All posts by barowe

How the Psychology Department Celebrated April Fools 2019

Dr. Camac and Ellen Dyer laughing at something Dr. Osterman said

Walking past the elevator, you might notice the new pictures for the faculty members, where their representations if they were South Park characters have been carefully designed by the Master of Photoshop, Dr. Lindsey Osterman.

Further in to the Psychology Department, you might notice the googly eyes staring back at you from Dr. Osterman’s door frame. If you walk inside her office, you will quickly realize that you are being stared at from multiple googly eyes, including those on her phone, lampshade, chairs, books and the different memes she has on her walls for decoration.

“They missed a few good opportunities. I’m kind of disappointed,” said Dr. Osterman as we examined her room a few weeks ago and found more and more googly eyes.

If you were part of Dr. Allen’s class, you were likely suddenly told that you had an exam without any previous mention and were given a link that took you directly to a certain music video titled “Never Gonna Get Over You.”

You were properly rickrolled.

This is how the Psychology Department celebrated April Fools Day 2019.

What will happen next year? No one knows, but that’s the fun of it.

Dr. Osterman confirmed that she is already planning her revenge.

Want to see what happened last year, including another tale of revenge that occurred after years of planning? Click here.

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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

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)

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!

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.

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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PSYC Internship Information Session

Interested in interning somewhere but not sure where to start? Come to the Psychology Internship Information Session on Tuesday, February 26th from 11:45 – 1:00 pm in Life Science 502 to learn more.

As always, pizza will be provided, but please bring your own drink.

If you are interested, please RSVP by Monday, February 25th at noon by either calling (540)375-2462 or emailing Mrs. Ellen Dyer at dyer@roanoke.edu. This is so that we know how much pizza to order.

Hope to see you there!

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Emily Townley in Perugia, Italy

Emily Townley ’20 in Switzerland

Emily Townley is one of the three psychology students who studied in Perugia, Italy last semester. During her study abroad experience, she was able to travel to Switzerland and Venice, engage Italian school children in English language learning through fun games during her class’s field trip, go paragliding, eat some truly delicious food, meet some incredible people, and all around have a fantastic experience abroad (except for that one trip to the hospital in the beginning). Read on to learn more about her experience abroad. Enjoy!

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

I am a Psychology major with an Art History minor. I’m in the Honors Program and part of Psi Chi. I’m originally from Richmond, Virginia.

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 Perugia, Italy. If the name sounds familiar to you, it might be because the Amanda Knox trial happened there. Luckily no drama like that occurred while I was there.

I never planned on studying abroad in Italy. In fact, I was looking more at Northern European countries like the Netherlands or Denmark since I had already been to Italy. However, when I saw that the Umbra Institute (the school I studied at) offered a multicultural psychology program, I began considering it more seriously. After looking up pictures of the gorgeous town, I decided that this was where I was meant to be.

Overall, Perugia met my expectations of being a charming, Italian hilltop town. If I had to pick a way that it was different from what I was expecting, it was much livelier than I expected it to be. When I had gone to Italy before, my favorite places were the smaller towns like Siena, rather than the hustle and bustle of cities like Rome. However, I did fear that Perugia would get to be too quiet and I would begin to get stir crazy. That never happened though! The hardest part of the small-town life was that if I ever wanted to fly somewhere, it was a three-hour train ride to the airport, but I got used to that.

What were some of your favorite moments while abroad?

One of my favorite moments while abroad was when my friends and I went to lunch in Cortona, Italy. Cortona was only an hour train ride away from Perugia, so it was a great opportunity to see some of Tuscany (also one of my friends loves the movie Under the Tuscan Sun which takes place there).

It was about 2:00 pm when we arrived which was a bit late for lunch in Italy and we were very hungry, so we just went to the first place that was still open. And what a place it was! When we first sat down, we were given fresh prosecco which immediately clued us in that this was no ordinary restaurant. After ordering, we were then brought fresh, warm bread rolls and then a small, artfully plated bowl of pea soup. Our entrees were then brought out and none of us could talk because we were just so amazed at how good the food was. Finally, we ordered dessert which was the grand finale of our fabulous meal. I ordered an apple pastry which was presented inside of a chocolate dome which then had melted chocolate poured on top of it to reveal the pasty in the shape of a rose. At this point, our friends and I were almost screaming in delight. The rest of our day we couldn’t stop talking about how surprising the meal was and how it was the best dining experience we had ever had.

Paragliding in Switzerland

Another one of my favorite moments happened during my solo trip to Switzerland. I had wanted to go see the Alps for a very long time but had tried to keep a realistic mindset that I might not make it out there while abroad. Flights were expensive and my schedule was already busy; I figured it was a lost cause. However, the planets aligned in the end, and though I had to go alone, I managed to find some train tickets that would take me to a town right in the heart of the Swiss Alps: Interlaken. While there were many magical moments that happened while I was there, like watching the sunset from the Harderkulm and paragliding, probably the most striking moment was when I was in the mountain top town, Mürren. It’s only accessible by cable car which made it feel like it was almost out of a fairy tale because of the lack of cars. It’s hard to describe exactly how it felt to be so high up in the mountains and to see the snow-capped summits of the Alps in person. In some ways, it was the most peaceful I’ve ever felt.

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

Honestly, I was very scared about not making friends. I went to camp for three weeks every summer when I was younger and never really connected with anyone despite going for five years. I was very nervous the same thing would happen again, except this time I would be stranded in a different country for four months with no one to hang out with. Luckily, those fears were unfounded! I formed some great friendships while I was abroad with some wonderful people that I hope I get to travel with again in the future.

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

There was certainly one thing that happened that I was not expecting. That would have to be my five-day stint in the hospital my first week there. I arrived on Friday and by Wednesday I found myself in an Italian ER with a stabbing pain in my side. That pain turned out to be a kidney stone! Once I was in the hospital and on pain medicine it wasn’t as scary anymore but [everything] leading up to that point was quite stressful. My mom was ready to drop a few thousand dollars to fly over to be with me (and thank God she didn’t). The care I received in the hospital was phenomenal and I was lucky enough to have another girl in my study abroad program there with me for some of the time so I wasn’t alone (she had a seizure on the bus ride from the airport :O).

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.

Something that makes the Umbra Institute different from some other study abroad programs was their emphasis on the “study” portion of the phrase. For many people, they would find this annoying, and I definitely did at times too when I just wanted to travel, but I couldn’t because I had an Italian exam or another field trip to Assisi. However, I’d say it was definitely beneficial in the end. It has made the transition back into Roanoke a little smoother because it’s not like I took a whole semester off.  Also, all the classes I took were really interesting and taught me a lot! I took two art history courses to go towards my minor and two psychology courses to go towards my major. While the art history courses were interesting in their own right, I’ll just talk about the psych courses considering this is a psychology blog post.

Left-to-right: friend, Dr. Kessenich, and Emily Townley

The two courses were Human Development in Culture and Criminal Behavior. They were both taught by a wonderful professor, Doris Kessenich, who was a joy to learn from given her experience in the fields she was teaching. Our class sizes were very small (maybe eight people) so they would be extremely discussion based, which normally would worry me, but I just felt so comfortable in her classes that I participated a lot. We even took a surprisingly fun field trip to an Italian middle school as part of the Human Development class where we got to help the kids with their English skills by playing games like Heads Up.

On a more personal level, I learned to be a lot more independent. Before studying abroad, I had concluded there was no way I would ever travel by myself. My friend, Becca, had studied abroad the semester before in Spain and had sworn by traveling by herself, but the prospect scared me. I was worried I would get lost or miss a connecting train or flight or a multitude of other world ending catastrophes. But, when push came to shove, my desire to travel to Switzerland outweighed any of my previous fears. And when everything went smoothly in Switzerland, I found myself doing it again to go to Venice on my own. While there were definitely some aspects of traveling alone that annoyed me (mainly not having anyone to take pictures of me at sites so having to rely on strangers/selfie sticks/self-timers), there were also some huge upsides! I got to make my own schedule, got to decide exactly what I wanted to do and when I wanted to do it, and I was able to make more spontaneous decisions that I could never make when traveling with other people.

What do you miss the most?

The ease of travel is definitely something I miss a lot. Things are a lot cheaper in Europe, more efficient, and closer together. For just $50 and about five hours of your time, you could find yourself in a completely different country and culture. Back home, you could drive for five hours and still be in Virginia.

I also miss the friends I made abroad. Luckily, my program was for American students, so all my friends live in the U.S., but we’re still pretty far out. Just in my friend group there was someone from California and another from Minnesota, so it will be hard to see them in person in the future. Thank God for technology though!

One last thing I definitely miss is this pasta I would get all the time in Perugia. It was called Pasta alla Norcina and I always got it at this one restaurant called Ferrari. While there were many other delicious foods I had while abroad, this will definitely be what I miss the most, especially because it was a specialty to the area.

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

In my Human Culture in Development class we learned about the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. My final paper for the class, I wrote about how I believed I developed along this model. By the end of my study abroad experience I believe I had reached the Adaption stage, which is when one is able to behave and think in ways that are in line with the new culture. In other words, I think I learned how to be more culturally sensitive and how to adapt better when in other cultures. In the future I hope to find my opportunities to travel and I hope that I can be able to adapt more easily to new cultures because of my time abroad.

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

Don’t be afraid to travel on your own. Making friends isn’t as scary as you think because everyone is nervous about making friends, just be yourself and you’ll find your crew. It might depend on the program, but remember it is called study abroad so be prepared to actually do some schoolwork. Savor every moment, it goes by faster than you think.

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Congratulations to Aislinn Foutz: Honors Defense

Congratulations to Aislinn Foutz ’19 for her successful Honors in the Major and Honors Distinction Project defense last semester! Her project was titled “Parental and Peer Factors in Children’s Theory of Mind Development” and Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand was her advisor. Foutz is now working towards building off of this work and applying to graduate programs to continue studying Theory of Mind. She also has a presentation under review to present this work at the Society for Research on Child Development in the Spring.

Aislinn Foutz describes her project and how she felt about defending it below:

For my Honors in the Major/Distinction Project, I collected parent-reports of children’s theory of mind and various other parental and peer/social variables and found a number of significant associations. For instance, theory of mind was positively associated with variables such as parental willingness to serve as an attachment figure, closeness in parent-child relationships, mind-mindedness, and pro-social behavior, whereas theory of mind was negatively associated with conflict in parent-child relationships and various peer difficulties (e.g., peer problems). Follow-up analyses revealed child age, closeness, and mind-mindedness seem to be especially important to children’s theory of mind development, and that, although these associations were significant throughout early, middle, and late childhood, the closeness-theory of mind relationship was strongest in early childhood. I am aiming to extend this research in several ways, primarily by examining how various sub-types of theory of mind (e.g., belief and desire) may relate differently to these parental and peer factors.

Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand was my research mentor for this project and working with her was a great experience. Whenever I needed help, she was always readily available. She also helped me sharpen my research skills while challenging me to learn new ones.

Although I was nervous for my defense, I was also excited for the opportunity to share my research. Successfully defending my distinction/honors in the major project was a rewarding experience, and now I’m looking forward to continuing to extend this research.

Congratulations again to Aislinn Foutz ’19! Thank you for taking time to answer our questions! We look forward to seeing what you will accomplish in the future.

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A Longer Look: Alina Marino ’20 in Perugia, Italy

As a follow-up to the previous article “A Quick Look: Alina Marino in Perugia, Italy” , Marino ’20 expands on her experiences studying in Italy in the fall of 2018. In addition to describing some of her favorite experiences, she also provides advice for those looking to study abroad in the future. In particular, Marino discusses the importance of finding a country that most closely aligns with your personality, lifestyle, and habits; she also discusses her experiences with culture shock.  

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

I am a junior with a double major in psychology and criminal justice. I am from Long Island, NY. I am a member of Psi Chi, Alpha Phi Sigma, and Xi Theta Chi. I am also a sister of Alpha Sigma Alpha.

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 Perugia, Italy. I chose the country of Italy for my studies because I had previously taken Italian for six years and wanted to be able to improve my speaking skills. I specifically chose Perugia because out of the places in Italy to study abroad that Roanoke works with, the Umbra Institute (in Perugia) had the best options for psychology classes.

Italy is a beautiful country. It is one of those places you can feel how old everything is. The culture and way of life there is extremely laid-back. It was a little different than I expected, since I did not realize how regional everything is. For example, in Umbria (the region I was in), you can basically only find traditional Umbrian food. Pride in your specific region is a huge part of Italian culture.

What were some of your favorite moments while abroad?

As someone with a deep appreciation for food and cooking, most of my favorite memories revolve around food. My favorite memory is when my best friend Hayley and I took a weekend trip to Bologna. Bologna is known in Italy as one of the best places to eat, so I was very excited. Compared to other cities in Italy, like Rome or Venice,

Bologna is less of a tourist destination. It was less crowded than some of the other places I visited so I felt like I was really able to get more of a “true” Italian experience. We spent the weekend eating regional food, drinking the local wine, and exploring the city.

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

I was mainly worried about how much I would miss my friends and family.

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

I did not expect to have culture shock as bad as I did. I had looked into Italian culture, but it still did not prepare me as much as I would have liked. Before going away, I didn’t really think culture shock was that big of a deal, but it is. I am a very type “A” person and that does not really work in a place where you live life day-to-day and carefree.

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.

While abroad, I took three psychology courses; organizational behavior, human development in culture, and criminal behavior. My OB class was taught by an American that had been living in Italy for over ten years. It was interesting to see his perception of OB from a multicultural lens. My other two courses were taught by a German that had been living in Italy for over twenty-five years. Her view of development in culture was intriguing because she had multiple cultural backgrounds that were blended into one.

The biggest thing I learned about myself is that I will not step out of my comfort zone if I do not need to. I already had somewhat of an idea that I was like this but being in a completely new country helped to reinforce this.

What do you miss the most?

The food! Hands down.

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

My plans for the future are to go to graduate school for forensic psychology. Studying abroad did not change or impact this decision. However, studying abroad did solidify that I will be living in America. Being in Italy made me realize how grateful I am to live in America.

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

My advice to students studying abroad is to know yourself – look into various countries and see what you think would work best with your personality. Don’t just study abroad in a place because everyone says it is beautiful (that’s where you go vacation!!). By picking a country that values the same things you do, I think it would help alleviate some of the culture shock you may experience. Do not feel guilty that you aren’t having the “most amazing time” like everyone claims to have. Everyone is different and your feelings about the experience – good, bad, somewhere in between – are still valid and acceptable.

Something I personally did when I was feeling down is remind myself of the amazing opportunity I had. Living in a different country is something not a lot of people can say they have done. Even if in the moment you are miserable, you will be able to look back fondly on your time and how much you have grown as an individual.

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Research Poster Session Fall 2018

Last semester, psychology students gathered on the first floor of Fintel Library to present their research findings as well as to discuss their internship experiences from that semester.

The first floor was packed with students and professors milling around, listening to students’ presentations during the open block.

Student Lauren Furlow reported that all sixteen boxes of pizza disappeared within eleven minutes of the event’s start.

Mrs. Ellen Dyer, secretary of the Biology and Psychology Departments, confirmed this report.

Overall, the Fall 2018 Psychology Research Poster Session was a great success! Thank you to everyone who presented or came to listen. We look forward to seeing what interesting projects will be presented in the semesters to come!

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A Quick Look: Alina Marino in Perugia, Italy

Student Alina Marino, a Psychology and Criminal Justice major, briefly discusses the highlights of her experiences studying abroad in Perugia, Italy below. 

Image result for perugia italy

Name: Alina Marino

Where I studied: Perugia, Italy

Courses: Human Development in Culture, Organizational Behavior, Criminal Behavior [to name a few].

Favorite memory: My best friend and I studied abroad together so there are a lot of memories to choose from! However, I would have to say the best time I had is when we took a girls trip to Bologna, Italy. We spent the weekend tasting the local delicacies and touring the beautiful city.Related image

Application: One of my professors abroad is a Forensic Psychologist, which is the field I would like to get into. She was able to tell me personally some of the daily tasks forensic psychologists do which was helpful to me.

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Thank you to Alina for giving us a brief look into your experience abroad! It sounds like you had an incredible time in Italy. 

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Congratulations to Kiah Coflin and Dr. Powell!

Last month, Kiah Coflin and Dr. Powell were awarded funding for Coflin’s HIM project, “Factors impacting emerging adults’ bid responses in romantic relationships,” from Psi Chi, the International Psychology Honors Society. They were selected as recipients for one of the 2018-2019 Fall Undergraduate Research Grants.

Generally, funding is only provided to the student. However, because Coflin’s proposal scored within the top 11 applications, Dr. Powell was also awarded a faculty stipend.

Kiah Coflin describes her project below and how she felt upon learning she had gotten the research grant:

For my project, I am conducting a survey on Emerging Adults (ages 18-25) on their romantic relationships/dating trends. We will be looking to see how the individuals chose to react and communicate in a series of vignettes that I have created in a set up similar to the ‘Choose your own Adventure’ books we read as children. With this, I’m hoping to gain a better understanding of the reasons and process behind why individuals choose to break up with their significant other.

Upon receiving the email from Psi Chi, I was incredibly appreciative of their interest in my project and their kind words. It was a wonderful email to receive in the midst of finals week, and makes me feel even more driven than I previously was to go through with this project. Of course, I have always been interested in this HIM proposal, but I was glad to find out others believed it was equally as interesting and notable among all of the other grant applications they received.

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A Reunion in Copenhagen: Interview with Kaitlin Busse ’18

Our student assistant was recently able to catch up with recent graduate Kaitlin Busse about life after graduation and her favorite memories from Roanoke College! A Fulbright recipient, Busse is currently studying Industrial and Organizational Psychology in Denmark. 

Thank you so much for answering my questions! We’ll start with the basics first. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

I graduated back in May of 2018, which is so hard to believe that it was six months ago! During my time at Roanoke, I majored in Psychology, minored in Sociology, and concentrated in Human Resource Management. I was the President of Psi Chi, Vice President of Chi Omega, and a member of the Honors Program. I also worked on campus as a Maroon Ambassador, a Psychology Student Assistant, and as a research assistant for the HR Department. I really liked research and was  extremely involved with projects in the Psychology Department, where I was part of Dr. Powell’s lab.

Over the course of my college career, I had three internships that have given me experience in learning and development, talent management, and counseling. One of my favorite experiences that Roanoke College provided me with was the opportunity to study abroad. I completed my May Term in Sri Lanka studying the landscape and culture and also spent a semester in the Netherlands.

Can you tell me more about where you interned?

My first internship was at a local outpatient counseling facility back home in NJ. During my time, I learned about what is was like to work as a counselor and gained some insight into how counseling sessions were run. While I enjoyed the internship, I found that after the experience my interests shifted more towards the organizational issues in the workplace. It was then I decided to take an Organizational Behavior class at Roanoke and completely fell in love with it!

That summer, I interned as a Talent Management intern at Digitas, an advertising agency in NYC. I gained so much experience there, which also reaffirmed [my interest in] the field of I/O. My favorite projects were analyzing company turnover rates and developing a national survey for interns and managers regarding job satisfaction and progress.

The next summer I interned at Wyndham Worldwide as a Learning and Development intern in their corporate office. While I was there, my favorite project involved researching ways that employees could develop the core values of the organization, which then led to the creation of a professional development website.

In both my internship programs, I participated in group case study projects where we worked together to create a strategy to solve a problem in the organization. This is where I became interested in a possible career as an organizational consultant.

What was your May Term and study abroad like?

During my May Term, I studied the landscape and culture in Sri Lanka. During the three weeks that we were there, we traveled all over the country, which was nice because we gained a well-rounded understanding of the culture. We visited different sites of worship where we gained an understanding the religious diversity of the country. We had the opportunity to interacts with the locals. My most memorable experience was volunteering at a school for a day where we taught English, did arts and crafts, and played sports with the kids. It was really interesting to visit the tea plantations and learn about its significance to the economy. My favorite part of the trip was learning about the wildlife, where we had the opportunity to go to safaris and a baby elephant orphanage!

I studied abroad in Tilburg, Netherlands in the fall semester of 2016. I chose the Netherlands because I wanted to study in a country that was known for their high quality of life and good working conditions. Tilburg University was the perfect school where I could take classes in the field of organizational studies through a psychological, sociological, and HR background (which combined all of my majors, minors, and concentrations)! I got to take a qualitative research class, an HRM class, and a class about the importance of building relationships within the workplace.

[…] I spent my weekends traveling throughout different European countries. Traveling to different places in Europe was so cheap and I got to experience so much history, culture, and beautiful architecture and landscapes.

During my time at Tilburg, the most meaningful memories I made were with the people I met. I was active in the international club, where I got the opportunity to interact with both Dutch people as well as different exchange students from all over the world. I lived in an international dorm where I also had the opportunity to learn about different cultures and build strong friendships with my roommates, who I still keep in touch with! (Fun fact: two of my friends that I studied abroad with actually live in Copenhagen and are students at CBS)!

What was graduating like? (Stepping on seal, the ceremony, etc.)

Graduation was such a special experience. Everyone was smiling and cheering each other on as they walked across the stage and got their diplomas. My whole family had driven all the way from New Jersey and Florida to share this moment with me which was so meaningful to me. At the end of the ceremony, it was a really special moment to walk past all of my professors who had supported me along this journey. Stepping on the  seal was definitely felt a little strange as I made sure I stayed away from it all four years.

What are you doing now after graduating?

After graduation, I took the summer off from working to do some traveling both within the States and internationally. Whenever I have free time, I love to explore new places and experience different parts of the world. It’s funny because I actually spent more time traveling than I did at home this summer. I traveled around the US with my best friend, who was also a recent graduate of RC! We went to Charleston, South Carolina, went all over California (San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Los Angeles), and Kennebunkport, Maine. It was funny because I live in NJ and my friend lived in Maine, and since we weren’t ready to say goodbye to each other just yet, we would book trips every few weeks so we could see each other fairly often! I got to visit family in Cocoa Beach, FL, where I have gone every single year since I was born. I also got to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a couple weeks to visit my boyfriend and quite a few of the friends that I studied abroad with.

I am now in Copenhagen, Denmark as I was awarded a Fulbright to studying and research at Copenhagen Business School for one year. It has truly been such amazing experience. I take classes within organizational studies and am researching workplace-related issues such as Nordic gender equality and sexual harassment in the workforce. During my time here, I have also started volunteering with an organization that focuses on students’ professional and personal development. I usually spend my weekends exploring new places throughout the city and country with friends. Although Denmark is such a small country, there is so many beautiful things to see and things to do. I’ve also taken up yoga in Denmark, which has been really cool to get into, especially in Denmark!

Where have you traveled to in Denmark?  

Since I’ve been in Copenhagen, I’ve been able to do some travelingboth domestically and internationally. The first few weeks I got here, I spent my time around the Copenhagen area getting to know the city a little better. My favorite things in Copenhagen are walking along the pretty painted houses of the Nyhavn, sitting on the dock at the beach in Amager Strand, exploring the different parks with all the fall foliage, and going to Tivoli at different times of the year (so far, I’ve got to experience the decorations for Summer, Halloween, Christmas). Outside of Copenhagen, I’ve done a road trip to Mons Klint, which are the cliffs in Denmark, which are absolutely stunning. I’ve also been to Odense to visit another Fulbrighter, which is an old town and also home to the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson, one of Denmark’s most popular authors (he wrote the Little Mermaid). Outside of Denmark, I’ve been to Oslo, Norway which was another beautiful Scandinavian city. I also had some time to explore Malmö, Sweden, which is a 30 minute train ride from Denmark (you can actually see from Copenhagen)! My favorite trip I’ve been on so far is to Switzerland to visit one of the friends I lived with when I studied abroad in the Netherlands. She is now an intern for the United Nations in Geneva and it was so nice to catch up with her, explore the city, and meet some of her friends. Switzerland is absolutely gorgeous with the mountains and the lakes!

What drew you to Denmark? Now that you have been there for a few months, what is living there like?

Living in Copenhagen is pretty awesome! The Danes are extremely kind and are also very chill. It is such a lovely place to live […]. There’s this concept in Danish called “hygge” which is really hard to describe, but it translates directly to cozy. It’s sort of this warm, cozy feeling of being relaxed and surrounded by people you care about and often involves food and drink. I think this is my favorite part about Denmark! Everyone rides their bikes pretty much everywhere, so it has been fun getting to know the city on bike. I live in international housing where I have my own room and share a kitchen with nine of master’s students from all over the world. It has been great to get to know everyone and learn about their cultures! Work-life balance is really emphasized in Denmark as well, which has been nice with balancing class, research, friends, volunteering, and leisure activities.

Copenhagen is a foodie city, so I have definitely made an effort to try lots of cool places to eat (Copenhagen street food and food markets are incredible)! The only downfall to Copenhagen is that it rains more than it does back in the States!

That sound amazing! What kind of food do they have there? 

Danish food is […] quite good! Rye bread is big here and so is seafood like small shrimp and salmon. Pork is also very popular (fun fact: there are more pigs than people in Denmark).

Although the Danes eat similar food that we do on a day-to-day basis, I’ve had the opportunity to try some of the more traditional dishes. Smørrebrød is probably my favorite dish. It’s a beautiful open face sandwich with all different kinds of meats, vegetables, and topping on it. Danish pastries are also SO GOOD! I’ve also tried roasted pork with crackling which has also been quite tasty as well! My favorite are the Danish version of cinnamon buns, which are incredible! While we have hot dogs in the US, the Danish hot dogs have a ton of topping on them like onions, pickles, and a bunch of different sauces. Aside from food, beer is also huge in Denmark and they have tons of local beers. Tuborg and Carlsberg are the two most popular and a couple of weeks ago, the beer companies released their Christmas beers which was an (un)official holiday in Denmark!

What do you miss about Roanoke College? What is your favorite thing about having graduated?

I love life after graduation, [though] I do miss Roanoke! I miss seeing my friends and professors every single day the most! I also miss how beautiful campus is and sitting outside of Commons on a nice day…

My favorite thing about having graduated is the newness of everything. In the past six months, I’ve moved to a completely new country and had the chance to experience many different things.While I still spend most of my day in a university setting, I am a part-time student so there is a bit less of a work-load in the evenings. With that being said, I have more free time to do things that interest me like spending time friends, reading leisurely, and enjoying different events in the city.

I saw that two of your friends came to visit you recently in Copenhagen and you took over RC Snapchat while they were there! That sounds like a lot of fun. Can you tell me more about it? What did you guys do?

It was so nice to have two of my friends visit me during their Fall Break at RC. It was so nice to catch up and show them around Copenhagen! We had a great time getting to explore the different parts of the city and trying good places to eat! My favorite place that we went to was Tivoli Gardens, which is a cute little amusement park in the middle of the city. Since it was October, the whole park was covered in Halloween decor which was so pretty! My Danish friend also came along and it was really nice for my two friends to meet some of my friends here in Copenhagen as well! I’m really grateful to have made such amazing friends at RC and miss them already!

What plans do you have for the future?

After I return back to the States from Denmark, I plan go to graduate school and get a degree in industrial/organizational psychology. I would like to work as an organizational consultant and focus on improving the work life of employees.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

I’ve been extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I had at Roanoke College, especially within the Psychology Department. I would not be who I am without the support and guidance from my professors and advisors. To current students reading this, take advantage of the opportunities that come your way… you never know what they will lead to!

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RC Psychology Professors on the Radio

During The Academic Minute’s Roanoke College week in December, professors from different departments including psychology, biology, and chemistry were asked to record short segments describing their recent research findings and an ‘I didn’t know that’ fact.

Drs. Osterman and Powell represented the Psychology Department.

Dr. Lindsey Osterman spoke about the perception of actors following the wake of the #MeToo movement, where the sexual misconduct scandals surrounding several prominent celebrities in recent years resulted heated public debates. In the segment below, Osterman discusses the research study she and her co-author (Theresa Hecmanczuk, Roanoke College senior) performed in determining the answer to the question: ‘after a scandal, who forgives a previously beloved media figure and who turns on them?’ Listen below to learn more.

Dr. Darcey Powell described how prenatal expectations differ from postnatal experiences and postnatal desires regarding the division of labor, and how they impact women’s adaptation to motherhood. In addition, Powell explained how important it is for parents with a young infant to find the time to discuss their desires regarding sharing the duty of caring for their little one. To learn more, listen below.

To listen to all of the segments, click here to see Roanoke College News’ post, published in December.

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Summer Counselor Opportunity at Florida International University Center for Children and Families

Learn about a paid summer opportunity below, as described by the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University with edits by a RC student assistant for readability:

The Center for Children and Families at Florida International University announces Summer Treatment Program Counselor positions for 2019. 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. Counselors will work in the STP-PreK, for children in preschool or entering Kindergarten, or the STP-E, for children ages 6-12 in elementary school.

The dates of employment for the Counselor position are Monday, June 3, 2019 through Saturday, August 10, 2019. Counselor hours of employment are 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday, and on Saturday, August 10. In addition, Counselors continue to work with the children until 8:30 PM one evening each week while parents participate in weekly parent training groups.

Counselors are paid a salary of $4,000 for the summer. In addition, current students may be able to arrange for academic course credit through their university departments.

Desired qualifications for Counselors include: undergraduate-level study in Psychology, Education, Behavior Analysis, Social Work, or related field; experience working with children or adolescents in settings such as summer camps, after-school programs, sports programs, daycare programs, and educational programs; and experience with activities such as organized sports activities, art, music, dance, theater, journalism, photography, and videography.

Additionally, participation in the STP requires staff members to ensure the safety, well-being and treatment of children and adolescents with mental health, learning, attention and behavior problems. Staff must be able to visually scan the environment, effectively attend to and hear verbal exchanges between children, provide neutral, corrective feedback on children’s misbehavior (which can include aggression), provide a consistent, warm, positive climate for children, and actively engage in sports and physical activity. Applicants must be able to meet the above requirements of the position.

Applications for STP positions will be accepted beginning in October, 2018. Applicants are required to complete an online application form and to submit 3 letters of recommendation and an official transcript.  There is no cutoff date for applying. Applications received after all positions have been filled will be placed on a waiting list. Positions are competitive so interested individuals should apply as soon as possible.

Interested in applying? Continue reading for a more in-depth description of the offered programs. You can also follow this link to visit their official website to learn more about their programs and apply!

Continue reading Summer Counselor Opportunity at Florida International University Center for Children and Families

Are Our Beloved Smartphones Actually Making Us Miserable?

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This is the final blog post created by students in Dr. Carter’s Fall 2018 Social Psychology course. It was written by Jackie Hernandez, Shannon Snyder, Autumn Kempf, and Saul Pineda-Torres.

“Hey, wyd rn?”

“Omw to see the bf IRL!! I’ll keep you updated!”

Have you ever been in this situation? Out to dinner but still trying to keep up with all your friends? Have you ever stopped to think your phone is getting in the way of hanging out with people “irl” (that’s “in real life” for those who aren’t up to date with the texting lingo)?  Ryan J. Dwyer, Kostadin Kushlev, and Elizabeth W. Dunn set out to examine how the ubiquitous smartphone impacts social encounters [in their study]. Does phone usage reduce or add to the enjoyment of your interactions? 

There have been plenty of studies showing the negative impact of phone use in situations like driving and learning, but until now, no studies have actually manipulated smartphone usage in social interactions. Past studies have proven that smartphones cause people to be distracted which, theoretically, could mean the use of smartphones decreases enjoyability in social experiences. 

The experimenters invited groups of 3 to 5 friends or family members to a local restaurant to participate in a study about “dining out experiences.” The groups were then randomly assigned to be either “phone” or “phoneless” groups. They were implicitly manipulated by being asked, after placing their order, to either answer a text survey (phone group) or a paper survey (phoneless group). The participants in phoneless groups were asked to put their phones on silent in a container on the table. Both groups obviously had the option to use their phone since no one was told they couldn’t. The significant difference was that the participants in the phone groups were explicitly asked to use their phone early on to respond to the survey. 

The participants were deceived about the true nature of the experiment to ensure the most naturalistic results possible. When the meal was finished, participants were then questioned via iPad (for privacy) about social connectedness, interest, enjoyment, distraction, and boredom. The researchers also measured how much the participants actually used their phones. The whole meal was recorded, so the researchers could break down total phone usage into percentages. Participants in the phone groups used their phones for an average of 11% of the meal, while participants in the phoneless groups used their phones for an average of only 1% of the meal. So, while the phoneless group wasn’t completely phoneless, these participants used their phones significantly less than that in the phone group. Participants in the phone group reported being more distracted, having less interest and enjoyment, and being more bored than the participants in the phoneless group. This data allows the researchers to conclude that distraction caused by phone use does hinder enjoyment. In other words, using phones while eating out with friends could ruin our chances of fun.

The results indicated that participants under the phone condition were more distracted and in response reported lower interest and enjoyment levels, and higher levels of boredom. Since whether phone use led to distractions or distractions led to phone use cannot be proven through the first study, the researchers set up Study 2. Study 2 was an extensive survey asking people about situations other than just eating out with friends or family, which allowed more general conclusions to be drawn. People reported that using phones overall cause distractions which lead to less interest in their daily interactions. 

The irony of this research is that we think our phones keep us linked to the world, when actually phone usage undermines the social connectedness we feel when spending time with other people. The experiment was relatively small and further research should be done, but it does seem to indicate that this amazing piece of technology lessens the enjoyment we get out of spending time with friends and family. The researchers did fail to examine whether the personality or mood of the participants could have played a role in the results. In the future, researchers should ask the participants before the meal if they are looking forward to it. If they are not, they are likely to be more bored and could possibly resort to their phones to fill in the entertainment gap. 

To summarize the relevance of this experiment, enjoy your life! Put your phones away and soak up the face-to-face conversations with those you love. Because we are so used to communicating through technology, we have to distinguish when we are doing something “irl”. Social media can wait; work can wait. Put away the technology and engage in the world around you. You’ll enjoy it more—trust us, the research says so!

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A Blog Post by Samantha Luby, Grace Page, Vanessa Pearson, and Amy Smith

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The fourth post from Dr. Carter’s Fall 2018 Social Psychology course, this post was written by Samantha Luby, Grace Page, Vanessa Pearson, and Amy Smith. ___________________________________________________________________________

When talking about stereotypes and placing someone in a specific group, we do not tend to think about gender differences in children when it comes to performance in different school subjects. We do not necessarily think that gender may affect final scores, specifically in reading, but it does. In this experiment, the authors set out to find data that shows there is implicit reasoning for why girls outperform boys in reading. Overall, the authors are focused on the stereotype that girls perform better in reading than boys and how that affects the boys reading scores.

Within this experiment, students were chosen from four classes among a group of public schools. The kids took a reading test designed to measure their recognition and comprehension of written words in a normal classroom setting. Experimental conditions were implemented in the classrooms, and all of the students were assigned to either the stereotype threat (ST) condition or the reduced-threat condition. In the ST condition, the experimenter, posing as a reading teacher, told the students that their task was to take a reading test that was designed to evaluate their “ability in reading”. In the reduced-threat condition, the experimenter, posing as a game designer, told them that their task was to play a game in which they had to underline as many animal names they could from a list in three minutes. After the test, the kids had to answer questions about the test, as well as how important reading was to them.

The ultimate findings of this experiment showed that stereotype does, in fact, play a part in boys’ reading performance in school. When looking at the results from the stereotype threat condition, girls performed much higher than boys in reading due to the boys’ perceptions of the stereotype that they tend to do more poorly. Under the reduced-threat condition, however, there was no strong evidence that boys and girls performed differently in the reading assessments. This demonstrates that within a traditional setting, boys are strongly affected by the reading gender stereotype, particularly when in a stereotype threat condition, such as taking a reading assessment. The presence of this stereotype therefore does produce poorer reading results in boys.

Although some may argue that the boys’ underperformance on reading tasks are due to the lack of motivation, the findings of this study suggest otherwise. Highly motivated boys still underperformed in reading in the threat condition. This led the researchers to believe this reading difference between genders is because boys are fearful of confirming the stereotype regarding their gender group and reading. These perceptions the boys had because of the stereotype influenced their psychological processing, ultimately affecting how they performed on the reading task. In the threat condition, simply being aware of the stereotype resulted in poorer performance. On the other hand, in the non-threat condition, the boys were not thinking about the stereotype, allowing them to perform better on reading tasks.

The main issues present within this experiment are components the researchers failed to consider when making general statements about the effects of stereotype threat in children’s reading performances. For example, the researchers claim that from this experiment, it is evident that stereotype threat largely affects learning and performance in most, if not all, classrooms. This is problematic because they are basing this assumption off their study examining only four different classes, all of which were third grade classrooms from three different public schools in France. Before they make blanket statements such as this, the researchers need to consider who their experiment truly applies to and who it does not. The results of the experiment could vary based on: public versus private schooling, the language children are reading, the country/location the schools are in, the grade level that is being tested, and the number of classrooms that are tested.

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Citation: Pansu, P., Regner, I., Max, S., Cole, P., Nezlek, J. B., & Huguet, P. (2016). A burden for the boys: Evidence of stereotype threat in boys’ reading performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 65 (26).

The Gift That Gives Back: How Being Kind Makes You Happier

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The third blog post from Dr. Carter’s Fall 2018 Social Psychology class is titled The Gift That Gives Back: How Being Kind Makes You Happier and was written by Kira Hunt, Yuri Chikada, Holly Garrett, and Jacob Plaster. Enjoy!

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Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Even the smallest acts of kindness (e.g. holding the door open for someone) don’t go unnoticed by the receiver of the action. It is also a reason that those who ask for help say that even the smallest bit helps. However, those it helps doesn’t just stop at the receiver of the act. One might even say that it makes people feel good to do good, specifically when performing acts that help either a family member, friend, or even a stranger.

Recent studies have examined the causal relationship between acts of kindness and well-being or happiness. In a systematic review and meta-analysis titled “Happy to help?” social psychology researchers Oliver Scott Curry, Lee A. Rowland, Caspar J. Van Lissa, Sally Zlotowitzd, John McAlaney, and Harvey Whitehouse analyzed twenty-seven experimental studies that tested the hypothesis that kindness causes wellbeing.

Common methods of the studies included asking participants to perform either a set number of acts of kindness or spend a given amount of money on others. For example, in one study, participants were asked in the following week to perform at least five acts of kindness per day and report not only the act but the responses of the recipient. They were then asked to self-report measures like happiness on scales. Some studies had control participants do nothing, others had the participants act kindly in a non-social activity, while some participants were asked to help themselves. For example, for prosocial purchases (i.e. spending money on others), the control was spending money on themselves.

The researchers found evidence proving their hypothesis of acts of kindness improving the wellbeing of the actor (i.e. the person performing the act of kindness). Humans are social beings, and it means that we have psychological mechanisms that motivate us to help others. These motivations include biological and sociological benefits.

Kindness towards genetic relatives is favored by natural selection as seen by parental care. Kindness towards members of the same group allows us to form and maintain groups which enhance belonging. Kindness is also seen to potentially improve individual status as it can impress others and potentially attract mates. We also see kindness towards people we may see again as being beneficial to cooperation and the rules of reciprocity.

We tend to see people who need help as some reflection of ourselves and it makes it difficult to ignore those people who need help. For example, if you dropped your papers in the middle of the road and those papers spread out, you need some help to collect them all. When we see others in similar situations, we visualize ourselves in that position and potentially the same feelings as those in the situation. After helping those people, we get satisfaction from doing so.

This satisfaction otherwise known as happiness is a psychological reward that proves that a problem was solved successfully. If someone acted in a kind way, they can get a good reaction from the person who needed help because the person who needed help had their problem solved. The person who helped made the situation better. It can improve their self-esteem. After that, they can understand how they should help in those situations.

There are some limitations of this research, however. Most of the studies had very small samples and many used non-clinical samples. Due to this, it’s not possible to say that those with specific mental problems are affected in the same way by performing acts of kindness. Several of the studies did not account for the motivation behind the acts, so motivation could possibly be another variable that leads to the results. It is possible that intention to help oneself rather than others could eliminate the effects of improved well-being. The studies also didn’t account for the variety of recipients (e.g. family members, strangers, friends, etc.) nor did they investigate any long-lasting effects. Most studies only investigated immediate effects. In align with the motivations previously mentioned, it is possible that certain people had improved wellbeing giving to the groups they belonged to, rather than groups they didn’t. Also, it is possible that this happiness is only a short-term effect and is not important in the long term.

Though there does seem to be an outcome of happiness from performing acts of kindness, the effect seems small in the grand scheme of things. Even still, kindness appears to be the best gift to give as it eventually gives back to you.

Citation: Curry, O. S., Rowland, L., Lissa, C. J., Zlotowitz, S., Mcalaney, J., & Whitehouse, H. (2016). Happy to Help? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of performing acts of kindness on the well-being of the actor. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 76, 320-329. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2018.02.014

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Religious Shoppers Spend Less Money

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The second student blog post from Dr. Carter’s Social Psychology course from this past semester, the authors of this article are Elizabeth Harris, Molly Kasemeyer, Sam Buczek and Kelsey Lee. 

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The holiday season is finally here! Families gather to share a large meal and exchange colorfully wrapped gifts. Individuals most likely find themselves out-and-about at stores during this time of year, not only to buy gifts, but to buy groceries for that delicious meal. Every shopper has different preferences on brands, products, prices, and even different values when it comes to buying foods, but do people with similar values and lifestyles also share similar purchasing styles? The experiments conducted and discussed in the journal article, Religious shoppers spend less money, aimed to answer a similar question; do religious beliefs affect grocery shoppers spending and purchasing habits? The study that will be discussed here specifically measures the effect of religious priming on grocery shoppers’ willingness to pay for unexpected purchases.

The first part of the study simulated an unplanned shopping trip where the participants would be able to spend about $25.00. They chose one common grocery item from seven different food categories in which each categories food choices were priced the same to ensure a total of about $25.00. The second part of the study presents each participant with an item at checkout that is, hypothetically, of interest to them, in this case their favorite magazine. They are then asked how much they would be willing to pay for it. After completing the simulation, participants answered a set of demographic questions and questions regarding their religious beliefs and other social concepts.

Prior to completing the simulated shopping trip and post-experimental questions, the researchers utilized the technique of priming to create the experimental and control groups. Participants were randomly assigned to either watch a short video with a religious focus, the religious prime, or a short video on oil painting tips, the control prime. After viewing the assigned video, the experimenters administered a prime check where participants answered questions about their feelings toward God after watching the religious prime video. The independent variable in this experiment was the religious prime while the dependent variable was the participants willingness to pay for the magazine.

Image result for christmas shopping meme

The findings of the study were simple. The more religious a person is, the less likely one is to spend money on “novel purchases”. Many religions emphasize being prudent with money, meaning that many would not spend money, or at least a lot of money,  on unexpected items they may come across during a grocery shopping trip. This study proved that “participants in the religiosity condition” would spent an average of 9.6% less on groceries than customers in the control condition. The study also proved that a “religious prime” lowers money spent by grocery shoppers whether they were a believer in God or not. Lastly, the conclusion stated that “the effect of religion on grocery spending arises from people’s tendency to associate religion and religious cues with frugality rather than the documented effect is simply being a manifestation of religious people’s values”, which means that individuals justify the experiment’s results with the belief that religious shoppers are “frugal” in nature.

The main psychological process utilized in this experimental study was attention. The participant’s attention during priming in the experimental condition is focused on the religious aspect and leads people to make the common associate between religion and religion cues to frugality. This is evident because people who were not religious still exhibited the same response to the religious priming as those who already had a religious set of beliefs showing that the universal psychological process of attention is at work. Attention leads people to focus on a specific idea and act according to commonly associate behaviors. After watching the priming videos, participants were asked their feelings specifically relating to God. Participants that were in the religious prime condition reported that they felt closer to God or had stronger feelings towards God than those in the control group. Overall, the attention process enabled the participants to be more conservative with their spending compared to the control group.

Image result for christmas meme

It is evident that the experimenters thought about various factor of the experiment that could elicit bias or lead to skewed data based on their description in the “Measure” section of the article. Even though their method was sound, they did not choose a representative sample. Instead, they chose individuals who worked for a specific company. This could lead to bias because of possible shared qualities among this group of workers that could influence behaviors in the posed situation. Also, the topic of the control video, oil painting, may not be considered completely neutral. Participants could be either bored by this video or rather intrigued which could lead to more positive or negative feelings in the moment. These feelings could possibly affect their willingness to pay for an unexpected item.

Bibliography 

Kurt, et al. “Religious shoppers spend less money.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 78, 2018, pp. 116–124.

Allie. “8 Basic Psychological Processes.” Exploring Your Mind, Exploring Your Mind, 25 June 2018, exploringyourmind.com/8-basic-psychological-processes/.

The False Paradox of Selflessness

Related image

As part of Dr. Carter’s Fall 2018 Social Psychology class, students worked in groups to analyze a study related to their coursework. They then wrote a blog post demonstrating their ability to summarize and analyze the study, describing any possible improvements that could be made along with ideas for future studies.

Five of these posts were randomly selected to be posted to the Psychology Department’s official blog. This blog post, titled The False Paradox of Selflessness was written by Lynsey Wyatt (’21), Emily Deeds (’20), and Ciprianna Azar (’19) and is the first of the five to be posted.

We hope you enjoy reading it!                        ___________________________________________________________________________

If acting altruistically makes us happier, isn’t it a selfish act?

Day to day, we observe acts that we may consider altruistic. Whether it be a small gesture of kindness or a heroic act of self-sacrifice, simply observing these behaviors influences our opinion of the actor. This leads us to question: how do we begin to judge someone’s true moral character? Prosociality refers to any behavior that intentionally benefits another, while altruism refers to more “selfless” actions. In contrast, egoistic forms of prosocial behavior tend to be motivated by attaining some benefit such as social or capital gain. A group of researchers sought to understand what truly makes us believe an act is altruistic. Carlson and Zaki (2018) conducted two studies examining the benefits of prosocial acts and the differences in perceptions of altruism by motive or consequence of benefit.

In both studies, participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions and tasked with reading through eight different scenarios and answering an online survey. In the control condition, the scenario only described a prosocial action such as “Jane gave blood at a local clinic”. In the other two experimental conditions, they were given more information about how Jane felt after giving blood, how much money she was given for donating, how many followers she gained on Instagram from her blood drive selfie or how she helped someone in need of blood. These scenarios highlighted four potential benefits including material, social, emotional, or other-oriented benefits. Participants were randomly assigned to read the actions as motivating or consequence. After reading the scenarios, the participants’ judgements were examined using multiple items: how altruistic they thought the prosocial agent was, how altruistic they thought the agent’s action was, and how altruistic they thought the agent’s motive for their action was.

They first found that for participants who were shown that others performed the behavior and received benefits as a consequence or result, they believed that behaviors that resulted in material benefits or social benefits were of a less altruistic nature. We then infer that the person was motivated in the first place to engage in the act because they wanted a benefit such as monetary (material) or wanted praise (social). These same participants saw emotional benefits, such as feeling good about oneself, and other-oriented or directed towards others, as altruistic. This means that a sense of doing a good deed does not take away from the selfless act that was done.

Participants who were led to believe the person had a motive or reason to engage in an altruistic behavior for benefits, material or social, were seen as significantly less altruistic. These participants saw motives for behavior that was other-oriented as more altruistic, and surprisingly, even saw emotional benefit as less altruistic. This suggests that people who are motivated to engage for selfish reasons are seen as less altruistic than those who do not have this motive but are unexpectedly rewarded.

In the control group to which the participants had no information on the motive or consequential benefit to the actor, they rated the actor as altruistic no matter the benefit. This can be explained by the lack of information, as we tend to want to believe that people help others for selfless reasons.

Through the psychological process of disambiguation, Carlson and Zaki were able to manipulate the participant’s judgements of the actors. This allowed them to examine whether or not perceptions of altruistic acts change when paired with different types of benefits, and if motive versus consequence conditions differentially affect this perception. Carlson and Zaki demonstrate a nuanced mechanism behind perceptions of “true altruism” that allow for an act to benefit both oneself and others, so long as one’s motive is other-oriented. More specifically, their findings suggest that when an observer is judging an actor that benefits themselves emotionally (as opposed to materially or socially) from a prosocial interaction, it differentially affects judgement of the actor’s motives. This suggests, according to the researchers, it is a better predictor of future generosity than extrinsic motivators.

In ambiguous situations, what factors influence baseline assumptions? Zaki and Carlson’s study of lay theories of altruism and selfishness effectively highlights some of the nuances of social behavior and judgements. However, the studies lack the interpersonal dynamic facilitated by in-person interactions. Social interactions are based upon emotional exchanges. As social beings, we rely upon our ability to interpret others’ emotional states to understand their intentions and our relationship to others. In future work, it would be interesting to utilize confederates to simulate situations closer to real-world circumstances. Overall, Carlson and Zaki’s findings are consistent with what we may expect from the effects of altruism, despite a seemingly contradictory paradigm where a “selfless” act benefits the actor’s sense of self.

Citation: Carlson, R. W., & Zaki, J. (2018). Good deeds gone bad: Lay theories of altruism and selfishness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 75, 36-40.

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A Brief Interview with Vanessa Pearson ’21, A Gilman Scholarship Recipient!

A student assistant recently interviewed Vanessa Pearson ’21, a Gilman Scholarship recipient, on her plans for studying abroad this upcoming Spring semester and what the application process for the Gilman was like. 

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

I am a sophomore here at Roanoke. I am majoring in Psychology and Education with a concentration in Human Development. I am originally from Franklin County, VA, about forty minutes away from Salem. On campus, I am a part of Colleges Against Cancer and Habitat for Humanity. Off campus, I work a part time job as a waitress/cook/manager at a restaurant in my hometown. I also play rec volleyball in my free time.

Congratulations on receiving the Gilman Scholarship! Can you tell me a little about program, what the application process was like, and where you are going to be studying?

I am going through an international student exchange program to Australia. I will be studying at James Cook University in Queensland. The application process for James Cook University was surprisingly easy. I did not have to write any admission papers on anything like that. I think the hardest part about that application was trying to figure out what classes I wanted to take since they had to go on the application so that they could get approved. 

The application for the Gilman Scholarship was a little more complex. There were a bunch of different parts to it. The biggest part of the Gilman was the essay section. You needed to have two essays explaining why you are a good candidate for it and what will you do to promote the Gilman and study abroad if you receive it.

What drew you to studying abroad in Australia?

I am not one hundred percent sure what drew me to studying in Australia. I was at a study abroad meeting and Dr. Boggs-Parker was going over all of the different places you could study [and] when she said Australia it clicked. [I felt like] that was it, that was where I needed to go.

Also, the warmer weather doesn’t hurt.

Another part of me going to Australia is that I want to work in the education system. I thought it would be really interesting to see how education works on a different side of the globe. I also needed to go somewhere that I would be able to understand what others are saying since I would not be studying a language while abroad.

What are you the most excited about in terms of studying abroad (both in general and specific to Australia)?

I am excited to experience something new. I am a commuter at Roanoke, so I [want] to [know] what it feels like to live on campus. I am also excited to travel around the world.

In terms of sightseeing, I really want to go to the Great Barrier Reef and also hike around several places. I am excited to make new friendships and I really want to pet a kangaroo and hold a koala bear.

What courses are you most interested in taking while there?

I am really excited about taking Modern Australian History. I think that it is cool that I will be learning about history through the eyes of a different country. I am also excited to take my education class because I want to see and learn from different education systems.

What advice would you have for those interested in applying to competitive scholarships/grants like Gilman?

I would say do not wait until the last minute. Start the application process as soon as possible; have someone read over your draft and, for lack of better words, tear it apart. I wrote four drafts before making small corrections to the final one. I would also go through the application and make sure you are not going to have any last-minute questions [to complete] before the deadline, that way you can ensure they are answered.

Is there anything else you would like add?

The only thing that I would add is that there is always hope for getting a scholarship you want. Write your application with purpose and meaning. Also, get Dr. Rosti to read over your application, that woman is a saint.

Thank you, Vanessa, for taking time to answer our questions! We know you will have a fantastic time studying abroad and hope you will share some of your favorite memories upon returning to campus next school year (including petting kangaroos and holding koalas)!

For those interested in learning more about the Gilman Scholarship, click on the logo below to go to their official website.

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Congratulations to Dr. Dane Hilton!

Congratulations to Dr. Dane Hilton on obtaining his Clinical Psychologist licensure! He explains the process of attaining the licensure and his future plans below.

On November 14 I received an email from the Virginia Board of Psychology that I had been approved for licensure as a Clinical Psychologist in Virginia. This was a pretty exciting moment and marked the final step in a long process that started over 8 years ago when I decided to pursue a career as a psychologist.

To become a licensed psychologist in most states, you must complete your PhD from an APA accredited program, complete a year-long clinical internship year from an APA accredited internship site, fulfill post-doctoral or pre-doctoral supervised clinical hour requirements, and pass the 225 question Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).

It’s a lot but I thoroughly enjoyed (almost) every moment of my training and education.

Now that I have my license, I can pursue independent practice as a clinical psychologist. More specifically, this means I can engage in therapy, assessment, consultation, and supervision of trainees within the Commonwealth of Virginia. I am very excited to begin working in the greater Roanoke community to help provide access to mental health services. I do not yet have a specific plan for clinical practice and I am really just enjoying the feeling of relief to have made it over that last hurdle in my clinical training.

I am always happy to talk with students who are curious about the field of clinical psychology or who want to talk about the specifics of education and training.

Congratulations again to Dr. Hilton!

If you would like to know more about becoming a Clinical Psychologist or have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Hilton at hilton@roanoke.edu.

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A Belated Birthday Post

Happy (if belated) Birthday to Dr. Osterman!

Dr. Nichols continued his tradition of creating a GIF in celebration of departmental birthdays, the first being the legendary ‘flossing’ for Dr. FVN last semester. Watch the video below to see what he did this semester for Dr. O (and her reaction).

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An Interview with Thompson ’19

What is your name, class year, and your majors/minors/concentrations?

My name is Becca Thompson and I am a senior. I will be graduating with a major in Psychology and concentration in Human Development. I also have minors in Spanish and Sociology.

Where did you study abroad?

I studied abroad in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

What was your favorite moment while abroad?

My favorite moments while abroad (because they are tied!!) would be going to an All Blacks Rugby game, skydiving from 17,000 feet over the gorgeous Lake Taupo, and exploring the only active marine volcano in New Zealand on an island named White Island or Whakaari.

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

I was worried about being literally on the other side of the world from my family (Maryland to NZ, couldn’t have gone any further away!) I was also worried about missing my pets, let’s be honest.

What did you learn while abroad? (Not just in terms of coursework, but about the culture and, cheesy as it is, yourself?)

I learned about different mental healthcare practices through my abnormal psychology class, which I found very interesting. I also learned about the indigenous people to New Zealand, the Māori. About myself, I learned how strong I am and I furthered my passion of traveling!

Palmerston North

Did anything happen that you weren’t expecting? Similarly, were there any moments that particularly struck you while abroad?

I definitely did not expect to meet some of my best friends while abroad. Although we are located all over the place, we still talk often and cannot wait to plan a reunion. There were many twists and turns during my time abroad, but each adventure had its own purpose and lessons.

What are your plans for the future and how will you use what you learned while studying abroad to help you?

Studying abroad helped me to realize my interest in social work through the introduction class I took with one of the best professors I’ve ever had. This class helped me to realize that I would like to pursue child advocacy/family law in order to create change here in America. I would love to go to school in NZ to gain a better and more in-depth understanding of their social work practices, which strive to include all cultures and all people in a respectful manner.

Any advice for other students interested in studying abroad?

Just GO! Studying abroad changed my life and opened up so many doors for me. My time in New Zealand helped me to realize what I would like to pursue after college. I met so many incredible people and I now have an incredible core group of friends spread throughout the United States, as well as an extended family in Palmerston North.

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 Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/

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New Majors’ Orientation Fall 2018

Our new psychology majors signing the board.

Congratulations and welcome to our new majors!

Recently declared psychology majors are required to attend one department orientation. While there, students learn about opportunities in the psychology department and surrounding areas, as well as ask any questions they may have.

Snacks are provided and students are given either a “Get Psyched” T-shirt or stickers for attending.

There will be two more orientation sessions next semester. Stay tuned for those dates, which will be announced in the Spring.

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Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/

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VTCRI Lecture Opportunity

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Interested in psychology, human development, or neuroscience?

Then an upcoming talk at the nearby Virginia Tech Research Institute (VTCRI) on November 29th at 5:30 pm might be of interest to you!

The talk, titled  “Synapses Lost and Found: Developmental Critical Periods and Alzheimer’s Disease”, is part of the VTCRI Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture series, will be given by Stanford’s Dr. Carla Shatz.

More information on the talk and the speaker can be found at: https://research.vtc.vt.edu/events/distinguished-scholars-series/.

As the talk relates to neuroscience and human development, the psychology department is encouraging and organizing students in multiple classes and in the Neuroscience Concentration and the Human Development Concentration to attend.

The psychology department can provide transportation for students or faculty who need to or are interested in carpooling for the event but we need to know by the end of the day on November 26th (TODAY) regarding whether or not we will take a van.

If you plan to attend the talk on November 29th, please fill out the Doodle poll at: https://doodle.com/poll/cupicv2v6qqmdprv. Feel free to send the survey link to other students or faculty that you think would be interested in attending.

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 Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/

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

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Medical Research Opportunity at the VA Medical Center

Interested in doing research?

The Salem VA Medical Center offers the chance for Roanoke College undergraduates to gain experience working in research with a seasoned Principal Investigator (PI) on current medical research. Available research projects have included topics such as “Predictors of Treatment Response Among Veterans with PTSD”, “Mental Health in Rural Veterans with and without Traumatic Brain Injury”, and “Effect of Exercise Training on Inflammation and Function in HIV Infected Veterans”.

If you are interested in completing research with the Salem VA Medical Center, please meet with the Director of Undergraduate Research (Dr. Chris Lassiter, Associate Professor of Biology) in the fall semester or early in spring semester to discuss the program.

Application and Requirements:

  • An overall GPA of 3.4 or higher is preferred (though an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher will be considered).
  • Materials to submit include:
    • cover letter (with research interests),
    • CV,
    • unofficial transcript and
    • two letters of recommendation

Please submit the above materials to the Director of Undergraduate Research by February 15 for research in the summer or the next academic year (fall and spring semester).

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Undergraduate Research Published

Alumni Lauren Ratcliffe, Sabrina McAllister, Jacob Johnson, and Paige Dzindolet published their research seminar in neuroscience project from fall of 2016 in IMPULSE, an undergraduate neuroscience journal.

Their project, titled ‘During Ascending and Descending Limbs of the Blood Alcohol Concentration Curve’ uses a computerized trail making test in place of driving performance tests in order to better ascertain neurocognitive impairments associated with varying blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels.  Follow this link to go to the original article.

Students in Dr. Nichols’ research seminar in neuroscience have published their projects at a rate of one student publication per year.

Congratulations to our alumni on their recent publication!

Alumni Updates:

Lauren Ratcliffe

Graduating Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Psychology from Roanoke College in 2017, Ratcliffe obtained a B.S. in Psychology and a concentration in Neuroscience.  Ratcliffe is currently pursuing a Psy.D. at Mercer University in Clinical Medical Psychology with an emphasis on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ratcliffe also works as a research assistant at Mercer.

A Phi Beta Kappa member, McAllister obtained a B.S. in Psychology, a minor in Biology, and a concentration in Neuroscience from Roanoke College. McAllister graduated with ten semesters of psychology research experience in 2018. She is currently working as a psychometrist at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA, with a goal of pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Graduated in 2017 from Roanoke College with Honors in Psychology, a minor in Biology, and a concentration Neuroscience. He studied in Germany in the summer of 2016  and was recruited to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. Johnson intends on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology to teach college-level courses and perform therapy.

Dzindolet graduated in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor Biology. In 2016, Dzindolet interned at Virginia Museum of Natural History where she worked with dinosaur bones and fossils, among other things. She is currently interested in obtaining a position involving Forensic Psychology and Criminology.

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

Saint Joseph’s University Virtual Open House

Click on the image above to go to their main page.

Saint Joseph’s University, ranked as one of America’s best colleges in 2011 by USNews, is hosting a virtual open house on Monday, November 12th at 2:00 pm.

The university offers an MS in psychology with particular emphasis on experimental psychology. This is a full-time program designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the scientific study of psychology. All students in the program are assigned to a mentor and conduct an empirically based research thesis under his/her direction.

Information on how to attend the open house can be found here

Click on the image to go to the admissions section of Saint Joseph’s University.

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

An Interview with Recent Graduate, Maddie McCall ’18

In an interview with a student assistant, recent graduate Maddie McCall ’18 describes life after graduation and recalls her favorite memories from Roanoke College.

 

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

Just graduated in May of 2018, with a BA in Psychology and Honors in Sociology, with two concentrations, Human Development and Information Analysis. I was the VP of Psi Chi, a member of RCPA, wore all of the hats for the now inactive (RIP) chapter of Mu Beta Psi, was president of Lamba Alliance, and was active in a bunch of other clubs. I was also the Head Academic Coach, a Research Assistant to the wonderful Dr. Khoo, and was lucky enough to be the Head Student Assistant for the Psych Department (which I miss dearly).

What was graduating like? 

Graduation was such a fun time (even waiting in the basement of West before line up)! I was the first person in my family to go to college, so being able to walk across the stage, shake President Maxey’s hand, and get my diploma… it meant so much, both to me and my family. But being able to stand next to all of my friends, who have all worked so hard the last four years, made it even more special. Plus, finally getting to step on the seal was pretty cool 😉

Grey outfit = groutfit.

What are you doing now after graduating? 

After graduation I moved to Northern Virginia, where the people are diverse but all suck at driving. It sort of reminds me of Freshman year, where I’m starting fresh and finding my tribe. Apps like MeetUp have totally helped me branch out and meet new people! I’ve joined some board-game groups and have tried my hand at Bob Ross paint-alongs 😊 Oh! My roommate and I also adopted a gray cat named Groutfit (all gray outfit = groutfit, because of course).

I’m also working as a Survey Analyst at a market research company called Resonate.

Click on the image to go to Resonate’s official website.

How did you get your position? What do you do for them?

I honestly got this job mostly through my two seminar projects. Basically, what my job entails is creating hour long surveys on Qualtrics that then get sent out to thousands of people (a much bigger N than I was used to at Roanoke), monitoring and QA-ing the data, and delving deeper into and analyzing the “why” of human behavior. While at Roanoke, I used Qualtrics to create both my Soc and Psych senior seminar projects, which gave me a lot of experience at different features and logics Qualtrics has available. That, along with research experience on campus (which comes in handy when researching and writing the actual questions in a non-biased way) and just being open to learning new experiences was incredibly beneficial. (But, really, it was the fact that my now-boss asked me if I knew any jokes during my final interview… It’s like my whole life was leading up to that moment.)

(As a side-note, we currently have some computer science openings… we’re a really cool company!)

What do you miss about Roanoke College? What is your favorite thing about having graduated?

I think one of my favorite things about having graduated is that I’m now 3.5 hours closer to my family. I also have a lot more free-time on my hands with just working a 9-5. However, there’s a ton that I miss from Roanoke, but mostly the people. (There’s something special about going to Sheetz at 1 in the morning and seeing people from your 9:40 class.) I miss being able to walk across campus and seeing so many of my friends and professors, all of the different events constantly happening, and those mountains. Man, you can’t beat those mountain sunsets.

But mostly, I’m going to miss Ellen’s Christmas trail mix!

What plans do you have for the future?

While I enjoy the job I currently have (HR gave me a Nerf gun on my first day, we have Bagel Wednesday’s, Snacktastic Friday’s, our teams are named after comic book groups, and we have Mystery Events twice a year!), ultimately, I would love to go back to school – both to learn and to teach. I would love to one day be a psych professor of my own. 😊

Do you still have an opportunity to utilize your knowledge of memes?

… I’ve begun to incorporate memes into my team’s group chat at work, so…

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone and experience new things (both academically and otherwise – you have no idea how they might benefit you when applying for jobs/grad school).
  • Stay on top of your LinkedIn profile.
  • Take it all in

And of course, because I’m me and I’m incapable of ending anything without a pun:

What do you call two monkeys who share an Amazon account?

Prime mates (because, let’s face it, those Prime rates are bananas)

We miss you, Maddie,  but are glad that you are doing well! Thank you for taking your time to talk with us about life after graduation! (And for the cute cat pictures and fabulous memes/puns.)

If you have any questions about Qualtrics and/or job searching, feel free to email Maddie at mtmccall@mail.roanoke.edu.  She will be happy to help you!

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

Psychology Internship Information Session

Want to gain more experience, add to your resume, and find out more about a career you are interested in?

Consider attending the Psychology Internship Information Session on Tuesday, October 30th from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm in Life Science 502!

The information session is your opportunity to learn more about available internships in psychology, as well as requirements and deadlines. You can also get advice on how to present yourself well with resumes and cover letters.

Pizza will be provided, but please bring your own drink.

RSVP by Monday, October 29th at noon, by either calling (540)375-2462 or emailing dyer@roanoke.edu.

If you have any questions or want more information, please contact Toni McLawhorn from Career Services or Dr. Mary Camac. They will happy to help you!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity (including the free pizza)! We hope to see you there.

The pizza won’t be this spooky, but it will be tasty. Get the recipe for this pizza here.

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

Casa de Esperanza: Hands of Hope Internship

Interested in working with children after graduation?

Casa de Esperanza, a non-profit in Houston, Texas, provides residential care to children from birth through six years of age. These children are in crisis due to abuse, neglect, or the effects of HIV. Among their different programs is the Hands of Hope internship.

These interns, most of whom are recent college graduates, join the organization for a year working full-time. Interns live with the children they are caring for in agency homes, alongside generally three other interns who all share the responsibility of taking care of the children. One intern is designated the foster parent. Interns come from all across the United States. In addition to taking care of household needs, making sure they get to their appointments, and other such responsibilities, these interns also work with “case workers, psychological staff and community volunteers”.

Other program benefits include:

  • Monthly stipend of $600
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Two weeks paid vacation per year
  • Successful completion of internship award

In order to apply, one must be 21 years old, willing to work full-time for a year, a valid U.S. Driver’s License, and a college degree is preferred. Furthermore, one must be in good physical shape and be flexible and patient.

To learn more about Casa de Esperanza, their programs, and the requirements for Hands of Hope, click here to visit their website.

Applications are open year-round. 

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

Out of the Darkness: A Recap

On Saturday, October 6th, beginning at 11 am, the community walked in support of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). There were more intrinsic reasons, of course, for their choice to walk; these were often reflected in the different colored necklaces participants hung around their necks, each representing something important to them.

Members of Psi Chi and RCPA were there, representing the college and their respective organizations. Professors were there to show their support as well.

Overall, it was a successful event and we look forward to participating in the years to follow.

To learn more about the Out of the Darkness Community Walks, then follow this link to go to their main site. You can also follow this link to find out how to ‘Seize the     Awkward’, a campaign led in partnership between the AFSP, The Jed Foundation, and the Ad Council.

If you need to talk to someone or know of someone in crisis,  please call the  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line with the message ‘HOME’ to 741741.

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

Color Your Cares Away with RCPA

With the promise of Fall Break comes the stress of Midterms.

Escape the stress of midterm week by relaxing and coloring with peers.

Don’t think you have the time? Running through everything you have to get done before the blessed Fall Break begins?

Take a break and breathe.

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

Thinking of Grad School? A Webinar Opportunity

Missed out on the Psychology Department’s Graduate School Panel?

Want to ask a few more questions about navigating graduate school applications?

Want to ask current graduate school students questions?

If you are any of the above, then consider attending the webinar hosted by the psychology department from the University of Alabama! Current PhD candidates will be there to answer any questions you might have about the process, or if you just want some advice.

The online webinar will happen on Wednesday, October 10th at 5 pm CST or 6 pm EST. 

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about graduate school applications, ask any lingering questions, and learn about current graduate school student’s experiences.

Don’t miss out!

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

A Quick Look: Thompson in New Zealand

Rebecca Thompson ’19

During the spring of 2018, I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Palmerston North, New Zealand. While abroad I had the chance to take ‘Abnormal and Therapeutic Psychology,’ which gave an interesting overview to how different countries treat different psychological conditions. My favorite part of the class came through the literature review project we had at the end of the semester. I chose to complete my literature review on eating disorders. My future career plans are veering more towards social work and a law degree, but my background in psychology will help me to understand some of the situations my future clients may be going through. My favorite memory while abroad is skydiving from 17,000 feet over Lake Taupo!

Thanks to Rebecca Thompson for providing this cool description of her study abroad experience in Palmerston North, New Zealand! It sounds like an incredible and worthwhile adventure, though we are glad to have you back on campus.

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

Mental Health in Rural Appalachia

Dr. Dane Hilton will be discussing mental health in rural Appalachia tomorrow (Wednesday, October 3rd) at 7:00 pm in Life Science 502.  Specifically, in terms of prevalent mental health diagnoses and problems with accessibility to treatment in these areas.

This talk is sponsored by the Roanoke College Honors Program.

All are welcome.

Hope to see you there!

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

Mindfulness Meditation: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why You Should Care

Dr. Dane Hilton was asked by a student assistant to discuss mindfulness meditation, specifically about what mindfulness is and the many misconceptions regarding it. Thank you, Dr. Hilton, for taking time to write this post. Enjoy!

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Mindfulness meditation is a topic that has exploded into the popular culture in the past 10-15 years. In 2018 alone, dozens of books have been published with Mindfulness as the main subject, with titles including Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids by Whitney Stewart, Falling Awake: How to Practice Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and the cutely illustrated A Sloth’s Guide to Mindfulness by Ton Mak. A quick search of Google Scholar for the term “mindfulness meditation” included in anything published in 2018 gets you 129,000 hits. I will admit I did not filter through all of those results to verify but the point is this: mindfulness is getting a lot of attention.

As a researcher of mindfulness meditation, I am glad that this topic is getting its time in the limelight. Mindfulness has the potential to improve the lives of humans in a variety of ways, though the questions of how, in what ways, for whom, and under what circumstances are still up for debate and empirical examination. While I am happy on one hand, on the other hand I do worry about issues that arise with the rapid increase in interest surrounding mindfulness. As we all know, popular things are marketable things. They generate buzz, get people to click on your article or blog post (like this one!), and make publishers excited when you come to them with a “cutting edge” book that claims to cure all that ails you. When demand increases, everyone is more than happy to contribute to the supply. Unfortunately, that increased quantity doesn’t equal quality. Quite frankly- you may not even get what you think you are getting…So I want to briefly talk about what mindfulness is, clarify what it is not, and present some literature supporting why I still believe you should care.

Let me be clear: mindfulness meditation is not new. It is not “cutting edge.” It is not a product of new technology or “third-wave” psychology or even a better understanding of human nature. Mindfulness is actually quite old. The mindfulness that most folks think of today is actually rooted in thousands of years of history in Eastern religions, including Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The practice itself is not new. What is new is the recognition by researchers in health and medicine that meditation can have profound physical and psychological effects on the body. I will mention some of these toward the end of this post. Regrettably, the influx of passengers on the mindfulness bandwagon- that, I must admit, includes me- has sometimes led to a watering down, or even total misrepresentation, of mindfulness.

So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness, simply put, is an open and nonjudgmental stance toward one’s present moment experiences. In other words, mindfulness is an approach to existence marked by awareness and acceptance of the full spectrum of human experience- including all the things we think of as positive (e.g., joy, surprise, laughter, love), negative (e.g., sadness, fear, loss, anger), and anything in between. We can be mindful of physical sensations (e.g., breath, pain, fatigue), thoughts (e.g., “I’m awesome,” “I feel so stupid right now”), emotions (e.g., sadness, happiness, irritation), interactions with others, experiences of the outer world, and even our relationship to ourselves via our inner world. It is an approach to living that allows you to experience fully- embracing, rather than fighting, all the things that come with being human.

So what is mindfulness not? It is not a “tool.” It is not one more technique you pull out of your grab bag of breathing exercises, stress relief tactics, and progressive muscle relaxation scripts to use when life starts getting to you. It is not a shield from the tension and busyness of this thing we call life. Despite the fact that mindfulness is clearly not meant to beat back hectic schedules, difficult relationships, troubling inner thoughts, or anxiety about impending deadlines, much of the information you will find on mindfulness presents as just that- a tool to guard against the horrors of 21st century life. Decreased stress, increased sense of well-being, better clarity of thought, and improved psychological functioning are certainly potential byproducts of regular mindfulness practice but to say that you should engage in mindfulness with those things as the goal is to totally miss the point. All the cool effects of mindfulness that make for attention grabbing headlines are, in fact, just side effects of a more open, aware, and accepting approach to the stuff life slings our way.

Another thing that mindfulness is not is a religion. I think this is an important distinction because in my short time practicing mindfulness and talking with others about it, the issue of whether mindfulness is indicative of a specific religious group or set of beliefs is often a sticking point and potential barrier to individuals looking further into it. While mindfulness meditation certainly does have roots in religion and can even be traced back to specific religious teachings, as I mentioned a few paragraphs back, the basic tenets of mindfulness meditation can fit within any number of worldviews and beliefs. If you believe that life happens now- not 5 seconds ago or 5 seconds from now- then mindfulness might just be for you.

So now that we have a brief outline for what mindfulness is and what it is not, we still have the question of why you should care. The first reason I will suggest is simply an opinion- and probably a philosophical one at that. Life is happening now. Life is happening in this present moment and once that moment passes, it is gone for good. A mindful stance to life helps us to experience these moments more fully- in essence, living more fully. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t want my life to pass by not having had the chance to truly live it. The second reason comes from my practical and scientific side- mindfulness appears to be immensely beneficial to those who practice it. As I said earlier- health and wellness are not the explicit goals of mindfulness practice, but it does have some super nice side effects.

Mindfulness practice has been associated with improved cognitive functioning (Zeidan et al., 2010), fewer depression and anxiety symptoms (Chiesa & Serretti, 2011; Hofmann et al., 2010), improved adjustment to major health problems (e.g., cancer diagnosis; Ledesma & Kumano, 2008), less pain and improved functioning in those with chronic pain (Zeidan et al., 2012), greater engagement in positive health behaviors (Jacobs et al., 2016), improved self-regulation and greater resilience in children (Coholic et al., 2012; Semple et al., 2010), and functional brain changes in areas associated with self-regulation/emotion regulation, higher cognitive function, and memory, among other functions (Gotnik et al., 2016; Gartenschläger et al., 2017). This isn’t even close to a comprehensive list but you can check this article for a well-written overview of some of the benefits of mindfulness practice. There is a reason so many people are studying mindfulness and other forms of meditation. It is an exciting time in research as we come to better understand the numerous effects of mindfulness and the mechanisms by which these effects occur.

I will end this post with a final thought on our conceptualization of mindfulness. You may have seen a picture depicting a cartoon human whose thought bubble is “mind full” while his cartoon dog’s thought bubble is “mindful.” The dog is supposedly more mindful because his thought bubble reflects the environment he is in- sun, grass, trees- while the human’s mind is filled with busyness- thoughts of other people, cars, music, bills, etc. I get the artist’s intention but I still think this misses the mark. Part of being human is that our minds are often wild and out of control. Even in this state, we can be mindful of our experience. It is when we stop fighting against the experience of the moment that we can start to appreciate living in the moment. This is mindfulness.

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

Roanoke College Featured in “Eye on Psi Chi Fall 2018”

Click on the image to be taken directly to the PDF version of the magazine.

Roanoke College’s Psi Chi chapter was recently featured in the latest edition of Eye on Psi Chi, the official International Honors Society’s magazine.

In this Fall 2018 edition, all chapters throughout the country were able to share their accomplishments from the previous semester. These categories include: Community Service, Convention/Conference, Fundraising, Induction Ceremony, Meeting/Speaker Event, Recruitment, and Social Events.

For Roanoke’s Psi Chi chapter, we had thirty-four new members inducted in the spring.

We also had two major fund-raisers: Psy-Dye and Pie a Prof, with the latter earning around $550.00 in proceeds to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

A special feature on Pie a Prof will be coming soon, with pictures and videos included of that fateful day.

Congrats Psi Chi for being featured and thank you for all of your hard work! We are proud and look forward to seeing what you do in the future.

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

Out of the Darkness: Suicide Prevention Walk 2018

Open to the Roanoke/Salem/New River Valley community, the Out of the Darkness: Suicide Prevention Walk will commence at 11 am on Saturday, October 6, 2018, starting at the Cregger Center.

Registration/Check-in begins at 10 am. 

This is the fourth year that Roanoke College has hosted the Suicide Prevention Walk. Last year, psychology professors and students, including representatives of Psi Chi and RCPA, supported the event by volunteering and/or walking.

If you are interested in attending the event, then please register here. You can also donate through the link, which takes you to our team’s page. So far, we’ve raised $75, with our goal being $100.

We would love to have you join us in support of the Out of the Darkness Community Walk!

 

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

ESP? Dr. Lindsey Osterman Takes a Look

Dr. Lindsey Osterman was recently interviewed by a student assistant on a podcast about ESP or extrasensory perception.

ESP is believed to be akin to a “second sight” or “sixth sense”.

For their 149th episode, the podcast, Serious Inquiries Only, focused on a meta-study published in the American Psychologist that indicates there might be some truth to the existence of ESP.

As a follow-up to their initial podcast, they asked Dr. Osterman, an expert in Experimental Psychology, to discuss the article and whether the findings reported in the meta-study were legitimate.

According to Dr. Osterman,

“…the podcast itself [Serious Inquiries Only] is a show about science, philosophy, and current events, all discussed from a ‘skeptical’ perspective in the truest sense of the term ‘skeptical.’ The host (Thomas Smith) is committed to approaching all the topics he covers with both curiosity and a critical evaluation of the evidence, and he does his best to correct for (and be transparent about) the preexisting biases that might be contributing to his thinking about those topics.”

Dr. Osterman had been featured on Serious Inquiries Only two years previously, where she discussed a critique on the history of evolutionary psychology published by a historian.

Both of my appearances served a similar goal, which was to provide a nuanced and evidence-based opinion about a scientific-sounding claim that was not actually rooted in high-quality evidence. In the first one [from two years ago], I responded to an interview that Thomas conducted with a historian, who had published a very-detailed — but in my opinion, very ill-informed — critique of evolutionary psychology.

Similarly, in this latest podcast, Dr. Osterman responded to a conversation…

[Smith] recorded with a professor of philosophy and a clinical psychologist about a review paper (published in American Psychologist, a respected, peer-reviewed journal), which argued that the empirical evidence for psi (or paranormal cognitive abilities, like being able to see the future) is very strong and consistent. My contention was that the article omitted critical details about the evidence, and in turn, presented a case that looked much stronger than it actually was.

Thank you to Dr. Osterman for being awesome as usual.

For those interested in knowing more details about the article and what Dr. Osterman found within it, the links to the podcasts are below. The first episode has been included for those who want to know what sparked the debate and to have a better idea of what Dr. Osterman and Thomas are discussing in the later episode.

In addition, click here for the link to the PDF of the article that sparked this debate.

Take a listen.

SIO149: Is ESP Real? No, Really… It Might Be…

Dr. Osterman’s analysis:

SIO150: Ok ESP Isn’t Real… with Dr. Lindsey Osterman

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Get connected!
Instagram & Twitter:  #PsychRC @RC_Psychology
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

A Brief Interview with Dr. Stacy Wetmore

The following is a brief interview with Dr. Stacy Wetmore, a new tenure-track professor at Roanoke College. A student assistant was recently able to interview her to learn more about her, her interests, and some cool facts that readers may not know. There’s a picture of a cute puppy at the end of this interview: keep reading to see it.

So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from what you’re used to?

So far, I’m loving it!! I’m excited that the semester is underway and I get to teach some really interesting topics. I like that I have fairly small class sizes and I will know all of my students’ names in no time. RC is similar in a lot of ways to where I most recently taught, so now it’s just a matter of learning the little quirks about how about things work here.  One thing that is a little different are the class times, so I’m always a bit nervous I’m going to be late!

Where did you go to undergraduate and graduate school?

University of Oklahoma

For my undergraduate (BA in Psychology) and Master’s degree (Experimental Psychology) I was at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. And I got my PhD from the University of Oklahoma. (Dr. Osterman and I actually met there many years ago!!!).

What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?

Currently, I’m teaching two sections of the INQ 260 Psychology in the Media, and one PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology. In the near future, I’ll be teaching Cognitive Psych and Research Methods.  I will also be developing (over the upcoming years) a new INQ 110, a Memory course, and a Psychology and Law/Forensic Psych course as well.

What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?

Founders Building, Egham, England.

My most exciting research experience was getting to be a Postdoctoral Researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London, in Egham, England. I hadn’t yet finished my dissertation, but accepted a position overseas to work on a project evaluating the U.K.’s eyewitness identification system/technique. I got to be a researcher, without any teaching responsibilities for 1.5 years and learned a lot of new stuff, as well as did research that could inform policy abroad.

In terms of research interests, Dr. Wetmore explains…

The overall focus of my research examines the intersection between cognition and the legal system. Research that I have been involved in, thus far, has been in three major areas.

Dr. Wetmore

The first is research on jailhouse informants. Jailhouse informants are a leading cause of wrongful conviction, yet very little is known about this form of evidence, including how jurors perceive and weigh this information, and if there are effective safeguards against it.

Another cause of wrongful conviction that I have studied are eyewitness identifications. Specifically, my research focused on show-up identification procedures, in which the individual must make a decision from a single face. My colleagues and I found that the show-up was a more unreliable memory test than a more traditional six-pack lineup. I’m interested in developing other procedures or methods of evaluating eyewitness memory in order to make it a more effective source of evidence at trial.

Lastly, related to eyewitness identifications, I’m interested in facial processing and memory in general. Humans are made specially to be able to process faces super-fast and efficiently, however there are still instances when this mechanism breaks down and I’m interested in examining these instances when it falters. For instance, a well-known phenomenon is the cross-race effect, or own-race bias, in which we are better at identifying someone from our own race better than from another race. Although we know the phenomenon exists, little is known about what cognitively could be different in the processing so I want to investigate this issue further.

What are some random/cool facts about you?

  • I was a collegiate athlete in tennis.
  • I lived abroad for 2 years in England as a postdoctoral researcher.

    Dr. Wetmore’s adorable puppy, Daisy.
  • Super allergic to 100% grape juice – but can drink the not healthy stuff, wine, and eat grapes… I think this fits under random.

Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?

I have the cutest (I might be biased) 7 month old puppy, Daisy, that I walk around campus every morning between 6-7 (depending on when I can drag myself out of bed) and every evening, so anyone who runs into us is welcome to say hello. 🙂

Thank you Dr. Wetmore for taking your time to answer our questions, and welcome again to Roanoke College! We are glad to have you here (and Daisy too)!

 

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

Congrats to Cody Dillon-Owens!

Cody Dillon-Owens ’19

A student assistant recently caught up with senior Cody Dillon-Owens, who was selected as one of eight recipients of a 2018-19 Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarship worth $3,000!

For Cody,

…Being a part of Psi Chi gave me the opportunity to apply to this scholarship, which I did so at the suggestion of one of my professors. I didn’t know if I would get it because it was a national level scholarship, but I am super grateful that I was one of the few selected to receive it. This scholarship actually allowed me to more or less cover the rest of my costs for senior year, so I’ll be able to focus on saving up for graduate school and getting an apartment next year. That reduced financial burden is a huge stress reliever and I’ll be able to better focus on my studies.

According to Psi Chi’s Scholarship Review Committee and the Board of Directors, Cody’s application “truly stood out to the judges as this year’s Undergraduate Scholarships had just over 165 applications.”

Congratulations Cody from everyone at the psychology department!

More Information:

Cody is the Head Student Assistant in the Psychology Department and works with Dr. Buchholz on Alumni Relations and Career Development. He is currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology, with a concentration in Human Development; Cody was awarded the Fintel Senior Scholarship, among other awards. You can find his LinkedIn page here.

 

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

Grad School Advice Panel

As fall approaches us here at Roanoke, so do the deadlines for graduate schools.

Cue the mental freak out:

It’s OK, Thor. Just attend the advice panel.

Regardless of whether you are a senior or not, if you are like Thor and want to know more about graduate school programs and the application process, then consider attending the Psychology Department’s Grad School Advice Panel on Tuesday, September 18th at 12 pm in Life Science 502.  

The Grad School Advice Panel will be hosted by Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, Dr. Wetmore, and Dr. Hilton. If you have any questions or just want advice, they will be happy to help you!

Oh, there will also be pizza and refreshments provided.

Be like Captain Jack Sparrow, but instead of a moving ship, there’s free pizza instead.

Also, if you want to know more information about career opportunities and graduate schools, you can click here to go to the department’s website for more information.

Most importantly, though, as the time for research and decisions begins, remember:

Hope to see you there!

 

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

A Brief Interview with Dr. Dane Hilton

A student assistant for the psychology department recently interviewed Dr. Dane Hilton, a new faculty member this semester, about himself, his interests in psychology, and some other little-known facts.

The following is the interview:

So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from Alabama?

I have really enjoyed settling into the Roanoke area. It is a good bit different from Alabama geographically, as Alabama is fairly flat where I lived in Tuscaloosa. At the same time, I’m from western North Carolina originally and spent five years in Boone for school, so being back in the Appalachian region is kind of like coming home. The area reminds me a lot of some of the cooler places I’ve visited in the south east- it’s a bit like Chattanooga, Birmingham, and Asheville, NC all rolled into one compact and livable place. The college is beautiful and I’ve really loved how down to earth and friendly everyone is. That is one thing that is not different from Alabama- everyone is super friendly!

Where did you go to undergrad and grad school?

I did my bachelor’s at Appalachian State University in psychology and then stayed for two more years to get my master’s in Clinical Health Psychology. I then moved to Tuscaloosa, AL and did three years at The University of Alabama for my PhD in Clinical Child Psychology. Finally, I did my pre-doctoral internship- a year-long clinical residency- at the WVU-Charleston Division School of Medicine in Charleston, WV. It’s been a long road…

What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?

Right now I’m teaching Psychology in the Media and Personality Psychology. I think both of these courses will stay in my rotation for a few years but I will also be teaching Intro to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and hopefully a course in Applied Behavior Analysis at some point in the future.

What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?

My research has always been related to individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in some way, and I will likely continue this line of research for many more years. My primary research program is focused on understanding the relationship between executive function- an important set of cognitive skills- and social functioning in folks with and without ADHD. I also do intervention research- again, primarily in the area of ADHD. I am currently working with the WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine to study the mechanisms of treatment outcome in group-based behavioral parent training for ADHD. I was awarded a grant while on internship to conduct this research and our group plans on applying for a larger grant to continue studying these processes in the next year or two. Lastly, I study mindfulness meditation. I have been leading mindfulness meditation groups for about 5 years and studying the effects regular mindfulness practices have on ADHD symptoms, anxiety, depression, and mind-wandering. I’m currently talking with individuals at RC to begin developing various ways to integrate mindfulness practice into curriculum, wellness programs, and intervention groups.

What are some random/cool facts about you?

Before starting graduate school at Appalachian State, I seriously considered becoming a bison farmer- yes, those giant looking beasts in all the Yellowstone pictures. It was between that and psychology. I honestly think I would have been happy doing either but I’m glad I’m here now. Some other random stuff… I was able to dunk a basketball in eighth grade, I once recorded an album in Chapel Hill, NC with my former folk band Foscoe, and I have hiked over 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail with my wife. That pretty much exhausts my cool facts reservoir…

Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?

Just that I am super excited to be at Roanoke. The psychology department is full of fabulous teacher-scholars who are also super chill and fun to be around. I look forward to getting to know the students here and being a part of the really great community that exists at RC.

Welcome to Roanoke College, Dr. Hilton! We are glad to have you here in the Psychology Department, although being a bison farmer sounds pretty great too.

 

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

Alumni Recognition

Kevin Clarke, Roanoke College graduate of ’02, pictured in the center.

Kevin Clarke, a 2002 Roanoke College alum, recently succeeded in defending his dissertation!

Dr. Clarke completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Roanoke College. After graduation, he not only went on to pursue a doctorate in theology from Ave Maria University, but also edited the inaugural volume of a new series published by the Catholic University of America Press this past May, titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Sayings of the Fathers of the Church.

Congratulations to Dr. Clarke!

 

Get connected!
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Graduating Seniors

After I graduated in December, I started working at a nursing home as the Social Services Director. In Fall 2018, I will start the Master’s of Social Work program Virginia Commonwealth University.

Megan Miller

Hoping to gain a little work experience before I take a swing at grad school!

Sydney Patterson-Bradbery

Following graduation I will begin post-baccalaureate work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in order to pursue a career in medicine.

John Anderson

I’ll be working in the psychology field for a year while applying to clinical graduate programs.

Sabrina McAllister

Kaitlin was awarded a Fulbright to Copenhagen, Denmark where she will be studying and researching in the field of Organizational Psychology. She then plans to get a graduate degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

Kaitlin Busse

I do not plan on going to graduate school immediately after graduation, but I do plan on going back to Long Island. I am thinking of doing EMT work as well as volunteering to figure out what is in my possible scope of view.

Kathryn Wicklund

After graduation I will be working as an elementary English as a second language teacher for Prince William County Public Schools!

Alaina Nguyen

I will be taking a gap year and preparing for applications for law school.

Adora Nguyen

I plan on becoming an artist. After graduation I will be living in Roanoke to hopefully get a good start on this new path.

Tyler Muntz

After graduation, I will be pursuing a Masters of Arts/Science Degree in Clinical Counseling and relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina. I plan to use my Master’s Degree to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and address the mental health needs of children within marginalized populations.

Victoria Preston

I am taking a year to gain experience in the field. I will also be preparing to apply for grad school in pursuit of my Master’s degree.

Sarah Bocook

Continuing research in Northern Virginia to gain experience before attending graduate school in 2019.

Maddie McCall

I am planning on finding jobs or internships that are related to mental health in New York.

Jeanne Skulstad

I am going to work for the Western Virginia Water Authority for a year and then apply to medical schools.

Griffith Wood

I plan to take a gap year and gain some clinical experience before hopefully apply to graduate school.

Kyttichera Bridgewater

I plan to pursue a career in higher education.

Hannah Wuerthner

I plan to attend an Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing program. In addition, I hope to travel and see the world.

Laura Sullivan

I finished my course work here at Roanoke College December 2017 and have been working towards my Master of Education with a specialization in supervision and administration. After I earn my masters, it is my hope to work within the higher education setting.

Leah Bond

I am planning on attending grad school

McKenna Polak

I plan on taking the year before furthering my education in Art Therapy.

Mary Grove

After graduation, I will be pursuing a Masters of Arts/Science Degree in Clinical Counseling and relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina. I plan to use my Master’s Degree to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and address the mental health needs of children within marginalized populations.

Sydney Quantock

I am taking a gap year of sorts; I’m moving to Dallas, TX to participate in a leadership development program, while I try to decide if I want to go to grad school or not.

Brittany Naumann

I will be attending graduate school, at William and Mary, for a masters degree in Couples, Marriage, and Family Counseling

Taylor Kracht

Samantha Baldwin will be finishing up her student teaching in the Fall 2018. She hopes to go to graduate school in the following year.

Samantha Baldwin

Immediately I will be returning to Newport News, VA hoping to work for the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club. I am ultimately aiming to move to California to pursue a career in Event Management.

Karla Williams

My goal is to find a full time job after graduation!

Amber Durr

Master has given Dobby a diploma, Dobby is free. Except not really because I plan to go to grad school, the ride never ends.

Alexander Glando

How Much to Pay?

The fifth and final article written for Dr. Carter’s Social Psychology course, Bailey Ratfliff and Erin Kosmowski discuss an article dealing with how much are people willing to pay depending on the situation.

When you go to buy something, like a t-shirt of your favorite band, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just pay what you want? Then, you could go through the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A and be told the car in front of you paid for your meal! These methods are called, respectively, pay what you want and pay it forward, two forms of consumer elective pricing. How much would you pay for that t-shirt if you got to choose the price?  What if you decided to pay for the next car’s lunch, how much would you be willing to pay?  These studies by Nelson, A. Gneezy, and U. Gneezy, seek to find the relationship between pay what you want and pay it forward amounts.  In which method are people willing to pay more?

In study one, which was conducted at Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, participants were told either they could pay their entrance fee forward for another museum goer instead of paying for their own admission, in one condition, or pay what you want in another condition.  It was found, in accordance to the experimenters’ prediction, that the pay it forward condition paid more money than the pay what you want condition.  In study two, the conditions were the same at the same museum, but the wording of what the people in the pay it forward condition were told was changed.  People paid more in both conditions for this study, but still paid more for the pay it forward condition than the pay what you want condition.  In study three, study two was replicated but participants were given a colored sticker, blindly labeling them as pay it forward or pay what you want group.  The cashier in the gift store then recorded their purchases and their colored stickers to see if either condition spent more in the gift shop.  The conditions were found to have spent around the same amount of money.  For the final study, conditions were set as in study two but at a coffee shop instead of a museum.  Again, those in the pay it forward condition paid more than those in the pay what you want condition.

The researchers believed that descriptive norms were playing a role in the participants’ actions. In the first two studies, people fell subject to the norm of reciprocity. Since another person paid for them, the participants’ felt that they had to do the same for a future attendee. Subjects experienced kindness and generosity and felt as if they must pass it on to reciprocate.  There was also some pluralistic ignorance occurring, leading the participants to believe the norm was to pay more and followed suit.  People may have privately believed they should pay less but decided to pay more because they believed that’s what others did.

The study does a good job supporting its hypothesis and eliminating any confounding variables that may have also explained the results, though it does not go into further details. They do not discuss if witnessing an act of generosity will impact the participant’s amount paid. Another thing that would have added to the study was to see how the amount paid could be manipulated through a third party’s actions, such as having the earlier guest pay more for the participants’ ticket or witnessing someone pay more for the pay what you want than average. They also focus on for profit organizations so adding a nonprofit organization to the study could show very different results.

Get connected!
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Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

How Many “Likes” Did I Get?

Image result for likes meme

The fourth article written for Dr. Carter’s Social Psychology course, this post discusses the power of the “like” system. Written by Julian Edwards, Emily Jones, and Brice Hinkle, the original source can be found here.

Have you ever felt inadequate after seeing only one like on your selfie? If you are an avid Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or some other social media user, the culmination of likes on a picture or video is crucial. The incorporation of the “like” system in social media has changed the way in which people view themselves. You expect people such as your family or close friends to like your posts, but what if that is only 10 to 20 people? What does this say about you
as a person? It is common to believe that the more likes one receives the better they believe others see them, thus determining how they see themselves. The presence of active and/or immediate feedback on a picture you are proud of can make or break how you view yourself. Because of this, social media has become a large factor in the level of self-esteem a user may have. The more likes someone receives the greater self-esteem they will have. Also in contrast, if a person were to receive little to no likes on a selfie or family picture they may begin to suffer through low self-esteem. To help support this claim a study was conducted by researchers Anthony L. Burrow and Nicolette Rainone titled “How many likes did I get?:
Purpose moderates links between positive social media feedback and self-esteem” (Burrow & Rainone, 2016).

Image result for likes meme

In this study, participants first had to complete several forms and surveys – demographics form, a survey measuring their purpose in life, and a personality inventory (which was not used in the experiment). After this was completed, the experimenters told the
participants they were there to test a new social media site a lot like Facebook and to get started, they had to set up a profile and take a picture of themselves for the experimenter to upload (Burrow & Rainone, 2016). The experimenter told the participants that their picture would be shown on the test site for five minutes and that other users could see and like it. Five minutes later, the experimenter came in the room and told them how many likes their picture got. The amount of likes the experimenter told the participants that they got were a randomized average number of likes, more than average number of likes, or below average number of likes. Afterwards, participants completed another survey, which measured their self-esteem. The results found that the groups that showed a low purpose and low self-esteem were affected more by their number of likes more than the groups with high purpose and high self-esteem, who were not as affected by the likes (Burrow & Rainone, 2016).

Image result for likes meme

The researchers established two groups: high purpose and low purpose. In each group, the self-esteem manipulator was introduced to affect self-esteem positively, negatively, or not at all (high, low, and average likes). The participants in each group then reported their post-experiential self-esteem (Burrow & Rainone, 2016). Because the experiment showed no correlation between high purpose and a high number of likes, it can be assumed that the
participants with high purpose also have self-esteem high enough that it is unaffected by an otherwise effective self-esteem booster: a high number of likes that they receive. Those with low purpose can be said to have a lower baseline self-esteem and so are more affected by a high number of likes (Burrow & Rainone, 2016).

One critique would be that the researchers should have included an “average purpose” group apart from the “high purpose” group to be manipulated to see more precise results.

Additionally, it would have been nice to have reported any findings on a decrease in self-esteem for a fuller picture of the effects.
The lesson that can learned from this article is that self-esteem is that although there are a countless number of things that go into a person’s self-esteem and sense of purpose in life, social media affects them much more than someone thinks.

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

What Makes A Great Leader

Image result for leader

In another post written by students of Dr. Carter’s Social Psychology course, Corey Woodford, Hannah Lester, Michaela Hicks discuss an article on leadership titled “Two ways to the top: Evidence that dominance and prestige are distinct yet viable avenues to social rank and influence.” The original article can be found here. 

How do people reach leadership positions? Is it because they are generally likable and compassionate about the group? Or is it because they are ruthless and their followers are too scared to do anything but listen to them? Maybe it is a combination of both. Researchers Cheng, Tracy, Foulsham, Kingstone and Henrich formed an experiment that tests these theories. They wanted to know if dominance and prestige work together to get people to the top. In the case of this study, dominance is a force and intimidation and prestige is being able to share your experiences and knowing how to gain respect. Cheng et al. performed two studies that tested the roles in which dominance and prestige play in the selection of a leader. They used students from the University of British Columbia, who had no prior knowledge of each other before the study, as participants for both of the studies.

The first study’s goal was to distinguish whether or not dominance and prestige are acceptable ways of predicting social influence. It was set up as a round robin setting where groups of 4 to 6 of the same gender, not already acquainted with each other, completed an assignment, then interacted with each other, and then were asked to fill out a questionnaire at the end. Each side of the table was recorded by a video camera looking exclusively at one side of the table. The questionnaire provided peer ratings on who seemed to have more influence, who had more “dominance and prestige” in their group, and the likeability of the group members. The results of the study concluded that, in fact, both dominance and prestige predict greater social influence, but that they are different paths to attaining social rank, with prestige seen as more likeable than dominance.

Going off the first study, the second study’s goal was to “determine whether gaze allocation patterns corresponded to perceived Dominance and Prestige”. In other words, do dominant or more prestigious individuals receive more visual attention? The participants watched a series of video clips used from the first study, and were asked to think of who they would want to work with on the same task if they were in the room doing the same thing. The participants were wearing eye trackers so the researchers were able to see who they looked at the most while watching these video clips. The results showed that people do tend to notice who the dominant or more prestigious person in the room is, and they subconsciously do visually fixate on them, meaning they receive more visual attention.

Study 1: with 191 participants, this study compensated them with a chance of extra compensation during the study. The participants first completed an individual activity and then a group activity. The group activity was recorded for 20 minutes.

Study 2: 59 participants were involved and were instructed to watch 6 twenty-second videos. This study was used to determine a relationship between gaze allocation patterns and perceived Dominance and Prestige.

While the study was something always relevant and very interesting, it did have some aspects that it did not take into consideration. First, the study did not use co-ed groups. Especially in today’s time, gender norms are a hot topic and are of interest to many people. A future study could use co-ed groups to help distinguish between gender norms that influence leadership positions. Second, the participants of the study were of all different ages. Age is indicative of knowledge and when you are older you can be seen as more superior of those who are younger than you.  Keeping age brackets for each group would have been a beneficial addition to the parameters of the study. With these critiques in mind, a future study would be beneficial to really dive into the psychology of leadership positions from a non-age or non-gender biased study.

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

Strategies to Combat Threatened Masculinity

An analysis of the study “Manning Up: Threatened men compensate by disavowing feminine preferences and embracing masculine attributes” for Dr. Carter’s Social Psychology course. This article was written by Sophie Bacon, Cristoni Couvrette, and Carter Smith.

In society, men are expected to conform to gender-stereotypic attributes in order to prove their masculinity. Some of these attributes include; being tall, athletic, having an active sex life,
and being assertive or dominant. Studies have shown if a
man is in a sense “less masculine” they will compensate
for this by presenting themselves in a more stereotypical
masculine manner. In the study, Manning Up, researchers, Sapna Cheryan, Jessica Schwartz Cameron, Zach Katagiri, and Benoît Monin conducted two experiments, in which they examined three techniques that men may use when they perceive a threat to their
masculinity: avoid feminine preferences, embrace masculine preferences, and claim masculine attributes. The question the researchers were asking is whether or not men are more likely to distance themselves from feminine preferences when their masculinity is threatened versus the responses of those men who are not threatened.

In the first study some of the male participants were randomly assigned to receive false feedback that they had failed a test of masculinity (a score of 26 out of 100) while the other
participants received a non-threatening score (73 out of 100). The participants were then asked to rate how much they would like to receive three very masculine products and three very feminine products. Results from study one suggest that men who have their masculinity threatened are more likely to distance themselves from stereotypically feminine preferences, but do not embrace stereotypically masculine preferences more than non-threatened men.

In the second study, researchers tried to instill a different type of threat to masculinity (telling participants they were
physically weaker than other males) to see if threatening
one specific aspect of masculinity causes men to embrace
another aspect in order to compensate. Participants were
asked to take a test of handgrip strength. Having a strong
hand grip is associated with being more masculine.

Some of the participants received false feedback that their score fell along the female distribution while the other participants were told their score fell into the male distribution. Afterwards they were asked to complete a questionnaire which included masculine and feminine attributes such as: height, handiness with tools, number of previous relationships (all masculine attributes), and personality traits (both masculine and feminine attributes). Participants then
repeated the grip test which reinforced their false feedback and were asked to rate their interest in receiving five masculine, three feminine, and seven neutral products. Results from this study
found that men who did not have their masculinity threatened showed no difference in their preference for masculine and feminine products while men who were threatened showed less interest in feminine products. Researchers also found that men who had their masculinity threatened were more likely to exaggerate their other masculine attributes; they claimed to be taller, have more past relationship partners, and higher levels of athleticism and aggressiveness than men in the non-threatened condition

Researchers examined the strategies used when there is a perceived threat to masculinity. They threatened masculinity as a whole as well as physical masculinity and then examined the ways the participants compensated for the blow. Researchers also said that men who are threatened are more likely to embrace masculine attributes over preferences. An example being, if a man feels his masculinity is being attacked it weighs more for him to defend his physical traits (strength, height and build), compared to him trying to declare his masculinity through his masculine preferences (liking trucks and hunting). Researchers discovered that rejecting
feminine preferences was more reassuring to their self image rather than restating their masculine preferences.

In this study, researchers provided insight into the strategies men employ when they feel their masculinity has been
threatened. However, there are three limitations that can be
observed in this study. The first limitation of this study is the
fact that they only focused on how masculine attributes were
affected when men were under masculinity threat. If they
wanted to get a more well-rounded perspective, they should
have also examined how feminine attributes were affected by
masculine threats. In addition, in two of the studies, they used a
subset of product preferences making it difficult to decipher the
results of masculine versus feminine preferences. Finally, when
concluding this study, it wasn’t clear from the results whether or not distancing oneself from a stigmatized outgroup versus a
related identity would be sufficient in responding to masculinity
threats.

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

Ready to Dance? Then Just Dance.

Want to celebrate the end of finals in style?

Then just dance!

The psychology department will be hosting their annual Psychology Dance Party on Wednesday, May 2nd from 1:30 – 3:30 pm in Life Science 502.

Here’s an example of the fun you can have:

This is a chance to challenge your professors to a friendly game of Just Dance on the Wii.

A chance to groove to the beat and laugh in relief as finals are finally over and you are free. 

As such, all are welcome.

You may also get to see Dr. Nichols dance to Let it Go in-person. Here’s a video clip to help make your day a little brighter.

Get connected!
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Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Ice-Cream, Decisions, and Culture

The time has come.

A decision must be made.

Your family members have designated you as the ‘chooser’ of the group. The responsibility weighs on your shoulders. You try to remain calm.

‘Focus,’ you tell yourself. ‘Should I purchase the double chocolate ice-cream from x-brand, or the devil’s chocolate ice-cream from y-brand?’

Even Boromir agrees

The choices are the same in terms of the contents and price, but they have different names and are from different brands. You cannot decide between the two as you feel equally about both of them, so you ask for the advice of your family; they reply negatively towards the y-brand and you feel relieved, finding yourself agreeing with them, and choose the ice-cream from the x-brand instead.

While a silly example, this dilemma helps illustrate an interesting observation about humans, at least of European descent (or influenced by Western culture): when we are highly ambivalent towards two choices, we are more easily influenced in our decision. According to psychology researchers, Mr. Andy Ng, Dr. Michaela Hyne and Dr. Tara MacDonald, those of European descent are more likely to be influenced either positively or negatively when unsure of what to think about two objects or subjects. Yet, they also point out that East Asians exhibit greater levels of tolerance towards conflicting views or when possessing high levels of ambivalence towards objects/subjects. In other words, those of East Asian descent or region are more likely to hold two conflicting ideas in their minds without the need to pick one as superior to the other.

In their study published in 2011, titled “Culture Moderates the Pliability of Ambivalent Attitudes,” Ng, Hyne, and MacDonald were interested in researching the degree to which culture influences the willingness to shift attitudes in those of Western and Eastern cultures after a persuasive attempt.

Continue reading Ice-Cream, Decisions, and Culture

Research Poster Session Spring ’18

The Psychology Department hosted their research poster session on Thursday, April 19th 2018. Many students presented on their research projects and internships; students were also able to donate to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention while choosing which professor they’d like to see pied with whipping cream and sprinkles. Great job to everyone who presented and thanks to everyone who came!

Get connected!
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Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Belated April Fools: Psychology Department Antics

This year, April 1st fell on a Sunday.

So, naturally, the psychology department decided to celebrate Belated April Fools the following day.

What resulted was nothing less than genius.

Part of this included a revenge plot that had been brewing for years.

Dr. O tells her side of the story below:

Weeeeeell… It all started many moons ago, in Spring 2014, when Dr. Nichols was on his way to do an optical illusion demonstration in his Research Methods class and got the bright idea to don his George W. Bush mask (a prop in the demonstration), his trench coat, and his fedora (all together, a rather intimidating combination), and slowly peeked around the doorway of my office in an attempt to get me to pee my pants.

It very nearly worked.

After I recovered from my extreme fright, I told Dr. Nichols in no uncertain terms that wearing a mask in public on a non-Halloween day was highly illegal behavior (which we later confirmed), and that I wouldn’t tolerate it in my workplace. I also vowed, privately, to seek revenge upon him at the first opportunity.

Months passed.

Years passed.

And I bided my time, quietly, patiently. Until one day, in February 2018, I walked into Life Science 502 a few minutes before the start of my Quantitative Methods class and noticed atop the “technology tower” in the corner of the room… The Mask, completely unattended (and very creepily staring at the ceiling with its vacant, soulless eye-sockets). Immediately, I grabbed The Mask and ran back to my office to conceal it until April 1st.

A close-up

Over the intervening weeks, I discussed with esteemed colleagues on what prank I might involve the mask. Many excellent ideas were put forward (e.g., perhaps we could dangle the mask by a string from the ceiling; perhaps one of us could put on the mask and startle Dr. Nichols as he had startled me), but eventually, we landed on the following plan:

We would construct a lifelike “scarecrow” from garbage bags, recycled paper, and dress the scarecrow in the mask, trench-coat, and fedora (the latter of which Dr. Nichols usually leaves in his office). We would sit the scarecrow in Dr. Nichols’s desk chair, and Dr. Buchholz would construct a complicated pulley system connecting the office door to the desk chair, so that when Dr. Nichols entered his office, the chair would spin around to face him, and hopefully cause Dr. Nichols to shout in alarm.

The plan went off without a hitch, but I found Dr. Nichols’s reaction somewhat underwhelming. So, over the course of that  fine Monday, the scarecrow moved around from office-to-office, scaring a number of colleagues (including myself, somehow), and I came up with one final step in the plan.

At the end of the day, Dr. Nichols was teaching his Neuroscience lab, and a few minutes before the end of class, I donned the scarecrow’s disguise, and seated myself, perfectly still, in Dr. Nichols’s chair. When Dr. Nichols entered his office, he thought it was just the scarecrow, and was not alarmed until my hands sprang into the air like scary claws and I yelled “RAAAAWR” and Dr. Nichols said “Ah!” and it was my very favorite moment of my entire life.

And that is the story of the mask.

Test One:

Dr. Nichols confirmed the events of that fateful day, telling his side of the story:

The mask is something that I use in PSYC 202 to tell a hopefully amusing story about some silliness my friends and I did in college. However, I scared Dr. Osterman with it in her first year at Roanoke College when I wore it down the hall on my way to class. Since then, I include in class a life lesson that apparently wearing a mask in public outside of Halloween is illegal in many states, including Virginia. Apparently, the last time I used the mask in PSYC 202, I left it in the classroom and Dr. Osterman found it, planning a frightening surprise when the chance arose.

On Monday morning, April 2nd, I came into the office a little bit later than I usually do since my kids were on Spring Break and I didn’t have to get up as early as I normally do. I said ‘hi’ to Dr. Buchholz, who ‘just so happened’ to be out in the hall on my way in. I opened my door and noticed that someone seemed to be sitting in my chair with a hat and trench coat on and remembered thinking something like ‘That’s weird that there is someone sitting in my office chair in the dark. Huh, how about that?’. Then when I opened the door completely, the chair swung around and it looked quite realistic. I started slightly before realizing it was my mask. I was quite impressed by the system of fishing line that was rigged up to get the chair to move that way!

Then, at the end of the day after the dummy had been moved around to the offices of other department faculty, I came back to my office after my afternoon class was over. The day had not gone well at all because of technical difficulties preparing for Neuro lab, so I was feeling exhausted but glad that the lab had gone alright in the end. Dr. Allen was waiting out in the hall and took out her camera to film me entering my office, which seemed suspicious. I remember saying something like ‘I’ve seen it already’ because I expected the dummy to be back in my office, though suspected something else to possibly be going on.

When I entered the office, the dummy sprung to life as it jumped out of my chair! I started on the inside but didn’t have too much of a physical reaction, though it was a very good set-up with Dr. Osterman inside a padded suit so that it looked pretty much just like the original dummy, even though someone was now inside it.

I very much appreciated the thought and planning that went into both surprises! It’s great to work in a department that enjoys one another so much. 🙂

The Real Dill:

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

Pie a Prof!

It’s that time of the year!

Stop by the table outside of Colket or by the box in the hallway of the 5th floor to choose your victim(s) to get pied! The professor with the most money in their jar will get a special pie, with sprinkles.

All proceeds will go to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Hope to see you there!

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

Mr. Dane Hilton is Looking for Student Research Assistants!

Dr. Dane Hilton, a new faculty member in the Department of Psychology, is recruiting student research assistants to start in the fall.

The research conducted in the lab will focus on:

  • Cognitive mechanisms of social encoding
  • Mindfulness meditation and other alternative treatments for self-regulatory deficits
  • Improving measurement of social information processing
  • The use of technology in psychotherapy research/intervention
  • Treatment mechanisms in ADHD Parent Training

He is looking for research assistants who:

  • Are conscientious and hard-working
  • Have excellent time-management skills
  • Are intellectually curious
  • Interested in ADHD, executive function, or social interaction (preferred, not required)
  • Are familiar with MS Office/Google Docs
  • Have some familiarity with research methods and statistics (preferred, not required)
  • Interested in applying technology (e.g., smartphones, activity trackers, etc.) to research (not required)

Research assistants will be involved with many aspects of the research process, including developing experimental materials, data collection (in and outside of the lab), data entry, and literature reviews. Highly motivated students will have opportunities for more involvement in study design, statistical analysis, and other more advanced aspects of the research process.

Interested students from all class years are encouraged to contact Dr. Hilton for an application (dchilton@crimson.ua.edu).

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

Welcome Dr. Dane Hilton!

The Psychology Department would like to welcome Dr. Dane Hilton as our newest tenure-track professor starting this upcoming fall semester. Dr. Hilton obtained his Masters in Clinical Health Psychology from Appalachian State University and his PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Alabama.

At Roanoke, Dr. Hilton will be teaching courses such as Abnormal, Personality, and Clinical Psychology. His research interests focus specifically on social encoding, executive functioning, and mindfulness. Dr. Hilton has conducted research on social skills in youth and emerging adults, especially those with ADHD, and on psycho-social interventions for those with executive functioning deficits.

Dr. Hilton is currently looking for student research assistants to start next semester. If you’re interested, follow this link to learn more.

Welcome again to Dr. Hilton! We are excited for him to be joining the department!

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

Alumni Career Fair!

Are you looking for internships? Job opportunities? Then consider attending to Alumni Career Fair! The event will be held on Thursday, April 12th, from 5-7 pm on the main level of Colket.

Why should you attend? According to Director McLawhorn of Career Services, alumni from around 30 companies/organizations/career fields of various industries and geographic locations will be there to share about their career fields, as well as provide information about internships and/or job opportunities that may be available at their respective places of employment.

Some company recruiters will be there as well.

Things you should know before you go: 

  • Neat, but casual clothing is fine.
  • It’s highly suggested that students bring resumes, but they are not required. (Students can contact Career Services for assistance with resumes prior to April 12.)
  • There will be door prizes.

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

Dr. Stacy Wetmore is Looking for Research Assistants!

Dr. Stacy Wetmore, a new faculty member in the Department of Psychology, is recruiting student research assistants to start in the fall.

The research conducted in the lab will focus on: 

  • Intersections between cognition and the legal system
  • Factors that influence eyewitness identification accuracy and confidence
  • Underlying processes of memory for recognizing faces
  • Examining the perceptions of cooperating witnesses (including jailhouse informants and accomplice witnesses)
  • Examining and understanding the safeguards that are in place to help jurors evaluate cooperating witnesses

Looking for research assistants who: 

  • Are conscientious and self-motivated
  • Are able to juggle a variety of tasks at once
  • Are intellectually curious (ideally with knowledge of cognitive psychology)
  • Share some level of interest in the above topics
  • Are familiar with MS Office/Google Docs
  • Have some familiarity with research methods and statistics (preferred, not required)

Research assistants will be involved with many aspects of the research process, including developing experimental materials (e.g., mock crime videos and mugshots), data collection (in and outside of the lab), data entry, and literature reviews. Highly motivated students will have opportunities for more involvement in study design, statistical analysis, and other more advanced aspects of the research process.

Interested students from all class years are encouraged to contact Dr. Wetmore for an application (stacy.wetmore@gmail.com).

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

Welcome Dr. Stacy Wetmore!

Dr. Stacy Wetmore

The Psychology Department would like to welcome Dr. Stacy Wetmore to our faculty as our newest tenure-track professor. She will be joining in the fall of 2018 and will teach Research Methods, Cognitive Psychology and other topics in the cognitive domain.

Dr. Wetmore received her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Oklahoma with minors in biological and quantitative psychology. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London from 2015-2016 and, most recently, taught at Butler University.

Dr. Wetmore’s research interests are focused primarily on studying the complexities and  implications of the psycho-legal field. Her current research involves comparing the performances of lineups and show-ups, in addition to studying the cross-race bias in recognition memory.

She is also seeking student research assistants of all class years. To learn more, follow this link.

We are excited to have Dr. Wetmore joining the department next semester!

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

Psy-Dye: On the Back Quad

We hope to see you there!

Also, if you are interested in joining our Relay for Life team, please sign up by clicking on the image above. It will take you directly to our site.

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

An Interview with Fulbright Scholar, Kaitlin Busse ’18

Kaitlin Busse ’18 (far left)

Kaitlin Busse, a senior majoring in psychology and a student assistant for the department, was recently awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant for Denmark.

In this post, Busse discusses with a student assistant what she will be doing while in Denmark, how she learned about the Fulbright program, and advice she has for students considering applying to Fulbright and any other research/internship opportunity.

Can you tell me a little about yourself and what you will be doing in Denmark?

I am a psychology major, sociology minor, and human resources concentration, and my interests are in organizational psychology. I was awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant to Denmark and I will be in Copenhagen from August 2018 until June 2019. I will take master level classes at Copenhagen Business School, where I plan to take classes about leadership and organizational change, employee identity, and diversity management, and about Danish culture and how it influences their organizations.

While there, I am also planning to assist my affiliate, Dr. Sara Louise Muhr, with a project she is working on about improving organizational cultures for women in academia in the European Union. Part of the Fulbright experience involves a project in which you immerse yourself in the community. I am planning to partner with an organization called, Crossing Borders, where I will help teach professional development skills to refugees in Denmark.

Click on the picture above to learn more about Crossing Borders.

How did you learn about the opportunity?

I actually learned about Fulbright while on my May Term to Sri Lanka. My professor, Dr. Katherine Hoffman, was a Fulbright ETA (she taught English) in Sri Lanka, and we interacted with their Fulbright Commission. I did not actually think about applying for a Fulbright until the second semester of my Junior year. I had just gotten back from studying abroad in the Netherlands and I loved immersing myself in another culture. After I came back, I received an email from Dr. Rosti about a Fulbright Information Session meeting.

What made you choose Denmark?

I wanted to go to Denmark because they are known for the great working environments and are constantly ranked one of the best places to work (and also one of the happiest countries)! My research interests lie in creating better work environments, especially in relation to work-family issues, which is what the Danes are known for! Also, I initially planned to study abroad in Denmark, but the program was cancelled during the semester that I wanted to go abroad.

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

To people who are thinking about applying for Fulbright, I would say DO IT! It is a lot of work and it is extremely competitive to receive an award, but you develop so much personally, academically, and professionally from the application process. Even if you do not receive the Fulbright award, you end up with a great personal statement from the process.

For those thinking about research and internship experiences, I would also say DO IT! It was actually through one of my internships at a counseling agency that I learned I did not want to be a counselor and was instead most concerned with improving the work environment. Internships have also helped me get to know a little bit more about what organizational psychology and the HR field are about.

For those looking for internships, my advice would be to reach out to your networks and Roanoke College alumni (I actually [found] my first internship at a Roanoke College Career Night in NYC). I would also recommend research too because it allowed me to go in deeper to my studies and learn more about a particular area that I am passionate about.

Roanoke has an amazing research focus in the psychology program, which also gives you the opportunity to have a strong network relationship, present at conferences, and learn more about the research process.

Thank you to Kaitlin for taking her time to answer our questions, and congratulations again on receiving the Fulbright grant! Keep in touch and let us know how it goes! We’ll be cheering you on from the fifth floor of Life Science.

Also, for those interested in the Fulbright Program, click on this link to go to their official website. You can also talk to Dr. Jenny Rosti, who is the Director of Major Scholarships and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer. Her email is: rosti@roanoke.edu.

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

SAAM Day of Action

Today is the SAAM Wear Teal Day of Action, sponsored by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

April is the Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Please show your support of survivors and ending victim blame by wearing teal today and/or following this link to the Resource Center’s official site to learn how to get involved.

You can also find information for survivors as well as family and friends on learning more about sexual violence and how to prevent it and connecting with victims or families.

The NSVRC is also a place to find help.

Please join us in supporting SAAM and today’s Day of Action.

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

Congratulations to Kaitlin Busse on Her Fulbright Acceptance!

Congratulations from the Department

Kaitlin Busse, a psychology major and student assistant, was recently awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant in Denmark!

Psychology faculty congratulated her on receiving the Fulbright grant, saying:

We are very proud of Kaitlin’s achievement; it is truly an honor. Kaitlin is the third Psychology major to receive a Fulbright in the last two years. Congratulations Kaitlin and good luck in Denmark!                                                                – Dr. Buchholz

Dr. Powell added:

Kaitlin is driven by an intrinsic motivation to succeed and to make the most of the educational opportunities available. Here at Roanoke, she has worked with myself and another faculty member in the Business Department to diversify her research experiences, which has led to her presenting projects at several disciplinary conferences. she also studied abroad at an institution well-known for their Industrial Organizational Psychology faculty and courses, and she acquired competitive summer internships to further expand her social capital and see the concepts she’s learned in action. A Fulbright Scholarship is an extraordinary next step for her! As she completes additional coursework and conducts a study under Dr. Muhr’s supervision, I am confident that she will thrive in Denmark. I am incredibly proud of what she has accomplished and look forward to hearing how it goes!

Keep a lookout for a follow-up post wherein Kaitlin will discuss what her project will entail, how she came to know about Fulbright, and advice for students interested in pursuing a Fulbright or any internship/research opportunity.

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

Stressed About Graduate School Applications?

If you are graduating this year and looking to apply to graduate schools or would just like to learn more about the process, then consider attending Ms. Brook’s talk on Tuesday, April 10th at 6 pm in Life Science 515!

A recruiter and retention specialist for graduate programs at Radford University, Ms. Brooks will demystify the process, providing tips towards strengthening your application and answer any questions you may have.

Hope to see you there!

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

New Majors Orientation in March!

Four students recently attended New Majors Orientation where they were able to sign their names onto the psychology board and learn about different opportunities available as a psychology major.

The orientation was led by Dr. Powell, who will be leading another orientation on April 5th at 5:00 pm in LS 502.

New majors are required to attend orientation, so if you recently declared a major in psychology, please sign-up for the final orientation through SONA!

Hope to see you there!

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

Psychology Summer Courses 2018

Do you want to get ahead, catch up, or just want to take an interesting course over the summer?

Then consider signing up for psychology summer courses!

Three 300-level courses will be offered, including History of Psychology, which is a requirement for psychology majors, Abnormal Psychology, IO Psychology, and Drugs & Behavior. In addition to the 300-level courses, the psychology department will also be offering a 260 INQ course taught by Dr. Whitson that will also count towards a major in psychology.

If interested, please talk to your advisor(s) and sign-up through Webadvisor while spots remain!

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

New Majors Orientation Spring ’18

Students who declared a psychology major recently, including those who declared last semester but were unable to attend, are required to attend the New Majors’ Orientation on either Monday, March 26th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm or Thursday, April 5th from 5:00 – 6:00 pm in Life Science 502.

You only need to attend one session, so pick whichever date works best for you and sign up here through SONA.

Hope to see you there!

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

SPSP Conference 2018

The first weekend of spring break, Drs. Buchholz, Osterman, Carter, and Findley-Van Nostrand, in addition to several students, traveled to Atlanta to present their studies at the 2018 Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference.

The students in attendance included:

  • Cody Dillon-Owens ’19, who presented on “Understanding moral decision making using self-driving cars.” This study was supervised by Dr. Buchholz and included several other students, including Megan Miller ’18, Allison Smith, Lauren Powell ’21, and Seth Poore ’20. They found that participants generally thought positively of self-driving cars. Faced with a moral dilemma on who to save during an impending crash, the participants were generally more likely to save themselves and their mothers over anyone else. Participants were also more likely to save “significant” individuals rather than strangers.
  • To learn more about the study, please contact Dr. Buchholz at buchholz@roanoke.edu.
  • Lauren Furlow ’19 and Nicole Moughrabi ’19 presented on the “Allocation of Mate Budgets as Function of Environmental Threat and Life History Strategy.” From Dr. Osterman’s lab, Furlow and Moughrabi added to further research to the field discussing how  “women’s mating psychologies shift as a function of early environment and current environment demands.”
  • To learn more about this study, email Dr. Osterman at osterman@roanoke.edu.
Sabrina McAllister ’18 presents her findings.
  • Sabrina McAllister ’18, a member of Dr. Nichols’s lab, discussed the results of her study titled “Time Perspective as a State-Based Measure.” To learn more about her study, follow this link. (If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Nichols at dnichols@roanoke.edu.)
  • Lauren Powell ’21, also a member of Dr. Buchholz’s lab, discussed the study titled “The moral dilemma of self-driving cars.” As this study was conducted alongside the first discussed study, the same researchers also worked on this inquiry. The main goal in this study was to see how gender and empathy would affect how the participants answered the moral dilemmas. However, the results showed that neither gender nor empathy predicted the answers, but that there was a “three-way interaction between gender, cognitive empathy, and affective resonance.” They also found that men possessed significantly more positive attitudes towards self-driving cars than women.

In addition, Drs. Osterman and Findley-Van Nostrand also presented their research. Specifically, Dr. O presented findings found in conjunction with Dr. Gornick of the Virginia Military Institute, Mr. Brian Matera, and Mr. Alexander Carr, titled “Trait Empathy Moderates Belief Bias in Emotionally-Evocative Reasoning Tasks.” To learn more, please contact Dr. Osterman at the above mentioned email address.

Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand’s study was titled: “Sense of Belonging Drives Intentions to Leave STEM in Undergraduate Students: Mediated and Short-Term Longitudinal Association.” She worked alongside Drs. Sophie Kuchynka, Jennifer Bosson, and Richard Pollenz, all from the University of South Florida. If you are curious about the study and want to learn more, Dr. FVN can be contacted at findley@roanoke.edu.

Finally, the day before the official SPSP conference began, Dr. Carter presented his study on “The Effect of the American Flag on Political Attitudes Has Declined Over Time: A Case Study of the Effect of Historical Context on Priming Effects,” at the JDM preconference.

The preconferences are one-day, mini conferences that allow for colleagues to gather to discuss their specific areas of interest. For Dr. Carter, this was to discuss the changes since the first study he and his fellow researchers had conducted in 2011, wherein his research revealed that using the American flag as a primer has become less effective in shifting participants towards more politically conservative attitudes and beliefs. The effect is shown to be roughly zero at present. To learn more, please contact Dr. Carter at tjcarter@roanoke.edu.

(Unfortunately, no pictures were taken of Dr. Carter while he was presenting at the JDM preconference. Instead, Dr. O provided a dramatic reenactment via hard work and editing skills.)

When asked about the experience, Dr. Osterman said…

We had a fantastic time at SPSP, and all of our student presenters did a wonderful job of talking about their research with other scholars. They represented the college and department exceedingly well.

Cody seconded this, saying:

SPSP went really well! It was a wonderful opportunity to present research to a large body of our peers in psychology, as well as learn about a lot of the exciting new research that’s being conducted in the field. I definitely look forward to attending my next conference!

Congratulations to our students and professors for their successful SPSP conference!

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

Psi Chi Inductions 2018

Congratulations to the new members of Psi Chi!

On March 13th, 2018, the psychology department held their Psi Chi Induction Ceremony. Thirty-four students were inducted this semester into Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology and one of the largest honor societies in the United States.

Following lunch, Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand began the ceremony by making the opening remarks. Students were then given their certificates and the nominations for the new executive board for Psi Chi were held. Dr. Osterman ended the ceremony by leading the recognition of the outgoing and incoming executive boards.

Pictures of the new members of Psi Chi followed the conclusion of the ceremony, including:

Students who were not able to attend the ceremony but are new members of Psi Chi are as follows:

  • Ciprianna O. Azar
  • Alexander J. Glando
  • Elizabeth Q. Helminski
  • Jeanette L. Kurtic
  • Logan E. Miner
  • Hannah Pfeffer
  • Jeanne M. Skulstad
  • Natalie M. Slemp
  • Allison L. Smith
  • Thomas E. Thomas
  • Kestrel Thorne-Kaunelis
  • Caroline G. Wagoner
  • Taylor C. Ward
  • Griffith E. Wood
  • Emily A. Wright

In order to be accepted to Psi Chi as an undergraduate student, one must:

  • be enrolled as a major or minor in a psychology program or a program psychological in nature
  • have completed at least 3 semesters or equivalent of full-time college coursework
  • have completed at least 9 semester credit hours or equivalent of psychology courses
  • have earned a cumulative GPA that is in the top 35% of their class (sophomore, junior, or senior) compared to their classmates across the entire university or the college that houses psychology (minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale)3
  • have a minimum 3.0 GPA average for psychology courses

Some of the benefits include:

  • International recognition for academic excellence in psychology.
    • Distinguished members can be found here, including Albert Bandura, B. F. Skinner, and Philip G. Zimbardo.
  • Over $400,000 are available annually in awards and grants.
  • Psi Chi’s Career Center
  • Free access to three publications:
    • Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research
    • Eye on Psi Chi
    • Psi Chi Digest

For more information, follow this link to the official Psi Chi website.

Congratulations again to our new members of Psi Chi! They’ve worked hard and we look forward to seeing what they will do in the future.

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

Congratulations to Molly Zydel!

Molly Zydel ’19, courtesy of Dr. Powell

Congratulations to Molly Zydel ’19 for being awarded the Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant!

Zydel will use this grant towards funding her Distinction Project, titled “Perceptions of Foster Care Youth’s Academic Identity: Comparing Reports from Foster Parents and Former Foster Care Youth.” Specifically, she will be using the grant in order to offset the costs of compensating participants for their time.

She has been a member of Dr. Powell’s research lab since fall 2016.

Zydel also went to Thailand as part of Dr. Powell’s May Term last summer. You can read about the trip here.

The Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant was founded in honor of Mamie Phipps Clark. Graduating in 1943, Clark was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University.

As such, this grant is awarded to Psi Chi students and faculty advisors who are seeking to study diverse populations and issues.

For more information about the research grant, click here.

Congratulations again to Molly Zydel! We’re proud of you and look forward to learning about the results of your Distinction Project!

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

Salem Veteran Affairs Medical Center Presentation

On March 27th from 7 pm – 8 pm in Life Science 515, Psi Chi will be hosting a presentation by researchers from Salem Veteran Affairs Medical Center for students interested in learning about their research, as well as internship opportunities!

Hope to see you there!

Get connected!
Instagram & Twitter:  #PsychRC @RC_Psychology
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

The Story Behind the GIF

In honor of three very special birthdays, including Dr. FVN and recent alums Stephanie Shields and Nikki Hurless, Dr. Nichols demonstrated how to “floss.”

Naturally, it was made into a GIF.

For a brief period of time, it was also shown on the psychology television near the elevators.

To see the original video that inspired this masterpiece, click here.

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Students Present at the Academy of Human Resource Development Conference

Riker Lawrence ’20 (left) and Kaitlin Busse ’18 (right) presented two posters at the Academy of Human Resource Development conference in Richmond, VA, this past week..

Congratulations to Kaitlin Busse ’18 and Riker Lawrence ’20 for their successful poster sessions at the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Conference in Richmond, Virginia!

Part of Dr. Powell’s lab, Busse and Lawrence presented two posters on their findings from researching work-life balance and perceptions of organizational climate and job satisfaction in employees from the United States and the United Kingdom.

The conference began on Wednesday, February the 14th, ending on the 18th. AHRD, a global organization, focuses on “leading human resource development through research.” 

Get connected!
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Toy Like Me Dates & Delivery

Need some service hours?

Want to get involved with a worthwhile (and fun) program?

Roanoke College’s Psychology Department will be delivering modified toys February 20th-26th made to look like the children they will be going to as part of the Toy Like Me program.

There is a sign-up sheet in the hallway for specific times deliverers are needed. Primary and back-up deliverers are needed, so feel free to sign up for more than one slot if you can!

Furthermore, Construction Day will be on March 15th from 5 pm-8 pm in Patterson if you would like to get experience modifying toys (and service hours).

Get connected!
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Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Relay for Life!

Interested in doing something fun and meaningful?

Then consider signing up with the RCPA and Psi Chi team for the Relay for Life at Roanoke College on April 7th.

We would love it for anyone available to join our team and help spread the word to raise money for this cause.

Cody Dillon-Owens, incoming Psi Chi President

If you would like to sign-up or donate, please follow this link to the official site.

There will also be a booth where students will get to tie dye T-shirts, so be sure to come see us!

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

Student Publication & Updates

Last semester, students from Dr. Nichols lab published a paper titled “Exploration of Methodological and Participant-Related Influences on the Number of Artifacts in ERP Data.”

Under the direction of Dr. Nichols, Ms. Stephanie M. Shields and Ms. Caitlin E. Morse conducted a study in order to see how the number of trials needed to collect enough data for Event-related Potential (ERP) could be minimized through the reduction of artifacts.

Typically, this type of research requires a number of trials in order to collect enough data. Oftentimes, several of these trials have to be discarded as a result of artifacts, or errors.

Shields, Morse, and Nichols focused specifically on the connections between “the number of trials that have to be eliminated due to artifacts and a set of methodological variables, physical considerations, and individual differences.”

To read more about what they found as a result of their research, follow this link to the original article.

Related: Ms. Shields was awarded a Fulbright grant to return to Germany to study bat vocalizations and vocal learning in Munich, Germany from September 2017-July 2018. Prior to this, she spent a summer in Hamburg, Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service Research Internship in Science and Engineering. While there, she completed a research project with Ph.D. student Signe Luisa Schneider on electroencephalography (EEG), learning, and memory. (To find out more about this latter project, follow this link.) Shields also completed over three years of research in the psychology department and had other articles published as well. She graduated with a major in psychology, a concentration in neuroscience, and a minor in German. She plans on earning a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

Related: Ms. Morse currently works as a Licensed Nursing Assistant at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire. Graduating from Roanoke College with a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science in 2017, she followed this by attending the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences where she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in order to become a registered nurse. While at Roanoke College, she worked as a research assistant in the psychology department for around three and a half years, starting in 2013. She has also participated in two other published articles through Dr. Nichols lab, alongside Ms. Shields and other students. Her Linked In account can be found here.

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

Application Deadline for Radford University’s Graduate Programs in Psychology

The future is scary, but here are several options available at Radford University for students interested in pursuing a Master’s degree or higher in some aspect of psychology.

These programs include:

  • Clinical-Counseling (M.A., M.S.)
    • A two year, full-time program designed to provide a solid foundation in theory and application for students interested in pursuing counseling or further studies in counseling or clinical-psychology.
      • The MA program requires the completion of 46 credit hours (including a thesis)
      • The MS program requires the completion of 40 credit hours
  • Experimental Psychology (M.A.)
    • A two year, full-time program providing students with advanced training in research methodology, data analysis, and the core principles of psychology. Students gain invaluable experience by working with faculty conducting research in a number of different subfields, as well as developing a wide range of knowledge in psychology.
    • Students will be required to develop, test, and defend a thesis project based on empirical research.
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology (M.A., M.S.)
    • A small, non-competitive and collaborative cohort
    • Through applying the basic principles of psychology to the workplace, I/O strives to improve not only the workplace, but also the “quality of work life for employees.”
    • Radford offers a two year, terminal master’s degree based on a “practitioner-scholar” model that applies to a number of career paths; the M.A. option includes a thesis project that prepares students for further studies.
    • A required internship, as well as a client-based project for each of the six I/O courses
    • 37 credit-hour program (9 hours per semester; 1 credit summer internship)
  • School Psychology (Ed.S.)
    • One of the few programs that offers a study abroad option, students in School Psychology may also earn both an Ed.S. in School Psychology and a M.S. degree in psychology.
    • Hands-on training begins in the first semester by going to public schools
    • In addition to assessment and intervention classes, students learn the most up-to-date methods such as “RTI and neuropsychological assessment and intervention.”
    • The program works with students who want to complete their third year internship in their home state, thus increasing their chances of employment.
    • School Psychology at Radford University is fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists. Graduates are eligible to apply to be a nationally certified school psychologist.
  • Counseling (Psy.D.)
    • Counseling (Psy.D.) at Radford University focuses on rural mental health, with emphasis on “cultural diversity, social justice, and evidence-based practice in psychology.”
    • The program is designed for students “interested in pursuing careers as psychologists in mental health settings and institutions where clinical supervision and the direct application of counseling, therapy, and psychological assessment are required.”
    • APA-accredited, follows a practitioner-scholar model, and includes a 2,000 hour internship.
    • Applicants must have completed a Master’s degree from an accredited institution where “they provided face-to-face counseling services by August of the year in which they wish to enroll in the Psy.D. program.”

Other opportunities include:

Applications for these programs are due February 15th. These applications must be online, require a non-refundable payment of fifty (50) dollars, and degreeseeking students must submit official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended. The application will automatically be forwarded to the selected department for evaluation.

To learn more about admissions and to find the link to the application, click here.

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

UVA’s L. Starling Reid Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference

Have you recently completed a research study, are an undergraduate student, and want to present your findings at a well-regarded conference?

On Friday, April 13th, 2018, the University of Virginia’s annual L. Starling Reid Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference will occur.

This event highlights “outstanding empirical research conducted by undergraduate scholars.”

The proposal deadline has been extended to Monday, March 15th, 2018 at 8:00 am.

Accepted students will be notified by 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 22nd.

Due to the high volume of applicants and the limited number of spots available, this conference is competitive.

Presentation formats are either research talks lasting around fifteen minutes, or posters. The selection process for research talks are more competitive, but if an applicant fails to secure a research talk position, then they will automatically be considered for a poster.

The application is now live and can be found here. For more information about the conference, follow this link.

If you have any questions, please contact UVA psychology department’s Taylor Young, who is the Interim Undergraduate Coordinator. His email is psy-umaj@virginia.edu.

Get connected!
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Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Job Fair & Growth Through Opportunity

Growth Through Opportunity is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

GTO is looking for students who are respectful of others, positive, dependable, patient, flexible, and creative, among other traits.

Through the program, students partner with first responders at local fire stations, police departments, sheriff’s offices and courthouses, making this an ideal program for those especially interested in psychology, sociology, social work, criminal justice, education, communications, and business. 

In addition to gaining experience with varying levels of our justice system and with first responders, students will also develop such skills as developing educational curriculum, teaching/job coaching, and fundraising and marketing.

Students can volunteer, intern, or complete service hours. (Though it is too late in the current semester to set-up an internship.)

Students work as job coaches with recent high school graduates with disabilities (physical, emotional, learning, behavioral), called ‘cadets,’ as they work on-site with members of our justice system and first responders. Each student will have a small group of cadets, around four-to-six, that they will look after.

The program would be both spring and fall, from five-to-twenty hours a week, or from 9 am – 2 pm Monday through Thursday, though students will have to be there all of that time.  While students are not paid, GTO is applicable for academic credit or service/volunteer hours, as well as gaining invaluable experience and connections.

Furthermore, GTO will also be at the upcoming job fair on March 19th, 4:30 – 6:30 pm if you are interested and would like to speak to a representative.

Finally, if you are interested but cannot commit to the time or both semesters, the GTO team is currently working with the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services to create a summer camp where students will have the opportunity to be involved.

For those who are interested, please send a letter of interest and resume to Dawn Martin at GTOdawnmartin@gmail.com or contact her at (540)204-5945 if you have any questions.

Martin is a 1998 graduate of Roanoke College with a bachelors degree in psychology. She is happy to help interested students in finding a place at GTO.

Get connected!
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Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Americorps Literacy Lab

Graduating this semester?

Interested in working in the non-profit sector, or just interested in helping kids learn?

Not sure what you’re going to do yet?

Then consider applying to the Literacy Lab, a branch of Americorps.

The Literacy Lab’s mission is to provide low-income children with individualized reading instruction to improve their literacy skills, leading to greater success in school and increased opportunities in life. In Richmond they serve children K-3, partnering with school districts to help close the literacy gap, by embedding full-time, rigorously-trained tutors in elementary schools.

The Literacy Lab works in Metro DC, Greater Richmond, Baltimore MD, Kansas City, MO and in the upcoming year, Springfield MA. Students who are graduating this year and are unsure what their next steps should be, may consider applying to this amazing service term. The position is rewarding, and the professional skills developed could help with a career in the non-profit sector. There is also an expansive Americorps alumni network that you’d also become a part of.

You can choose to serve full-time as a literacy tutor for the rest of the 2017-2018 year (through July 2018), or for the next year (August 2018- July 2019).

There is also another program called “Leading Men Fellowship” through the Literacy Lab which is a year-long opportunity from August 2018 – July 2019.

You can find the applications for all three of the above opportunities here. To learn more about the Literacy Lab in general, follow this link for the general website.

Get connected!
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Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Manuscript Published!

Congratulations to Dr. Powell (Roanoke College), Dr. Freedman (Dartmouth University), Dr. Le (Haverford College), and Dr. Williams (Purdue University) for their recent publishing in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, titled “Ghosting and Destiny: Implicit theories of relationships predict beliefs about ghosting”!

The research article focuses on two studies conducted by the authors to determine how implicit theories such as destiny and growth influence relationship terminations and how participants view “ghosting.”

For more information, follow this link to see the original study.

Again, congratulations to Dr. Powell and her fellow researchers for their manuscript publishing!

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

Summer Research Opportunity: Yale University Program in Organizational Behavior

Looking for a summer research opportunity?

Then please consider applying to the Yale University program in Organizational Behavior.

The Yale University program in Organizational Behavior is seeking several summer research assistants (20 hours/week; ~$350-400/week) to work on research projects at the Yale School of Management in New Haven, CT. This internship would start in the summer of 2018 and last from around June 15th to August 15th (exact dates are flexible). This internship is designed to support individuals looking to strengthen their research skills before applying to a graduate school PhD program in organizational behavior, or a related behavioral science field. Therefore, a critical component of this summer research experience will be ongoing mentoring and guidance from faculty and graduate students, and we highly encourage those from underrepresented and/or non-traditional educational backgrounds to apply.

Research assistants will collaborate with faculty (Professors Amy Wrzesniewski, Cydney Dupree, and Michael Kraus) and graduate students on day-to-day research being conducted, which includes: programming surveys on Qualtrics, data collection in the lab, field, and online environments, analyzing and summarizing data, revising/editing manuscripts, assisting with literature reviews, IRB proposals, and presentations, and attending research meetings and workshops. At the end of the 8-week internship, all interns will present their research progress at a mini-conference hosted by the School of Management.

To apply, complete the survey here: http://yale.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5sYn4GGmqDcjmap

We will begin reviewing applications on March 1st, 2018 and will continue until the position has been filled.

Get connected!
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Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Amanda Knox: Documentary and Conversation

Amanda Knox documentary, 23 January 2018

On Tuesday, January 23, 2018 Amanda Knox’s documentary was shown at Roanoke College in preparation for her visit the next evening.

While the room quickly filled up to watch the documentary, this would be nothing in comparison to the following night, when hundreds of people arrived at Olin Theater in order to see Amanda Knox in person.

Cards were handed out to audience members in preparation for the Q&A session following Knox’s presentation.

In her presentation, Knox described the events of the past, emphasizing why truth matters and how her experience could have easily happened to anyone.

The events were hosted by the Turk Pre-Law Program’s Gentry Locke Speaker Series, the Public Affairs Society, and Community Programs.

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

Toy Like Me ’17

A Student at Oak Grove Receiving Her Toy. Original Source: Roanoke College News

Last December, Christmas was made particularly special for a class at Oak Grove Elementary School in Roanoke, Virginia.

As reported by the local WDBJ7 news station, Roanoke College students and biology professor, Dr. Frances Bosch, delivered toys they had altered to Mrs. Gruber’s special education classroom.

For children with disabilities, finding toys that look like them can be difficult and they can sometimes feel left out as a result.

As Dr. Bosch points out,

[… because only] twenty percent of the population have a disability of some sort, it is unlikely that major manufacturers would make toys to truly give every child a toy like them.

Yet, for students of this classroom, and for many other children as a result of the Toy Like Me project in Roanoke and the UK, finding toys that represent them has been made a little easier.

The Toy Like Me project at Roanoke College began when Dr. Bosch was researching for her 2015 May Term class, and she read about the Toy Like Me program started by Rebecca Atkinson in the UK.

Atkinson recognized the need for more diversified toys and started the program in order to lobby major toy manufacturers into producing toys more diverse toys.

The following year, while planning for her 2016 May Term class, Dr. Bosch decided not to wait for toy manufacturers to start diversifying their products.

I contacted Rebecca and asked if we could modify toys and give them away in the name of Toy Like Me. 

Atkinson approved.

So, the May 2016 class modified $300 worth of toys, and we gave most of them to Carilion Clinic’s Children’s Hospital in Roanoke.

Dr. Bosch helps a student during her May Term class. Source: Facebook

This was not the end, however, as this project would spark continued projects in the name of Toy Like Me at Roanoke College. As Dr. Bosch describes,

Last school year, we did a Santa Claus Toy drive, and gave away $1600 worth of toys. [We] then gave toys away for Valentine’s [Day], and again in April.

My May 2017 class modified $700 worth of toys for the Pediatric Oncology ward at UVA through RC alumna Karra (Slaughter) Lee, who is a PA in that ward.

This year’s Santa Claus toy drive saw toys go to children in several schools in Roanoke City and County.

Including Oak Grove Elementary.

Last semester, we partnered with  Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand’s Developmental Psychology classes. They modified toys with us, then participated in the delivery of toys to Oak Grove Elementary.

According to Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, her students worked with Professor Bosch, the “heart and soul of the program” in order modify the toys based on each individual student.

If someone is in a wheelchair, a doll can be modified to include a wheelchair; if a child has a feeding tube, a tube can be inserted in toys; if a child wears glasses or has crutches, they add those […]

RC Students and Dr. FVN introducing themselves at Oak Grove. Not Mine: Roanoke College News, David Matheny

For Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, the Toy Like Me program was “a memorable experience” as she “loved seeing the kids get so surprised and excited over the toys, and it was a great opportunity for my students as well.”

Dr. Bosch notes plans to partner with Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand’s class again this semester, as well as with Psi Chi, the Honors Society for psychology.

Tenure Track Professor Candidate Research Talk

The Psychology Department would like to invite the campus community to attend a presentation by Dane Hilton, a candidate for a tenure track professor in the department, on the “Social Functioning and the Executive System: Improving Theory, Informing Intervention” TODAY in Life Science 402 at 4:00 pm.

For more information, please contact Dr. Buchholz.

Hope to see you there!

Get connected!
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