosocial factors associated with COVID-19 skepticism in the United States. Current Psychology, 1-9. doi: 10.1007/s12144-020-01211-3.

The Effects of Music Genres on Aggression

Luke Harbison, MaryDrew Collier, Hunter Andrews,  and                    Alice Chandler (Advisor: Dr. Buchholz)

Background Information

Why are people inclined to form mosh pits at heavy music concerts (Thrash, Death Metal etc.) but wouldn’t at something like a Barry Manilow concert? Do various genres have respectively different effects on human emotions and behavior?  Prior research studies have investigated these questions with findings supporting the supposed answer. Some studies show heavier music made subjects more likely to report negative feelings while other studies demonstrated that songs with negative lyrical content can make people report a higher frequency of aggression (Shafron & Karno, 2013; Anderson & Carnagey, 2003). In this study, we predicted the conditions of aggressive music (Drowning Pool-Bodies) or soft music (Claude DeBussy-Clair De Lune) would produce different results of aggression levels, specifically a greater level when listening to aggressive music compared to soft and no music conditions. Our study specifically focused on state aggression rather than trait aggression, while also taking gender differences into account (male, female) to look for possible interactions. The key aspect of this study revolves around examining participant’s current aggression levels.  By examining the participants’ current levels, we should gather results on the immediate effect music has on a person.

Methods

Our study was conducted entirely online. We created a survey on the website Qualtrics and received our participant pool by providing class credit for people in introductory-level psychology courses through a website called SONA. The survey respondents listened to one of three music clips: clip 1 being no music, clip 2 being Clair De Lune by Claude DeBussy, a representation of soft music, and clip 3 being Bodies by Drowning Pool, a representation of aggressive music. Respondents then answered questions related to their current emotional state, particularly how aggressive they felt. Results were put into a Jamovi where it was analyzed. In addition, we also asked respondents to tell us their gender (male and female) so we could look for possible interactions. We had two other gender selections (prefer not to say, non-binary) but they were not used in the analysis.

Results and Discussion

In order to evaluate the effects of gender and music genres on aggression, a 2 (male/female) x 3 (no music, easy listening, and aggressive music) between-subjects analysis of variance was conducted. There were 15 questions related to aggression and 5 related to negative feelings in general. Our analysis found that there was no difference in aggression level across the three groups. We did find a difference between men and women but it was not found to be significantly different. Additionally, we found no interaction between the main groups.

We anticipated that there would be significant findings, but our results show the likelihood of no change in aggression level being present.  However, other potential factors are present including the music clips being too short or respondents not paying attention and rushing through the survey. Although females reported higher levels of aggression, this could be affected by other factors that weren’t accounted for. While we did not have any significant findings, this information could benefit future researchers who want to examine aggression and its relationship to music. If this study were to be conducted in the future, we could potentially lengthen music clips and control the setting of where the survey is being taken at. Ultimately, we found no strong evidence that aggressive music poses a difference in state aggression in comparison to no music and soft music.

Figure 1. The effects of music genres on aggression.

Figure 2. The effects of gender on aggression.

Figure 3. The interaction between gender and music genres.

Reflection

Based on this study’s findings, we can conclude that our hypothesis was not supported. In examining the possible reasons for this, we determined there are multiple possibilities. The phenomena of mosh pits may be related to other factors such as drinking and the influence of people being around other people who are all in a highly stimulating environment. Additionally, our study had flaws that could result in missing the real effect that could be present. Our findings do not firmly guarantee that no effect occurs, conducting a different study could potentially identify it. Another important piece of information that we learned was how complex the process of creating a study, getting the study approved, gathering respondents, and compiling data all truly was. Going forward, researchers in the fields of musicology and the behavioral sciences may be able to use our research to examine the phenomena of music genres on behavior even further than us.

References

Anderson C.A., Carnagey N.L. (2003). Exposure to Violent Media: The effects of songs with violent lyrics on aggressive thoughts and feelings. Journal of Personality and social Psychology, 84(5), 960-71. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.84.5.960

Shafron, G.R., & Karno, M.P. (2013). Heavy metal music and emotional dysphoria among listeners. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 2(2), 74-85. doi: 10.1037/a0031722.

 

 

Can You Control It?

Curtis Kingery, Lauren Powell, and Alex Upright (Advisor: Dr. Buchholz)

Background Information

“Genius Grant” award winner Angela Duckworth recently asked, “What is the single most significant choice a human being can make in their life?” Distinguished Psychology researcher David Buss responded, “The selection of a long-term mate.” Since he is esteemed for research in human mating, he might be biased to answer that way. However, it is undeniable that mating is a critical part of human existence. In mate selection, most traits and qualities are considered essential by both sexes (e.g., kind, trustworthy, intelligent), yet some traits are prioritized more by one sex than the other. These differences in preferences on traits most valued in an opposite-sex partner are well documented, along with an evolutionary rationale for their existence. On average, men disproportionately favor youthfulness and physical attractiveness in female mates. Women’s preferences show an asymmetry, on average, towards a man’s ability to acquire resources (Buss, 1989; Li et al., 2002; Walter et al., 2020). These traits may vary in one’s ability to control them. That is, there may be a significant difference between the ability to control one’s level of attractiveness versus the amount of control one has over their earning potential. Prior research on this topic found just that. Traits highly associated with female mate value are perceived as less controllable, by females, relative to traits highly associated with male mate value—and their perceived controllability by men (Ben Hamida et al., 1998). However, there is individual variation within the sexes on how they perceive their control over these traits. That is, males will vary in the extent to which they perceive control over characteristics suggestive of resource acquisition ability. We sought to account for these individual differences, generally, in perceived controllability of traits and, specifically, on critical mating dimensions. (Mis)perceptions of control could inform our understanding of documented differences in human behavior between males and females.

Methods

Participants were recruited from a pool of current students attending Roanoke College through the College’s Psychology department SONA system, primarily students enrolled in PSYC 101 or INQ260-PY who were eligible for extra credit received a half-credit as compensation for the participation. There were 26 male participants and 69 female participants, for a total of 95 participants who completed the study.

Our survey was administered using Qualtrics where participants were asked to respond to a variety of different scales, including the Locus of Control, the Scale for Intrasexual Competition (specified for either male or female, depending on the participant’s indicated gender) and a controllability questionnaire. Participants in the manipulation group were shown eight images, one of a person’s body ‘before’ working out and getting fit, and the second of the same person’s body ‘after’ working out. This particular manipulation was used in order to explore the possibility of intervention where countermessaging could increase people’s perceptions of control of traits that they wish to improve. Participants were also asked demographic questions such as gender identity and sexual orientation.

Results and Discussion

We expected to find a relationship between one’s level of intrasexual competitiveness and their perceived controllability of myriad traits. Although the relationship wasn’t strong enough to make any reliable conclusions, we did see a reduction in perceived controllability as participants, on average, increased in intrasexual competitiveness. See figure 1.

Figure 1: The effect of intrasexual competitiveness and sex on self-perceived controllability

Figure 1 implies that as one focuses more on competing with same-sex peers for mates, their perceptions of control over their traits could be influenced by that preoccupation.

Similarly, we expected our experimental manipulation, where half of the participants saw body transformation images, to increase that group’s average perception of controllability. We did not find evidence for this relationship. This could mean that our manipulation wasn’t strong enough or it could imply that perceptions of controllability may be stable traits within individuals that are unlikely to be influenced in this manner.

As predicted, we did find that males and females, on average, showed substantial differences in their general perceptions of controllability of traits. See figure 2.

Figure 2: Self-perceived controllability of traits by sex

Moreover, we found a statistically significant result for differences in males’ and females’ perceptions of controllability, specifically on the dimensions regarded as critical to men when choosing a female mate. That is, traits related to youthfulness and attractiveness were considered more controllable by men than women. There was no evidence for these sex differences on perceptions of controllability for resource acquisition traits. These sex differences in perceptions of controllability could inform our understanding of behaviors that show increased or decreased occurrence in one sex versus the other (e.g., mate preferences, risk-taking, aggression, jealousy, and several psychological disorders such as depression and eating disorders).

Reflection

Unfortunately, while we were unable to find a strong enough relationship between competitiveness and controllability to make any conclusions, we were still able to determine a statistically significant difference in males’ and females’ perception of how well they can control their youthfulness and attractiveness.

Conclusion

We are all different people with different experiences and lives. There is no need to stress unnecessarily about being as attractive or successful as possible for fear of missing out on the perfect spouse. There is no need to compare yourself to others or feel that you must complete with them to find “the perfect mate.” Be patient, focus on the things that will not be changed by time, such as humor or personality, and make sure that you can be the best you can be, and the right person will be there at the right time.

 References

Ben Hamida, S., Mineka, S., & Bailey, J. M. (1998). Sex differences in perceived controllability of mate value: An evolutionary perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(4), 953–966. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.75.4.953

Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12, 1–14. doi:10.1017/ S0140525X00023992

Li, N. P., Bailey, J. M., Kenrick, D. T., & Linsenmeier, J. A. W. (2002). The necessities and luxuries of mate preferences: Testing the tradeoffs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(6), 947–955. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.82.6.947

Walter, K. V., Conroy-Beam, D., Buss, D. M., Asao, K., Sorokowska, A., Sorokowski, P., Aavik, T., Akello, G., Alhabahba, M. M., Alm, C., Amjad, N., Anjum, A., Atama, C. S., Atamtürk Duyar, D., Ayebare, R., Batres, C., Bendixen, M., Bensafia, A., Bizumic, B., … Zupančič, M. (2020). Sex differences in mate preferences across 45 countries: A large-scale replication. Psychological Science, 31(4), 408–423. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797620904154

 

 

Congratulations Kira Hunt: Honors Defense

Kira wearing her new Honors in the Major t-shirt!

On May 10th, Kira Hunt successfully defended her Honors in the Major and Honors Distinction Project. Congratulations Kira! The psychology department faculty/staff and your fellow departmental student assistants are so proud of you.

Her project was titled: “Ignoring Red Flags: Self Efficacy and Self-Disclosure in Online Romantic Relationships”. In addition to a successful defense, Kira completed an impressive two-lab project working in both Dr. Powell and Dr. Nichols’ labs. Her work beautifully combines aspects from multiple disciplines, including psychology and sociology.

Kira defending her project on zoom!

Project Abstract:

With the advancement of technology, dating has changed drastically, especially for emerging adults who make up a considerable portion of online daters. However, dangers surrounding dating someone met online (e.g., misrepresentation) are a major concern. Additionally, without the social cues usually gathered from face-to-face interactions, individuals often have intense feelings of intimacy and are more willing to self-disclose more than in face-to-face interactions. The first study aimed to examine if romantic self-efficacy and target attractiveness impacted the likeliness to self-disclose in online initiated relationships. There were no significant differences in likelihood to self-disclose based on romantic self-efficacy or target attractiveness. However, likeliness to disclose did appear to be affected by whether misleading information was included, and the depth or level of the information being disclosed. The second study utilized electroencephalogram (EEG) to determine if target attractiveness and presence of misleading information impacted brain activity. There were no significant differences in brain activity based on target attractiveness or vignette type, nor was amount of self-disclosure associated with brain activity. Although most of the hypotheses were unsupported, the current study suggests more research needs to be done to determine what characteristics of individuals or of potential partners might influence online dating behaviors (e.g., falling victim to online romance scams).

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Congratulations to Psychology Department Award Winners for 2021!

Please join us in congratulating the following students for their hard work and dedication within the psychology department! These students were honored in a ceremony on May 3, 2021. 

Senior Scholar in Psychology 

Autumn T. Cox

The psychology major who has the highest overall grade point average (a minimum of 3.2 is required) after completion of at least 27 units is designated as the Senior Scholar in Psychology.

 

Karl W. Beck Memorial Prize

Kaillee M. Philleo and Carly M. Shepacarter

A monetary prize that is made possible by gifts of friends in memory of the late Karl W. Beck, who was a professor and chair of the Roanoke College Psychology Department. This award is given for excellence in Psychology.

 

Curt R. Camac Student Research Award

Sydney M. Caulder, Kira N. Hunt, Abbie L. Joseph, and Curtis E. Kingery

From 1986 to 2012, Dr. Curt Camac was one of the leaders of a campus-wide movement to increase student-faculty research. As an inspiration to both students and faculty, he helped pave the way for the tremendous growth in research experiences we offer at Roanoke. This grant was developed in his honor to support student research.

           

The Charles E. Early Award

Aaron J. Rogers

In honor of Dr. Charles Early, retired Professor of Psychology, who taught at Roanoke from 1988

to 2015, this award goes to the student who best embodies Dr. Early’s love of learning, powerful work ethic, keen intellect, warm humor, and deep appreciation for pie.

 

The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award

Morgan J. Hamilton, Abbie L.  Joseph, and Grace E. Page

In honor of Dr. Jan Lynch, retired Professor of Psychology, who taught at Roanoke from 1980 to 2015. This award goes to the students who have demonstrated excellence in the Human Development Concentration.

 

Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors 

Hunter J. Andrews, Kyra R. Baker, Benjamin S. Campbell,  Alice R. Chandler, Jessica A. Fritz, Emily P. Gabrielian, Kaitlyn S. Gifford, Carey S. Linkous, Claire M. McDonald, Sara C. Moody, Naomi H. Painter, Carrie N. Pohlman, Kaeley E. Pollock, Kristi R. Rolf, Hannah N. Schetselaar, Rebecca A. Shannon, and Sarah E. Young

Recognition given to the junior students who are deemed by the faculty as having demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and potential for continued success in Psychology.

 

Outstanding Student in the Neuroscience Concentration

Kira N. Hunt

This award is given annually to the student who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in the neuroscience concentration and has shown potential for continued success in the field.

 

Psi Chi Achievement Award 

Kaillee M. Philleo 

A gift given to the Psi Chi member who has best exemplified excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. The recipient is chosen by student and faculty members of Psi Chi, the honorary society in Psychology.

 

Again, please wish these students congratulations if you see them around campus! Additionally, thank you to our amazing faculty and staff who help guide our students towards success! We are so very grateful to you!

 

 

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Summer Job/Internship Opportunity: Camp Easterseals

Are you looking for a summer job? How about an internship experience? Well, look no further, because Camp Easterseals is hiring summer staff!

 

The Assistant Director states, “Camp Easterseals is an overnight camp that serves both children and adults with disabilities.  We offer our campers and staff an unique, fun, and supportive camp experience.  Many of our staff have called their time at Camp Easterseals a “Life-Changing” experience. Right now, we are currently hiring staff to join us for Summer 2021. (Per the Governor’s recent executive orders Overnight Summer Camps can open and operate starting May 1st).”

 

Camp Easterseals is currently looking for camp counselors, volunteers, horse specialists, lifeguards, and overall just people looking for fun and to make an impact.

 

More information can be found here,as well as feel free to contact Dr. FVN for ways in which these opportunities can translate into internship credit.

Congratulations Abbie Joseph: Honors Defense!

Abbie Joseph wearing her new Honors in the Major t-shirt!

Congratulations to Abbie Joseph ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project! Her project was titled  “Cyberstalking Behaviors After the Use of Ghosting”. Her supervisor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell was joined by committee members, Dr. Osterman and Dr. Berntson, to oversee her defense.

Abbie Joseph defending her project on zoom!

Project Abstract:

The purpose of the current study was to examine the differences in cyberstalking behaviors after the dissolution of a romantic interaction based on the dissolution strategy used (i.e., ghosting or explicit reasoning). Participants included emerging adults between the ages of 18 and 29 (N = 240) who had a romantic interaction end. A survey was used to collect information regarding participants’ most recent relationship dissolution, their experiences with ghosting and cyberstalking, their engagement in cyberstalking behaviors towards an ex-partner and the ex-partner’s new partner, their social media app usage, and their relationships with their ex-partner. Analyses revealed that participants whose most recent romantic interaction ended via ghosting did not engage in significantly more cyberstalking behaviors than participants whose most recent romantic interaction ended via explicit reasoning. There were no significant differences in the length of engagement in cyberstalking behaviors after the breakup between participants whose relationship ended through ghosting and participants whose relationship ended explicitly. There were no significant differences in engagement of cyberstalking behaviors between participants who initiated the ghosting and participants who were ghosted. Participants who were ghosted engaged in cyberstalking behaviors to seek out information about their ex-partner and the ex-partner’s new partner. The findings of the current study provide information on how the dissolution strategy is associated with post-dissolutional cyberstalking behaviors.

Congratulations again to Abbie Joseph on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Upcoming Event: New Majors Orientation

Calling all recently declared psychology majors! The Psychology Department is excited about your interest in the field that we love, and are passionate about working with you to explore the many facets of psychology and prepare you for life after graduation!

If you have recently declared the major, we want to welcome you to the department this Wednesday or Thursday through the New Majors Orientation event! This event will be held via Zoom and all-new majors, including those who missed the event in the past, are welcome to join!

New Majors Orientations

When: Wednesday, April 28

Time: 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Where: Click this Zoom link to join!

or

When: Thursday, April 29

Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Where: Click this Zoom link to join!

We look forward to welcoming you to the department then!

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Psychology Summer Courses 2021

Want to get ahead or catch up? Just want to take an interesting course? You might be interested in taking summer courses.

This summer the psychology department is offering five summer classes in 2021, three in the first term and two in the second term. All courses still have seats available. See below for which classes are being taught in which term, who they are being taught by, and their times. This information can also be found on self-service which is also where you can sign up for these courses.

See our class registration 101 blog post found here to refresh on how to do so.

Summer Session 1

Psych 381: Abnormal Psychology TBD (Dr. Hilton)

PSYC 251: Personality 10:50 AM-1:00 PM (Dr.Whitson)

PSYC 332: Drugs and Behavior 8:30 AM-10:40 AM  (Dr. Allen)

Summer Session 2 

PSYC 354: Evolutionary Psychology 8:30 AM-10:40 AM (Dr. Osterman)

PSYC-390: History of Psychology TBD (Dr. Buchholz)

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2021 Summer Scholars

banner 3.jpg

Congratulations to Naomi Painter and Ben Campbell for being selected as Summer Scholars!

Roanoke College’s Summer Scholar Program is designed for serious students who want to use their summers wisely and work one-on-one with faculty. Every year, students compete for selection to receive one of the summer scholarships. Faculty from across the college review student research proposals and decide these prestigious awards.

Naomi will be working with Buchholz on her project in light of the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic and issues involving prejudice and discrimination where she intends to examine the effects of disgust on the presence of prejudicial responses and the individual differences that contribute to said relationship.

Ben will be working with Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand on his project, inspired by his interest in traditional or toxic masculinity, where he intends to research the effects of jealousy on threatened masculinity and relational aggression (i.e., aggression used to harm peer relationships) use.

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Internship Highlight with Kait Gifford ’21

Internships are one of the main forms of experiential learning experiences offered at Roanoke College and within the psychology department. Each semester, our department sends students to work with various different organizations, across a number of fields or professions within psychology, to gain exposure to the field and to share their experiences with the department and other students on campus.

While COVID-19 has come with many challenges, this semester, many internships were able to resume, allowing one student, Kait Gifford ’21, to gain an internship that allowed her to overlap her two academic areas of interest, psychology and criminal justice. Specifically, this semester, Kait Gifford has been interning with the Salem Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Continue reading to learn more about this experience and what Gifford does during this internship.

Can you tell me more about your internship?

At my internship, I have gotten to review past and current criminal cases here in Salem. I pretty much have free range over the case files including any important videos from the crime scenes, witness statements, and any other supporting documents which is very interesting and exhilarating. After I have reviewed the cases, I report what I have learned back to the Commonwealth Attorney and we discuss the pertinent portions of the cases and what would be relevant at trial.

What drew you to interning at the Commonwealth Attorney?

I was actually recommended to this internship by Interim Chief of Campus Safety, Joe Mills. I am a student dispatcher at Campus Safety and I knew that I wanted to have an internship that combined psychology and criminal justice. I want to go into Forensic Psychology, and I felt that this internship would give me a better handle on some of the legislative principles of the field, while also allowing me to apply what I have learned through my psychology courses at Roanoke.

What does a normal day look like for you?

For the most part, I spend the majority of my time at my internship pouring over the case files. However, I also sit in court and watch court proceedings and trials in addition to talking to the people that work in the different aspects of the court system. I feel that this has been particularly interesting and beneficial for me because everyone takes different paths, so it is interesting to hear how some of the essential people to the courts have made it to where they are today.

Thanks again to Kait Gifford ’21 for sharing this experience, and if you are interested in completing an internship, you can reach out to the psychology department’s internship director, Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, as well as check out the Psychology Departments, and Career Services websites for more information and resources.

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UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT NEEDED

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

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

Responsibilities of the research assistant include:

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

It is preferred that interested students have the following qualifications:

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

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

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

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SPSP Conference 2021

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

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

Sophie Bacon ’20

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

Carolynn Bructo ’21

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

Ben Campbell ’22

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

Sydney Caulder ’21

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

Kira Hunt ’21

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

Abbie Joseph ’21

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

Naomi Painter ’22

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

Carly Schepacarter ’21

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

Congratulations once again to all those that presented at SPSP!

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SPSP CONFERENCE Posters 2021

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

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

Sophie Bacon ’20

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

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

Carolynn Bructo ’21

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

Ben Campbell ’22

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

Sydney Caulder ’21

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

Kira Hunt ’21

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

Abbie Joseph ’21

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

Naomi Painter ’22

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

Carly Schepacarter ’21

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

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Effects of a Relational Maintenance Intervention on Relationship Satisfaction During COVID-19

Melissa DeShaw, Abbie Joseph, and Grace Page (Advisor: Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand)

Image found on: https://divine.ca/en/how-to-look-after-your-relationship-during-covid-19/

Background Information

In the midst of a pandemic, how have our relationships changed? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we suspected that the number of individuals in long-distance relationships may have increased as a result of quarantine and travel restrictions. We also thought this may have disproportionately affected college students who were used to being in geographically-close relationships when they were living on their school’s campus. This shift from being in a geographically-close relationship to being in a long-distance relationship could be a major source of stress that ultimately decreases couples’ satisfaction, and we were interested in considering how this relational dissatisfaction could potentially be reduced in such unprecedented times. After researching relational maintenance behaviors, we decided to examine how the education and implementation of relational maintenance behaviors in college students’ romantic relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic could potentially affect satisfaction in their relationships. Relational maintenance behaviors refer to the several behaviors used to maintain a healthy and successful relationship (Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 2001). The most common way to measure this is by using the Relational Maintenance Strategy Measure (RMSM) which contains five groups of strategies: positivity, openness, assurances, social networks, and sharing tasks (Stafford & Canary, 1991). These behaviors have been proven to increase satisfaction levels when implemented into a relationship (Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 2001). Satisfaction was measured using the Relationship Assessment Scale (RAS) which describes several relationship dimensions such as love, problems, and expectations (Hendrick, 1988). Several studies have been conducted on how the use of relational maintenance behaviors correlates with satisfaction, but there are no studies that have used an experiment to test this like ours did. An experiment allows us to determine whether something like relational maintenance behaviors may have a causal impact on satisfaction, and whether they may be able to change through intervention.

Methods

The 36 participants were recruited through Roanoke College’s SONA system in the psychology department and received 2 SONA credits for participating in all parts of the study. Participants had to have been in a romantic relationship. Participants signed up for a Zoom session where they were asked to complete a pre-survey in order to measure satisfaction within their current relationships. After the completion of the pre-survey, participants were asked to return to the Zoom session. Those in the experimental group were read a list of examples from the RMSM and encouraged to try some in their current romantic relationships, and those in the control group were asked to watch a 5 minute video about helpful habits for better sleep. The purpose of a control group is to have a base-line to be able to compare the changes in the experimental group to. Within a week, all participants received an email with a link for a post-survey, and their satisfaction in their romantic relationship was once again assessed using the RAS.

Results and Discussion

Contrary to expectations, participants in the experimental group, who received the informational session on relational maintenance behaviors, did not report more satisfaction at the time of the post-survey compared to the time of the  pre-survey. Additionally, participants in the experimental group did not report more satisfaction than participants in the control group at the time of the post-survey. However, we did find that participants in both the control and experimental groups who reported using more relational maintenance behaviors at the post-survey also reported more satisfaction at the post-survey. Participants in both the control and experimental groups who reported more use of relational maintenance behaviors at the time of the pre-survey also reported more use of these maintenance behaviors at the time of the post-survey. Also, participants from both groups who reported high satisfaction at the pre-survey also reported high satisfaction at the post-survey.

Relational Maintenance Behaviors (Post-Survey) 

Satisfaction (Post-Survey)

Due to our very low sample size, the inability to have face-to-face sessions, and the inability for us experimenters to monitor the relational maintenance behaviors of participants, we did not find what we had previously expected. We did, however, find what previous studies have found, as the participants reported more satisfaction when they used more relational maintenance behaviors in their romantic relationships.

Reflection                                                                                                                                 

Through this process, we gained some much needed insight on what was beneficial to the success of this study, as well as what kept the study from reaching its full potential. First, we believe this study aimed to measure important variables and believe that a replication or partial replication of this study could result in significant and useful findings. Considering the majority of our findings were insignificant, however, we noted a few different aspects of our study that, if changed, may have led to greater significance. For example, the outcome of our study might have been significantly different if everything did not have to be done through online surveys and Zoom sessions. Additionally, we believe that the pressing SONA credit requirement for Psychology students at Roanoke College may have encouraged students to complete our survey for the sake of completion, rather than to provide quality data. If this study were replicated in the future, it would be important to ensure that the participants take the study seriously.

Conclusion

While we found that an information session regarding relational maintenance behaviors given to some participants did not significantly increase satisfaction, we found that all participants seem to already implement these maintenance behaviors in their relationships. The main finding from our study suggests that the use of relational maintenance behaviors in college students’ romantic relationships is associated with their relationship satisfaction, even during a global pandemic.

References

Hendrick, S. S. (1988). A generic measure of relationship satisfaction. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50(1), 93–98.

Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1991). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 8(2), 217–242.

Weigel, D.J., & Ballard-Reisch, D.S. (2001). The impact of relational maintenance behaviors on marital satisfaction: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Family Communication, 1(4), 265-279.

Coping, Locus of Control, and Intolerance of Uncertainty in Emerging Adulthood

Ethan Abbott, Sydney Caulder, & Morgan Hamilton (Advisor: Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand)

Image from thesheaf.com

Background Info

Emerging adulthood is a highly exploratory and developmentally rich period of time in an individual’s life. Between the ages of 18 to 29 is a big transitional phase for young adults to develop their own identity and find their niche in society. There are frequent changes experienced through changing vocations, relationships, and living situations attributed to a significantly reduced sense of stability as compared to parts of life prior to and after emerging adulthood (Arnett 2000; Arnett et al., 2014). In order to properly evaluate how young adults are handling the transitional stressors of their lives coupled with the extenuating circumstances brought on by COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to see if individual’s locus of control helped mitigate stress. Specifically, an internal locus of control refers to how much one believes their actions are the result of their own efforts, relative to the belief that outside events influence their future (external locus of control). If individuals perceive to have some form of control over a situation then they will find the aversive stimulus to be less threatening.

Another facet of stress management we wanted to measure is an individual’s intolerance of uncertainty. This term refers to the cognitive ability to compartmentalize unknown potentially negative events so that it won’t hinder mental health or physical actions. This anticipation of uncertainty derives from the desire for predictability and an active engagement in seeking certainty and paralysis of cognition and action in the face of uncertainty (Birrell, Meares, Wilkinson, & Freeston, 2011). Emerging adults will also employ various coping strategies for the sake of their physical and psychological well-being. Coping mechanisms are vital towards a young adult maintaining proper mental health because poor maintenance of mental thoughts and adjustment can lead to instability. The four types of core coping mechanisms that young adults utilize are problem-solving, support-seeking, escape, & accommodation (Skinner, Edge, Altman, & Sherwood, 2003). Given the current circumstances of the world at large, we thought it wise to conduct and evaluate a survey administered to the Roanoke College student body to see how these three facets of handling mental stressors are being employed amongst the young adult student population. For the sake of our study we used locus of control and intolerance of uncertainty as predictors of various coping mechanisms.

Methods

Participants in this study were recruited from current students at Roanoke College through the Psychology Department’s SONA system. Participants who were enrolled in psychology courses eligible for extra credit upon participation received one half credit. In total, 145 participants completed the study.

The survey was administered online through Qualtrics where participants were asked demographic information including gender, race, age, year in school, and impact of COVID-19. Previously constructed measurements were used for locus of control, intolerance of uncertainty, and coping. For locus of control, the 24-item Multidimensional Locus of Control Scale was used. Intolerance of uncertainty was measured using the 27-item Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale. Finally, coping was measured using the 60-item COPE inventory.

Results & Discussion

We decided to focus on intolerance of uncertainty and locus and control as predictors of coping in a multiple regression model. A multiple regression model demonstrates the strength of two individual predictors controlling for one another while also controlling for shared variance in a single outcome. The COPE inventory included different subscales focusing on specific forms of coping such as focus on venting of emotions or active coping. There were several significant associations found among the different subscales of coping when intolerance of uncertainty and locus of control were used as predictors. And, in each set of tests, there was a large effect size, meaning that these explained a fairly significant amount of the individual type of coping.

Having a higher internal locus of control was related to greater use of managing distress emotions rather than dealing with the stressor (positive reinterpretation) and less use of behavioral disengagement when controlling for intolerance of uncertainty which was related to less use of positive reinterpretation and more behavioral disengagement.

Internal locus of control was unrelated to, and intolerance of uncertainty positively related to both venting of emotions and mental disengagement.

There was one subscale, active coping, that was positively related to internal locus of control but unrelated to intolerance of uncertainty. See the figure below for an overview of regression results across models; the positive sign indicates as the level of the predictor increases the level of the outcome also increases, and the negative sign indicates that as the level of the predictor increases or decreases the outcome would do the opposite of that increase or decrease).

We also explored differences of mean scores between males and female participants. There were no significant differences based on gender in internal locus of control and intolerance of uncertainty scores, or coping subscales of use of instrumental social support, positive reinterpretation, active coping or behavioral disengagement. There were significant differences in scores based on gender for the coping subscales of focus on venting of emotions, use of emotional support, and mental disengagement.

Our data collection and analysis produced logical results that were mostly as expected. Our research can open the door to future research on how different forms of coping may indicate how individuals perceive changes within their life or the amount of control they feel they have over those changes. This research was especially meaningful given the current COVID-19 pandemic and associated mental health difficulties. Intolerance of uncertainty and internal locus of control may be influential in encouraging adaptive forms of coping.

Figure: Visual Representation of Regression Results: Intolerance of Uncertainty and Internal Locus of Control as Predictors of Forms of Coping.

Reflection

Creating a study which was interesting to all of us and able to be done efficiently through remote learning certainly posed a tough challenge to our group. Initially we thought a study more focused on the current challenges for emerging adults amidst the COVID-19 pandemic would be interesting, but we ultimately decided emerging adults face many challenges with uncertainty regardless of if they are enduring a pandemic or not. The beginning stages were relatively easy to manage by dividing up the work and checking in on each other periodically, but as we started using Jamovi our difficulties took a turn. One of the many challenges posed due to remote learning was the opportunity to learn an entirely new data analysis application, Jamovi. Although Jamovi is user friendly when conducting data, we struggled getting it to be compatible with Qualtrics, and those problems were difficult to work through together. Ultimately these issues were ironed out through many meetings with our group and Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand via Zoom trying to figure it out. Although ultimately our outcome of our research was largely unchanged, it was difficult to manage each challenge together while completing our tasks remotely, but I think we all understood the value of good communication and patience through completing this experience remotely.

References

Arnett, J.J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: a theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469–480.

Arnett, J.J. (2014). The new life stage of emerging adulthood at ages 18-29 years: implications for mental health. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1(7), 569–576.

Birrell, J., Meares, K., Wilkinson, A., & Freeston, M. (2011). Toward a definition of intolerance of uncertainty: A review of factor analytical studies of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(7), 1198-1208. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2011.07.009

Skinner, E.A., Edge, K., Altman, J., & Sherwood, H. (2003). Searching for the structure of coping: a review and critique of category systems for classifying ways of coping.. Psychological Bulletin, 129(2), 216-269.

Need for Structure and Academic Motivation as Predictors of Psychological Well-Being during COVID-19

Caelan DeMuth, Mason Wheeler, Maggie Lewis (Advisor: Dr. Findley Van-Nostrand)

Image taken fromL Harris, M. (2015). Top Valentine’s places to cry alone on campus. photograph. https://thetab.com/uk/lancaster/2016/02/12/top-valentines-places-cry-alone-campus-4936.

Background Information

Many changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected well-being of individuals, with college students being uniquely affected given the changes in their academic environment. Specifically, remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way students are expected to learn, potentially driving issues related to focus and to social isolation. Younger students with less experience in university level education may be at higher risk of struggling more than their older peers during the pandemic (Ledman, 2008). In this study, we students’ psychological well-being in relation to their individual need for structure (that is, the extent to which they desire structure and clarity and find ambiguity troubling), academic motivation (the extent to which they are motivated to remain in and do well in school), and academic year. We expected responses that underclassmen or younger students would report higher levels of a need for structure and lower levels of academic motivation, and that both motivation and need for structure would predict well-being. As motivation in academic settings during the ongoing pandemic had yet to be assessed this research may be used to provide insight into how to provide resources to students during upcoming academic terms.

Methods and Measures

Participants for this research were individuals currently enrolled at Roanoke College. There were 115 participants, of which 39 were freshmen, 39 were sophomores, 21 were juniors, and 16 were seniors; 30 identified as male, 83 identified as female, and 2 identified as nonbinary.  Participants were recruited via the Roanoke College Psychology Department through SONA and led to an external survey using Qualtrics. Participants answered a combination of questions pertaining to their academic year, gender, and demographics in addition to questions intended to assess individual needs for structure, academic motivation and well-being. Questions pertaining to structure were taken from the Personal Need for Structure scale. Academic motivation was assessed via questions in the Academic Motivation scale. Psychological Well-Being scale was used to gauge the well-being of participants. Ultimately the three scales demonstrated relationships between individualized preferences for structure, mental health and motivation to remain focused and engaged in coursework during COVID-19.

Results and Discussion

This study was facilitated successfully, especially given the challenges of a nontraditional semester. Contrary to the initial expectation for this study, participants enrolled in their senior year reported the lowest scores for perceived wellness whereas underclassmen reported the highest scores for this criteria. Although students in lower academic years reported higher values of perceived wellness, responses from first years did have the largest standard deviation, suggesting that there was more variation among participants in lower academic years. However, it was found that there was no statistically significant differences when separating between  the psychological well-being subscales (autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations, purpose in life, self-acceptance) between academic years.

Personal need for structure was unrelated to academic motivation. Academic motivation was positively related to psychological well-being in the era of COVID-19 learning. Academic motivation is the voluntary engagement with coursework in terms of intrinsic and extrinsic variables (Cerino, 2014), suggesting that those who can maintain high levels of motivation are likely also experiencing higher well-being in other areas. It was found that personal need for structure statistically significantly predicted the psychological well-being subscale of purpose in life, while academic motivation as a whole statistically significantly predicted the psychological well-being subscale of personal growth, and somewhat significantly predicted the psychological well-being subscale of autonomy. Overall, results suggest that need for structure and academic motivation during the pandemic are related to well-being, but this depends on type of well-being.

Reflection

This research study challenged each of us extensively throughout the duration of the semester. The first and largest obstacle we as a group encountered was transitioning Research Seminar class typically taught in person to a fully remote and functional formatt. We were given the additional task to complete the workload together across time zones via Zoom rather than have the ease of access to be able to meet whenever necessary in person. Our initial research topic was a much broader version of our final product, with the first intent to be to examine COVID-19 impact on wellness in all of its dimensions and definitions. This was evidently too broad as the eight clinical dimensions of wellness (Stoewen, 2017) would have introduced a myriad of confounds to our research. The goal of our work was to examine if academic motivation and perceived wellness had been impacted during a semester of exclusively remote learning.

As our study was conducted via online survey, the ease in accessibility for participants was likely beneficial to the recruitment process. The convenience of the survey being administered online allowed for more people to complete it on their own time. An additional positive to the survey being conducted online eliminated the risk of observer bias and made participants more comfortable by removing the risk of potential exposure to COVID-19. Despite the challenges of conducting research in a fully remote manner, our group was able to find significant associations within our data and report conclusive findings.

Conclusion

The main findings of this study indicate that college underclassmen are experiencing higher perceived wellness than upperclassmen in the era of COVID-19, and that personal need for structure and academic motivation only significantly correlate with three of the six psychological well-being subscales (purpose in life, autonomy, and personal growth). COVID-19 has caused significant changes to what is defined as a normal academic setting. With this knowledge moving forward, academic institutions may use this information to provide adequate mental health resources for students as well as modify course plans to proceed in more academically efficient means.

References

Cerino, Eric. S. (2014). Relationships between academic motivation, self-efficacy, and academic procrastination. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 19(4).

Ledman, R. (2008). Comparing student learning in online and classroom formats of the same course. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://absel-ojs-ttu.tdl.org/absel/index.php/absel/article/view/424/390.

Stoewen, D. (2017). Dimensions of wellness: Change your habits, change your life. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5508938/.

Has COVID-19 Impacted Introverts’ School Performance More Adversely Than Extraverts’?

Autumn Cox, Christian Galleo, & Celine Taylor (Advisor: Chris Buchholz)

Background Information

Our study investigated how COVID-19 suddenly reshaped the school environment and whether this change has influenced introverts’ and extraverts’ perceived performance differently. While previous research from Teichner, Areess, and Reilly (1963) has examined the relationship between one’s degree of extraversion and the impact noise has on performance, there has been little research into how COVID-19 has modified today’s learning environment. This study intended to examine the auditory changes COVID-19 has had on the work environment and how this has affected introverts’ and extroverts’, and their perceived performance. We hypothesized that introverts would be more adversely affected by their home’s auditory environment and that they would have a larger decrease in perceived performance from pre-COVID-19 to the present. Meanwhile, we predicted that extraverts would not be as adversely affected by the auditory environment and may even display a slight increase in their perceived performance compared to their pre-COVID-19 perceived performance rating.

Methods

Ninety-four participants from Roanoke College completed our online survey. Participants completed measures of introversion/extroversion, as well as a Perceived Performance Questionnaire, Change in Auditory Environment Questionnaire, and a Noise Sensitivity Questionnaire (measures how sensitive an individual is to auditory disruptions while working). Many of these scales were created to evaluate how variables such as auditory environment and perceived performance changed from before COVID-19 to now, so that we can examine whether perceived performance has been negatively impacted by environmental changes.

Results & Discussion

Our analysis revealed that our results supported several of our hypotheses; college students indicated that not only had their auditory environment become more distracting but that their performance had worsened during the COVID-19 crisis (see Figure 1). When evaluating the relationship between time period (Pre-COVID-19, Post-COVID-19), perceived performance, and auditory environment, we found that both perceived performance and auditory environment were negatively impacted by COVID-19. This indicates that COVID-19 is responsible for increasing the amount of auditory disturbances that are experienced while working and that it has also decreased students’ perceived performance.

Figure 1. The effect that time period has on auditory environment and perceived performance

Our results also supported our prediction that introverts would be more sensitive to noise disturbances, and that introverts would also have lower levels of post-COVID-19 perceived performance than extraverts would. A possible explanation for the poorer performance may be that introverts are more sensitive to noise disturbances, which means that an increase in auditory disruptions, caused by COVID-19, would result in this group’s poorer perceived performance. This supports Eysenck’s theory of personality, which theorizes that introverts’ performance would be more adversely affected by, in this case, their sensitivity to noise disturbances than extroverts would be (Eysenck, 1997). Therefore, the more sensitive an introvert (i.e. high introversion) is to noise the worse their perceived performance is, but the more sensitive an extravert (i.e. low introversion) is to noise the better their perceived performance is (see Figure 2). Overall, our results indicate that the current school environment has been detrimental to the introvert’s perceived school performance and should be changed.

Figure 2. The effect that introversion level has on an individual’s noise sensitivity and perceived performance after COVID-19.

Reflection

The data collection process was a limitation because we could only obtain participants through Roanoke College’s SONA system which limited our pool of participants. Our limitations also included a lack of accessible research, the convenience sample, and the necessity to develop many of our own measures. Although there is very little research available, we learned how greatly COVID-19 has impacted the work and school environment and believe that further efforts should be made to understand the impacts of this ongoing pandemic.

Conclusion

Our results indicate that the new work environment, initiated by COVID-19, has not adversely affected extraverts and their perceived performance, which suggests that they may be able to continue functioning in this work environment after the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our results also indicate that the new work environment has brought on higher levels of auditory distractions into the work environment, which have negatively impacted introverts and their perceived performance. Our results indicate that, as COVID-19 comes to a close, employers and schools should give introverts the opportunity to return to their work environment and to work in a quieter environment that maximizes their performance.

References

Eysenck, H. J. (1977). Personality and factor analysis: A reply to Guilford. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 405-411.

Teichner, W. H., Arees, E. & Reilly, R. (1963). Noise and human performance, a psychological approach. Ergonomics, 6, 83-97.

The Effects of Covid-19 and Social Isolation on Depression and Daily Stress

Aaron Rogers, Vanessa Pearson, Courtney Ashley, & Ayars Lamar (Advisor: Chris Buchholz) 

Background Information

Humans are in fact social beings by nature—in addition to food and water, we also need social interaction to be healthy. For instance, research shows that that social isolation can lead to an increase in mental disorders (Santini et al., 2020). When considering the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a divide between individuals through the promotion of social distancing and the temporary closure of recreational businesses such as movie theaters and amusement parks. Institutions have implemented guidelines that have affected college students to limit the spread of the virus on campus. These guidelines are seen in various ways such as online teaching, social distancing of 6 feet in food courts, and the elimination of sporting events. These necessary precautions from institutions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 have also decreased social connectivity. The point of this study is to determine if increased social isolation causes increased levels of depression and daily stress in college students.  There is limited research on the effects of social isolation from the pandemic on college students.

Methods

Our study included 52 college students as participants. In order to run the study, we had participants complete three questions on depression, daily stress, and social isolation. The participants went through each of the scales twice. The first time the participants completed the section, they had to reflect on how they remember themselves feeling before Covid struck around January of 2020. Once the participants completed each section reflecting back to January, they were given the exact same questionnaire but asked to answer it with how they are feeling now in the current semester. Researchers then compared their answers pre-Covid to how they were feeling post-Covid.

Results and Discussion

We found that both social isolation and daily stress increased during the pandemic; however, only the increase in stress was statistically significant (see Figure 1). We also found that depression showed an increase that was statistically significant from pre-Covid compared to post-Covid. (see Figure 2). This indicates, that contrary to our predictions, on average participants were not reporting significant increases in social isolation. However, this is an average and the reality is that some participants did see an increase. In conclusion, the increase in depression and stress is consistent with larger national trends and that is concerning.

Figure 1. Social Isolation and Daily Stress over time.

Figure 2.  Depression levels from pre-Covid to post-Covid.

Reflection

As a group, and individually, we have learned a lot about this pandemic and how it has affected the college-aged population in terms of depression and stress levels. A new normal has been set for the foreseeable future and that has been a tough pill to swallow for the Roanoke College community and for the entire world. All of us are upper-level college students, so we have seen the contrast between in-person schooling and online schooling, and it is not the same. We empathize with the new freshman because they may not have some of the same college experiences that we once had in a pre-pandemic world. Conducting this study and analyzing the data gave us an idea of how our community is feeling, and we cannot stress how important maintaining your mental health during these times are.

Conclusion

We would like people to realize how important it is to stay connected and to check up on each other during these extremely tough times. Being socially isolated has major effects on the psyche and realizing that is so important. Check in on your friends, family members, significant others, and try not to assume that everyone is doing okay during these times because more than likely someone is struggling.

References

Santini, Z. I., Jose, P. E., Cornwell, E. Y., Koyanagi, A., Nielsen, L., Hinrichsen, C., Meilstrup, C., Madsen, K. R., & Koushede, V. (2020). Social disconnectedness, perceived isolation, and symptoms of depression and anxiety among older Americans: A longitudinal mediation analysis. The lancet public health, 5(1), e62-e70.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR new PHI BETA KAPPA members!

Founded in 1776 by students at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is recognized as the oldest, largest, and most prestigious honor society in the nation. PBK’s main objective is to emphasize the importance of liberal arts and sciences while also recognizing those who strive for excellence in academics.

Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is a distinct honor.  Only 10% of the nation’s colleges and universities have chapters, and Phi Beta Kappa graduates include some of the country’s most distinguished citizens, including 17 U.S. Presidents, 42 Supreme Court Justices, more than 150 Nobel Laureates, and many other notable figures.

The Psychology Department would like to congratulate Kira Hunt, Abbie Joseph, Grace Page, Kaillee Philleo, Carly Schepacarter, and Lynsey Wyatt on their induction into the Nu Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Continue reading to hear from some of the students themselves! 

Kira Hunt
I am a senior psychology major with a concentration in neuroscience and a minor in sociology. I was really ecstatic to hear that I was selected because I had been working towards this since hearing about it in my freshman year. While at Roanoke, I’ve been a student assistant in the psychology department as well as an academic coach in the Center for Learning and Teaching. I am also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Psi Chi. In addition, I have also participated in research in Dr. Powell’s lab as well as with Dr. Nichols, which is one of the things I am most proud of. I haven’t finished my Honors Distinction Project yet but I’m really proud of the progress I have made on it. After graduation, I plan on being in Teach for America while I prepare to go to graduate school to become a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Abbie Joseph  
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I am a senior psychology major with a concentration in human development and a minor in Spanish. I was very excited when I found out that I was elected into membership of Phi Beta Kappa, and it felt good knowing that I was being recognized for all my hard work throughout my time here. Here at Roanoke, I am a Subject Tutor in the Center for Learning and Teaching, a member of Stat Crew, and a Spanish cohort/activity leader. I am also a member of Psi Chi, Xi Theta Chi, and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. I am involved in research in the psychology department as a research assistant in Dr. Powell’s developmental self-knowledge lab. One of my biggest accomplishments while at Roanoke has been my independent study for my Honors in the Major project titled, “Cyberstalking behaviors after the use of ghosting.” After I graduate, I plan to attend graduate school for my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Kaillee Philleo

I am a senior psychology and criminal justice double major. I received a voicemail from Dr. Peppers letting me know that I was selected for membership into PBK and I was ecstatic! I have been working towards membership into PBK since freshman year and I was so pleased that my hard work had finally paid off. While at Roanoke I have been involved in many things – from running on the Track and Field team, singing in the Roanotes acapella group, co-hosting a radio show, working as the campus activities director and creating fundraising events for Make-A-Wish in Chi Omega, working as the trip supervisor and guide with Outdoor Adventures, working as a student assistant in the psychology department, conducting research with Dr. Osterman, leading Psi Chi, NSLS, and Alpha Lambda Delta as president, as well as also being a member in Alpha Phi Sigma, Xi Theta Chi, Order of Omega, and Omicron Delta Kappa. It’s safe to say my time at Roanoke College has been far from boring. That all being said, my biggest accomplishments, besides being selected into PBK, are definitely presenting at the SPSP conference in New Orleans last spring, having the opportunity to ask Justice Sotomayor a question during her Zoom visit with Roanoke College, and working towards completing my honor in the major project. Upon graduating from Roanoke, I intend to enter into a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program and eventually become a forensic psychologist for juveniles.

Carly Schepacarter

Image.jpegI am pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Art and Psychology. When I received the news on Phi Beta Kappa, I was ecstatic. I have worked closely with Dr. Carter on research and a number of other things while on campus, so when he made a point of emailing me personally to let me know that I was selected it really had an additional layer of excitement with it. On-campus, I am a member and past President of the Honors Program, the current President of Alpha Phi Omega, a student assistant at Resource Development, and I do social psychology research with Dr. Carter in the Psychology Department. This semester, I am also an Artist in Residence in Olin Gallery, where I am currently creating and displaying the paintings I am producing for my Honors Distinction Project. One of my proudest accomplishments beyond Phi Beta Kappa was being selected as a Fintel Senior Scholar this summer, as well as being named the Senior Scholar for the Art Department this past year. Beyond awards, I am very proud of the work of the Alpha Phi Omega executive board during quarantine disruptions, where we worked tirelessly to still provide a valuable experience to new and existing brothers while at such an unexpected time. Upon graduation this May, I am looking to enroll in a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program or an Art Therapy Master’s program, with hopes to work in Family Services.

Congratulations again to everyone and we look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the future! 

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Getting the most out of your time in RC Psychology

Even as this semester draws to a close, it’s a great time to start thinking about next semester (and future semester) pursuits. There are a variety of ways students can apply concepts learned in the classroom with real-life examples, as well as hone their skills outside of the classroom and learn new skills. Here are some of the ways you can make the most of your time in the Roanoke College Psychology department.

Research Labs

            Putting time into research can give you a great experience applying the information you learn in the classroom and experiencing the research process firsthand. Students even have published their research and presented at psychology conferences around the country. Research opportunities are strongly encouraged for students planning to continue their education in either graduate or doctoral programs in psychology.

Research experience and research practicum are great for students to get a foot in the door and learn more about research in psychology. Work-study also allows eligible students to assist with faculty research for an hourly wage. Students can talk to a faculty member with who they share research interests with. Looking at the faculty’s past presentations and research papers is another great way to get an idea of who you would most like to work with. You can find information on faculty research interests here and here are recent student conference presentations and publications with faculty.

For less directed student work, Independent Study (Empirical Study) and Honors in the Major allow students to conduct their own empirical study under a faculty member. It is common for students to take research practicum prior to enrolling in an Independent Study as they have already completed a research proposal but it is not required to do it in this way. For Honors in the Major, the results are required to be presented to a committee during a defense. Independent studies can be used to fulfill the Intensive Learning (May Term) requirement.

Students can also conduct research during the summer through the Summer Scholar Program where they can be paid $3000, receive housing, and a summer course credit to conduct research with a faculty member. Projects are presented during Family Weekend. More information can be found here.

For more details about all avenues to become involved in research click here.

Some comments from students currently involved in research  

“Getting involved in research within the psychology department has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my college career – not only do I get to actually use what I have learned throughout my courses, but I get to explore my research interests while working one-on-one with a knowledgeable professor. This experience of conducting and presenting my own independent study will give me a bit of an extra boost as I enter the next stage of grad school.”

“I got into research for the chance to be able to dive into a topic that I was really interested in. I learn skills every day that I am able to take and use in my other classes to improve my academic performance. On top of this, I have gained peers who I can share things with and get helpful feedback from people who I trust.”

“After several assignments in classes where I was required to write a research proposal, I found myself writing a similar proposal every time about a topic I really enjoyed reading about and I wanted to see if I could actually translate my ideas from paper into the real world. With research in the psychology department, I found I could and not only do I feel fulfilled, but research has also provided me with great time management skills.”

Sign up for research studies

Some classes have a research participation requirement in which 5 participation amount credits need to be earned for a percentage of students’ final grade. However, signing up for research studies through SONA is a great way to get firsthand experience of how studies operate and possibly get some ideas for research studies you would like to run in the future. A lot of these studies are student studies that are needed for courses such as independent studies, so it also benefits your fellow classmates. More information about how and where to sign up for these studies can be found here.

Internships

Internships take place in a variety of places from community agencies to businesses and students have the chance to see how their knowledge of psychology is applied in work settings. Internships can be used for credit (.5 for 60 hours or 1 unit for 120 hours) and can be used to satisfy the Intensive Learning (May Term) requirement. Reflections will be completed throughout the internship leading up to a reflection paper and poster presentation on the experience. The experience and skills gained from it can be added to resumes or crriculum vitaes (CV). Click here to learn more about internships and how to be contacted about opportunities.

Psychology Student Organizations

            Both the psychology club Roanoke College Psychology Association (RCPA) and the psychology honor society Psi Chi host several social, academic, and philanthropic events throughout the semester. Some examples of these include a Veteran Affairs Medical Center Talk, Pie-a-Prof, and Toy-like-Me. However, while RCPA is open to all students, those eligible to join Psi Chi need at least four units of psychology and at least a 3.0 GPA and be in the upper 35% of their class. Both usually set up tables at the activities fair. To learn more information about each click here.

Student Assistant Job

If you’re interested in helping the department behind the scenes, students with a 2.5 GPA overall and a 2.5 GPA in psychology are selected to be departmental assistants where they work for an average of 5 hours a week. Common jobs include grading multiple-choice tests and running errands. Student assistants are also in charge of posting to the psychology department blog and Instagram page. You can learn more by clicking on this link.

Some comments from recent student assistants

“I became a psychology department student assistant to become more involved in psychology and to build relationships with the faculty in the department. Through this position, I have had the chance to interact with all the professors, learn new skills, keep the community updated on all that is happening in our department, and have had fun decorating the fifth floor as well as being involved with pranks on the professors.”

“Becoming a psychology department student assistant has allowed me to interact with more psychology faculty than I might have interacted with just taking classes. I had never paid much attention to social media but being in charge of the blog and Instagram for the psychology department has provided me with new skills. Being able to help faculty in the department is also satisfying.”

Participating in even just one of these activities can make your time in the RC psychology more meaningful and it may make a difference in you falling in love with the subject even more.

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Specialties in Psychology: Geriatric Psychology

hands from palliative care - Charles E. Smith Life Communities

Are you interested in studying how the mind changes with age? Or maybe you are interested in helping the elderly cope with issues associated with age? Would you like to work within a network of providers to comfort and care for aging patients? If you think that any of these things may interest you, then look into geriatric psychology, also known as geropsychology!

 

As people grow older, they are faced with a variety of different challenges that include physical, emotional, and social impacts. Some of these issues stem from losing loved ones and others around them, while some of these issues are a result of the body breaking down with age. 

 

Geriatric psychologists play a critical role in the care of aging individuals. They may provide counseling for illnesses and diseases or even research the effects of aging. Additionally, if their patient has a serious or terminal prognosis, they may work within a network to provide care for both the patient and their family. There is an increased need for geriatric psychologists as the Baby Boomers age. If you think that this is something that might interest you, use the links below to discover more. 

To find out more, click this link!

For information from the APA on geropsychology, use this link!

For info on careers in aging, visit this link

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

How to “stand out”

No matter what year you are, it is never too early or too “late” to begin considering what you want to do during your time at Roanoke College, in order to stand out to potential future employers or graduate programs. Therefore, whether you are a first-semester freshman or a first-semester senior, there are always things you can be doing on and off campus to prepare you for your future post-grad studies or jobs in psychology.

If you plan to pursue a career or graduate program in psychology then follow this post as a guide to begin building up your resume or CV with experiences that will help you stand out to future employers or programs.

Plan ahead

You do not need to have your future plans set in stone at any point during your college career, but it may be good to start considering different options and creating plans around those options. That is, look at what courses you will need to take to complete your major/minor/concentration and roughly layout when you will take them. Moreover, consider what you do and do not want to do while in college (e.g., internships, research, study abroad, etc.). This initial planning stage will help you in the long run but is not limited to those in their freshman year.

Seniors, planning may look different, but consider different post-grad options and begin looking at what they require. From here, plan out what to do during your final two semesters and post-undergrad to help you get into the job/programs that you are looking into.

Explore options

When considering what you want to do in psychology consider the multiple options available to you. Look into different career paths, graduate programs, or post-grad internships and research opportunities. Do not be afraid to take a gap year after graduating from Roanoke College to explore these options and to gain some more work experience or research/internship experience. There is no specific plan that you need to follow to become a successful psychologist, so look into options to find a plan that works best for you.

Look at expectations/requirements

If you are looking to enter into a graduate program or a specific job, look at the application requirements and deadlines early on. Even if you have no idea where you want to go or what you want to do, looking into different programs and seeing what they require of applicants is a good start. In doing so, you may find that multiple programs are expecting similar requirements such as research experience or a GRE score. In noticing these commonalities, you can adjust what you are doing to ensure you complete these items on time.

Get involved

It goes without saying, but getting involved is important to all employers and graduate programs. Whether it be gaining world-experience in the form of internships, study abroad, or jobs, or gaining academic experience in the form of research, honor societies, and a variety of courses, or through being apart of outside activities such as sports teams, and other clubs and organizations, it is beneficial to get involved both on and off-campus.

Consider an internship

An internship is one of the best ways to gain work experience while in undergrad. Not only are internships a way to build connections, they also give you real-world experience, and introduce you into the field you may be interested in. Moreover, they are also beneficial as they can lead you to realize you want to pursue a different path. Do not feel discouraged if an internship leaves you wanting to explore a new area as this is equally as beneficial as an internship that proves to you that you are on the right path.

All in all, internships can help guide you in solidifying your interests as well as showcase to you what your interests may not be.

More information on internships can be found here

Consider research

If you plan to enter into a graduate program, specifically a Ph.D. track, considering research is highly important. Most graduate programs suggest or require that you have some research experience at hand. While taking quantitative methods and research methods is a good introduction to research, conducting research alongside a psychology faculty or other students is a way to further enhance those skills. Moreover, conducting research can lead you to present at conferences or getting published, which as an undergraduate is a major accomplishment.

More information on the research can be found here!

Consider studying abroad

While studying abroad is not for everyone, it is a great experience that not only enhances cultural knowledge but leads to self-development. Studying abroad offers a lot of self-development that can be beneficial and will look notable when applying to jobs or graduate programs. There are a variety of study abroad options available, and if you plan ahead early, you can ensure that courses you take while abroad can fill requirements you may need, as well as find a semester where studying abroad works best for you.

More information on studying abroad can be found here!

Reach out to Professors/Advisors

After reading all of these options you may feel lost, which is completely normal! That said, you are not alone and your professors and advisors can be a great resource in guiding you towards your next steps. Reach out to your advisors if you are struggling with where to begin or on what you can achieve during your semesters at Roanoke College. Moreover, reach out to professors that share similar interests to learn more about how they went about applying to programs, finding jobs, or for advice on what specific things you should or could be doing.

Here are current professors specialties and interests:

Dr. Allen: Psychopharmacology and abnormal psychology

Dr. Buchholz: Self, consciousness, evolutionary psychology, and moral decision making

Dr. Carter: Social and personality psychology

Dr. Cate: Cognitive and neuroscience

Dr. FVN: Developmental, social, and educational psychology

Dr. Hilton: Clinical and cognitive psychology

Dr. Nichols: Cognitive neuroscience

Dr. Osterman: Social psychology and evolutionary psychology

Dr. Powell: Developmental psychology

Dr. Wetmore: Experimental psychology and cognitive psychology

More information about specific professors’ interests can be found here!

Start drafting your Resume and cover letter, and/or your CV and purpose statement

If you are interested in pursuing a career or graduate school in psychology then you want to start drafting your CV and purpose statement. On the other hand, if you are looking to go into more general work, you should have an updated resume and cover letter. Whether it be your CV or Resume, these items should be updated when major changes are made, or at least at the beginning and end of each semester, or before they are to be submitted to someone.

Cover letters and purpose statements can be made quite broad to begin with but should always be specified to match the program you are going into.

More information on how to write a CV can be found here!

Refer to the Roanoke College Psychology page for more information

You may still be feeling a bit overwhelmed on where to begin and where to go for information. While the blog will continue to share advice and information on graduate school or post-grad career information, you may also refer to the Roanoke College Psychology Page for more resources and information.

Best of luck to all of you as you continue on your journey towards becoming a psychologist and know that the fifth floor is always cheering you on and here to help (even if virtually)!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Specialties in Psychology: Sports Psychology

Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame announced 2019 inductees - HalifaxToday.ca

There are many interesting fields of psychology that cater to different interests! An example of this is sports psychology. In this field, the interaction between psychology and sports is studied. Sports psychology includes a broad array of topics including athlete well-being, the relationship between sports and social interactions, and the issues associated with sports and their respective organizations. Sports psychology can be used to help many different people including kids and Olympic athletes. Additionally, sports psychology is a complex field with many different areas of reach. For example, sports psychologists may work with participants with eating disorders, a team that is struggling to work together, or even assist with concentration and attention techniques. This field is incredibly interesting and limitless!

To view the American Psychological Association’s post click here!

To learn about a career in Sports Psychology click here!

Sports Psychology. (2008). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/sports

Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame announced 2019 inductees. (2019, June 3). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.halifaxtoday.ca/local-news/nova-scotia-sport-hall-of-fame-announced-2019-inductees-1487559

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Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Twitter: @RC_Psychology
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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Towson University Open House

On Saturday, October 17th, Towson University will be hosting a virtual Graduate Studies Open House! Roanoke College alumni Diane Nyugen is currently attending Towson University to earn her M.A. in Experimental Psychology! Attendees of the open house will hear from current students and faculty, and will have the opportunity to ask questions. Finally, students who attend the open house will have the fee waived on their Towson University Graduate Application! For more information, visit the links below.

 

To register for the event, click here.

For more information about the Experimental Psychology program, click here.

Follow their Facebook for updates on current students and alumni. 

Contact our program director, Dr. Justin Buckingham at jbuckingham@towson.edu 

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Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Welcome Dr. Anthony Cate!: An Interview

Dr. Anthony Cate, Psychology Professor at Roanoke College

 

The Psychology Department would like to welcome Dr. Anthony Cate to our faculty as our newest professor.  The following is an interview with Dr. Cate where he answers some questions about himself, his interests in psychology, and what he’s looking forward to in terms of teaching at Roanoke College.

Where are you from?

I was born in New Jersey, and I moved a lot when I was young.  I have lived in every state between Washington, D.C. and Boston, except for Delaware.  After I got my Ph.D. I also lived in Canada (Ontario) and northern California.

Where did you receive your undergraduate degree from and what did you study in undergraduate? What was that experience like?

I got my undergraduate degree from Yale University.  I began as a religious studies major, but I thought that those classes involved too much memorization of names and dates, so I switched to psychology.  Actually, I switched to being a triple major, at least on paper: psychology, linguistics, and East Asian studies.  I shed majors when I figured out that psychology interested me the most.

I was lucky that I was able to help out in three research labs that had different missions and lab cultures.  I learned that I was bad at doing brain surgery in a rat lab.  I lost some patients.  Everyone there seemed anxious all the time too, which was poignant because anxiety was part of what they studied.  I conducted my first research project in a lab that studied human fear conditioning.  My advisor was a very kind scientist who helped me feel like an important part of the lab, but I disliked having to give participants electric shocks.  I also frequented the lab of my favorite professor, who had taught my perception course.  That lab was very welcoming.  People could just walk in to say hi and check out the experiments, there was a dog, and the students were very productive.  All of those experiences taught me to consider the social environment when I was choosing a graduate program.

Have you received any other additional degrees? Where did you receive them from?

I went to Carnegie Mellon University to get my Ph.D. in psychology, which was part of a joint neuroscience program with the University of Pittsburgh.

Have you taught anywhere else besides Roanoke College?

I first taught when I was a postdoctoral researcher at Western University in Canada.  My advisor talked me and two other postdocs into teaching one third of a course each, which seemed like a lot at the time.  Later I taught at Virginia Tech, where I worked for nine years before moving here to Roanoke.

What are you most excited about teaching at Roanoke College?

I am very excited to teach at Roanoke for many reasons!  It has been hard for me not to talk a mile a minute while teaching during these first few weeks.  It is exciting when students ask me questions, including when I don’t know the answer, because then I get to track the answers down later.  I was very eager to start teaching smaller class sizes.  I think personal interactions form the most effective ways to learn, and instructors get to learn from their students this way, too.  It is also a privilege to join an excellent psychology department where the faculty and staff are so engaged in their mission.

Dr. Cate in front of MRI machine at Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System in Martinez, CA (2007)

What are your research interests? Why are you interested in this/these field(s)?

My research investigates how visual perception works, and how it influences other cognitive skills like memory and reasoning about numbers.  I am particularly interested in understanding how different parts of the brain work together.  I have studied techniques for visualizing computer models of brains in order to make maps of which cognitive skills are associated with different brain regions.

Can you tell us about any research you have already completed in these areas?

I have published some research about how we perceive the 3D structure of objects, and about how brain damage can alter these perceptions.  I enjoyed learning how to make 3D images using computer graphics, and I especially liked getting to learn what people living with brain damage had to teach me about perception.

What course or courses are you currently teaching?

I am teaching Introduction to Psychology and Cognitive Psychology this semester, which is a great combination.  I have been teaching Cognitive Psychology for over nine years, and it is so familiar to me that I get excited when my favorite topics are about to come up in class.  I have never taught Intro Psych before.  It feels like a big responsibility to introduce the entire field.

Are you interested in taking on students as research assistants?

Yes!  Students make research better.  I realized a few years ago that when undergraduates helped me with a project, we considered the problems less narrowly.  The projects were much more enjoyable because of all the conversations we got to have.

What qualities are you looking for in any students who are interested in joining your lab?

Mainly curiosity, and an appreciation of research for its own sake.  My research questions are usually less about “how can we apply this science?” and more about “how does this work?”  I have had wonderful contributions from students with backgrounds in art and design, but that’s because we had similar interests, and not because students need any particular artistic abilities.  The same has been true for students who are interested in neuroanatomy and computer science.  A passion for those topics makes for a good fit, but students definitely don’t need to have expertise already.

Welcome to Roanoke College Dr. Cate! Thank you again for taking the time to answer our questions. We are excited to have you here and look forward to learning more about you in the semesters to come!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

 

HNRS 260 Creates Flyers to Stop the spread of Covid-19

As a part of Dr. Powell’s HNRS 260 – Psychology in the Media course, students read Van Bavel and colleagues’ (2020) article, Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response, and created flyers that they thought would grab RC students’ attention to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

See what some students came up with below!

Do the Right Thing

Graphic designed by Madi Nuckles

Uncle Sam

Graphic designed by Hunter Haskins and Snigdha Somani

Combatting the Pandemic

Graphic designed by Ben Nelson

COVID Practices

Graphic designed by HNRS 260 student

Great job to all the students who completed this project and created new graphics to share on campus!

Continue to stay safe, and remember, keep wearing a mask, wash your hands, and social distance to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep all of the Roanoke College community safe!

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Undergrad Advice from the Psych Department!

We are so excited to have so many familiar faces back on campus, and all of the new ones as well! This semester is going to look far different than any before, so some of the professors in the psychology department are here to offer up their best advice from when they were undergraduates!

Dr. Buchholz

-Get organized. Build a schedule but leave plenty of extra time because things often take longer than you may expect. 

-Ask for help, even if it is embarrassing. 

-Prioritize assignments and other things that you want to accomplish. That way if something comes up and you can’t do it all, you will know what to focus on. Relatedly, pay attention to the syllabus and how much each assignment is worth. If time is short, don’t waste time on things that are not worth that much, focus on doing a good job on the things that count.

-Have fun. Most of you will look back on this time as one of the best times of your life. Get out there, make friends, take risks (safely). 

Dr. Allen

-Talk to your professors, and don’t wait until the situation is desperate.  We are human.  

-Try to set good habits from the beginning.  It’s a lot easier to form a good habit than to break a bad one, and I say that as someone who is trying to break a couple of them.

 -And something I often find myself telling students who’ve messed up, even in a big way: admit you made a mistake, ask what you have learned from this (I sometimes learn that I need more sleep) and then move forward.  Don’t keep beating yourself up about the mistake other than to remind yourself that you don’t want to make it again. 

Dr. Hilton

-Say yes to more things that make you nervous/a little scared. I have learned so much from doing things that initially scared me. Sometimes fear is trying to help us learn things about ourselves and the only way to learn it is to lean into that discomfort (within reason obviously)

-Invest more in other people. I was very driven (as I know our psych students are as well) and sometimes I chose to pursue academic/career goals over relational goals. I have come to recognize that relationships provide meaning to everything else we do and I sometimes wish I had said yes more often to late nights, last minute trips, coffee meetups, etc., instead of working.

-Be kind to yourself. Set lofty goals but also be nice to yourself when you fall short. Failing is part of learning and growing…not something to be avoided but a step along the way.

Dr. Nichols

-Go to class! Even if you think you can keep up with the readings and learning on your own, it’s helpful to keep yourself on track and keep up to date on any announcements if you go to class every day. Honestly, sometimes I would sit in class and do homework for other classes, balance my checkbook, or write love letters to my girlfriend (it was easier to get away with such things at a large state school), but I felt better prepared for each of my classes when I attended them regularly.

-Talk to your professors! At first I didn’t speak to my professors, then I pestered them with questions after class that challenged half of the psychology studies presented in the slides, and finally I learned to attend office hours and have a more civil conversation. Your professors are passionate about the topics they teach and would love to help you learn the material better and most likely know some other ways to present the material than what was done in class, so use office hours to chat and/or learn.

-Talk to students in your class! As a student I was a weird mix of quiet/shy/isolated thinker who tended to sit in the back and not talk to anyone combined with class-clown/passing notes/whispering jokes, depending on the topic and whether I had friends in class. However, I learned to enjoy the friendships that developed by talking to students before or after class that I didn’t know going into the semester. Oftentimes we ended up studying together or inviting each other to parties, but it was nice even to just chit-chat with someone to feel more connected to the class.

Dr. Carter

-Seek out professors who do work that’s interesting to you, and find a way to work for/with them. It’s amazing how those experiences help shape and reveal your interests, and how they can translate into opportunities later.

-Learn how to go to bed at a reasonable hour. It turns out a lot of stuff happens before 10am.

-Always get apartments on the top floor of the building. That way the neighbors can never stomp on the floor when you make the slightest bit of noise. That’s the worst

This semester is uncharted, but the advice offered by some of our professors will help us all make it through! Also, remember to have grace for yourself and your professors, because we are all trying to figure this out and no one has all of the right answers. Good luck Maroons!

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Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
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RCPA at the Student Activities Fair

Why not check out RCPA at the student activities fair this Friday, September 11 that will be taking place from 5 pm to 8 pm on the back quad?

In the past RCPA has hosted exciting events ranging in activities from tie-dying and pieing professors as well as  Toy-like-me modification day and psychology-related talks.

Live streaming and individual club clips will also be available on Maroon Tube for those who cannot attend in person.

Extra information about the fair can be found on Roanoke College’s website under events.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

SPSP Conference 2020!

On February 27-29, four students and three psychology professors attended the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana,  to present research through poster sessions and to attend presentations. The students included Hayley Mulford ’20, Naomi Painter ’22, Kaillee Philleo ’21, and Lauren Powell ’21. These students were joined by Dr. Buchholz, Dr. Carter, and Dr. Osterman.

Those in attendance have since given some insight onto what it was like presenting at the conference as well as their reactions to the conference and New Orleans, LA: 

Hayley Mulford

While I did not present at the conference, It was so cool to see how many different research projects were being done and how enthusiastic people were! Everyone was really professional and genuinely interested in the research. Moreover, people held such intellectual conversations. I got to talk to some people that go to grad school at FSU, which is where I am going, so I was so excited! New Orleans is one of the coolest places I have ever been to. I loved the culture, the people, the food, and the area. I would go back in a heartbeat! 

Naomi Painter

Dr. Buchholz and Naomi Painter standing in front of the poster Naomi Presented on – “Assessing the effects of participant inattentiveness on data quality across the semester”

Presenting at the SPSP 2020 conference was a wonderful experience in communicating our research projects and findings. I had a great time interacting with students and faculty members through discussion of projects and questions. Being able to see the wide variety of ongoing research was quite exciting, as many of the research topics correlated with ongoing issues that one often reads about or experiences each day.
One of the best parts of the New Orleans SPSP conference was being able to walk around and visit Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, and other popular sites while witnessing firsthand the fascinating and entertaining atmosphere of the great city of New Orleans.

 

Kaillee Philleo

Kaillee Philleo and Dr. Osterman standing in front of the poster Kaillee presented on – “Listener attitudes and social media engagement after offenses by podcast hosts”

Going into SPSP I was quite nervous, as I have never presented at a conference before. However, after attending a few presentations and talking with other poster presenters, when it came time to present on my own research, it was not nearly as nerve-racking. I loved getting to learn about the variety of research topics in the field of psychology and enjoyed getting to meet other psychologists from across the world and discuss their projects and my own. Beyond the conference, we were able to explore New Orleans and I was able to try gumbo, which has since become my newfound favorite meal. I cannot wait to return to New Orleans in the future and hope to return to SPSP one day as well.

Lauren Powell

Lauren Powell and Dr. Buchholz standing in front of the poster Lauren presented on – “Are liberals more empathic than conservatives?”

This was my second conference but it was the first conference that I have attended that I presented my work independently! It’s not as scary as it seems, and you get to meet a lot of cool people who have the same interests as you – I had a lot of great conversations with people from all over the world!  Moreover, it was fun to see what other people were there to present. It’s always interesting to see that there are so many unexplored topics within the broad category of psychology. Beyond the conference, New Orleans was so much fun and I definitely plan on going back! I am really glad we were all able to experience New Orleans for just long enough to enjoy it but not long enough to be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak that has been happening.  

Dr. Buchholz

I always enjoy going to the Society of Personality and Social Psychology annual conference. This year it was in New Orleans, which was a lot of fun. At the conference, we have a chance to interact with some of the leading scientists in the field and to hear about cutting-edge research.  It is also a great opportunity for our students to present research that they have been conducting in our research labs. This year Naomi Painter and Lauren Powell were both able to present as first authors on our research examining empathy. 

Dr. Carter

Dr. Carter’s lunch one day!

I had a great time at SPSP! I wasn’t able to attend last year due to the birth of my son, so it was great to catch up with colleagues and friends from graduate school that I hadn’t seen in a while, and of course to soak up some culture in New Orleans (and several really good meals). I saw a number of really excellent talks, learned a lot, and took inspiration for a few new research projects. My favorite part, however, was getting to see one of my graduate advisors (Tom Gilovich) win the society’s prestigious Campbell Award. He’s a giant in the field, and he absolutely deserves the recognition.

Dr. Osterman

SPSP was a blast as always, and I’m so proud of how well our students did with presenting their research! They represented the college and department well. Kaillee even talked to some people from NPR about her podcasting research!

Congratulations to all those who attended the conference and for having successful presentations!

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SENIOR HIGHLIGHTS: Ryen Beach, Sophia Bacon, Athey Crump, and Emily Deeds!

Over the next few days, we will be highlighting the Psychology Department graduating seniors! This post will highlight 4 seniors: Ryen Beach, Sophia Bacon, Athey Crump, and Emily Deeds!

Ryen Beach

My plans after graduation are to take a gap semester and then attend nursing. I want to be an emergency department nurse and become a flight nurse.

 

 

 

Sophia Bacon

This summer I have been accepted to participate in a clinical internship at Southeast Psych based in Charlotte, NC. In the fall, I plan to both nanny part-time and work at Easterseals UCP where I will be providing ABA therapy to children on the spectrum. I also plan to apply to various graduate school programs in clinical psychology for the 2021 academic year.

Athey Crump

My favorite memory is when I was walking down the hall one day and heard each class make a joke and laugh, one after the other. It made me smile and be so happy to be amongst so many good spirited people. 

After graduation, I plan to spend some time with my family while I’m home. Then I plan to attend graduate school nearby so I can be a little bit closer to home. 

Emily Deeds

My favorite memory was passing out in Dr. Powell’s Developmental Psychology class watching the video on fertilization. 

After graduation, I plan to move down south and pursue a career in Human Resources. 

Congratulations to you all on the success you have achieved while at Roanoke College and we look forward to seeing all that you do in the future!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Senior Highlights: Casey Gough, Carter Smith, Emily Townley, and Ji’Asia Anderson!

Over the next few days, we will be highlighting the Psychology Department graduating seniors! This post will highlight 4 seniors: Casey Gough, Carter Smith, Emily Townley, and Ji’Asia Anderson!

Casey Gough

My favorite part of the psychology department is that we are a family. I remember studying with psych students I didn’t even know in the library, studying while goofing off with all my friends, and taking naps on the psych lounge couch together.

After graduation, I will be attending Appalachian State University in the Fall (2020) for a three-year dual degree MA & EDs school psychology program.

Carter Smith

I love the community of the psychology department. Being apart of it was like having our own little family on the fifth floor that would occasionally go to the brewery together, pie each other in the face, and, oh yeah, take classes. 

After graduation, I will be serving in the Peace Corps as an English teacher and teacher trainer in Indonesia!

 

Emily Townley

Though it was daunting at the time, I greatly enjoyed defending my Honors in the Major/Distinction Project for psychology. It was the culmination of 3 semesters of independent work and I was excited to share my results. 

After graduation, my plans are to attend a Master’s program for psychology, with a focus on clinical psychology. As of writing this, I have gotten into four so we’ll see where I end up!

Ji’Asia Anderson

Carly and I were able to present our poster of the research we were helping Dr. Carter with all semester at the APS Conference in Washington. Sadly, we got a slot on the last day, so we only got to present to Carly’s mother and the group that had a poster next to us. Even though we didn’t have a lot of people to present to, we had a lot of fun seeing the different research that others had been conducting and talked to some really nice people.

After graduation, I plan to find a job as a counselor or a social worker, so I can use everything that I have learned at Roanoke to help other people. Hopefully, one day in the future, I will be able to work in the prison system as a counselor.

Congratulations to you all on the success you have achieved while at Roanoke College and we look forward to seeing all that you do in the future!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations Casey Jo Gough: Honors Defense!

Casey Jo Gough wearing her Honors in the Major t-shirt!

Congratulations to Casey Jo Gough ’20 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project! Her Project was titled “Adverse Peer Experiences on Social Media: Adjustment of Emerging Adults and Moderation by Social Support”. Her project advisor, Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand was joined by committee members, Dr. Darcey Powell and Dr. Johanna Sweet, to oversee her defense.

Project Abstract: Although data suggests adverse peer experiences persist past adolescence, studies beyond this cohort are limited (Kochenderfer & Ladd, 1996). Peer rejection and bullying research have recently expanded to examine online experiences (Landoll et al., 2013), but there is an inadequate understanding of adverse peer experiences via social networking sites. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between adverse peer experiences online and the adjustment factors of stress and loneliness among emerging adults. In child and adolescent cohorts, social support has buffered the maladjustment impacts of bullying (Hong & Espelage, 2012). We hypothesize this trend will continue into emerging adulthood; specifically, people who are high in social support will feel less loneliness and less stress from adverse online experiences than those who are low in social support. Results indicated significantly more stress among females, but also more overall support. Further, college students received more belonging support than non-college students. Stress and loneliness were positively related to adverse peer experiences and negatively related to support. Social support did not moderate this relationship as expected. There was a significant interaction between high appraisal support and loneliness. Further analysis is recommended on the subscales of support concerning cohorts and adjustment variables.

Congratulations again to Casey Jo Gough on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Senior Highlights: Emily Jones, Lauren Furlow, Kinsey Overfelt, Hayley Mulford and Dionne-Louise Liberia!

Over the next few days, we will be highlighting the Psychology Department graduating seniors! This post will highlight 5 seniors: Emily Jones, Lauren Furlow, Kinsey Overfelt, Hayley Mulford, and Dionne-Louise Liberia!

Emily Jones

After graduation, I plan on working with children for a few years before I go to pursue a career in guidance counseling.

 

 

 

Lauren Furlow

One of my favorite memories from being in the Psychology Department was watching Dr. Buchholz cover Dr. Osterman’s office with googly eyes for April Fools. I definitely had nothing to do with the prank. 

After graduation, I am starting a PsyD program at Marshall University in August 2020. 

Kinsey Overfelt

After graduation, I will be continuing my education at Virginia Tech by pursuing a Master’s Degree in Counselor Education. 

 

 

 

Hayley Mulford

My favorite memory from being the Psychology Department was getting the chance to attend the SPSP Conference in New Orleans 2020!

After graduating I will be attending Florida State University to get my Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis! This will allow me to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst!

 

 

Dionne-Louise Liberia

After graduation, I plan on finding a full-time job as a Graphic Designer, dealing with digital marketing.

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to you all on the success you have achieved while at Roanoke College and we look forward to seeing all that you do in the future!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations Senior Class of 2020!

At the end of each year, the Roanoke College Psychology Department decorates a bulletin board and holds a reception to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating senior class. Unfortunately due to the current circumstances, these events are unable to take place this year. Nonetheless, the graduating seniors of 2020 deserve to be recognized! For that reason, over the course of the next few days, we will be sharing the senior class and their plans after graduating from Roanoke College.

To the seniors, congratulations on all you have accomplished at Roanoke College. The Psychology department is so proud of each of you and we will continue to cheer you on from the fifth floor of Life Science no matter where you end up!

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Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations Sophie Bacon: Honors Defense

(Left to right) Dr. FVN, Sophie Bacon, (row 2) Dr. Osterman, Dr. Schorpp on Zoom where Sophie completed her defense!

Congratulations to Sophie Bacon ’20 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project! Her Project was titled “Peer Group Motives and Authenticity: Associations with Self-Presentational Strategies on Social Media “. Her project advisor, Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand was joined by committee members, Dr. Lindsey Osterman and Dr. Kristen Schorpp, to oversee her defense.

This research was the culmination of over a year of work, and the next steps are to work towards presenting the findings at a conference and submitting for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Project Abstract: Research has shown that social networking platforms provide a space for identity development, specifically through engaging in different types of self-presentation.  However, research on the relationship between social networking sites (SNS) and identity development is limited and has not been tied directly to peer relationship mechanisms. In this study, I aimed to integrate recent research on self-processes on social media and recent theoretical advances in the role of social media in peer relationships during emerging adulthood. This study looked at social motives including the need for popularity, and the need for belonging, authenticity, and presentation of the real, ideal, and false self. Correlational analyses indicated that authenticity was positively related to real self-presentation and negatively to false self-presentation. The need for popularity was negatively related to real self-presentation and positively to false self-presentation, whereas the need for belonging was unrelated to real-self presentation but was positively associated with false and ideal self-presentation. Regression analyses controlling for each predictor indicated that authenticity was a positive predictor of real self-presentation and a negative predictor of false self-presentation. The need for popularity negatively predicted real self-presentation and positively predicted false self-presentation. The need for belonging and ideal self-presentation were positively associated.

Congratulations again to Sophie Bacon on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations Riker Lawrence: Honors Defense!

Riker Lawrence wearing her new Honors in the Major t-shirt!

Congratulations to Riker Lawrence ’20 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project! Her Project was titled “Couples’ Leisure Activity and Expectations for Parenthood”. Her supervisor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell was joined by committee members, Dr. Osterman and Dr. Sweet, to oversee her defense.

Riker Lawerence presenting her project over Zoom!

Abstract: This study aimed to explore how cohabitating individuals’ engagement in leisure activity with their partner is associated with their expectations for parenthood. Specifically, the study examined how individuals’ engagement in and their satisfaction with leisure activities with their partner is associated with their expectations for parenting; specifically, their co-parenting relationship, gatekeeping behaviors, and division of caregiving labor. Using Prolific Academic, participants (N=247) completed an online survey. Correlations were found between participants’ engagement and satisfaction of these leisure activities and their expectations for co-parenting relationship, gatekeeping behaviors, and division of caregiving labor, regardless of their intention to parent and other demographic characteristics. Furthermore, satisfaction of leisure activities was more consistently associated with the parenting expectations than the frequency of engagement in leisure activities. These findings can serve as useful information for marital and family therapists as they work with couples considering adding a baby to their family unit or during the transition to parenthood.

Riker Lawrence received funding for this project through the Roanoke College Research Fellows program and through a portion of Dr. Powell’s Faculty Scholar funds.

Congratulations again to Riker Lawrence on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations Rachel Harmon: Honors Defense!

Rachel Harmon holding up her Honors in Psychology t-shirt!

Congratulations to Rachel Harmon ’20 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major and Honors Distinction Project! Her Project was titled “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Caregiver Concerns and Resources for Children with Disabilities”. Her supervisor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell was joined by committee members, Dr. Osterman, Dr. Chad Morris, and Jesse Griffin, to oversee her defense.

Due to having to work remotely off-campus, Rachel Harmon is pictured above on Zoom, the platform in which she used to defend her project!

Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to address a gap in the literature through investigating the differences in experiences of caring for a child with a disability between a developed country, the United States, and a developing country, Mexico. Participants included caregivers of children with disabilities in the US (N = 25) and Mexico (N = 45). Self-report data were collected to measure caregivers’ demographic information, knowledge of resources, positive and negative emotional response, and stress level. Additional observational data was collected regarding the physical resources, educational resources, therapy services, government policies, caregiver reactions, child behavior, and transportation services in each location. Analyses revealed that caregivers in the US reported significantly higher levels of stress compared to caregivers in Mexico. No significant differences were found in caregivers’ knowledge of government policies; however, Mexico caregivers were significantly more satisfied with the policies that they were aware of compared to US caregivers. US caregivers were more aware of support groups/organizations for themselves or their child and were more likely to participate in known support groups. There was no difference in reports of access to educational opportunities; however, US caregivers reported significantly more inclusion opportunities compared to Mexico caregivers. No significant differences were found in caregivers’ belief that their child would one day be employed. There were significant differences in the number of observations made regarding educational resources, therapy services, government policies, and transportation services between the US and Mexico. The findings of the current study provide important information about the effect of culture on the experiences of caring for a child with a disability, which could be useful for professionals who work directly with families and for the development of future resources.

Highlights of the project: Collected research in both southwest VA and the Yucatan of Mexico. To facilitate her data collection, she completed an internship in southwest VA, as well as two internships in Mexico during the summer between her Jr and Sr years. 

Rachel Harmon received funding for this project through Roanoke College Honors Program Downing Distinction Project Award and Psi Chi’s Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant. To learn more about this award and on how Rachel collected data while in the Yucatan of Mexico refer back to this blog post, in which she was interviewed last fall!

Congratulations again to Rachel Harmon on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
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Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Associations of Attachment Style and Romantic Relationship Satisfaction

Rachel Harmon, Emily Jones, Carter Smith, Shannon Blair Snyder, Kayleigh Walker

 (Advisor: Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand)

Background Information

There have been many studies conducted on attachment styles (i.e., characteristic ways of emotionally connecting with others) between parents and their children, and studies performed to evaluate romantic relationship satisfaction, but there are few studies combining the two concepts in young adults (Xia et al., 2018). Attachment style is developed through an individual internalizing their relationship, or lack thereof, with a primary caregiver in infancy and early childhood (Searle & Meara, 1999). We wanted to look at whether attachment style is associated with emerging adults’ current romantic relationship satisfaction. We also explored additional variables such as gender and length of the relationship. We chose to focus on individuals in emerging adulthood for several reasons. First, it is during this formative stage individuals are considering life-changing decisions regarding education, friendships, careers, and romantic relationships (Arnett, 2000). Second, romantic relationships in this stage differ from those experienced in adolescence because they tend to be longer in duration and more serious in intention (Arnett, 2000). Finally, little research has been done on emerging adults’ romantic relationships and our research can provide insight into this newly defined developmental stage.

Methods

Participants in our study were students from Roanoke College who were at least 18 years old and in a committed romantic relationship. Participants for this study were recruited through the Roanoke College Psychology Department via SONA, as well as within the greater campus community. Participants who were enrolled in a psychology course received a half SONA credit for participating. Eighty-five total participants completed the study.

Our study was an online survey through Qualtrics. Participants were asked to answer questions regarding gender, gender of their partner, their sexuality, age, relationship length, whether they and their significant other have “taken a break” and if so, the number of “breaks” they’ve taken. To measure attachment style, we used the 36-item Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised Questionnaire. Scores on the ECR-R were calculated to reflect overall attachment insecurity, and anxious- and avoidant-attachment security as subscales. For relationship satisfaction, we used the 32-item Couple Satisfaction Index.

 Results and Discussion

          As expected, participants with secure attachment style reported higher relationship satisfaction (see Figure below- low scores on the ECR-R indicate more secure attachment). Also as expected, attachment-related anxiousness and attachment-related avoidance explained a pretty large amount of relationship satisfaction. Contrary to expectations, the association between attachment style and relationship satisfaction was stronger for participants who identified as male compared to participants who identified as female. Additionally, participants who reported higher levels of attachment-related anxiety and attachment-related avoidance had been in their current romantic relationship for a shorter-duration compared to participants with secure attachment. However, participants who had been with their current romantic partner for a longer amount of time reported higher levels of romantic relationship satisfaction. Participants who had not previously broken up with their current romantic partner also recorded significantly higher levels of relationship satisfaction compared to those who had previously broken up or “taken a break”.

Romantic relationships are an important part of emerging adulthood (Arnett, 2000). The results of the current study indicate that attachment style may influence satisfaction within romantic relationships during this phase of development. The results expand upon previous literature by investigating these associations specifically in emerging adulthood, while exploring the additional factors of gender, relationship duration and whether couples had previously broken up or “taken a break”.

Reflection

This research process has been one that challenged us all in various ways throughout the semester. The first obstacle we faced was developing a study that interested us all and was relevant to the course. Our original goal with this study was to have the Roanoke College student and their significant other complete the survey in person. Requiring both the SONA student and their significant other to complete an in-person questionnaire limited our pool of students to those in relationships with a peer and those in a relationship with someone who is local. This meant that students who are in long distance relationships, and who may have had a lot to offer the research, were unable to partake in it. The original goal with having both individuals in a relationship complete the survey was to be able examine relationship satisfaction and attachment style within a relationship.

We originally decided to make this an in-person survey to increase validity. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the transition to remote learning, our study had to be switched to online only. With this new requirement of the study having to be online, we had to re-evaluate our methods. We changed the study requirement of both partners needing to complete it, to only surveying one partner. This increased the number of students who could participate in our study, which we believe improved our sample size. Conducting the study online may have eliminated any response bias that would have occurred in the lab because originally they would have been taking the survey across from their significant other, and may have felt pressure or guilt to respond a certain way, which could have altered their initial thoughts or feelings. Overall, working remotely on this has been challenging and time consuming. Having to completely rethink our study methods and then communicate with one another via WIFI when two group members have poor connection was difficult. We no longer had the option to meet whenever was convenient and work on the data analyses as a group. We instead had to find time where we could all video chat and then have one person screen share, running analyses, while the others watched. In the end, switching to online research was beneficial because we were able to broaden our pool of participants, adjust our research in an efficient way, and find significant associations.

 Conclusion

          The main finding of our study indicates that the attachment style is associated with romantic relationship satisfaction. It is important to remember that attachment styles begin forming soon after birth and continue to evolve through the lifespan (Searle & Meara, 1999). While attachment-related anxiety and attachment-related avoidance were found to be significantly associated with romantic relationship satisfaction, we were also able to conclude that male romantic relationship satisfaction is somewhat more likely to be dependent upon attachment style in comparison to females.

References

Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469-480.https://doi.org/10. 1037/0003-066X.55.5.469

Searle, B., & Meara, N. M. (1999). Affective dimensions of attachment styles: Exploring self-reported attachment style, gender, and emotional experience among college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 46(2), 147–158. https://doi.org/10.         1037/0022-0167.46.2.147

Xia, M., Fosco, G., Lippold, M., & Feinberg, M. (2018). A developmental perspective on young adult romantic relationships: Examining family and individual factors in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(7), 1499-1516.  doi:10.1007/s10964-018-0815-8

Does Art Affect Our Self-Certainty?

Ashley Rioux, Jordyn Markle, and Dionne Liberia

(Advisor: Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand)

How well do you really know yourself? Limited research has been done on the relationship between creativity and self-concept clarity. There is some evidence that people who have reached a higher status of identity are more likely to be creative while the antithesis is true for those in lower stages of identity development (Dollinger, Dollinger, & Centeno 2005). As the identity crisis is a common problem in adolescents (Riley, 1999), some art therapy techniques are designed to aid in the development of one’s identity (Beaumont, 2015). This is useful because self-concept clarity is related to positive adjustment. The current experiment was aimed at developing a more thorough understanding of how the expression of creativity affects self-concept clarity, particularly in individuals who already identify as artistic.

58 participants from Roanoke College psychology classes were gathered through the SONA online research management system. Participants, emerging adults who earned credit in class for their participation, were then randomly assigned to either complete a 2-D art task (a self-portrait) or to write about their last 24 hours (this was the control group). Before the task,  we collected information about level of artistic ability and experience in art. Before and after the task, they completed self-concept questionnaires, including indicating how certain they were (on a scale of 0-100) in each personality trait rated, and a self-report measure of self-concept clarity.

We found that overall, self-certainty (the average certainty in personality ratings) didn’t seem to differ based on doing the art task or not. But, then we ran tests separately for people who have an art background or not and found that if an individual already has an artistic background, they had higher self-concept certainty after doing a creative task than individuals who have no artistic background (see Figure 1). We expected this experiment would result in evidence indicating that creative outlets aid in one’s sense of self-concept clarity, and found that this was true only for people with an artistic background. However, other measures of creativity and experience in art were not related to certainty in self-concepts, and responses on the self-reported self-concept clarity scale were not related to participation in the task.

Since only one finding reached statistical significance, it is important to consider possible sources of error. Due to some unforeseen issues, we were forced to adapt our study into an online-only study. This may have been an issue because one group of participants was prompted to complete a drawing task. Without being able to supervise the participants, there was no way to control the conditions under which each participant completed the task. Another issue we faced was participants submitting incomplete surveys. This too may be due to the shift to online-only studies. One way we may have been able to get better results would be to have a larger sample size with more participants in each group, completing the study in person.

The purpose of this study was to determine if creative outlets are an effective way to aid in the development of self-concept clarity in college students. We wanted to expand upon the existing research by comparing 2-D art to a non-creative task, as well as further defining the effect creativity has on self-concept clarity in emerging adults. The evidence suggests a relationship between artistic expression and identity exploration, but only in those who already have an artistic background. So, creative outlets may be less helpful to self-concept clarity for people with little or no prior background in art. This study has helped us understand the relationship between artistic expression and the self-clarity concept in emerging adults.

Figure 1: Average Self-Concept Certainty by Art Task/Control group and by Previous Art Experience.

References

Beaumont, Sherry. (2015). Art Therapy Approaches for Identity Problems during Adolescence. Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal. 25. 7-14.

Dollinger, Stephen & Dollinger, Stephanie & Centeno, Leslie. (2005). Identity and Creativity. Identity. 5. 315-339. 10.1207/s1532706xid0504_2.

Riley, S. (1999). Contemporary art therapy with adolescents. London: Jessica Kingsley

A Study Examining Responses to Overt Versus Relational Aggression in College Students

Hailey Davis, Jon Cody Mactutus, Alina Marino, and Hayley Mulford

Advisor: Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand

[Picture of Girl Being Bullied] (2015). Retrieved from http://www.texasconflictcoach.com/2015/adolescent-relational-aggression-how-to-diminish-the-damage/

Background Information

The present study evaluated whether type of aggression (overt, relational) witnessed towards a peer impacted likelihood to intervene and/or desire to punish the aggressor, considering desensitization as a factor. Most peer aggression studies focus on childhood and adolescence, but we used emerging adults (18-24) instead because it would be further expansion as less is known about peer aggression in this age group.

Relational aggression is indirect, status hurting actions whereas overt aggression is direct actions with the intent to cause harm (Cairns, Neckerman, Ferguson, & Gariépy, 1989). Previous research has found that aggression has negative impacts on all involved; aggressors, victims, bystanders (Rivers, Poteat, Noret, & Ashurst, 2009). Both relational and overt aggression have internalizing and externalizing problems as negative possible outcomes for experiencing these types of aggression (Casper, Card, Bauman, & Toomey, 2017). The current study aimed to explore the differences in outcomes (intervening and punishing) based on the form of aggression (overt or relational). Although relational aggression is more common, especially in this age group, and just as problematic, people are less likely to recognize it as aggression (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). So, we also tested whether people are more likely to perceive overt or relational aggression as aggression. Finally, we also explored the relationship of mood and previous exposure to aggression in these responses.

Methods

We recruited our participants through SONA, Roanoke College’s online psychology research website. Participants were awarded credit for their participation in this study. Everything was conducted in accordance with the guidelines of the Roanoke College Institutional Review Board, with participants supplying informed consent. In an online survey, participants were assigned to read a vignette about either relational or overt aggression where a familiar peer is aggressed upon by a stranger. First, they were asked questions to determine their current emotional state, then read a singular vignette, and then were asked if they thought the scene they read about was aggression. We also included a question to ensure that participants paid attention. 26 failed the check, leaving our final number of participants to be 130. We asked each participant whether what they just read about was aggression (and to what extent they thought it was aggression), how likely they would be to intervene in the situation, and to what extent they believed the aggressor should be punished. Participants were then asked about their previous exposure to either type of aggression. Lastly, participants were asked demographic information.

Results and Discussion

The results of the project were not as promising as we hoped. We had 60 participants in the relational aggression group and 69 participants in the overt aggression group. There was no significant difference in desire to punish between types of aggression. There was also no significant difference in likelihood to intervene between types of aggression. Sadly, the predictions that there would be a difference among the type of aggression and how a by-stander would feel and react were not found to be supported (see Figure 1). However, we did find that the type of aggression had an effect on the perception of whether the act was aggression or not- people were more likely to perceive overt aggression as aggression relative to relational aggression. Unfortunately, the predictions that prior exposure would account for some variance and predictive value in both intervening and punishing was not found to be supported either. Finally, emotion was not found to have a relationship with the likelihood to punish. We did not expect for most of our predictions to be rejected, but there are some promising ideas still prevalent. It is important that there is a relationship between how someone perceives aggression and the type because this can play a role in bullying. It seems from this study that relational aggression is not seen as aggression, which could help in efforts to reduce bullying. The statistical analyses we used may not have been complicated enough to reveal complex structures and relationships, but future studies could delve deeper.

Figure 1

Perception of Aggression, Likelihood to Intervene, and Desire to Punish Based  on Type of Aggression

Note. All variables were on a scale from 1-10. Perception of aggression (blue bars) differed significantly by type of aggression. The other variables did not.

Reflection

Despite our results not being what we anticipated them to be, we were able to find out how people interpreted aggression. Fortunately, we did not have any problems with our research when we were no longer on campus and able to access the lab. The only difference with having to make our study online was the amount of credit the participants received. Our study took into account a wide range of variables so we could look at multiple factors that could possibly have an influence on the participants’ answers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, thoughts about the aggression witnessed did not seem to differ much between type of aggression, current state of emotions, or prior exposure to aggression. Some of our results might contradict other research, like our finding that prior exposure did not influence intervention or punishing, but some of our results match very well. Our study, as well as many others, found that people correctly identified overt aggression as a form of aggression. So, people know overt aggression when they see it which means you can rest assured that people are watching out for you! However, it seems relational aggression is less recognizable, which could say something about the way college students interact.

References

Cairns, R.B., Cairns, B.D., Neckerman, H.J., Ferguson, L.L., & Gariepy, J.-L. (1989).  Growth and aggression: I. Childhood to early adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 25, 320– 330. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.25.2.320

Casper, D. M., Card, N. A., Bauman, S., & Toomey, R. B. (2017). Overt and relational aggression participant role behavior: Measurement and relations with sociometric status and depression. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 27(3), 661–673.      https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12306

Rivers, I., Poteat, V. P., Noret, N., & Ashurst, N. (2009). Observing bullying at school: The mental health implications of witness status. School Psychology Quarterly, 24(4), 211–223. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018164

WELL WISHES & UPDATES FROM THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT!

These last few weeks have no doubt been challenging for everyone in some way, shape, or form. With finals starting tomorrow and being away from Roanoke College, we wanted to share some well wishes and updates from some of the Psychology Department professors!

Dr. Buchholz:

We are living through strange and trying times; however, I am heartened by the way we, the students, faculty, and staff of Roanoke College, have risen to the occasion. I am encouraged by the leadership of President Maxey, Dean Smith, and many other staff during these difficult times. I am thankful for our departmental secretary, Ellen, who continues to be the glue that holds our department together. I am proud of the faculty in our department for handling this moment with grace and compassion. Likewise, I am proud of our students for how they have reacted to these challenges. From the many kind words expressed in emails, to the understanding we receive when we can’t figure out zoom or have had some other problem adjusting to teaching online; I am thankful for the kindness and patience of our students. The way our community has come together, even if apart, reminds me of why I love Roanoke College.

 For those of you who are struggling during this moment, I wish you and your families the best, and I want you to know that we are all here for you. For those of you who are graduating, congratulations and I hope to see you at the rescheduled graduation; and for the rest of you, I look forward to seeing you in the fall. Be well, stay safe, and take care of yourselves.

Dr. Carter:

I miss my students! My stats jokes are wasted on my family. I don’t even get an eye roll from a good t-test pun.

Dr. Carter making his kids breakfast during the quarantine (aka Will Forte in The Last man on Earth)

Dr. Carter’s kids completing a puzzle!

I’m extremely, extremely jealous of the people who don’t have anything to do during this quarantine. My wife and I are both trying to work full time while also taking care of two children under three (i.e., requiring constant supervision). So if I’ve learned anything new, it’s just how effective an active bird feeder can be as a babysitter. (Seriously though, getting to spend a lot of time with my kids is really nice. It’s just stressful trying to do so much at once.)

 

 

Dr. FVN:

I miss my students! I am super proud of everyone in my classes and in my lab, who have all worked super hard to make the most of this situation. It’s been an experience, but it’s been one we are all figuring out together. 

Dr. FVN’s son and dog!

I’ve especially appreciated the love during student meetings when my son or dog pop in for a hello! They have filled my days while my husband and I juggle our work. In fact, my favorite (non-work) thing has been going on backyard adventures and spending time on creative ways to stay entertained and engaged, like building obstacle courses.

 

I can’t wait to get back to in-person teaching, I miss my people! And, congratulations to the seniors! 

Dr. Hilton

I have been encouraged in speaking with students in my courses to hear about the diligent work you are all putting in amidst this almost overwhelming uncertainty we face on a daily basis. I applaud all of you for continuing to do your best and finding ways to make this unexpected challenge a time of growth. In addition- I also want to encourage you all to keep in mind that now is the time to practice that self-care we all talk about, yet rarely put into practice if we’re honest…We will have bad days in the coming weeks and we will have good days. Take them in stride, do your best (the definition of which might change daily…), and find whatever ways you can to keep your spirits and hopes up.

I’ve been reading a lot- which is a welcome change; watching a lot of TV (I’m rewatching Community on Netflix right now); and finding time for both quiet space alone and not so quiet time with my family. I also built a pull-up bar on the rafters in my basement with steel pipe so once this thing is all over- I may be able to do a few of those!

Dr. Nichols:

Dr. Nichols and Alumni hanging out on Zoom!

I was able to gather with some alumni from my lab on Zoom on Friday, 4/17, with graduates from 2011 to 2019. All but one of them are in graduate school now, the other one has a PhD and is currently in a post-doc position. The alumni present (in order of graduation) are: Madison Elliott & Paige Arrington (2011), Nikki Hurless, Lauren Kennedy-Metz, & Victoria Godwin (2014), Stephanie Shields & Lauren Ratcliffe (2017), Alex Grant (2018), Noelle Warfford (2019).

Dr. Osterman:

There’s a quote from Freud that has occurred to me a few times since all of this started: “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” I’m not sure if that’s exactly an encouraging or optimistic sentiment, exactly, but if Freud is right, it does suggest that our future selves will be overly sentimental and a little callous toward this very difficult situation we’re all going through right now, which makes them a common enemy against whom we can all fight. That’s something.

The deck couldn’t have been done without this helper!

The deck couldn’t have been done without this helper!

For myself, I walked 101 km in a week and learned that I have no desire to ever walk 101 km in a week ever again. Dr. B and I built a deck, with some help from Dr. B’s son James and our cats. I also took a quiz about which characters from various TV shows I am (it’s actually a very cool quiz by a psychometrician) and learned that I am Tyrion Lannister… I think because I drink and I know things? 

Dr. Powell

This video depicts wow we’re all feeling

There’s a lot of fails when trying to find that perfect backdrop for Zoom sessions #Halo #SpaceShipEncounter

Dr. Powell’s out of this world zoom background!

We’re missing our 5th-floor co-workers and the students, soo much! Our new Coworkers are soo needy!

Dr. Powell’s new needy co-worker!

From the Psychology Department, we wish you all the best with conquering finals this week and next! Stay strong Maroons!

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Get Connected!

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Measuring Persistence in Psychology Students

Athey Crump, Emily Giovanini, Elizabeth Helminski, Mariyana McAgy & Kojiro Leonard (Advisor: Chris Buchholz)

Background Information

What causes individuals to complete difficult tasks? Locus of control is categorized into two levels: internal and external. Individuals with internal LOC believe they have control over their environment, whilst individuals with external LOC believe their environment controls them (Killpack, 2005). After examining current literature on LOC, we discovered a gap in past research, which had looked at the relationships between LOC and motivation, competence, and self-efficacy, but not perseverance (Rotter, 1996). Our research is designed to focus on the relationship between LOC and persistence. We hypothesized that those scoring a high internal LOC would have a longer duration while those scoring a high external LOC would have a shorter duration.

Methods

In this study participants (77) were asked to solve a series of math problems. Half of the participants were led to believe they had some control over the difficulty of the math problems, while the other half were led to believe that the difficulty of the questions was random. However, the manipulation did not work due to an unforeseen error in setting up the study. As a part of this study, participants were also asked to complete a scale that measured whether they possessed more internal or external locus of control using Rotter’s scale of Locus of Control.

Results & Discussion

Data collected from the survey was run with the results from the LOC questionnaire. While there was no difference in the total number of math problems completed for external vs. internal locus of control, those who have an internal locus of control did spend more time answering questions but these results were not statistically significant, as seen in Figure 1. So, while these two groups (internal/external) completed the same number of problems, it is possible that those with an internal locus of control spent more time thinking and working on them, as can be seen in Figure 2. This makes some sense in that those with internal locus of control feel they have more control, and thus they spend more time working (i.e. persisting).

Figure 1: Internal and external locus of control on number of math problems completed.

Figure 2: Internal and external locus of control on duration of survey.

Reflection

The process of conducting an experiment from start to finish provided the opportunity to put knowledge we’ve gained over the past four years into a single project. When creating an online study, we gained experience using programs like SPSS, SONA and Qualtrics. Though there were several changes that needed to be made to the study, this only allowed us the opportunity to showcase our knowledge of research skills. Though there were several challenges to overcome, this study allowed us, as students to think and act as researchers and provided the opportunity to have these skills as undergrads.

Examining How Music Affects Mood

Nina Amato, Hailey Davis, Emily Deeds, Kinsey Overfelt, Valerie Spasojevic (Advisor Chris Buchholz)

Background Information

Music has been around for centuries and it has been used in many different ways, from ceremonies, to dancing, or even to uplift the soul.  Philosophers have wondered what the purpose of music is and what it does for us.  Many people believe that music can affect their mood – we were curious about this as well and wanted to take it a step further to see if happy or sad music was able to change ones mood when combined with having a certain personality trait.  We predicted that people with a high level of Neuroticism would have their mood shifted the most due to the type of music they were listening to.  We predicted that this specific personality trait would be most likely to change their mood due to the type of music because it is said that people with the personality trait of Neuroticism tend to be emotionally unstable, which would allow their mood to shift easily.  To examine the effects, we used different tests in order to assess how a happy song and a sad song affected the moods of different personalities.  Specifically, we predicted that people having a personality high in Neuroticism will convey a happier mood in the happy music group, as well as convey a sadder mood in the sad music group.  We  also predicted that those who are low in neuroticism will not have their mood as affected by the music since they are in theory more emotionally stable individuals.

Methods

Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions in the study, either listening to a happy or sad version of the same song.  Individuals then self-reported their mood via a slider scale immediately after listening to the song condition to which they were assigned.  Participants then took the Big Five Inventory (BFI) questionnaire to measure personality traits (e.g., neuroticism).

Results and Discussion

There was a significant difference between the moods of the people in the sad condition versus the happy condition (see Figure 1). Also, in line with our predictions, we found that those high in neuroticism did have a significant difference between their reactions to happy versus sad music, while this was not the case for those low in neuroticism (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: The effect of music on mood.

Figure 2: Interaction effects between music condition and neuroticism.

Reflection

We experienced challenges throughout our research because we anticipated our study to be conducted in a lab setting, not completely online. We originally decided that we wanted to have an in-person study so we could ensure that individuals would listen to the song entirely and not have any distractions, however, we had to switch to an online version of our study due to the Coronavirus.  Our study also does not take into account the mood the individual was already experiencing, which could have impacted mood persuasion.

PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT STUDENT RESEARCH SPRING, 2020

The department normally hosts a poster session to present all of the research that happens each semester; however, due to stay at home restrictions we will present student research on our blog. Over the next several days we will be posting some of the research carried out by our students here. Congratulations students for all of your hard work!

–  Chris Buchholz, Psychology Department Chair

PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT ACADEMIC AWARDS 2020!

During this past week, students were presented with awards from the psychology department! While students are typically presented these awards at the annual academic award ceremony, due to the recent events, the ceremony was unable to be held this year. However, the psychology department went on to recognize the following students and their accomplishments.

“Congratulations to all of the students who won awards in the Psychology Department this year! These are all great honors and well-deserved. We are all proud of your accomplishments and all that you do to make our department great. ” – Dr. Buchholz

This year, the Psychology Department distributed awards to fifteen students:

Lauren Furlow – Senior Scholar – Psychology

Rachel L. Harmon – Karl W. Beck Memorial Prize

Sophia R. Bacon – Curt R. Camac Student Research Award

Riker F. Lawrence – Curt R. Camac Student Research Award

Brittney A. Rowe – The Charles E. Early Award

Morgan J. Hamilton – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Kira N. Hunt – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Abbie L. Joseph – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Grace E. Page – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Vanessa L. Pearson – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Kaillee M. Philleo – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Carly M. Schepacarter – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Mason L. Wheeler – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Rachel L. Harmon – The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award

Sophia R. Bacon – The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award

Emily B. Townley – The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award

Casey J. Gough – Psi Chi Achievement Award

To learn more about the awards and honors or their descriptions follow this link!

On behalf of the Psychology Department, congratulations again to all of our students. You have all worked hard, accomplished wonderful things and we look forward to seeing what you will achieve in the future!

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Get Connected!

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AN INTERVIEW WITH FULBRIGHT ETA CLAIRE KIRCHOFF ’17

Claire Kirchoff ’17

Alumna Claire Kirchoff ’17 recently received notification that she will be serving as a Fulbright ETA in Nepal next year! While at Roanoke College Kirchoff studied psychology and spent time working with Dr. Powell in her research lab. In this post, Kirchoff discusses with a student assistant what she has been up to since graduating from Roanoke College, how she learned about the Fulbright program and advice she has for students considering applying to Fulbright or any other research/internship opportunity.

Can you please tell me a little about yourself?

I am from Nashville, TN and moved back here after college and graduate school in Virginia. I have a dog named Kona who just turned 1 at the beginning of March, and he is being trained as a therapy dog. Currently, I am finishing up the coursework and supervision hours (well, not anymore #covid) for my School Counseling licensure, at the end of which I plan to pursue elementary school counseling positions (following the Fulbright, of course.) I have never held a job that did not involve children or youth in some capacity, and I have always been drawn to education and mental health, though I took a roundabout way to get to where I am now.

What have you been doing since graduating from Roanoke College?

In reference to my last comment above, I told my advisor (Dr. Powell) that I had zero intentions of going into school counseling and that it was the last thing I wanted. Things change, clearly, and 4 years after putting my foot down, here I am about to be a licensed school counselor. Because I thought I didn’t want to go into counseling, I chose a graduate program without a licensure track, which, in hindsight, was poor planning. Immediately after college (2017-18), I attended the University of Virginia for a Master’s in Education, Educational Psychology – Applied Developmental Science (it’s a mouthful, I know.) While I was there, I took just about every opportunity I came across. I worked in a research lab studying the implementation of social-emotional curriculum interwoven with standard science curriculum, I wrote and implemented curriculum for a multi-week summer environmental science and service-learning program for high school students on a Native American Reservation in South Dakota, helped create a mental health team at a summer camp for youth with chronic health conditions (this has a nod to my undergraduate research study, “Emerging Adults’ Perceptions of Peers with Chronic Health Conditions”), I tutored ESL students at a local middle school, and I took as many courses as would fit into my schedule.

Claire Kirchoff’s group while in South Dakota (which included 2 UVA undergrads) at the end of their summer program

(2018-19) After graduate school (literally a week after), I started a year as an AmeriCorps service member in Nashville at a nonprofit serving a very low-income community. Moving back to Nashville was a tough choice because I loved my time in Virginia so much, but it’s home and I’m happy to be back. During my AmeriCorps term, I worked in the K-8 education department at the nonprofit, and I was placed at a middle school in the community (it was actually a charter school drawing students from all over Nashville, so it was very diverse and had a wide spectrum of academic and social-emotional needs). The K-8 education program implements after-school enrichment programs at several schools in the community, and I was basically in charge of the implementation of my school’s after-school programming. I collected and analyzed testing and progress report data, designed reading and math enrichment curriculum for differentiated levels of need, and organized outside community partners for enrichment activities (other nonprofit partners like artists, musicians, science shows/experiments, and volunteers like Vanderbilt football and soccer players, student groups, and others.)

UVA Graduation – Claire with several friends from her own program as well as other friends she made along the way

This year (2019-20), I have been working to complete my supervision hours in school counseling at two local schools with similar levels of socioeconomic challenges, but both are very rural schools, which I was not super used to. I started at an elementary school and had the time of my life. This semester, I was at a middle school in the same community as the elementary school, and having a great experience, then my internship was cut short in early March, just like everyone else in the country/world. Since the schools closed, I went back to working at my part-time job as a preschool teacher at a private pre-k center. We actively try to keep our daily routines as normal as possible for the sake of the kids, but each day they become a little more aware of the issues, and I often hear the older kids saying things like “the sickness” or attempting to say the word coronavirus. It’s a daily battle to keep surfaces clean and kids happy, but we make do and push through.

How did you learn about Fulbright and this opportunity?

I knew about Fulbright in college when I had friends applying (my graduation year there were 6 Fulbright winners and I was friends with 4 of them). What I didn’t know then was that I, too, could apply if I wanted to. These types of opportunities weren’t really advertised to me when I was in college. I wasn’t super eligible to apply right out of college like my friends were, but my experiences and education since college has made me a better candidate for the grant.

Why did you choose Nepal?

There are a few reasons why I chose Nepal. First, I am one of the biggest culture nerds you’d ever meet. I attempt learning new languages for fun when I’m bored, I read books about other countries, cultures, and religions, and actively seek out cultural experiences in my life. When I was thinking about the Fulbright and Jenny Rosti was hounding me to pick a country, Nepal just kept creeping up on me. It stuck with me and I felt the draw to apply.

Secondly, when I was in graduate school, I tutored ESL students at a middle school in Charlottesville. Many of these students were from far-flung areas of the globe, mostly the Middle East and, surprising to me, Nepal. I had never met anyone from Nepal, nor had I thought too much about the country in my life, other than knowing about Mts. Everest and Annapurna. It was really these kids and their stories and culture that led me towards choosing Nepal as my Fulbright application. Side note: I actually wrote a paper about those kids for one of my grad courses, I interviewed them about their experiences immigrating to the US and acclimating to US culture and schooling. It was very interesting and helped me better understand how immigrant students view American schooling and what I, as a school counselor, can do to help them.

Thirdly, and this is the last big reason, is that I want to (someday, hopefully, in the next 5 years or so) go back to school for a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a focus/concentration in anthropology (some schools have dedicated Educational Anthropology programs, but the others have Ed Psych with cross-curricular study in which anthropology is encouraged as an option). As a course of study in my future Ph.D., I want to study how education (non-traditional and traditional ways of viewing education) blossoms even in the least Westernized corners of the world, and how folklore and storytelling are integrated into childrearing as a form of education for those without access to Westernized education. Because of this interest in education’s evolutionary roots, I figured Nepal would be a good place to start.

Can you give any advice for those interested in applying for the Fulbright, or for research/internship experiences in general?

This is a Dr. Powell-ism that has stuck with me since I was a wee duckling in her lab: trust the process. If you put your all into it and you really want it, it will happen for you, even if it doesn’t happen the way you planned. Dive in, give it your 100%, and trust that everything will shake out the way you need it to (but it might not be the way you want it to.)

Take-aways: Trust the process. Be kind to yourself. You’re capable of more than you think.

Dr. Powell was also asked to speak on this accomplishment and stated:

“I’m extremely proud of Claire – what she accomplished as a student at Roanoke and all that she has achieved since! I’m confident that her training and applied experiences have prepared her to succeed as an ETA in Nepal. I’m looking forward to seeing her posts and hearing details about her adventures as a Fulbright when she returns to the states. “
Thank you, Claire, for taking the time to answer our questions and congratulations again on receiving Fulbright! We look forward to hearing about how it goes in the future and will continue to cheer you on!

SUMMER INTERNSHIP AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES!

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© Iowa State University

With spring break being only one week away the thought of summer may still seem distant in some mind’s, but it is quickly approaching. Summer break is a great time to explore opportunities in psychology and get experiences that go beyond the classroom. With the multitude number of research or internship opportunities available to students it can sometimes be challenging to figure out where to begin. Likewise, with summer comes graduation and the rush to find jobs begins. However, this website has got your back!  

Whether it be a summer opportunity or a long-term job, this website is regularly updated with information on psychology opportunities. Not only does this website offer a numerous amount of resources but it is also easy to navigate. By providing filtering options such as the type of position you are looking for and what state you are looking to be in, there are options that would align with each students needs and interests. Moreover, this website also filters the positions on areas of psychology and includes opportunities in clinical, cognitive, cultural, developmental, educational, health, neuroscience, positive, and social psychology. 

While you may not know quite yet what you want to do this summer or after graduation, this website is a great place to start searching and a great starting point to familiarize oneself with the endless opportunities that those studying psychology have! This website is updated frequently so if you don’t find a position that suits your needs or interests now, check back later! 

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PSYCHOLOGY INTERNSHIP INFORMATION SESSION!

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© American Psychological Association

Are you interested in getting a real world experience in Psychology? Then come to the Psychology Internship Information Session! The info session will be this Thursday, February 20, from 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM in Life Science 502.

This info session will provide you with all of the information you need about internships in psychology. Not only will deadlines, requirements, and opportunities be shared, but there will also be information shared on how to present yourself with resumes and cover letters.

If you are looking to get an experience in psychology outside of Roanoke College, complete an internship credit, or learn more about the benefits of internships then stop by this info session.

If you are interested in attending RSVP by 12 PM Wednesday, February 19, by contacting (540) 375-2462, or dyer@roanoke.edu

See Toni McLawhorn (Career Services), or Dr. Mary Camac or Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand for more information.

P.S. There will be pizza!

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RC Psychology Offers Clinical Psychology Class

Beginning this semester, Roanoke College’s Psychology Department began offering a class on Clinical Psychology taught by Dr. Hilton for those interested in learning more about the field.

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Goals for the class include: 

  1. Clearly delineate the field of clinical psychology from all related professions
  2. Help students understand the unique skills and abilities of clinical psychologists and how these things can be used across the many settings we work in
  3. Give students the basic tools to think like clinical psychologists and learn how to approach things systematically and scientifically to be informed consumers and ethical providers in the future

When asked about his hopes and expectations for the class, Dr. Hilton responded:

I think the class is beneficial for anyone with an interest in the field of mental health broadly. Even if you don’t pursue a clinical doctorate, the clinical psychologist’s approach to studying and treating mental health problems can (and should) be applied to any other field.

As part of the course, students will regularly be asked to apply their knowledge in the form of reaction papers, discussion, and research. Students will have the opportunity to speak with a licensed psychologist regarding their education, training and work life and will learn the basic skills of the assessment and therapy process, later applying these in a role play with the instructor.

In recognition of this new course offering, a series of blog posts focusing on exploring what clinical psychology is, the process of becoming a clinical psychologist, and what other, similar career options will be posted over the new few weeks.

We look forward to and are excited about this new opportunity for students at Roanoke College to learn more about what clinical psychology as, as well as hope that our future blog posts will also help aid students in learning more about what careers are available post-graduation.

If you have any questions about the field of clinical psychology, or about the class at Roanoke, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Dane Hilton at hilton@roanoke.edu.

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Looking for Research Opportunities & Internships?

Looking for research opportunities and/or internships this summer, but not sure where to start?

Never fear! I bring you good news.

The American Psychological Association provides a list of opportunities at major institutions for undergraduates. Such programs are available across the United States, from New York City to California.

Take a look at a few of those offered below, you may be surprised at what’s out there.

  • Boston University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs)
    • Particular focus on minority groups, those traditionally underrepresented in the sciences
    • Applications opened December 9th, 2019 and close on February 15th, 2020
    • Program runs from June 1st to August 1st
  • Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies
    • Students interested in research on language and/or cognitive development, have experience with research methods (especially psychology or linguistics), comfortable interacting with families in a professional setting, and have excellent problem-solving and teamwork abilities
    • Application deadline: 12:00 EST, 1 March 2020
    • Program runs from June 8th through August 14th
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH) Summer Program in the Neurological Sciences and Other Neuroscience Research Training and Funding Opportunities
    • Available to high school, undergraduate, graduate, and medical school students
    • Receive first-rate training in neuroscience, have opportunities to network, and obtain impressive credentials when competing for graduate school, medical school, predoc or postdoc fellowships, and tenure-track positions
    • Applications open from mid-December through March 1st
    • Requires: CV or resume, a list of coursework and grades (do not need a transcript at this time), a cover letter describing research interests and career goals, and the names and contact information for two references
  • University of South Florida Summer Research Institute (SRI)
    • Application deadline: 15 March 2020 at 11:59 pm
    • Acceptance notifications: 3 April 2020
    • Program is dedicated to research and education of substance use and co-occurring disorders, prepares students for graduate school and/or Senior thesis
    • Up to 12 students chosen, courses in statistics and research methodology are required to be eligible
    • 11-week program from May 27th through August 7th

And there are plenty more opportunities as well. If you are interested in learning more, follow this link to the American Psychological Association’s website where all their recommended research/internships are listed.

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G.R.A.C.E. LAB SUMMER PROGRAM!

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The Gender Race and Cultural Empowerment (G.R.A.C.E.) lab is hosting a 6-week summer program offering students the opportunity for one-on-one mentorship and research experience. The G.R.A.C.E. Lab’s emphasis is on social psychology with a focus on the experiences of Black women in STEM education.

Responsibilities include:

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

Qualifications for this position:

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

This program will run from June 8 – July 17, 2020, and will be hosted at Spelman College. You are expected to be committed for all 6 weeks. While attending this program, a stipend, housing for 6 weeks, and a campus meal plan will be included.

They will begin selecting applicants into the program on a rolling basis until February 14, 2020.

If you are interested in applying to this program follow this link and email your cover letter, curriculum vitae, and your most
recent unofficial academic transcript to Dr. Maria Jones, Postdoctoral Research Associate, at mjones35@spelman.edu!

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NIA’s Summer Research Opportunity: STAR Program

Looking for a summer research opportunity?

Applications are now open for the National Institute on Aging’s Summer Training in Aging Research (STAR) Program, based in Baltimore, Maryland. The deadline for college, graduate, and medical students is March 1, 2020.

Part of the broader NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research, the STAR Program participants (ranging from high school students to graduate or medical students) work with NIH Scientific Staff mentors regarding age-related research, culminating in presenting their research findings at the NIA Summer Student Poster Day.

While also there, participants learn about the scientific method, attend seminars, and may have the opportunity to co-author a journal article.

The aim is to provide students with the opportunity to develop research skills through hands-on practice and seminars.

The program also provides aid regarding professional development, through both the internship itself and assistance regarding applications to graduate or professional schools.

NIA Summer Internships range from eight to ten weeks, beginning in late May and ending mid-to-late August.

Participants will receive a stipend, with the amount depending on the level of education completed at the beginning of the internship.

If the NIA is not of interest, there are a number of other research opportunities through different NIH institutions. If interested in the other NIH research opportunities, follow this link to the NIH OITE Training Website where everything is broken down regarding overall opportunities through NIH and more.

For those interested in the NIA: applications will automatically be sent to the NIA if participants indicate such interest in the study of aging or designate the NIA as their NIH institute of choice on their application.  To confirm that said application has been received by the NIA, please contact Recruitment Specialist, Ms. Arlene Jackson at jacksona@nia.nih.gov.

For advice in terms of writing a successful application, follow this link to a PDF provided by the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education.

Potential participants are also encouraged to contact either Ms. Jackson, as mentioned above, or Ms. Taya Dunn Johnson, Assistant to the NIA Deputy Scientific Director, at dunnt@mail.nih.gov, for further information.

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2020 SUMMER PROGRAM STAFF POSITIONS!

The Center for Children and Families at Florida International University announces Summer Treatment Program Counselor, Research Assistant, and Teacher/Classroom Aide positions for 2020. The Summer Treatment Program (STP) provides services to children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, learning problems, and related behavior problems. The program provides treatment tailored to children’s individual behavioral and learning difficulties. The Center for Children and Families is directed by William E. Pelham, Jr., Ph.D., who is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Florida International University.

By participating in the STP, students will:

·  Learn evidence-based techniques for working with children who have disruptive behavior disorders

·  Gain valuable clinical and research experience to prepare for career and graduate school

·  Help children to improve their social skills, sports skills, and academic skills

·  Network with faculty members at the Center for Children and Families, as well as students from across the country.

Positions are available in three related programs serving children between the ages of 3-12. In each program, children and counselors are assigned to groups of four or five counselors and 10 to 15 children of similar age. Children participate in a variety of classroom-based and recreational activities. Staff members implement an extensive behavior modification treatment program during all program activities. The behavior modification program includes feedback and associated consequences for positive and negative behaviors, daily and weekly rewards for appropriate behavior, social praise and attention, appropriate commands, and age-appropriate removal from positive reinforcement. Staff members will also be responsible for recording, tracking, and entering daily records of children’s behavior and response to the treatment. Staff members will work under the supervision of experienced faculty and staff members and will receive regular feedback about their performance.

Experience in the STP may be helpful to prepare students for further study or employment in the fields of education, mental health, physical education, pediatrics, psychiatry, recreational therapy, behavior analysis, social work, counseling, and related areas. Staff members have uniformly reported the experience to be the most demanding but also the most rewarding clinical experience of their careers.

More than 100 positions are available across the three programs. Positions are available for undergraduate students, postbaccalaureate students, and graduate students. Detailed descriptions of each program, position descriptions, and application instructions are available at this link!

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POSTER SESSION FALL ’19!

At the end of last semester on Thursday, December 5, students, faculty, and staff gathered in Fintel library to look at all of the amazing work the psychology department students have completed over the semester and summer. Various research posters and internship opportunities were shared and of course, the pizza was a hit among all session attendees! Check out the gallery of photos from the event below and congratulations to everyone who shared their research or internship on having a successful presentation and semester.

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NCFR Conference 2019!

© ncfr.org

On November 20-23, Dr. Powell took two students to the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Conference in Fort Worth, Texas to present research through poster sessions and to attend presentations. These students included Rachel Harmon ’20 and Morgan Hamilton ’21.

Morgan Hamilton Worked alongside Dr. Powell and presented their poster titled “The Association Between Implicit Theories of Relationships and Emerging Adults’ Expectations for Romantic Relationships,” which was based on a subset of results from Taylor Kracht’s ’18 honors in the major study.

The students have since given some insight onto what it was like presenting at the conference as well as their reactions to the conference and Fort Worth, TX: 

Rachel Harmon and Morgan Hamilton at the NCFR conference

Rachel Harmon

I attended the annual NCFR conference with Dr. Powell and my fellow lab-mate, Morgan. Although I did not present at the conference I enjoyed attending the poster sessions and symposiums that were relevant to my current and future research interests, as well as supporting Morgan and Dr. Powell during their presentation. I specifically enjoyed attending presentations on the topics of disability and immigrant youth and families. Attending this conference was beneficial for me as I am currently applying to graduate programs in Human Development and Family Studies and Clinical Psychology. While I was at the conference I was able to interact and network with professors in Human Development and Family Studies programs as well as to receive feedback on my own research. Attending NCFR also prepared me to present my own research at a conference next semester. I am very thankful that Dr. Powell and Roanoke College encourage their undergraduate students to attend conferences to gain valuable experience in their areas of interest. Overall, I really enjoyed exploring Fort Worth with Dr. Powell and Morgan. The things I enjoyed most about the city were the food and the nice weather! 

Morgan Hamilton and Dr. Powell presenting their poster

Morgan Hamilton

The opportunity to present at NCFR was incredible. Leading up to the poster session, I was very nervous because I had never presented to a group of scholars. After the session began and I had spoken to a few people who gave high praise to our research, my nerves significantly calmed. It was so cool to hear people’s thoughts about how our research applied to their own work. Although presenting was a great experience, my favorite part of the conference was listening to other scholars talk about research they conducted on topics I want to pursue and am truly passionate about. I was able to sit in a room with thirty people who all cared about adolescent mental health and was also able to meet a few professors at graduate programs too. It was fascinating to see how Psychology is growing & gave me great ideas about potential future research I would like. Finally, Fort Worth was such an amazing city! Rachel, Dr. Powell and I spent a lot of time walking around the shops in the city and finding great food along the way. Overall, the experience was something I am super grateful to have been warranted and I’m sure it will stand out as a highlight of my academic career at Roanoke College.

Fort Worth, TX gearing up for the holiday season!

Congratulations to all those who attended the conference and for having a successful presentation! 

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MAINSTREAM MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES INTERNSHIP/JOB OPPORTUNITIES!

On Tuesday, November 19 from 12:00-1:00 PM Mainstream Mental Health Services will be in LS 502. They will be discussing internships (which can start this coming spring or summer) and job opportunities that their organization offers, as well as careers in mental health in general.

According to their website, Mainstream Mental Health Services, INC. believes in providing goal directed training to individuals in need to achieve and maintain independence in the most appropriate and least restrictive environment. It is our mission to enable eligible older adolescents and adults to acquire life skills and develop stronger family and community relationships that will enhance their quality of life in the mainstream community.

If mental health interests you then stop by on Tuesday and check out the opportunities that Mainstream Mental Health Services has to offer!

P.S. There will be pizza!

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NEW MAJORS ORIENTATION AND “SIGNING IN”

On November 6 the psychology department welcomed newly declared majors at the New Majors Orientation event! The students that attended the event learned more about what the psychology department has to offer and officially “signed into” the department by signing the psychology major poster!

If you are a newly declared major and missed this session no worries! Another session will be held on Monday, November 25 at 4:30 PM in Life Science 502. If you will be attending then be sure to sign up on  SONA .

You can email Dr. Powell (DPowell@Roanoke.edu) with any further questions!

Congrats to all who signed into the department already! We are so happy to have you as part of the psychology department!

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UPCOMING ONLINE OPEN HOUSE FOR SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY

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Next Monday, November 18 at 2:00 PM St. Joseph’s University is hosting a virtual open house! This open house is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about their MS in experimental psychology program. This is a full-time program designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the scientific study of psychology.   All students in their program are assigned to a mentor and conduct an empirically based research thesis under their direction.

Information on how to attend the open house can be found at this link!

For more information of their program check out this link as well as the brochure below!

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SALEM VA MEDICAL CENTER RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY!

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The Salem VA Medical Center

Roanoke College offers an amazing opportunity to do research with the Salem VA Medical Center. If you are looking to do research and think this could be something for you then continue reading to learn more about the program!

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”.

Students participate in research, analyze data, and present their work.  Internship or Independent Study course credit is available through various departments at Roanoke College based on the particular project and student major. 

Students interested should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Research, Dr. Chris Lassiter, in the fall semester or early in spring semester to discuss the program.  An overall GPA of 3.4 or higher is preferred.  An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher will be considered.  To apply, submit a cover letter (with research interests), a CV, unofficial transcript, and two letters of recommendation to the Director of Undergraduate Research by February 28 for research in the summer or the next academic year (fall and spring semester).

For more information and other documents about this program you can follow this link.

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ATTENTION RECENTLY DECLARED PSYCHOLOGY MAJORS!

Have you recently declared psychology as your major? If so then come out to the new majors orientation! It is required of all recently declared majors and there are two dates that you can come:

This Wednesday, November 6 at 5:30 PM or Monday, November 25 at 4:30 PM

Both of these orientations will be held in Life Science 502 but be sure to select the date you are attending on  SONA .

You can email Dr. Powell (DPowell@Roanoke.edu) with any further questions!

Congrats to all who have declared psychology! We are so happy to have you become part of the psychology department!

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SSEA CONFERENCE 2019!

The students who attended SSEA at dinner

On October 1012, Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand and Dr. Powell took three students to the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood (SSEA) Conference in Toronto, Canada to present research through poster sessions and presentations. These students included Casey Jo Gough ‘20, Sophie Bacon ‘20, and Abbey Packard ‘21. 

Students presented research through two different poster presentations. Casey Jo Gough and Sophie Bacon both worked alongside Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand and presented their poster titled “Emerging Adults’ Social Goals for Peer Status: Associations with Aggressive Reactions to Provocation”. Abbey Packard worked alongside Dr. Powell and presented her poster titled “Teaching self-efficacy of emerging adults across a first-level education course with community-based learning”. 

The students have since given some insight onto what it was like presenting at the conference as well as their reactions to Toronto: 

Sophie Bacon and Casey Jo Gough with the poster they presented

Casey Jo Gough

The opportunity to not only partake in undergraduate research but to then fly out of the country to present at a professional conference was an unforgettable learning experience. This was my first experience leaving the country, and it was fun to explore the streets of Toronto and take in all the sights. Presenting at the conference gave me confidence in my research abilities as I prepare for grad school. I was able to speak to other researchers and received great advice about my career path as a future school psychologist. I think the best part of the conference experience was the opportunity to attend lectures and poster sessions of unpublished research. I was able to speak to other researchers about their studies and look at exciting unpublished data in my areas of interest. I can’t wait to see where my research will take me next! 

Sophie Bacon 

Attending SSEA in Toronto was an incredible experience. Presenting our poster and findings was a really fulfilling experience and everyone who we talked to was so friendly and excited about our interest in research. Also, because I am still unsure of the direction that I want to go in when pursing graduated school, it was so helpful to talk to others who were recently in my shoes! I found walking and looking at all of the other posters to be really informative and eye-opening regarding the knowledge that we can learn about this newly defined stage of life. I felt very lucky that we were able to travel to such a cool place like Toronto, the city felt so walkable and had an abundance of hip-restaurants and soaring skyscrapers!

Abbey Packard

Abbey Packard with the poster she presented

Canada was an amazing experience overall and as an undergraduate research student I gained lots of insight into graduate level research and felt confident being able to present my work to graduate and PhD students. The other presentations were extremely impressive and networking opportunities were all around which is always a bonus! Being able to go to Toronto was a wonderful experience thanks to the help of Dr. Powell! The city was beautiful and was an experience I’ll never forget. 

Dr, Powell

Dr. Powell standing beside the poster students have been working on alongside her

Dr. Powell also presented one poster titled “Emerging Adults’ Bid Responses: A Pilot Study on Romantic Communication” as well as two papers, “How to break up: Individual differences in emerging adults’ normative beliefs about ghosting” and “Emerging adults’ perceptions of what it means to be “Talking””. 

 

One of the paper presentations Dr. Powell gave

The second paper presentation Dr. Powell gave

Congratulations to all those who attended the conference and for having successful presentations! 

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR PHI BETA KAPPA INDUCTEES!

The Psychology Department would like to congratulate Rachel Harmon, Riker Lawrence, Emily Townley, and Brittney Rowe on their induction into Phi Beta Kappa. Continue reading to hear from the students themselves! 

Rachel Harmon 

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I am a Senior Psychology Major with a concentration in Human Development. When I received the news that I had been elected into membership of Phi Beta Kappa I was ecstatic and was reassured that all the hard work I have completed while at Roanoke College has paid off. Outside of classes I am the Head Psychology Student Assistant and I am also a Subject Tutor in the Center for Learning and Teaching on campus. I am also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Psi Chi, and am the Vice President of Omicron Delta Kappa. I also participate in research in the Psychology department and am a research assistant in Dr. Powell’s Developmental Self-knowledge Laboratory. My biggest accomplishment while at Roanoke College has been my independent study for my Honors Distinction Project titled, “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Caregiver Concerns and Resources for Children with Disabilities”. My original proposal was awarded the Perry and Jessica Downing Distinction Project Award by the director of the Honors Program, and this summer I was a recipient of a 2018-2019 Summer Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Undergraduate Research Grant from Psi Chi. After graduation I plan to spend a year abroad before pursuing a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies or Clinical Psychology. 

Riker Lawrence 

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My name is Riker Lawrence and I am majoring in psychology as well as getting a concentration in human resource management. Hearing that I was accepted in Phi Beta Kappa was a big moment for me because I have been working towards that since my freshman year of college. It is an honor to be accepted and I couldn’t have done it without Dr. Powell and the rest of my lab mates in her lab. For the majority of my 3+ years at Roanoke College, I have been doing research in the psychology department. I experienced many accomplishments since starting in Dr. Powell’s lab. Although, I think my most proud one is being accepted into Phi Beta Kappa. I have shifted my focus on conducting my own study to present as my honors-in-the-major project that specifically focuses on prenatal leisure time and parent expectations. Conducting this study effectively will be my next goal to accomplish. After I graduate in spring 2020, I will be working with a recruiting team for a newer company back home in Northern Virginia. 

Emily Townley

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I am a psychology major with a concentration in human development and an art history minor. I was really excited when I heard the news and immediately called my mom (who unfortunately did not pick up initially) so we could celebrate together! As for how I’ve spent my time at Roanoke, I am in the Honors Program and have been working on my Distinction Project this past summer and this semester. I’m also a manager and on-call tutor at Subject Tutoring, a campus photographer, and am the historian/in charge of public relations for Psi Chi! Being invited to Phi Beta Kappa is definitely one of my biggest accomplishments, up there with getting the Bittle Scholarship and studying abroad for a semester in Italy. I will be applying to graduate schools in the coming months and I’m hoping to be accepted into a Clinical Psychology PhD program. 

Brittney Rowe

Brittney Rowe is another psychology department student assistant who has also been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and is currently studying abroad!  

Congratulations again to everyone! We look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the future! 

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ENHANCING YOUR RESUME, CV, AND LINKEDIN ONE SKILL AT A TIME!

Naufel, K. Z., Appleby, D. C., Young, J., Van Kirk, J. F., Spencer, S. M., Rudmann, J., …Richmond, A. S. (2018). The skillful psychology student: Prepared for success in the 21st century workplace. Retrieved from: https:// www.apa.org/careers/resources/guides/transferable-skills.pdf

“The Skillful Psychology student” guide shown above lays out skills that could be listed on a resume, CV and LinkedIn.  The graphic separates skills into five categories and lays out some of the most valued skills in each category.

If you are looking to enhance the way you look to possible employers or future graduate schools then check it out!

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CATCHING UP WITH VANESSA PEARSON ’21 ABOUT HER TIME ABROAD IN AUSTRALIA

This past semester Vanessa Pearson ’21 was selected as a recipient for the Gilman Scholarship and traveled abroad to Australia. A brief  interview was done with Pearson to learn more about this opportunity and experiences: 

Thank you for taking time to answer some questions! To start off, can you tell me a little about you?  

I am a junior here at Roanoke. I live off campus and commute to school. I am an education and psychology major looking to get my teaching license and work in an elementary school.  

Where did you study abroad? Why did you choose to study there and what was it like? Was it different from what you were expecting?  

I studied abroad in Townsville, Australia which is on the northern east coast. I chose to study there because I had always wanted to travel to Australia, and it was northern, therefore it would be warmer. I also chose it because they speak English, I wanted to get inside an elementary school classroom and therefore would have needed to understand what they were saying.  

What were some of your favorite moments while abroad? 

I loved meeting new people from all over the world. I loved traveling all around Australia. I got to be a part of a turtle release, which is where they released a turtle back into the ocean that they had found hurt and nurtured back to life.  

What were you most worried about in terms of studying abroad?  

I was worried that I wouldn’t make any friends while I was abroad and that I would be lonesome and homesick.  

Did anything happen that you weren’t expecting? Were there any moments that particularly struck you while abroad? Tell me about them. 

I was not expecting my time there to go by so quickly. I was nervous when I was traveling that this was going to be the longest trip of my life and I was surprised when it was time to pack up and come home. I had so many amazing moments with friends that I had made there. I loved the weekends where I got to travel with my friends to different cities. It struck me by surprise at how different everybody is while also being kind of the same.  

What did you learn while abroad? This is not limited to just coursework (though certainly talk about the types of courses you were able to take) but also about the culture or cultures you interacted with and, cheesy as it is, yourself as well. 

I learned that the cultures in Australia are still very ingrained in how they do things throughout their day. In classes, professors start off with an acknowledgement of culture and thanking the aboriginal people for providing the land in which the school was built on. I learned that I enjoyed learning about the culture of another country and that I would like to go to other countries in the future and learn more about the culture and the way they see things now. 

What do you miss the most? 

I miss the people that I met there the most. I met so many amazing people who I enjoyed spending my time with. It is still sometimes hard to come to school and not see them around. I miss the environment I was surrounded by during my time there. 

Tell me about your plans for the future. How will you apply what you learned while abroad to help you? 

I would love to continue to travel to different places in the world. My next trip I am planning would be to go and travel around Europe. I will apply what I have learned abroad because I learned to take a step back and truly listen to the stories that are being told around you. I learned that if you look around at even the smallest things, you can find so much culture in it.  

Do you have any advice for other students interested in studying abroad? 

My advice would be to do it. If you are thinking about it, you should one hundred percent just do it. It is an amazing experience and while you may miss home for the first couple of days, you make friends and it does get easier. It can open your eyes to some crazy and great things. 

Congratulations again to Vanessa Pearson on receiving the Gilman Scholarship and on a successful trip, and thank you for taking time to answer some questions!

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CALLING ALL WHO NEED A MOMENT OF SERENITY!

Take part in Mindful Mondays On Monday afternoons from 3:00-3:45 in THE WELL (Alumni 216). If you are feeling stressed and looking for a way to relax for a little, this is the place for you! Ms. Laura Leonard will be leading these weekly group sessions to offer insight on mindfulness-based practices. If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness or are interested in finding new ways to handle stress stop on by! All are welcome and we hope to see you there! 

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CONGRATULATIONS TO RACHEL HARMON AND DR. POWELL!

© Rachel Harmon

This past summer Rachel Harmon was selected as a recipient of the 2018-2019 Summer Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Undergraduate Research Grant from Psi Chi, the international psychology honorary, where she spent several weeks in Mexico working on her project titled, “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Caregiver Concerns and Resources for Children with Disabilities.” 

Rachel Harmon was in the list of top 11 applications and so Dr. Powell was awarded a faculty stipend as well. 

A brief interview was done with Harmon to learn more about this project and process: 

Thank you for taking time to answer some questions, to start off, can you describe what the grant process was like and how you discovered it?  

I began the grant application process in December of last year but ended up not submitting the grant until the May due date. I heard about the grant through Dr. Powell, who recommended applying, and advised me throughout the process. The grant required me to provide a concise version of my Literature Review and a brief Methodology section, and all the scales that I would use. I found that the grant helped me to determine the specific methodology I would use for my project and helped me to determine the specific scales that I would use. 

Can you tell me more about your project?  

The title of my project is “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Caregiver Concerns and Resources for Children with Disabilities”. I have collected both observational and quantitative data in both Mexico and the United States to compare the resources that are available for children with disabilities in each country and how this impacts caregiver stress levels and the emotions they feel, regarding caring for their child with a disability. I originally got the idea for my project when I traveled to Nicaragua the summer before my freshman year. While I was walking through a market in Managua, I saw a woman who was working and had her daughter who had a disability in what we would consider a baby stroller. I have worked a lot with individuals, specifically with children with disabilities and developmental delays, and I was naturally compelled to investigate the topic further.  

What drew you to Mexico for this project?  

I was originally supposed to return to Nicaragua for my project, but due to the current political environment, it was not ideal for travel. Jesse Griffin, who serves on the committee of my project knew of several connections that our college has with research facilities and other institutions in the Yucatán. One of the facilities was conveniently across the street from a Centro de Atención Múltiple, which is a government funded special education school, which was a great resource for collecting observational data and distributing surveys.  

 What did a normal day look like for you in Mexico as you worked on this project?

© Rachel Harmon

For the first month I spent in Mexico I was in Oxkutzcab, which was a small, rural town. This was where the C.A.M. school was. Each weekday I would go to the school at 7:30, and I would rotate which classroom I was in each day. The school has seven classes serving student from ages 2-28. Depending on which classroom I was in, I would either observe the class, and participate in class activities, or work one on one with students who needed more individualized attention. The school days in Mexico only last from 7:30 to 12:30, so in the afternoons I would explore or relax, and work on other research tasks.  

I spent the second month in the capital of the Yucatán, Mérida. Here, I was working with an internationally run non-profit called SOLYLUNA. The organization provides special education opportunities and access to physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy for children who have a diagnosis of multiple disabilities and their caregivers. The dynamic of the organization was very different than the C.A.M. school, so it was an adjustment. The organization requires that a caregiver accompanies the child for the full day from 7:30-1:30. My job as a volunteer was to assist the parents when needed, and to observe the teachers and therapists. I also worked with the volunteer coordinator and director of the organization to create a document about potential resources to provide for caregivers, and I took pictures for them to use for promotion purposes. Since I was now in a larger city there was a lot more to explore in the afternoons, and I enjoyed travelling on the weekends.  

You mentioned that you had opportunities to explore while in Mexico, what was the coolest place you visited/most favorite?

© Rachel Harmon

I did have a lot of time to explore while I was in Mexico, especially on the weekends. I enjoyed exploring nearby towns and venturing further to other landmarks. I think my favorite place I traveled to while in Mexico was Isla las Mujeres. This was an island off the coast of Cancún, where we were able to hear lots of live music, enjoy the beach, and go snorkeling. I met a group of other students from Millsaps College, in Mississippi while I was there, and I enjoyed traveling with them and meeting them at different places on some weekends.   

If given the opportunity would you go back and work, there again?  

© Rachel Harmon

© Rachel Harmon

Absolutely! While I was there, I formed a lot of connections with the kids, caregivers, teachers and therapists that I was working with and I would love to see them again (I miss them a lot)! It was hard to leave such amazing people, and such an amazing place.   

 Is there anything else you would like us to know?  

Overall, my experiences in Mexico taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I especially learned a lot about collecting data in another culture, which is an experience I consider myself lucky to have had at this point in my academic career. Whether it is through research, or a different study abroad program, I highly recommend spending time in another country to everyone, because it allows you to learn so much about yourself and the world.  

Congratulations again to Rachel Harmon and Dr. Powell and thank you for taking time to answer some questions!

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JOIN DR. POWELL AT THE MAY TERM TRAVEL EXPO THIS THURSDAY!

Are you interested in taking a class in another part of the world? If so, come out to the Ballroom this Thursday, September 5 between 12 – 1 pm to hear about the awesome May Term Travel courses being offered this coming spring! Dr. Powell will be there sharing information on the course she is teaching, IL 377: Emerging Adults in Thailand – A Cross-Cultural Society, which counts as an elective for those in the Human Development concentration but is also a wonderful opportunity for all those interested in human development. Other faculty will be sharing about their courses that are also being offered as well!

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Still Looking for Graduate School Opportunities?

Still looking for graduate school opportunities?

UVA Educational Psych – Applied Developmental Science Master’s Program is still accepting applications!

If you are interested in learning more about how developmental processes impact learning in an educational and community environment, and enjoy conducting research to improve the lives of youth, then this program would be a great fit for you!

The Applied Developmental Science Master’s Program at UVA is 12 month long and gives you the opportunity to work with and learn from their supportive faculty. You will learn more about human development, educational psychology, and research methods. As part of this program, you are expected to complete a 6 credit (200 hour) internship with a local lab or community-based organization.

What can you do with this degree? Graduates go on to become educators, researchers, or consultants working in a variety of settings including schools, labs, and non-profit organizations.

Applications are due May 15th, and the program has a new start date of June 3rd. To learn more about the program click HERE.

Have questions? Contact Dr. Beverly Sweeney by phone at  434-243-1995 or via email at .

Written by Rachel Harmon, contributed to and edited by Brittney Rowe

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The Psychology Department at the Academic Awards Ceremony 2019

Academic Award Ceremony 2019 – Slideshow!

On April 3rd, high achieving students at Roanoke College were presented with awards from their departments as part of the 2019 Academic Awards Ceremony.

“The Academic Awards Ceremony is a time to celebrate some of our top Psychology Majors, as well as leadership in student groups and our two concentrations: Neuroscience and Human Development. We have a lot of hardworking and talented students in our program and I am proud of this year’s award recipients,” said Dr. Buchholz.

This year, the Psychology Department distributed awards to seventeen students overall. These students were:

  • Sophia Bacon (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Kiah Coflin (Psi Chi Achievement Award)
  • Hailey Davis (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Kathryn Flinchum (Curt R. Camac Student Research Award)
  • Aislinn Foutz (Curt R. Camac Student Research Award)
  • Casey J. Gough (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Rachel Harmon (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Theresa Hecmanczuk (Curt R. Camac Student Research Award)
  • Matthew Johnson (Outstanding Student in Neuroscience Concentration)
  • Riker Lawrence (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Nicole Moughrabi (The Charles E. Early Award)
  • Hayley Mulford (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Cody Dillon-Owens (Senior Scholar; The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award; Psi Chi Achievement Award; and the Karl W. Beck Memorial Prize)
  • Thomas Thomas (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Kestrel Thorne-Kaunelis (The Charles E. Early Award)
  • Noelle Warfford (Karl W. Beck Memorial Prize)
  • Molly Zydel (The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award)

Award Recipients – Slideshow!

When asked for a statement, Dr. Osterman added that “We are all so proud of the accomplishments of our students. It was a pleasure to be able to celebrate all of their hard work and dedication with them at the awards ceremony. We can’t wait to see what they do next.”

On behalf of the Psychology Department, congratulations again to all of our students. You have worked hard and done well and we look forward to seeing what you will achieve in the future!

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New Majors “Signing In”

Earlier this month, newly declared Psychology majors attended the New Majors Orientation and  “officially” signed in to the department! If you are a newly declared Psychology major and you have not attended an orientation yet, be sure to lookout for New Majors Orientation dates this upcoming Fall 2019!

New Majors Spring 2019 -Slideshow!

Written by Rachel Harmon, video by Brittney Rowe

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Dr. Powell’s Research Lab at SRCD Conference 2019

Image result for srcd 2019
Click on the image to go to SRCD’s official website.

Overview:

The second part of the blog posts discussing the students and professors who traveled to Baltimore on March 21st through 23rd to present research at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Conference, this post will focus on Dr. Powell’s Research Lab.

Students and professors presented research through six different poster presentations, as well as one essay presentation that was part of a symposium. Dr. FVN and Dr. Powell presented one poster together, titled “Variations on a Lifespan Development Project Intended to Enhance Quality of Student Outcomes and Reflection of Reality.”  Dr. Buchholz’s and Dr. FVN’s labs collaborated to present their work on “Early Adolescent Cognitive and Affective Empathy: Direct and Interactive Ties to Social-Emotional Adjustment.”

The students who traveled include: Taylor Kracht ’18 (alumna; Dr. Powell’s lab), Cody Dillon-Owens ’19 (worked with both Dr. FVN and Dr. Buchholz; officially part of Dr. Buchholz’s lab), Aislinn Foutz ’19 (Dr. FVN’s lab), Kiah Coflin ’19 (Dr. Powell’s lab), Ciprianna Azar ’19 (Dr. FVN’s lab), Rachel Harmon ’20 (Dr. Powell’s lab) , and Alaina Birkel ’21 (Dr. Powell’s lab).

Descriptions of the presentations have been included to learn more about the types of research the two labs are doing.

Left to right: Dr. Powell. Alaina Birkel, and Taylor Kracht

Dr. Powell’s Research Lab

Statements: 

Dr. Powell: 

The first disciplinary conference that I attended was SRCD during my senior year of college. I was not presenting that year, but rather I tagged along with the faculty member and graduate students with whom I was working. I am very appreciative that Roanoke College also supports undergraduates to attend and present at disciplinary conferences! Hearing the students enthusiastically discuss the scholars they heard from and the ideas it provoked related to their research between sessions and over group dinners is exactly why I encourage my research assistants to attend a disciplinary conference.

SRCD’s biennial conference is quite large and so it can be difficult choosing between sessions to attend, as so many overlap at a single time. However, I was able to attend several that are related to my research agenda as well as a few related to topics that I teach in my Life-Span and Child Development courses. Another thing that I make it a point to do at conferences is to reconnect with colleagues. My Alma mater, WVU, hosted a social for current students and alumni of their developmental program, and I was able to grab lunch with a few other colleagues. It was enjoyable catching up with them and updating each other on the status of our careers.

Left to right: Dr. Powell, Rachel Harmon, and Kiah Coflin

Kiah Coflin ’19: 

This year’s biennial SRCD conference was held at the Baltimore convention center and it was huge! I have attended a poster presentation before, but my expectations were exceeded by SRCD, its number of intriguing speakers and talk topics, and its overall expanse across the convention center. It was certainly unique to see so many approaches to childhood and development, and an incredible experience to network with other students, professors, and scholars!

Personally, I presented a poster with my fellow lab mate, Rachel Harmon, on preliminary data exploring the impact of short-term, study-abroad programs on the Intercultural Competencies (ICCs) of Emerging Adults (EAs)… AKA I got to talk about my amazing May Term! We discussed the changes my May Term class perceived in our ICCs from a month before our trip, the middle of our trip, and a week after we returned. Our poster was well received and many were interested in how the data collection will progress when Dr. Powell continues to bring more students on future May Terms to Thailand!

Who says conferences can’t be fun? – Left to right: Kiah Coflin, Rachel Harmon, Alaina Birkel, and Dr. Powell

Posters:

Overall, there were three posters presented from this lab, though one was presented by Dr. FVN and Dr. Powell.

This particular poster was presented at the “Developmental Teaching Institute pre-conference on possible modifications to the life-span paper project.”

Left to right: Dr. Powell and Dr. FVN

The other two posters were presented by students and Dr. Powell. As mentioned above, Kiah Coflin, Dr. Powell, and Rachel Harmon discussed their findings in conjunction with Dr. Nipat Pichayayothin of Chulalongkorn University “on the development of students’ intercultural competencies” during their May Term course to Thailand in 2017.

The other poster was presented by Taylor Kracht (an alumna, now studying at William & Mary), and Alaina Birkel, who presented a poster based on Kracht’s “Honors in the Major project at the conference on how emerging adults’ implicit theories of relationships can be modified after watching certain types of romantic media.”

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Dr. FVN’s Research Lab at SRCD Conference 2019

Overview:

On March 21st through 23rd, Drs. Findley-Van Nostrand and Powell took seven students (including one alumnus) to the Society for Research in Child Development to present research through poster sessions, presentations, and a symposium. These students included Taylor Kracht ’18, Cody Dillon-Owens ’19, Aislinn Foutz ’19, Kiah Coflin ’19, Ciprianna Azar ’19, Rachel Harmon ’20, and Alaina Birkel, ’21.

Students and professors presented research through six different poster presentations, as well as one essay presentation that was part of a symposium. Dr. FVN and Dr. Powell presented one poster together, titled “Variations on a Lifespan Development Project Intended to Enhance Quality of Student Outcomes and Reflection of Reality.”  Dr. Buchholz’s and Dr. FVN’s labs collaborated to present their work on “Early Adolescent Cognitive and Affective Empathy: Direct and Interactive Ties to Social-Emotional Adjustment.”

Descriptions of the presentations have been included below to learn more about the types of research the two labs are doing.

Dr. FVN’s and Dr. Powell’s research labs are presented separately. In this post, Dr. FVN’s Research Lab is the focus; Dr. Powell’s Research Lab will follow shortly.

Image result for convention center baltimore md

Dr. FVN’s Research Lab

Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand: 

I think the conference went really well. It was great to catch up with old friends and colleagues, and even better to get the students exposure to the work being conducted by SRCD members. It is a large and prestigious meeting, so they should be proud of their accomplishments. There were not many undergraduate students in attendance, let alone presenting their work! So very proud of all them from both labs being represented. I also appreciated that interactions with audience members and folks stopping by posters gave us several

good ideas for future research and even refinement of the research we presented. This was also my first time attending the SRCD Teaching Institute, which was a great opportunity. I left with good ideas and was able to share some of ours (mine and Dr. Powell’s) as well!

Cody Dillon-Owens: 

At SRCD 2019 I had the amazing opportunity to present my lab’s research on how different forms of empathy can affect the social-emotional adjustment of adolescents. Being such a large conference, there were a vast number of symposiums to choose from that incorporated many other topics of interest besides developmental psychology. I had the chance to learn about new research ranging from community initiatives’ effects on adolescents’ political involvement, to how gut microbiota can affect our health across time, to how racial discrimination can affect children’s perceptions of the world. The conference was also a great time to network with other researchers and find out more about where our field is headed!

Symposium & Posters:

There were four posters and one symposium from Dr. FVN’s lab. Included in the poster session was a collaboration between Dr. Powell and Dr. FVN where they presented together on “a number of variations we have made to a cumulative assignment that is commonly used in Lifespan Development courses, all which aim to improve learning outcomes and interest from students.”

The symposium was titled “Circle Up: Using interpersonal theory and the interpersonal circumplex to study interpersonal relationships across development.” Dr. FVN and her colleague presented on “Social Goal Development during Middle School: Normative Changes and Prediction by Self-Esteem and Narcissism” as part of this symposium. This manuscript is in review for publication.

My colleague and I presented research examining trajectories of social goals across early adolescence in the framework of the interpersonal circumplex model. Specifically, we discussed how agentic (striving for social status, respect, dominance) goals and communal (striving for closeness, friendship, affiliation) change across three time points, beginning to end of middle school. We also examined growth trajectories of combinations of these overarching goals. Finally, we examined how self-esteem and narcissism deferentially predict later goals. In short, narcissism predicts heightened agentic goal strivings, but primarily the social dominance (low communal) form of agency.”

Dr. Findley – Van Nostrand

Ciprianna Azar ’19 (left) and Aislinn Foutz ’19 (right)

There were three student posters from Dr. FVN’s lab. Aislinn Foutz and Ciprianna Azar presented a poster based on Aislinn’s Honors project, titled “Associations among Parental Perspectives of Children’s Theory of Mind, Relationships with Parents, and Social Difficulties.” The manuscript of this research is currently in preparation for publication. To learn more about Aislinn’s Honors research, click here. Aislinn also presented another poster at the conference with Dr. FVN, discussing research that they and Dr. Ojanen, Dr. FVN’s graduate school advisor, completed. This was titled “Early Adolescent Self-Concept Clarity: Negative Affect, Aggression, and Mediation by Self-Esteem.”

For the latter poster, Dr. FVN elaborates on the topic, saying: “Self-concept clarity refers to the degree to which an individuals’ self-concepts are clear and consistent to an individual. This construct has long been associated with positive emotional adjustment and behaviors in adults, but research on adolescents is limited. Research on youth in Dutch samples has established that self-concept clarity is related to lowered depression, and greater identity commitment, but this research has not concurrently assessed self-concept clarity and self-esteem and has not been extended to US samples. This study establishes self-concept clarity as a predictor of lowered negative affect, and this association is mediated by self-esteem. Further, when examining both self-concept clarity and self-esteem, self-concept clarity alone is related to lower levels of peer-group aggression.”

Dr. FVN also adds that: A manuscript reflecting a similar set of studies in young adults is presently in review for publication. This manuscript is in preparation for publication.

Cody Dillon-Owens ’19

The final poster was presented by Cody Dillon-Owens on research conducted by himself, Dr. FVN, Dr. Buchholz, and Dr. Ojanen. The title of this work is: “Early Adolescent Cognitive and Affective Empathy: Direct and Interactive Ties to Social-Emotional Adjustment.”

In this study, we examined cognitive (e.g., perspective-taking) and affective (emotional) empathy in relation to a number of indices of social-emotional adjustment in a diverse sample of middle school students. These two forms of empathy show diverging relations with adjustment: whereas cognitive empathy seems to be almost universally good, emotional or affective empathy can sometimes elicit problems when experienced. Recent research in adults utilizing a common assessment of empathy, the Basic Empathy Scale, have found that this measure actually better reflects three sub-factors of empathy: cognitive empathy, emotional disconnection, and emotional contagion, the latter of which explaining some of the associations found between emotional empathy and social-emotional problems. We validated this three-factor structure of the Basic Empathy Scale in early adolescence, a period in which development of empathic understanding might be particularly important. Results suggest that emotional contagion is related problems like negative affect, victimization by peers, and low social self-efficacy, but to higher friendship quality, whereas cognitive empathy was related to positive social-emotional adjustment.

Dr. Findley – Van Nostrand

Dr. FVN also adds that this manuscript is in preparation to submit for publication.

Stay tuned for the next blog post, which will highlight Dr. Powell’s research lab at SRCD!

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10 Healthy Ways to Manage Stress: College Edition

Dr. Osterman’s social psychology class was tasked with creating “Buzzfeed-Style” research articles on a social psychological topic. Throughout the semester students worked in groups to build empirical evidence through peer reviewed sources to bust myths and increase knowledge of social psychology concepts on a colloquial level.

Please enjoy the first in a series of social psychology articles, written by Alice Chandler, Casey Jo Gough, Kayla Hogan, Tesa Ingram, and Mattie Joseph.

10 Healthy Ways to Manage Stress: College Edition is a helpful read as we approach finals week, enjoy!

Written by Casey Jo Gough ’20 and contributed to by Brittney Rowe ’20

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College is stressful, like, REALLY stressful. Getting zero hours of sleep and chugging 5 mugs of black coffee aren’t going to help. You won’t have time to research how to minimize stress through effective coping especially since you still have to write that paper due at midnight, so we did it for you.

Pitch Perfect / Via GIPHY

Interested? Click below to learn more.

10 Healthy Ways to Manage Stress: College Edition

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Dr. FVN Speaks on Bullying and Teenage Aggression at Andrew Lewis Middle School

Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand was recently able to speak  to teachers and students at Andrew Lewis Middle School about bullying and teenage aggression as part of a guest speaker series called “One Book, One School Community.”

As part of a statement, Dr. FVN said:

On Friday, March 29, I spoke to Andrew Lewis Middle School (here in Salem) students and teachers about adolescent aggression and bullying. I was invited to be a speaker as a part of their “one book one school” program. I addressed research on non-traditional forms of bullying, consequences of bullying (for victims, bullies, and others exposed to but not directly involved), individual differences in adolescent aggression, and several common misconceptions about bullying and aggression. Students had great questions and hopefully learned a thing or two!

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The Literacy Lab

Written by Rachel Harmon, edited by Brittney Rowe

Interested in doing a year of service? Continue reading to learn more about the Literacy Lab!

What? The Literacy Lab is an AmeriCorps partner program that helps to build strong readers in the Greater Richmond area, Hampton Roads, and other cities across the country. The Literacy Lab works to ensure that all students receive the help they need to read at a proficient level. The Literacy Lab trains and places full-time literacy tutors in schools to assess and coach students.

When? Full-time capacity for 11-months from August 2019-July 2020.

Why? The benefits of completing a year of service with the Literacy Lab include a modest living allowance, federal student loan forbearance, earning the Segal Education Award, transferable professional development skills and more!

How? If you fit all of the requirements, and wish to apply for the Literacy Lab click here and hit the green APPLY button in the top right corner!

To learn more about the Literacy lab click here or email recruitment@theliteracylab.org.

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Riker Lawrence ’21 at the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference 2019

Riker Lawrence ’21 discusses her experience presenting at the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference below.

Attending the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference last weekend was an interesting experience for me. In the past, I have attended conferences that mainly focused on behavioral science. This conference included multiple different fields of research, so I learned many new concepts in fields such as physics, wood science, and chemistry. I enjoyed learning about information that I wouldn’t normally research on in my specific field. My poster presentation focused on Psychological Capital (PsyCap) and workplace attitudes. Specifically, my lab mate and I examined associations between PsyCap, well-being, and how employees write about their jobs. We also explored the usefulness of Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs in coding participants’ writings about their jobs, because his theory can be used to explain human needs. Overall, I thought the conference was well organized and provided a good research experience to undergraduates.

Congratulations to Lawrence for her successful presentation on Psychological Capital and workplace attitudes!

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Pie a Prof 2019

Do you want revenge on your professors? Maybe you just like a bit of fun. Quite possibly, you even like raising money for a good cause.

If any of the above apply to you, then take heed! April 11th at 4 pm on Colket Patio you will get to see 9, yes 9, of our esteemed psych professors get a pie in their face! The kicker? You could be the one that delivers it!

So all professors will be pied regardless, but like last year, the professor with the most donations in their name will get a giant pie. If you make a donation of at least $5, you will get to personally pie the professor of your choice. Instead of one charity this year, there will be 3 charities with each professor being assigned to a team. The team with the most money overall has the profits donated to their charity.

Whether you donate based on professor or charity, revenge or generosity, we hope to see you there! Cash donations can be made to the lock box on the 5th floor and Venmo can be sent to @rcpsych! We will also be tabling in Colket the week prior.

Team 1: Brain Injury Services of SWVA

  • Dr. Wetmore
  • Dr. Buchholz
  • Dr. Allen

Team 2: St. Francis Service Dogs

  • Dr. Osterman
  • Dr. Hilton
  • Dr. Nichols

Team 3: Children’s Trust

  • Dr. Powell
  • Dr. FVN
  • Dr. Carter

If you have any questions, please contact Cody Dillon-Owens, president of Psi Chi.

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Phi Beta Kappa Inductees!

The Psychology Department would like to congratulate Sarah Waldinger, Molly Zydel, Megan Blackwell, Erin “Micky” McDonnell, and Alicia Mitchell on their induction to Phi Beta Kappa. Continue reading to hear from the students themselves.

Sarah Waldinger

My name is Sarah Waldinger and I am a double major in Psychology and Political Science.  I was surprised and honored to be invited to join Phi Beta Kappa, and am so thankful for all of the opportunities Roanoke College has given me.  Throughout my time here I have been able to travel to Poland and Ukraine on a May Term, go to leadership conferences through my sorority, work on campus in the Writing Center, and volunteer extensively downtown.  [In particular,] I volunteered with REACH, which is a nonprofit that focuses on the Southeast of Roanoke.  We worked with the Rescue Mission, CYP, Pathways, the SPCA, and renovated abandoned homes.  That is definitely not an exhaustive list, but REACH was the name of the main program.

I am happy to say that next year I will be working with Teach for America in Alabama – I would like to thank everyone in the Psychology department and throughout the college who helped me to achieve everything I could have wanted in the past four years!

Molly Zydel

My name is Molly Zydel, and I am a Psychology major with a minor in Sociology. I am so excited and honors to have been invited to Phi Beta Kappa! Dr. Powell, since she is my advisor, actually got the chance to tell me in person before she sent out the emails! That was really cool, and I am glad to have experienced that the way I did. Throughout my time here at Roanoke, I have been involved in research, gone on May Term to Thailand, served on the Honors Executive Board as the Mentor Program Chairperson, and volunteered at the West End Center for Youth and the Community Youth Program. Currently, I am also a member of Psi Chi (the International Honors Society for Psychology), Alpha Kappa Delta (the International Honors Society for Sociology), and the Roanoke College Honors Program. Specifically with research, I have been working on my Honors Distinction Project, which focuses on former foster care youth and their perceptions of themselves concerning their academic self-efficacy, resiliency, and their attachment style. Essentially, I am surveying this population on their beliefs about themselves concerning their ability to accomplish school-related tasks. I am also surveying foster parents on their perceptions of foster care youth on the same constructs. After graduation this May, I hope to be joining the workforce, possibly working in Human Resources and Recruiting. I am so excited to become a part of Phi Beta Kappa!

Megan Blackwell

My name is Megan Blackwell. I’m a senior Psychology and Biology double major with a concentration in Neuroscience. I’m ecstatic about my invitation to join Phi Beta Kappa! It was a huge surprise for me and I could not be happier about it. It’s a huge honor and affirmation that my hard work here at Roanoke has paid off. In my time here, I’ve been involved with several student groups including Psi Chi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Alpha Sigma Alpha, SAACS, and many others. I’ve served as the Vice President of Psi Chi, the secretary of Omicron Delta Kappa, the secretary of SAACS, and at various times the secretary, treasurer, and coffee shop coordinator of our Honors Program. I also had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland and Denmark to study the origins of modern physics for my May Term. For the past two years, I have been doing research at the Salem Veteran Affairs Medical Center. I’ve been involved on several protocols as a research assistant there and have had the opportunity to carry out my own research project, “Cognitive Reserve and Resilience in Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.” As of right now, I don’t know what my next steps are after graduation, but I’m confident in saying my experiences at Roanoke have more than prepared me for a career and life after I move on from here.

Erin “Micky” McDonnell

I am Erin McDonnell, or “Micky”, as I’m more commonly known as around campus. I am a Psychology major, concentrating in Neuroscience. I came to Roanoke not having a clue as to what I wanted to do or even study. Roanoke College has afforded me the opportunities to explore, the tools to succeed, and the motivation to pursue everything without discounting any of my interests. Phi Beta Kappa is an enormous honor that I am so thankful to have received and am excited to be a part of. These four years, in addition to the unique curriculum, I have been able to conduct my own research, travel all over Greece, work in theater, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and hold many different leadership positions within various organizations.

In my final year, I have been preparing to enter the field of scientific research by working inter-departmentally to complete a Behavioral Neuroscience Independent Study research project. This project involves exposing varying concentration levels of a tin compound to Danio rerio (AKA zebrafish) in order to see how it affects brain development and response to startling stimuli. It will be a privilege to continue working, now through the community that is Phi Beta Kappa. Thank you to everyone who got me to where I am today and will be in the future.

And other our inductee, Alicia Mitchell, who graduated from Roanoke College in December of 2018.

Congratulations to everyone! We look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the future and we’ll be cheering you on from the fifth floor of Life Science (until it’s renovated, then from different floors!)

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Molly Zydel ’19 at MadRush

Molly Zydel discusses her recent presentation at JMU for the 10th Annual MadRush Undergraduate Conference below. 

I presented part of my Honors in the Major/Distinction Project at the 10th Annual MadRush Undergraduate Conference hosted by James Madison University on Saturday, March 16th. The presentation focused on part of the larger project, which seeks to understand foster parents’ perceptions of former foster care youth, former foster care youth’s perceptions of themselves, and college students perceptions of former foster care youth on different aspects of their academic identity, specifically academic self-efficacy, resiliency, and academic expectations and attainment. The presentation at MadRush focused on the data I have collected from foster parents concerning their perceptions of foster care youth on these constructs.

Rather than your typical poster presentation session, I had the chance to give an actual presentation in front of a room concerning the project. The presentation went very well, as did the following discussion. The session consisted of 3 total presentations, all from different disciplines, that all in some way focused on populations of youth who are not the normal. There was a presentation on juvenile sex offenders, one on the orphan trains, and my presentation. It went very well, and it was interesting to see how different disciplines connect together to engage in a conversation about youth from different perspectives. Overall, I enjoyed the conference!

Thank you to Molly Zydel for taking time to tell us about her research and presentation at MadRush! Congratulations on your successful presentation and we look forward to seeing what you will do in the future!

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Just for fun.

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Summer 2019 Course Offerings

Want to get ahead or catch-up? Just want to take an interesting course? You might be interested in taking a summer course.

The psychology department is offering five different summer classes in 2019. The prospective courses are: Abnormal Psychology, Drugs & Behavior, Positive Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Personality Psychology.

If you are interested, let your advisor know!

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CFF Summer Treatment Program Internship Opportunity

Interested in gaining experience this summer working with children with ADHD and related behavioral, emotional and learning challenges?

The Center for Children and Families at Florida International University offers training opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students through their Summer Treatment Program to learn and help children improve their ‘problem-solving, academic functioning, and social skills.’

The Summer Treatment Program focuses on providing evidence-based intensive treatments through group and tailored individual programs in a therapeutic summer camp style. The program is eight weeks. The children are divided into two programs according to their ages: STP Pre-K and STP Elementary.

https://ccf.fiu.edu/opportunities/summer-treatment-program-opportunities-and-training/

Available Spring 2019 positions include: 

Things to Consider:

There is no application deadline but CCF recommends applying early due to the program’s popularity.

Room, board, and travel expenses are not covered by CCF. Accepted staff members interested in finding a roommate will have to do so themselves through social media.

Dates, hours, salary, and responsibilities are subject to the different positions. According to CFF, once positions have been filled, applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

Application: 

Step 1: Online Application

Step 2: Three (3) Letters of Recommendation from those indicated on the Online Application.

Step 3: Official College or University Transcripts

Have questions or want to know more? Please email stpjobs@fiu.edu.

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Congratulations to Noelle Warfford ’19

The psychology department would like to congratulate Noelle Warfford ’19 on her acceptance to The University of Toldeo’s Clinical Psychology PhD program!

Recently I received an offer of admission to The University of Toledo’s Clinical Psychology PhD program to work with Dr. Joni Mihura. Since this had been my top choice school, I happily accepted. I’ll start this fall, and I’ll be doing research on developing a short form of the Rorschach-Performance Assessment System to assess for thought disorder in first-episode psychosis.                                         

                                                                   – Noelle Warfford ’19

University of Toledo

We are incredibly proud of Noelle and will be cheering her on from the fifth floor of Life Science. 🙂

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Beth Macy at Roanoke, 2019

Beth Macy, Fintel Library on 5 February 2019 (c) Brittney Rowe

On Tuesday, February 5th in Fintel Library as part of Psi Chi’s Q&A, Beth Macy, author of Dopesick, spent some time answering questions and talking with students and faculty.

Snacks and drinks were provided.

The video encapsulates the event, but read on to learn more from Dr. Angela Allen’s perspective.

Beth Macy Visit – Slideshow!

Dr. Allen discusses the event below:

Beth Macy, the author of the 2018 nonfiction book Dopesick, visited the Roanoke College community for several days in early February. Dopesick is a compelling read about the impact of opioid addiction in several communities and the struggle of those who try, often repeatedly, to cease use. Much has been written about addiction, but this book really brought home the human impact and reminded the reader that the addicts are sons, daughters, parents, siblings who are loved and valued. The book also illustrated how frustrating the treatment process is for the users and their families, especially given that medication-assisted treatment has demonstrably the best outcome but yet meets with a great deal of opposition from many quarters. As a mom myself, I really felt for the parents of users who loved their children and wanted to help them, yet often found themselves overwhelmed and feeling helpless in the process.

Beth Macy talking with group about the opioid crisis, Fintel Library, 5 February 2019 (c) Brittney Rowe

Beth met informally with a group of our psychology students on February 5. She presented a heartfelt account of the opioid crises and how it has impacted the lives of so many Americans. She spoke about the fact that opioid addiction is something that can and does happen to people from every background, illustrating this point with stories of a young local woman from a well-off family who became addicted after taking opioids medicinally and ultimately met a tragic end. She spoke passionately about how misconceptions of addiction and of medication as treatment for addiction are limiting the options for people who are addicted, and that it is often literally a life or death situation. Students asked her what they could do to help, and she talked about being politically involved, educating people about medication as a treatment for addiction, and even learning how to carry and use the opioid antagonist Narcan. My own students later commented that they had not realized how difficult treatment can be to access and that drug courts and needle exchanges could have real benefits to users as well as the communities around them. While reading about these addiction and treatment is very informative, it was a great experience to hear directly from Beth and to be able to ask questions. It would be fantastic if the community can use the information from this experience to improve the lots of users and their families.

Beth Macy and a student, Fintel Library on the 5 February, 2019 (c) Brittney Rowe

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Studying in Perugia, Italy: Hayley Mulford ’20

To start off, can you tell me a little about you?

I am a junior and psychology major. I am in Chi Omega and do research with Dr. Osterman. I volunteer with Best Buddies and the Salem Food Pantry.

Where did you study abroad? Why did you choose to study there and what was it like? Was it different from what you were expecting?

I went to Perugia, Italy. I chose this place to study Amanda Knox but it didn’t end up happening. It was a smaller city, so I was very immersed in the culture. The people were super friendly. The Umbra Institute gave a much heavier work load [than I was expecting], but it kept me prepared for returning to Roanoke.

What were some of your favorite moments while abroad?

Being able to travel all around Italy and see every part. When you travel to different parts of Italy it is almost like you entered a different country. I also loved visiting Amsterdam.

What were you most worried about in terms of studying abroad?

Being able to go all the places I wanted while still handling the work load.

Did anything happen that you weren’t expecting? Were there any moments that particularly struck you while abroad? Tell me about them.

The public transport could be a little iffy, so sometimes a bus or train would be missed. The difference in culture struck me because Italians are much more laid back and collectivist than America.

What did you learn while abroad? This is not limited to just coursework (though certainly talk about the types of courses you were able to take) but also about the culture or cultures you interacted with and, cheesy as it is, yourself as well.

I learned a lot about organizational behavior psychology, which I never thought I would. I learned I like laid back culture, but it is annoying when I am in a rush and no one else is.

The courses I took were: Criminal Behavior, Human Development in Culture, Organizational Behavior, Italian Immigration, and Italian.

What do you miss the most?

The food and the welcoming people I saw all the time. Just the atmosphere in general.

Tell me about your plans for the future. How will you apply what you learned while abroad to help you?

I think I can use the way that I adapt to any culture extremely well as a tool for applying to different jobs and higher education. I may even continue my higher education in another country.

Do you have any advice for other students interested in studying abroad?

You should do it and not make excuses for it.

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