Dr. Dickens’ social psychology research lab at Spelman College is looking to hire an undergraduate research assistant to help with research focused on the experiences of Black women in STEM education.
During a 6-week summer program (June 7th – July 16th, 2021), students will have the opportunity for one-on-one mentorship and research experience with a faculty member. This opportunity will be virtual but working full time for the full 6-week commitment is required for the program. A stipend will be provided.
Responsibilities of the research assistant include:
Recruiting study participants
Data collection and analyses
Attend weekly lab meetings
It is preferred that interested students have the following qualifications:
Strong academic performance in psychology with a GPA requirement of 3.25 (overall and major)
Dependability and initiative
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
Rising juniors and seniors preferred
Selection into the program is rolling and will last until March 19th, 2021.
If you are interested in applying, please complete the online application using this link and email your curriculum vitae/resume, and your most recent unofficial academic transcript to the lab director Dr. Danielle Dickens, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you still debating what to do over the summer but are interested in research? Roanoke College offers several opportunities to get involved with research this upcoming summer.
Roanoke College Summer Scholars
As the March 15th deadline quickly approaches, we will highlight Roanoke College’s Summer Scholars program. Summer scholars work one-on-one with faculty on a project that will be presented during Family Weekend (late September/early October). On-campus housing is provided and summer scholars will be paid $3000 and earn a summer course credit.
To apply students must have a 3.0 or higher GPA, have completed 8 units by the start of the grant period, and plan to return the following fall. The application consists of a cover sheet, a student application for summer scholars, and a faculty nomination to mentor a summer scholar. These forms and more information about the process can be found on the summer scholars page, here.
Below are some past psychology majors and their summer scholars projects:
Aislinn Foutz. Parental and Peer Factors in Children’s Theory of Mind Development. Major: Psychology. (Faculty Mentor: Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand, Psychology)
Yipeng Wang. Gender Difference of Domestic Abuse and How Honor Culture Would Affect those Differences. Major: Psychology. (Faculty Mentor: Lindsey L. Osterman, Psychology)
Sabrina McAllister. Time Perspective as a State-Based Measure. Major: Psychology. (Faculty mentor: David Nichols, Psychology)
Megan Miller. Self-driving cars as a test of the potentially harmful effects of empathy on moral decision making. Major: Psychology. (Faculty mentor: Chris Buchholz, Psychology).
Summer Research Incentive Program
As part of the Summer Experience Incentive Program, students are provided reduced summer tuition for one unit of internship, research, or independent study credit. To qualify for reduced summer tuition, approval for their project must be received no later than May 15th.
Students have the responsibility of finding a faculty member who is willing to supervise the project. It is recommended that students start working on proposals by Spring Break to give faculty members time to review the plan and give the students time to make revisions and acquire needed signatures.
Projects, required reflections, final paper, and final reflection (3-page minimum) must all be completed and submitted to their faculty supervisor by September 30th. Students in the program are also required to participate in a showcasing event.
A more in-depth description of the program, as well as the applications for the program, can be found on the Summer Research Incentive Program page, here.
Salem VA Medical Center and Roanoke College Undergraduate Research Experience
Please note that the program is currently on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic but those interested should email the director of undergrad research at email@example.com to get on the mailing list for when applications become open.
This collaboration with the Salem VA Medical center allows Roanoke College undergraduates to work in research with a Principal Investigator (PI) on current medical research and present it. Research has included topics such as “Predictors of Treatment Response Among Veterans with PTSD”, “Mental Health in Rural Veterans with and without Traumatic Brain Injury”, and “Effect of Exercise Training on Inflammation and Function in HIV Infected Veterans”.
It is recommended interested students meet with the Director of Undergraduate in the fall semester or early in the spring semester to discuss the program. To apply, students must submit a cover letter (with research interests), a curriculum vitae, an unofficial transcript, and two letters of recommendation to the Director of Undergraduate Research by the deadline.
More information about expectations and other important information can be found here.
On February 9-13, eight students attended the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference virtually, to present research through poster sessions and to attend presentations. The students included Sophie Bacon ’20, Carolynn Bructo ’21, Ben Campbell ’22, Sydney Caulder ’21, Kira Hunt ’21, Abbie Joseph ’21, Naomi Painter ’22, and Carly Schepacarter ’21.
This blog post will highlight the posters that the students presented and a brief summary of their research.
Sophie Bacon ’20
Research has shown that social networking platforms (Instagam, Facebook, Snap Chat, ect) afford the opportunity for identity development, specifically through engaging in different types of self-presentation. In this study, we examined the association between social goals (including, authenticity, the need for popularity, and need for belonging) and presentation of the real, ideal, and false self on social media.
Our main findings were that Authenticity predicted greater real self-presentation on social media, a high need for popularity predicted higher false self-presentation, and a high need for belonging predicted greater ideal self-presentation.
Carolynn Bructo ’21
In this study, we examined achievement goal orientations (mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance) in association with intention to remain in STEM majors and differences in these variables and associations by gender and unrepresented minority status in a large sample of undergraduate students. Results suggest achievement goals are meaningfully related to STEM persistence.
Ben Campbell ’22
This study aimed to expand on past research on relational aggression in adolescents, but in emerging adults (age 18-25). Relational aggression is an indirect form of aggression used to harm relationships (e.g., silent treatment, excluding others from a peer group, gossiping, verbal threats). We examined associations between relational aggression, resource control strategies (coercive and prosocial), social status (popularity, likeability, and social status insecurity), dominance, and prestige. Results showed that like in adolescents, relational aggression in emerging adults is associated with higher use of dominant behavior, coercive resource control strategies, greater social status insecurity, and greater valuing of popularity. This suggests that people who desire popularity and dominance within a peer group use higher amounts of relational aggression to attain and maintain that status.
Sydney Caulder ’21
Research has found that narcissism predicts heightened provoked aggression and hostility. However, less understood is the role of hostile attribution bias (HAB) in these associations. In this study, we examined multiple conceptualizations of narcissism (grandiose and pathological) in relation to HAB and aggressive responses to provocation.
Kira Hunt ’21
My poster “Ignoring Red Flags” pertained to online dating and how self-efficacy in romantic relationships impacted how much-emerging adults self-disclosed (i.e. shared information about themselves) to hypothetical online romantic matches. I also wanted to determine if disclosure levels would change if these hypothetical online romantic matches differed in physical attractiveness and were paired with vignettes that varied in honesty. We found that self-efficacy was not associated with disclosure and photo attractiveness did not influence participants’ disclosures but the level of honesty did influence disclosure. Participants were less likely to disclose and continue communicating for deception vignettes.
Abbie Joseph ’21
This project explores the use of ghosting as a romantic relationship dissolution strategy and its association with post-dissolutional cyberstalking behaviors. Due to the uncertainty that ghosting involves, it was expected that ghosting would be associated with more severe and more frequent cyberstalking behaviors than relationships ended by other strategies (e.g., an explicit breakup).
Naomi Painter ’22
COVID-19 has impacted the food industry’s means of operation and employment. We examined the effect of stigmatization against Asian restaurants on the perception of contamination and willingness to order takeout. We found statistically significant effects as participants with a higher fear of contamination were less likely to order takeout and were also less likely to order Chinese food.
Carly Schepacarter ’21
This project’s goal was to determine if people experiencing a negative life event have different tastes in art than others, as well as if interacting with art can help those people have an improved emotional state. In the first study, we were interested in studying if individuals reported a different preference for art after recalling a negative event, and we wanted to know how exposure to art would impact their emotions. Ultimately, participants did not have a specific preference for a subject matter in art, but there was an interaction between Prime and Order which means that the Prime did impact the emotional state of the participants when they did the emotion questionnaire right after the prime, but this effect disappeared when they did the art rating first. The second study tested if this happened because of some impact of the art task, or because of natural decline over time. The results indicated that participants who completed an art task had more positive emotions on a questionnaire than those in a non-art control task. From this, we can say confidently that experiencing art after recalling a negative event increases positive emotions more than the control task. Research from this project was used to create paintings for Hopetree Family Services in Salem, VA.
For those students still looking for graduate programs, Shippensburg University, located in south-central Pennsylvania, is providing a complete asynchronous (online) program that can be completed in one year as a full-time student or two years as a part-time student. To earn the degree, a total of ten courses (thirty credits) of graduate work is required.
The program according to Shippensburg University “emphasizes the application of psychological principles and methodologies to real-world problems.” Many of their graduates assume research-related roles (e.g., program evaluation, survey research, data analyst, etc.) across various areas in business/industry, government, and non-profit settings.
Students in the program are able to pursue one of two specialties. Those interested in quality control careers can pursue a Six Sigma greenbelt certification. Those who are interested in working with individuals with learning or social impairments such as those with autism can earn a Behavior Specialist Certificate which provides advanced coursework in applied behavioral analysis.
Remote assistantships are available on a competitive basis but are subject to change based on university funding.
Shippensburg University has rolling admissions which allow students to begin and complete the program in any term.
More information on the program can be found on their official webpage found here. For answers to any other questions or more information about the program, feel free to contact the graduate program coordinator, Dr. Thomas Hatvany at Tchatvany@ship.edu.
If you are anything like the majority of psychology students across the country, you are probably trying to find a meaningful experience to fill your time over the 2021 summer. For some, this could mean going home and spending time with family, while others may have a job lined up and waiting for them. Whether you have an idea of what to do or not, we encourage everyone to take a look at summer internship and research opportunities for psychology!
Internships offer real-world learning experiences that allow students to apply what they are learning in the classroom in a professional setting and broaden their education from abstract to applied contexts. Internships also give you valuable information to add to your resume, allow you to develop a professional network, and there are opportunities for you to earn academic credit or pay for the work you are performing.
Research in psychology is a broad field that has endless topics to conduct research on. Psychology research occurs every day and providing support to research does not require extensive degrees, or prior experience. Research experience is a very valuable component to any graduate school or job application. Just like with internships, research experience provides a wealth of knowledge about the research process that your classes may not even begin to cover. It also opens a window of academic networking opportunities, is an outstanding experience to list on your resume, and often earns you course credit.
All Roanoke College students should remember that internship credits can be earned for research-based internships, and/or paid opportunities as well! This year specifically, credit can be earned locally, through a virtual opportunity, or wherever home is.
Not sure where to start looking for an internship? Check out this list of paid internship positions in developmental and general psychology. OR take a look at this site, which offers both psychology job listings and opportunities for internships for undergraduate students.
Additional information about internships and research can be found here, as well as contact information for Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand, the Internship Director for Psychology.
In the midst of a pandemic, how have our relationships changed? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we suspected that the number of individuals in long-distance relationships may have increased as a result of quarantine and travel restrictions. We also thought this may have disproportionately affected college students who were used to being in geographically-close relationships when they were living on their school’s campus. This shift from being in a geographically-close relationship to being in a long-distance relationship could be a major source of stress that ultimately decreases couples’ satisfaction, and we were interested in considering how this relational dissatisfaction could potentially be reduced in such unprecedented times. After researching relational maintenance behaviors, we decided to examine how the education and implementation of relational maintenance behaviors in college students’ romantic relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic could potentially affect satisfaction in their relationships. Relational maintenance behaviors refer to the several behaviors used to maintain a healthy and successful relationship (Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 2001). The most common way to measure this is by using the Relational Maintenance Strategy Measure (RMSM) which contains five groups of strategies: positivity, openness, assurances, social networks, and sharing tasks (Stafford & Canary, 1991). These behaviors have been proven to increase satisfaction levels when implemented into a relationship (Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 2001). Satisfaction was measured using the Relationship Assessment Scale (RAS) which describes several relationship dimensions such as love, problems, and expectations (Hendrick, 1988). Several studies have been conducted on how the use of relational maintenance behaviors correlates with satisfaction, but there are no studies that have used an experiment to test this like ours did. An experiment allows us to determine whether something like relational maintenance behaviors may have a causal impact on satisfaction, and whether they may be able to change through intervention.
The 36 participants were recruited through Roanoke College’s SONA system in the psychology department and received 2 SONA credits for participating in all parts of the study. Participants had to have been in a romantic relationship. Participants signed up for a Zoom session where they were asked to complete a pre-survey in order to measure satisfaction within their current relationships. After the completion of the pre-survey, participants were asked to return to the Zoom session. Those in the experimental group were read a list of examples from the RMSM and encouraged to try some in their current romantic relationships, and those in the control group were asked to watch a 5 minute video about helpful habits for better sleep. The purpose of a control group is to have a base-line to be able to compare the changes in the experimental group to. Within a week, all participants received an email with a link for a post-survey, and their satisfaction in their romantic relationship was once again assessed using the RAS.
Results and Discussion
Contrary to expectations, participants in the experimental group, who received the informational session on relational maintenance behaviors, did not report more satisfaction at the time of the post-survey compared to the time of the pre-survey. Additionally, participants in the experimental group did not report more satisfaction than participants in the control group at the time of the post-survey. However, we did find that participants in both the control and experimental groups who reported using more relational maintenance behaviors at the post-survey also reported more satisfaction at the post-survey. Participants in both the control and experimental groups who reported more use of relational maintenance behaviors at the time of the pre-survey also reported more use of these maintenance behaviors at the time of the post-survey. Also, participants from both groups who reported high satisfaction at the pre-survey also reported high satisfaction at the post-survey.
Relational Maintenance Behaviors (Post-Survey)
Due to our very low sample size, the inability to have face-to-face sessions, and the inability for us experimenters to monitor the relational maintenance behaviors of participants, we did not find what we had previously expected. We did, however, find what previous studies have found, as the participants reported more satisfaction when they used more relational maintenance behaviors in their romantic relationships.
Through this process, we gained some much needed insight on what was beneficial to the success of this study, as well as what kept the study from reaching its full potential. First, we believe this study aimed to measure important variables and believe that a replication or partial replication of this study could result in significant and useful findings. Considering the majority of our findings were insignificant, however, we noted a few different aspects of our study that, if changed, may have led to greater significance. For example, the outcome of our study might have been significantly different if everything did not have to be done through online surveys and Zoom sessions. Additionally, we believe that the pressing SONA credit requirement for Psychology students at Roanoke College may have encouraged students to complete our survey for the sake of completion, rather than to provide quality data. If this study were replicated in the future, it would be important to ensure that the participants take the study seriously.
While we found that an information session regarding relational maintenance behaviors given to some participants did not significantly increase satisfaction, we found that all participants seem to already implement these maintenance behaviors in their relationships. The main finding from our study suggests that the use of relational maintenance behaviors in college students’ romantic relationships is associated with their relationship satisfaction, even during a global pandemic.
Hendrick, S. S. (1988). A generic measure of relationship satisfaction. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50(1), 93–98.
Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1991). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 8(2), 217–242.
Weigel, D.J., & Ballard-Reisch, D.S. (2001). The impact of relational maintenance behaviors on marital satisfaction: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Family Communication, 1(4), 265-279.
Ethan Abbott, Sydney Caulder, & Morgan Hamilton (Advisor: Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand)
Emerging adulthood is a highly exploratory and developmentally rich period of time in an individual’s life. Between the ages of 18 to 29 is a big transitional phase for young adults to develop their own identity and find their niche in society. There are frequent changes experienced through changing vocations, relationships, and living situations attributed to a significantly reduced sense of stability as compared to parts of life prior to and after emerging adulthood (Arnett 2000; Arnett et al., 2014). In order to properly evaluate how young adults are handling the transitional stressors of their lives coupled with the extenuating circumstances brought on by COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to see if individual’s locus of control helped mitigate stress. Specifically, an internal locus of control refers to how much one believes their actions are the result of their own efforts, relative to the belief that outside events influence their future (external locus of control). If individuals perceive to have some form of control over a situation then they will find the aversive stimulus to be less threatening.
Another facet of stress management we wanted to measure is an individual’s intolerance of uncertainty. This term refers to the cognitive ability to compartmentalize unknown potentially negative events so that it won’t hinder mental health or physical actions. This anticipation of uncertainty derives from the desire for predictability and an active engagement in seeking certainty and paralysis of cognition and action in the face of uncertainty (Birrell, Meares, Wilkinson, & Freeston, 2011). Emerging adults will also employ various coping strategies for the sake of their physical and psychological well-being. Coping mechanisms are vital towards a young adult maintaining proper mental health because poor maintenance of mental thoughts and adjustment can lead to instability. The four types of core coping mechanisms that young adults utilize are problem-solving, support-seeking, escape, & accommodation (Skinner, Edge, Altman, & Sherwood, 2003). Given the current circumstances of the world at large, we thought it wise to conduct and evaluate a survey administered to the Roanoke College student body to see how these three facets of handling mental stressors are being employed amongst the young adult student population. For the sake of our study we used locus of control and intolerance of uncertainty as predictors of various coping mechanisms.
Participants in this study were recruited from current students at Roanoke College through the Psychology Department’s SONA system. Participants who were enrolled in psychology courses eligible for extra credit upon participation received one half credit. In total, 145 participants completed the study.
The survey was administered online through Qualtrics where participants were asked demographic information including gender, race, age, year in school, and impact of COVID-19. Previously constructed measurements were used for locus of control, intolerance of uncertainty, and coping. For locus of control, the 24-item Multidimensional Locus of Control Scale was used. Intolerance of uncertainty was measured using the 27-item Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale. Finally, coping was measured using the 60-item COPE inventory.
Results & Discussion
We decided to focus on intolerance of uncertainty and locus and control as predictors of coping in a multiple regression model. A multiple regression model demonstrates the strength of two individual predictors controlling for one another while also controlling for shared variance in a single outcome. The COPE inventory included different subscales focusing on specific forms of coping such as focus on venting of emotions or active coping. There were several significant associations found among the different subscales of coping when intolerance of uncertainty and locus of control were used as predictors. And, in each set of tests, there was a large effect size, meaning that these explained a fairly significant amount of the individual type of coping.
Having a higher internal locus of control was related to greater use of managing distress emotions rather than dealing with the stressor (positive reinterpretation) and less use of behavioral disengagement when controlling for intolerance of uncertainty which was related to less use of positive reinterpretation and more behavioral disengagement.
Internal locus of control was unrelated to, and intolerance of uncertainty positively related to both venting of emotions and mental disengagement.
There was one subscale, active coping, that was positively related to internal locus of control but unrelated to intolerance of uncertainty. See the figure below for an overview of regression results across models; the positive sign indicates as the level of the predictor increases the level of the outcome also increases, and the negative sign indicates that as the level of the predictor increases or decreases the outcome would do the opposite of that increase or decrease).
We also explored differences of mean scores between males and female participants. There were no significant differences based on gender in internal locus of control and intolerance of uncertainty scores, or coping subscales of use of instrumental social support, positive reinterpretation, active coping or behavioral disengagement. There were significant differences in scores based on gender for the coping subscales of focus on venting of emotions, use of emotional support, and mental disengagement.
Our data collection and analysis produced logical results that were mostly as expected. Our research can open the door to future research on how different forms of coping may indicate how individuals perceive changes within their life or the amount of control they feel they have over those changes. This research was especially meaningful given the current COVID-19 pandemic and associated mental health difficulties. Intolerance of uncertainty and internal locus of control may be influential in encouraging adaptive forms of coping.
Figure: Visual Representation of Regression Results: Intolerance of Uncertainty and Internal Locus of Control as Predictors of Forms of Coping.
Creating a study which was interesting to all of us and able to be done efficiently through remote learning certainly posed a tough challenge to our group. Initially we thought a study more focused on the current challenges for emerging adults amidst the COVID-19 pandemic would be interesting, but we ultimately decided emerging adults face many challenges with uncertainty regardless of if they are enduring a pandemic or not. The beginning stages were relatively easy to manage by dividing up the work and checking in on each other periodically, but as we started using Jamovi our difficulties took a turn. One of the many challenges posed due to remote learning was the opportunity to learn an entirely new data analysis application, Jamovi. Although Jamovi is user friendly when conducting data, we struggled getting it to be compatible with Qualtrics, and those problems were difficult to work through together. Ultimately these issues were ironed out through many meetings with our group and Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand via Zoom trying to figure it out. Although ultimately our outcome of our research was largely unchanged, it was difficult to manage each challenge together while completing our tasks remotely, but I think we all understood the value of good communication and patience through completing this experience remotely.
Arnett, J.J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: a theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469–480.
Arnett, J.J. (2014). The new life stage of emerging adulthood at ages 18-29 years: implications for mental health. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1(7), 569–576.
Birrell, J., Meares, K., Wilkinson, A., & Freeston, M. (2011). Toward a definition of intolerance of uncertainty: A review of factor analytical studies of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale. Clinical Psychology Review,31(7), 1198-1208. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2011.07.009
Skinner, E.A., Edge, K., Altman, J., & Sherwood, H. (2003). Searching for the structure of coping: a review and critique of category systems for classifying ways of coping.. Psychological Bulletin, 129(2), 216-269.
Caelan DeMuth, Mason Wheeler, Maggie Lewis (Advisor: Dr. Findley Van-Nostrand)
Many changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected well-being of individuals, with college students being uniquely affected given the changes in their academic environment. Specifically, remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way students are expected to learn, potentially driving issues related to focus and to social isolation. Younger students with less experience in university level education may be at higher risk of struggling more than their older peers during the pandemic (Ledman, 2008). In this study, we students’ psychological well-being in relation to their individual need for structure (that is, the extent to which they desire structure and clarity and find ambiguity troubling), academic motivation (the extent to which they are motivated to remain in and do well in school), and academic year. We expected responses that underclassmen or younger students would report higher levels of a need for structure and lower levels of academic motivation, and that both motivation and need for structure would predict well-being. As motivation in academic settings during the ongoing pandemic had yet to be assessed this research may be used to provide insight into how to provide resources to students during upcoming academic terms.
Methods and Measures
Participants for this research were individuals currently enrolled at Roanoke College. There were 115 participants, of which 39 were freshmen, 39 were sophomores, 21 were juniors, and 16 were seniors; 30 identified as male, 83 identified as female, and 2 identified as nonbinary. Participants were recruited via the Roanoke College Psychology Department through SONA and led to an external survey using Qualtrics. Participants answered a combination of questions pertaining to their academic year, gender, and demographics in addition to questions intended to assess individual needs for structure, academic motivation and well-being. Questions pertaining to structure were taken from the Personal Need for Structure scale. Academic motivation was assessed via questions in the Academic Motivation scale. Psychological Well-Being scale was used to gauge the well-being of participants. Ultimately the three scales demonstrated relationships between individualized preferences for structure, mental health and motivation to remain focused and engaged in coursework during COVID-19.
Results and Discussion
This study was facilitated successfully, especially given the challenges of a nontraditional semester. Contrary to the initial expectation for this study, participants enrolled in their senior year reported the lowest scores for perceived wellness whereas underclassmen reported the highest scores for this criteria. Although students in lower academic years reported higher values of perceived wellness, responses from first years did have the largest standard deviation, suggesting that there was more variation among participants in lower academic years. However, it was found that there was no statistically significant differences when separating between the psychological well-being subscales (autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations, purpose in life, self-acceptance) between academic years.
Personal need for structure was unrelated to academic motivation. Academic motivation was positively related to psychological well-being in the era of COVID-19 learning. Academic motivation is the voluntary engagement with coursework in terms of intrinsic and extrinsic variables (Cerino, 2014), suggesting that those who can maintain high levels of motivation are likely also experiencing higher well-being in other areas. It was found that personal need for structure statistically significantly predicted the psychological well-being subscale of purpose in life, while academic motivation as a whole statistically significantly predicted the psychological well-being subscale of personal growth, and somewhat significantly predicted the psychological well-being subscale of autonomy. Overall, results suggest that need for structure and academic motivation during the pandemic are related to well-being, but this depends on type of well-being.
This research study challenged each of us extensively throughout the duration of the semester. The first and largest obstacle we as a group encountered was transitioning Research Seminar class typically taught in person to a fully remote and functional formatt. We were given the additional task to complete the workload together across time zones via Zoom rather than have the ease of access to be able to meet whenever necessary in person. Our initial research topic was a much broader version of our final product, with the first intent to be to examine COVID-19 impact on wellness in all of its dimensions and definitions. This was evidently too broad as the eight clinical dimensions of wellness (Stoewen, 2017) would have introduced a myriad of confounds to our research. The goal of our work was to examine if academic motivation and perceived wellness had been impacted during a semester of exclusively remote learning.
As our study was conducted via online survey, the ease in accessibility for participants was likely beneficial to the recruitment process. The convenience of the survey being administered online allowed for more people to complete it on their own time. An additional positive to the survey being conducted online eliminated the risk of observer bias and made participants more comfortable by removing the risk of potential exposure to COVID-19. Despite the challenges of conducting research in a fully remote manner, our group was able to find significant associations within our data and report conclusive findings.
The main findings of this study indicate that college underclassmen are experiencing higher perceived wellness than upperclassmen in the era of COVID-19, and that personal need for structure and academic motivation only significantly correlate with three of the six psychological well-being subscales (purpose in life, autonomy, and personal growth). COVID-19 has caused significant changes to what is defined as a normal academic setting. With this knowledge moving forward, academic institutions may use this information to provide adequate mental health resources for students as well as modify course plans to proceed in more academically efficient means.
Cerino, Eric. S. (2014). Relationships between academic motivation, self-efficacy, and academic procrastination. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 19(4).
Autumn Cox, Christian Galleo, & Celine Taylor (Advisor: Chris Buchholz)
Our study investigated how COVID-19 suddenly reshaped the school environment and whether this change has influenced introverts’ and extraverts’ perceived performance differently. While previous research from Teichner, Areess, and Reilly (1963) has examined the relationship between one’s degree of extraversion and the impact noise has on performance, there has been little research into how COVID-19 has modified today’s learning environment. This study intended to examine the auditory changes COVID-19 has had on the work environment and how this has affected introverts’ and extroverts’, and their perceived performance. We hypothesized that introverts would be more adversely affected by their home’s auditory environment and that they would have a larger decrease in perceived performance from pre-COVID-19 to the present. Meanwhile, we predicted that extraverts would not be as adversely affected by the auditory environment and may even display a slight increase in their perceived performance compared to their pre-COVID-19 perceived performance rating.
Ninety-four participants from Roanoke College completed our online survey. Participants completed measures of introversion/extroversion, as well as a Perceived Performance Questionnaire, Change in Auditory Environment Questionnaire, and a Noise Sensitivity Questionnaire (measures how sensitive an individual is to auditory disruptions while working). Many of these scales were created to evaluate how variables such as auditory environment and perceived performance changed from before COVID-19 to now, so that we can examine whether perceived performance has been negatively impacted by environmental changes.
Results & Discussion
Our analysis revealed that our results supported several of our hypotheses; college students indicated that not only had their auditory environment become more distracting but that their performance had worsened during the COVID-19 crisis (see Figure 1). When evaluating the relationship between time period (Pre-COVID-19, Post-COVID-19), perceived performance, and auditory environment, we found that both perceived performance and auditory environment were negatively impacted by COVID-19. This indicates that COVID-19 is responsible for increasing the amount of auditory disturbances that are experienced while working and that it has also decreased students’ perceived performance.
Figure 1. The effect that time period has on auditory environment and perceived performance
Our results also supported our prediction that introverts would be more sensitive to noise disturbances, and that introverts would also have lower levels of post-COVID-19 perceived performance than extraverts would. A possible explanation for the poorer performance may be that introverts are more sensitive to noise disturbances, which means that an increase in auditory disruptions, caused by COVID-19, would result in this group’s poorer perceived performance. This supports Eysenck’s theory of personality, which theorizes that introverts’ performance would be more adversely affected by, in this case, their sensitivity to noise disturbances than extroverts would be (Eysenck, 1997). Therefore, the more sensitive an introvert (i.e. high introversion) is to noise the worse their perceived performance is, but the more sensitive an extravert (i.e. low introversion) is to noise the better their perceived performance is (see Figure 2). Overall, our results indicate that the current school environment has been detrimental to the introvert’s perceived school performance and should be changed.
Figure 2. The effect that introversion level has on an individual’s noise sensitivity and perceived performance after COVID-19.
The data collection process was a limitation because we could only obtain participants through Roanoke College’s SONA system which limited our pool of participants. Our limitations also included a lack of accessible research, the convenience sample, and the necessity to develop many of our own measures. Although there is very little research available, we learned how greatly COVID-19 has impacted the work and school environment and believe that further efforts should be made to understand the impacts of this ongoing pandemic.
Our results indicate that the new work environment, initiated by COVID-19, has not adversely affected extraverts and their perceived performance, which suggests that they may be able to continue functioning in this work environment after the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our results also indicate that the new work environment has brought on higher levels of auditory distractions into the work environment, which have negatively impacted introverts and their perceived performance. Our results indicate that, as COVID-19 comes to a close, employers and schools should give introverts the opportunity to return to their work environment and to work in a quieter environment that maximizes their performance.
Eysenck, H. J. (1977). Personality and factor analysis: A reply to Guilford. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 405-411.
Teichner, W. H., Arees, E. & Reilly, R. (1963). Noise and human performance, a psychological approach. Ergonomics, 6, 83-97.
Aaron Rogers, Vanessa Pearson, Courtney Ashley, & Ayars Lamar (Advisor: Chris Buchholz)
Humans are in fact social beings by nature—in addition to food and water, we also need social interaction to be healthy. For instance, research shows that that social isolation can lead to an increase in mental disorders (Santini et al., 2020). When considering the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a divide between individuals through the promotion of social distancing and the temporary closure of recreational businesses such as movie theaters and amusement parks. Institutions have implemented guidelines that have affected college students to limit the spread of the virus on campus. These guidelines are seen in various ways such as online teaching, social distancing of 6 feet in food courts, and the elimination of sporting events. These necessary precautions from institutions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 have also decreased social connectivity. The point of this study is to determine if increased social isolation causes increased levels of depression and daily stress in college students. There is limited research on the effects of social isolation from the pandemic on college students.
Our study included 52 college students as participants. In order to run the study, we had participants complete three questions on depression, daily stress, and social isolation. The participants went through each of the scales twice. The first time the participants completed the section, they had to reflect on how they remember themselves feeling before Covid struck around January of 2020. Once the participants completed each section reflecting back to January, they were given the exact same questionnaire but asked to answer it with how they are feeling now in the current semester. Researchers then compared their answers pre-Covid to how they were feeling post-Covid.
Results and Discussion
We found that both social isolation and daily stress increased during the pandemic; however, only the increase in stress was statistically significant (see Figure 1). We also found that depression showed an increase that was statistically significant from pre-Covid compared to post-Covid. (see Figure 2). This indicates, that contrary to our predictions, on average participants were not reporting significant increases in social isolation. However, this is an average and the reality is that some participants did see an increase. In conclusion, the increase in depression and stress is consistent with larger national trends and that is concerning.
Figure 1. Social Isolation and Daily Stress over time.
Figure 2. Depression levels from pre-Covid to post-Covid.
As a group, and individually, we have learned a lot about this pandemic and how it has affected the college-aged population in terms of depression and stress levels. A new normal has been set for the foreseeable future and that has been a tough pill to swallow for the Roanoke College community and for the entire world. All of us are upper-level college students, so we have seen the contrast between in-person schooling and online schooling, and it is not the same. We empathize with the new freshman because they may not have some of the same college experiences that we once had in a pre-pandemic world. Conducting this study and analyzing the data gave us an idea of how our community is feeling, and we cannot stress how important maintaining your mental health during these times are.
We would like people to realize how important it is to stay connected and to check up on each other during these extremely tough times. Being socially isolated has major effects on the psyche and realizing that is so important. Check in on your friends, family members, significant others, and try not to assume that everyone is doing okay during these times because more than likely someone is struggling.
Santini, Z. I., Jose, P. E., Cornwell, E. Y., Koyanagi, A., Nielsen, L., Hinrichsen, C., Meilstrup, C., Madsen, K. R., & Koushede, V. (2020). Social disconnectedness, perceived isolation, and symptoms of depression and anxiety among older Americans: A longitudinal mediation analysis. The lancet public health, 5(1), e62-e70.
The Psychology Department would like to welcome Dr. Anthony Cate to our faculty as our newest professor. The following is an interview with Dr. Cate where he answers some questions about himself, his interests in psychology, and what he’s looking forward to in terms of teaching at Roanoke College.
Where are you from?
I was born in New Jersey, and I moved a lot when I was young. I have lived in every state between Washington, D.C. and Boston, except for Delaware. After I got my Ph.D. I also lived in Canada (Ontario) and northern California.
Where did you receive your undergraduate degree from and what did you study in undergraduate? What was that experience like?
I got my undergraduate degree from Yale University. I began as a religious studies major, but I thought that those classes involved too much memorization of names and dates, so I switched to psychology. Actually, I switched to being a triple major, at least on paper: psychology, linguistics, and East Asian studies. I shed majors when I figured out that psychology interested me the most.
I was lucky that I was able to help out in three research labs that had different missions and lab cultures. I learned that I was bad at doing brain surgery in a rat lab. I lost some patients. Everyone there seemed anxious all the time too, which was poignant because anxiety was part of what they studied. I conducted my first research project in a lab that studied human fear conditioning. My advisor was a very kind scientist who helped me feel like an important part of the lab, but I disliked having to give participants electric shocks. I also frequented the lab of my favorite professor, who had taught my perception course. That lab was very welcoming. People could just walk in to say hi and check out the experiments, there was a dog, and the students were very productive. All of those experiences taught me to consider the social environment when I was choosing a graduate program.
Have you received any other additional degrees? Where did you receive them from?
I went to Carnegie Mellon University to get my Ph.D. in psychology, which was part of a joint neuroscience program with the University of Pittsburgh.
Have you taught anywhere else besides Roanoke College?
I first taught when I was a postdoctoral researcher at Western University in Canada. My advisor talked me and two other postdocs into teaching one third of a course each, which seemed like a lot at the time. Later I taught at Virginia Tech, where I worked for nine years before moving here to Roanoke.
What are you most excited about teaching at Roanoke College?
I am very excited to teach at Roanoke for many reasons! It has been hard for me not to talk a mile a minute while teaching during these first few weeks. It is exciting when students ask me questions, including when I don’t know the answer, because then I get to track the answers down later. I was very eager to start teaching smaller class sizes. I think personal interactions form the most effective ways to learn, and instructors get to learn from their students this way, too. It is also a privilege to join an excellent psychology department where the faculty and staff are so engaged in their mission.
What are your research interests? Why are you interested in this/these field(s)?
My research investigates how visual perception works, and how it influences other cognitive skills like memory and reasoning about numbers. I am particularly interested in understanding how different parts of the brain work together. I have studied techniques for visualizing computer models of brains in order to make maps of which cognitive skills are associated with different brain regions.
Can you tell us about any research you have already completed in these areas?
I have published some research about how we perceive the 3D structure of objects, and about how brain damage can alter these perceptions. I enjoyed learning how to make 3D images using computer graphics, and I especially liked getting to learn what people living with brain damage had to teach me about perception.
What course or courses are you currently teaching?
I am teaching Introduction to Psychology and Cognitive Psychology this semester, which is a great combination. I have been teaching Cognitive Psychology for over nine years, and it is so familiar to me that I get excited when my favorite topics are about to come up in class. I have never taught Intro Psych before. It feels like a big responsibility to introduce the entire field.
Are you interested in taking on students as research assistants?
Yes! Students make research better. I realized a few years ago that when undergraduates helped me with a project, we considered the problems less narrowly. The projects were much more enjoyable because of all the conversations we got to have.
What qualities are you looking for in any students who are interested in joining your lab?
Mainly curiosity, and an appreciation of research for its own sake. My research questions are usually less about “how can we apply this science?” and more about “how does this work?” I have had wonderful contributions from students with backgrounds in art and design, but that’s because we had similar interests, and not because students need any particular artistic abilities. The same has been true for students who are interested in neuroanatomy and computer science. A passion for those topics makes for a good fit, but students definitely don’t need to have expertise already.
Welcome to Roanoke College Dr. Cate! Thank you again for taking the time to answer our questions. We are excited to have you here and look forward to learning more about you in the semesters to come!
On February 27-29, four students and three psychology professors attended the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, to present research through poster sessions and to attend presentations. The students included Hayley Mulford ’20, Naomi Painter ’22, Kaillee Philleo ’21, and Lauren Powell ’21. These students were joined by Dr. Buchholz, Dr. Carter, and Dr. Osterman.
Those in attendance have since given some insight onto what it was like presenting at the conference as well as their reactions to the conference and New Orleans, LA:
While I did not present at the conference, It was so cool to see how many different research projects were being done and how enthusiastic people were! Everyone was really professional and genuinely interested in the research. Moreover, people held such intellectual conversations. I got to talk to some people that go to grad school at FSU, which is where I am going, so I was so excited! New Orleans is one of the coolest places I have ever been to. I loved the culture, the people, the food, and the area. I would go back in a heartbeat!
Presenting at the SPSP 2020 conference was a wonderful experience in communicating our research projects and findings. I had a great time interacting with students and faculty members through discussion of projects and questions. Being able to see the wide variety of ongoing research was quite exciting, as many of the research topics correlated with ongoing issues that one often reads about or experiences each day.
One of the best parts of the New Orleans SPSP conference was being able to walk around and visit Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, and other popular sites while witnessing firsthand the fascinating and entertaining atmosphere of the great city of New Orleans.
Going into SPSP I was quite nervous, as I have never presented at a conference before. However, after attending a few presentations and talking with other poster presenters, when it came time to present on my own research, it was not nearly as nerve-racking. I loved getting to learn about the variety of research topics in the field of psychology and enjoyed getting to meet other psychologists from across the world and discuss their projects and my own. Beyond the conference, we were able to explore New Orleans and I was able to try gumbo, which has since become my newfound favorite meal. I cannot wait to return to New Orleans in the future and hope to return to SPSP one day as well.
This was my second conference but it was the first conference that I have attended that I presented my work independently! It’s not as scary as it seems, and you get to meet a lot of cool people who have the same interests as you – I had a lot of great conversations with people from all over the world! Moreover, it was fun to see what other people were there to present. It’s always interesting to see that there are so many unexplored topics within the broad category of psychology. Beyond the conference, New Orleans was so much fun and I definitely plan on going back! I am really glad we were all able to experience New Orleans for just long enough to enjoy it but not long enough to be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak that has been happening.
I always enjoy going to the Society of Personality and Social Psychology annual conference. This year it was in New Orleans, which was a lot of fun. At the conference, we have a chance to interact with some of the leading scientists in the field and to hear about cutting-edge research. It is also a great opportunity for our students to present research that they have been conducting in our research labs. This year Naomi Painter and Lauren Powell were both able to present as first authors on our research examining empathy.
I had a great time at SPSP! I wasn’t able to attend last year due to the birth of my son, so it was great to catch up with colleagues and friends from graduate school that I hadn’t seen in a while, and of course to soak up some culture in New Orleans (and several really good meals). I saw a number of really excellent talks, learned a lot, and took inspiration for a few new research projects. My favorite part, however, was getting to see one of my graduate advisors (Tom Gilovich) win the society’s prestigious Campbell Award. He’s a giant in the field, and he absolutely deserves the recognition.
SPSP was a blast as always, and I’m so proud of how well our students did with presenting their research! They represented the college and department well. Kaillee even talked to some people from NPR about her podcasting research!
Congratulations to all those who attended the conference and for having successful presentations!
Congratulations to Casey Jo Gough ’20 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project! Her Project was titled “Adverse Peer Experiences on Social Media: Adjustment of Emerging Adults and Moderation by Social Support”. Her project advisor, Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand was joined by committee members, Dr. Darcey Powell and Dr. Johanna Sweet, to oversee her defense.
Project Abstract: Although data suggests adverse peer experiences persist past adolescence, studies beyond this cohort are limited (Kochenderfer & Ladd, 1996). Peer rejection and bullying research have recently expanded to examine online experiences (Landoll et al., 2013), but there is an inadequate understanding of adverse peer experiences via social networking sites. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between adverse peer experiences online and the adjustment factors of stress and loneliness among emerging adults. In child and adolescent cohorts, social support has buffered the maladjustment impacts of bullying (Hong & Espelage, 2012). We hypothesize this trend will continue into emerging adulthood; specifically, people who are high in social support will feel less loneliness and less stress from adverse online experiences than those who are low in social support. Results indicated significantly more stress among females, but also more overall support. Further, college students received more belonging support than non-college students. Stress and loneliness were positively related to adverse peer experiences and negatively related to support. Social support did not moderate this relationship as expected. There was a significant interaction between high appraisal support and loneliness. Further analysis is recommended on the subscales of support concerning cohorts and adjustment variables.
Congratulations again to Casey Jo Gough on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!
Congratulations to Sophie Bacon ’20 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project! Her Project was titled “Peer Group Motives and Authenticity: Associations with Self-Presentational Strategies on Social Media “. Her project advisor, Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand was joined by committee members, Dr. Lindsey Osterman and Dr. Kristen Schorpp, to oversee her defense.
This research was the culmination of over a year of work, and the next steps are to work towards presenting the findings at a conference and submitting for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Project Abstract: Research has shown that social networking platforms provide a space for identity development, specifically through engaging in different types of self-presentation. However, research on the relationship between social networking sites (SNS) and identity development is limited and has not been tied directly to peer relationship mechanisms. In this study, I aimed to integrate recent research on self-processes on social media and recent theoretical advances in the role of social media in peer relationships during emerging adulthood. This study looked at social motives including the need for popularity, and the need for belonging, authenticity, and presentation of the real, ideal, and false self. Correlational analyses indicated that authenticity was positively related to real self-presentation and negatively to false self-presentation. The need for popularity was negatively related to real self-presentation and positively to false self-presentation, whereas the need for belonging was unrelated to real-self presentation but was positively associated with false and ideal self-presentation. Regression analyses controlling for each predictor indicated that authenticity was a positive predictor of real self-presentation and a negative predictor of false self-presentation. The need for popularity negatively predicted real self-presentation and positively predicted false self-presentation. The need for belonging and ideal self-presentation were positively associated.
Congratulations again to Sophie Bacon on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!
Congratulations to Riker Lawrence ’20 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project! Her Project was titled “Couples’ Leisure Activity and Expectations for Parenthood”. Her supervisor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell was joined by committee members, Dr. Osterman and Dr. Sweet, to oversee her defense.
Abstract: This study aimed to explore how cohabitating individuals’ engagement in leisure activity with their partner is associated with their expectations for parenthood. Specifically, the study examined how individuals’ engagement in and their satisfaction with leisure activities with their partner is associated with their expectations for parenting; specifically, their co-parenting relationship, gatekeeping behaviors, and division of caregiving labor. Using Prolific Academic, participants (N=247) completed an online survey. Correlations were found between participants’ engagement and satisfaction of these leisure activities and their expectations for co-parenting relationship, gatekeeping behaviors, and division of caregiving labor, regardless of their intention to parent and other demographic characteristics. Furthermore, satisfaction of leisure activities was more consistently associated with the parenting expectations than the frequency of engagement in leisure activities. These findings can serve as useful information for marital and family therapists as they work with couples considering adding a baby to their family unit or during the transition to parenthood.
Riker Lawrence received funding for this project through the Roanoke College Research Fellows program and through a portion of Dr. Powell’s Faculty Scholar funds.
Congratulations again to Riker Lawrence on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!
Congratulations to Rachel Harmon ’20 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major and Honors Distinction Project! Her Project was titled “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Caregiver Concerns and Resources for Children with Disabilities”. Her supervisor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell was joined by committee members, Dr. Osterman, Dr. Chad Morris, and Jesse Griffin, to oversee her defense.
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to address a gap in the literature through investigating the differences in experiences of caring for a child with a disability between a developed country, the United States, and a developing country, Mexico. Participants included caregivers of children with disabilities in the US (N = 25) and Mexico (N = 45). Self-report data were collected to measure caregivers’ demographic information, knowledge of resources, positive and negative emotional response, and stress level. Additional observational data was collected regarding the physical resources, educational resources, therapy services, government policies, caregiver reactions, child behavior, and transportation services in each location. Analyses revealed that caregivers in the US reported significantly higher levels of stress compared to caregivers in Mexico. No significant differences were found in caregivers’ knowledge of government policies; however, Mexico caregivers were significantly more satisfied with the policies that they were aware of compared to US caregivers. US caregivers were more aware of support groups/organizations for themselves or their child and were more likely to participate in known support groups. There was no difference in reports of access to educational opportunities; however, US caregivers reported significantly more inclusion opportunities compared to Mexico caregivers. No significant differences were found in caregivers’ belief that their child would one day be employed. There were significant differences in the number of observations made regarding educational resources, therapy services, government policies, and transportation services between the US and Mexico. The findings of the current study provide important information about the effect of culture on the experiences of caring for a child with a disability, which could be useful for professionals who work directly with families and for the development of future resources.
Highlights of the project: Collected research in both southwest VA and the Yucatan of Mexico. To facilitate her data collection, she completed an internship in southwest VA, as well as two internships in Mexico during the summer between her Jr and Sr years.
Rachel Harmon received funding for this project through Roanoke College Honors Program Downing Distinction Project Award and Psi Chi’s Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant. To learn more about this award and on how Rachel collected data while in the Yucatan of Mexico refer back to this blog post, in which she was interviewed last fall!
Congratulations again to Rachel Harmon on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!
There have been many studies conducted on attachment styles (i.e., characteristic ways of emotionally connecting with others) between parents and their children, and studies performed to evaluate romantic relationship satisfaction, but there are few studies combining the two concepts in young adults (Xia et al., 2018). Attachment style is developed through an individual internalizing their relationship, or lack thereof, with a primary caregiver in infancy and early childhood (Searle & Meara, 1999). We wanted to look at whether attachment style is associated with emerging adults’ current romantic relationship satisfaction. We also explored additional variables such as gender and length of the relationship. We chose to focus on individuals in emerging adulthood for several reasons. First, it is during this formative stage individuals are considering life-changing decisions regarding education, friendships, careers, and romantic relationships (Arnett, 2000). Second, romantic relationships in this stage differ from those experienced in adolescence because they tend to be longer in duration and more serious in intention (Arnett, 2000). Finally, little research has been done on emerging adults’ romantic relationships and our research can provide insight into this newly defined developmental stage.
Participants in our study were students from Roanoke College who were at least 18 years old and in a committed romantic relationship. Participants for this study were recruited through the Roanoke College Psychology Department via SONA, as well as within the greater campus community. Participants who were enrolled in a psychology course received a half SONA credit for participating. Eighty-five total participants completed the study.
Our study was an online survey through Qualtrics. Participants were asked to answer questions regarding gender, gender of their partner, their sexuality, age, relationship length, whether they and their significant other have “taken a break” and if so, the number of “breaks” they’ve taken. To measure attachment style, we used the 36-item Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised Questionnaire. Scores on the ECR-R were calculated to reflect overall attachment insecurity, and anxious- and avoidant-attachment security as subscales. For relationship satisfaction, we used the 32-item Couple Satisfaction Index.
Results and Discussion
As expected, participants with secure attachment style reported higher relationship satisfaction (see Figure below- low scores on the ECR-R indicate more secure attachment). Also as expected, attachment-related anxiousness and attachment-related avoidance explained a pretty large amount of relationship satisfaction. Contrary to expectations, the association between attachment style and relationship satisfaction was stronger for participants who identified as male compared to participants who identified as female. Additionally, participants who reported higher levels of attachment-related anxiety and attachment-related avoidance had been in their current romantic relationship for a shorter-duration compared to participants with secure attachment. However, participants who had been with their current romantic partner for a longer amount of time reported higher levels of romantic relationship satisfaction. Participants who had not previously broken up with their current romantic partner also recorded significantly higher levels of relationship satisfaction compared to those who had previously broken up or “taken a break”.
Romantic relationships are an important part of emerging adulthood (Arnett, 2000). The results of the current study indicate that attachment style may influence satisfaction within romantic relationships during this phase of development. The results expand upon previous literature by investigating these associations specifically in emerging adulthood, while exploring the additional factors of gender, relationship duration and whether couples had previously broken up or “taken a break”.
This research process has been one that challenged us all in various ways throughout the semester. The first obstacle we faced was developing a study that interested us all and was relevant to the course. Our original goal with this study was to have the Roanoke College student and their significant other complete the survey in person. Requiring both the SONA student and their significant other to complete an in-person questionnaire limited our pool of students to those in relationships with a peer and those in a relationship with someone who is local. This meant that students who are in long distance relationships, and who may have had a lot to offer the research, were unable to partake in it. The original goal with having both individuals in a relationship complete the survey was to be able examine relationship satisfaction and attachment style within a relationship.
We originally decided to make this an in-person survey to increase validity. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the transition to remote learning, our study had to be switched to online only. With this new requirement of the study having to be online, we had to re-evaluate our methods. We changed the study requirement of both partners needing to complete it, to only surveying one partner. This increased the number of students who could participate in our study, which we believe improved our sample size. Conducting the study online may have eliminated any response bias that would have occurred in the lab because originally they would have been taking the survey across from their significant other, and may have felt pressure or guilt to respond a certain way, which could have altered their initial thoughts or feelings. Overall, working remotely on this has been challenging and time consuming. Having to completely rethink our study methods and then communicate with one another via WIFI when two group members have poor connection was difficult. We no longer had the option to meet whenever was convenient and work on the data analyses as a group. We instead had to find time where we could all video chat and then have one person screen share, running analyses, while the others watched. In the end, switching to online research was beneficial because we were able to broaden our pool of participants, adjust our research in an efficient way, and find significant associations.
The main finding of our study indicates that the attachment style is associated with romantic relationship satisfaction. It is important to remember that attachment styles begin forming soon after birth and continue to evolve through the lifespan (Searle & Meara, 1999). While attachment-related anxiety and attachment-related avoidance were found to be significantly associated with romantic relationship satisfaction, we were also able to conclude that male romantic relationship satisfaction is somewhat more likely to be dependent upon attachment style in comparison to females.
Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist,55(5), 469-480.https://doi.org/10. 1037/0003-066X.55.5.469
Searle, B., & Meara, N. M. (1999). Affective dimensions of attachment styles: Exploring self-reported attachment style, gender, and emotional experience among college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 46(2), 147–158. https://doi.org/10. 1037/0022-022.214.171.124
Xia, M., Fosco, G., Lippold, M., & Feinberg, M. (2018). A developmental perspective on young adult romantic relationships: Examining family and individual factors in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence,47(7), 1499-1516. doi:10.1007/s10964-018-0815-8
How well do you really know yourself? Limited research has been done on the relationship between creativity and self-concept clarity. There is some evidence that people who have reached a higher status of identity are more likely to be creative while the antithesis is true for those in lower stages of identity development (Dollinger, Dollinger, & Centeno 2005). As the identity crisis is a common problem in adolescents (Riley, 1999), some art therapy techniques are designed to aid in the development of one’s identity (Beaumont, 2015). This is useful because self-concept clarity is related to positive adjustment. The current experiment was aimed at developing a more thorough understanding of how the expression of creativity affects self-concept clarity, particularly in individuals who already identify as artistic.
58 participants from Roanoke College psychology classes were gathered through the SONA online research management system. Participants, emerging adults who earned credit in class for their participation, were then randomly assigned to either complete a 2-D art task (a self-portrait) or to write about their last 24 hours (this was the control group). Before the task, we collected information about level of artistic ability and experience in art. Before and after the task, they completed self-concept questionnaires, including indicating how certain they were (on a scale of 0-100) in each personality trait rated, and a self-report measure of self-concept clarity.
We found that overall, self-certainty (the average certainty in personality ratings) didn’t seem to differ based on doing the art task or not. But, then we ran tests separately for people who have an art background or not and found that if an individual already has an artistic background, they had higher self-concept certainty after doing a creative task than individuals who have no artistic background (see Figure 1). We expected this experiment would result in evidence indicating that creative outlets aid in one’s sense of self-concept clarity, and found that this was true only for people with an artistic background. However, other measures of creativity and experience in art were not related to certainty in self-concepts, and responses on the self-reported self-concept clarity scale were not related to participation in the task.
Since only one finding reached statistical significance, it is important to consider possible sources of error. Due to some unforeseen issues, we were forced to adapt our study into an online-only study. This may have been an issue because one group of participants was prompted to complete a drawing task. Without being able to supervise the participants, there was no way to control the conditions under which each participant completed the task. Another issue we faced was participants submitting incomplete surveys. This too may be due to the shift to online-only studies. One way we may have been able to get better results would be to have a larger sample size with more participants in each group, completing the study in person.
The purpose of this study was to determine if creative outlets are an effective way to aid in the development of self-concept clarity in college students. We wanted to expand upon the existing research by comparing 2-D art to a non-creative task, as well as further defining the effect creativity has on self-concept clarity in emerging adults. The evidence suggests a relationship between artistic expression and identity exploration, but only in those who already have an artistic background. So, creative outlets may be less helpful to self-concept clarity for people with little or no prior background in art. This study has helped us understand the relationship between artistic expression and the self-clarity concept in emerging adults.
Figure 1: Average Self-Concept Certainty by Art Task/Control group and by Previous Art Experience.
Beaumont, Sherry. (2015). Art Therapy Approaches for Identity Problems during Adolescence. Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal. 25. 7-14.
Dollinger, Stephen & Dollinger, Stephanie & Centeno, Leslie. (2005). Identity and Creativity. Identity. 5. 315-339. 10.1207/s1532706xid0504_2.
Riley, S. (1999). Contemporary art therapy with adolescents. London: Jessica Kingsley
Hailey Davis, Jon Cody Mactutus, Alina Marino, and Hayley Mulford
Advisor: Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand
[Picture of Girl Being Bullied] (2015). Retrieved from http://www.texasconflictcoach.com/2015/adolescent-relational-aggression-how-to-diminish-the-damage/
The present study evaluated whether type of aggression (overt, relational) witnessed towards a peer impacted likelihood to intervene and/or desire to punish the aggressor, considering desensitization as a factor. Most peer aggression studies focus on childhood and adolescence, but we used emerging adults (18-24) instead because it would be further expansion as less is known about peer aggression in this age group.
Relational aggression is indirect, status hurting actions whereas overt aggression is direct actions with the intent to cause harm (Cairns, Neckerman, Ferguson, & Gariépy, 1989). Previous research has found that aggression has negative impacts on all involved; aggressors, victims, bystanders (Rivers, Poteat, Noret, & Ashurst, 2009). Both relational and overt aggression have internalizing and externalizing problems as negative possible outcomes for experiencing these types of aggression (Casper, Card, Bauman, & Toomey, 2017). The current study aimed to explore the differences in outcomes (intervening and punishing) based on the form of aggression (overt or relational). Although relational aggression is more common, especially in this age group, and just as problematic, people are less likely to recognize it as aggression (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). So, we also tested whether people are more likely to perceive overt or relational aggression as aggression. Finally, we also explored the relationship of mood and previous exposure to aggression in these responses.
We recruited our participants through SONA, Roanoke College’s online psychology research website. Participants were awarded credit for their participation in this study. Everything was conducted in accordance with the guidelines of the Roanoke College Institutional Review Board, with participants supplying informed consent. In an online survey, participants were assigned to read a vignette about either relational or overt aggression where a familiar peer is aggressed upon by a stranger. First, they were asked questions to determine their current emotional state, then read a singular vignette, and then were asked if they thought the scene they read about was aggression. We also included a question to ensure that participants paid attention. 26 failed the check, leaving our final number of participants to be 130. We asked each participant whether what they just read about was aggression (and to what extent they thought it was aggression), how likely they would be to intervene in the situation, and to what extent they believed the aggressor should be punished. Participants were then asked about their previous exposure to either type of aggression. Lastly, participants were asked demographic information.
Results and Discussion
The results of the project were not as promising as we hoped. We had 60 participants in the relational aggression group and 69 participants in the overt aggression group. There was no significant difference in desire to punish between types of aggression. There was also no significant difference in likelihood to intervene between types of aggression. Sadly, the predictions that there would be a difference among the type of aggression and how a by-stander would feel and react were not found to be supported (see Figure 1). However, we did find that the type of aggression had an effect on the perception of whether the act was aggression or not- people were more likely to perceive overt aggression as aggression relative to relational aggression. Unfortunately, the predictions that prior exposure would account for some variance and predictive value in both intervening and punishing was not found to be supported either. Finally, emotion was not found to have a relationship with the likelihood to punish. We did not expect for most of our predictions to be rejected, but there are some promising ideas still prevalent. It is important that there is a relationship between how someone perceives aggression and the type because this can play a role in bullying. It seems from this study that relational aggression is not seen as aggression, which could help in efforts to reduce bullying. The statistical analyses we used may not have been complicated enough to reveal complex structures and relationships, but future studies could delve deeper.
Perception of Aggression, Likelihood to Intervene, and Desire to Punish Based on Type of Aggression
Note. All variables were on a scale from 1-10. Perception of aggression (blue bars) differed significantly by type of aggression. The other variables did not.
Despite our results not being what we anticipated them to be, we were able to find out how people interpreted aggression. Fortunately, we did not have any problems with our research when we were no longer on campus and able to access the lab. The only difference with having to make our study online was the amount of credit the participants received. Our study took into account a wide range of variables so we could look at multiple factors that could possibly have an influence on the participants’ answers.
In conclusion, thoughts about the aggression witnessed did not seem to differ much between type of aggression, current state of emotions, or prior exposure to aggression. Some of our results might contradict other research, like our finding that prior exposure did not influence intervention or punishing, but some of our results match very well. Our study, as well as many others, found that people correctly identified overt aggression as a form of aggression. So, people know overt aggression when they see it which means you can rest assured that people are watching out for you! However, it seems relational aggression is less recognizable, which could say something about the way college students interact.
Cairns, R.B., Cairns, B.D., Neckerman, H.J., Ferguson, L.L., & Gariepy, J.-L. (1989). Growth and aggression: I. Childhood to early adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 25, 320– 330. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-16126.96.36.1990
Casper, D. M., Card, N. A., Bauman, S., & Toomey, R. B. (2017). Overt and relational aggression participant role behavior: Measurement and relations with sociometric status and depression. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 27(3), 661–673. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12306
Rivers, I., Poteat, V. P., Noret, N., & Ashurst, N. (2009). Observing bullying at school: The mental health implications of witness status. School Psychology Quarterly, 24(4), 211–223. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018164
Athey Crump, Emily Giovanini, Elizabeth Helminski, Mariyana McAgy & Kojiro Leonard (Advisor: Chris Buchholz)
What causes individuals to complete difficult tasks? Locus of control is categorized into two levels: internal and external. Individuals with internal LOC believe they have control over their environment, whilst individuals with external LOC believe their environment controls them (Killpack, 2005). After examining current literature on LOC, we discovered a gap in past research, which had looked at the relationships between LOC and motivation, competence, and self-efficacy, but not perseverance (Rotter, 1996). Our research is designed to focus on the relationship between LOC and persistence. We hypothesized that those scoring a high internal LOC would have a longer duration while those scoring a high external LOC would have a shorter duration.
In this study participants (77) were asked to solve a series of math problems. Half of the participants were led to believe they had some control over the difficulty of the math problems, while the other half were led to believe that the difficulty of the questions was random. However, the manipulation did not work due to an unforeseen error in setting up the study. As a part of this study, participants were also asked to complete a scale that measured whether they possessed more internal or external locus of control using Rotter’s scale of Locus of Control.
Results & Discussion
Data collected from the survey was run with the results from the LOC questionnaire. While there was no difference in the total number of math problems completed for external vs. internal locus of control, those who have an internal locus of control did spend more time answering questions but these results were not statistically significant, as seen in Figure 1. So, while these two groups (internal/external) completed the same number of problems, it is possible that those with an internal locus of control spent more time thinking and working on them, as can be seen in Figure 2. This makes some sense in that those with internal locus of control feel they have more control, and thus they spend more time working (i.e. persisting).
Figure 1: Internal and external locus of control on number of math problems completed.
Figure 2: Internal and external locus of control on duration of survey.
The process of conducting an experiment from start to finish provided the opportunity to put knowledge we’ve gained over the past four years into a single project. When creating an online study, we gained experience using programs like SPSS, SONA and Qualtrics. Though there were several changes that needed to be made to the study, this only allowed us the opportunity to showcase our knowledge of research skills. Though there were several challenges to overcome, this study allowed us, as students to think and act as researchers and provided the opportunity to have these skills as undergrads.
Music has been around for centuries and it has been used in many different ways, from ceremonies, to dancing, or even to uplift the soul. Philosophers have wondered what the purpose of music is and what it does for us. Many people believe that music can affect their mood – we were curious about this as well and wanted to take it a step further to see if happy or sad music was able to change ones mood when combined with having a certain personality trait. We predicted that people with a high level of Neuroticism would have their mood shifted the most due to the type of music they were listening to. We predicted that this specific personality trait would be most likely to change their mood due to the type of music because it is said that people with the personality trait of Neuroticism tend to be emotionally unstable, which would allow their mood to shift easily. To examine the effects, we used different tests in order to assess how a happy song and a sad song affected the moods of different personalities. Specifically, we predicted that people having a personality high in Neuroticism will convey a happier mood in the happy music group, as well as convey a sadder mood in the sad music group. We also predicted that those who are low in neuroticism will not have their mood as affected by the music since they are in theory more emotionally stable individuals.
Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions in the study, either listening to a happy or sad version of the same song. Individuals then self-reported their mood via a slider scale immediately after listening to the song condition to which they were assigned. Participants then took the Big Five Inventory (BFI) questionnaire to measure personality traits (e.g., neuroticism).
Results and Discussion
There was a significant difference between the moods of the people in the sad condition versus the happy condition (see Figure 1). Also, in line with our predictions, we found that those high in neuroticism did have a significant difference between their reactions to happy versus sad music, while this was not the case for those low in neuroticism (see Figure 2).
Figure 1: The effect of music on mood.
Figure 2: Interaction effects between music condition and neuroticism.
We experienced challenges throughout our research because we anticipated our study to be conducted in a lab setting, not completely online. We originally decided that we wanted to have an in-person study so we could ensure that individuals would listen to the song entirely and not have any distractions, however, we had to switch to an online version of our study due to the Coronavirus. Our study also does not take into account the mood the individual was already experiencing, which could have impacted mood persuasion.
The department normally hosts a poster session to present all of the research that happens each semester; however, due to stay at home restrictions we will present student research on our blog. Over the next several days we will be posting some of the research carried out by our students here. Congratulations students for all of your hard work!
With spring break being only one week away the thought of summer may still seem distant in some mind’s, but it is quickly approaching. Summer break is a great time to explore opportunities in psychology and get experiences that go beyond the classroom. With the multitude number of research or internship opportunities available to students it can sometimes be challenging to figure out where to begin. Likewise, with summer comes graduation and the rush to find jobs begins. However,this websitehas got your back!
Whether it be a summer opportunity or a long-term job, this website is regularly updated with information on psychology opportunities. Not only does this website offer a numerous amount of resources but it is also easy to navigate. By providing filtering options such as the type of position you are looking for and what state you are looking to be in, there are options that would align with each student’s needs and interests. Moreover, this website also filters the positions on areas of psychology and includes opportunities in clinical, cognitive, cultural, developmental, educational, health, neuroscience, positive, and social psychology.
While you may not know quite yet what you want to do this summer or after graduation, this website is a great place to start searching and a great starting point to familiarize oneself with the endless opportunities that those studying psychology have! This website is updated frequently so if you don’t find a position that suits your needs or interests now, check back later!
Are you interested in getting a real world experience in Psychology? Then come to the Psychology Internship Information Session! The info session will be this Thursday, February 20, from 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM in Life Science 502.
This info session will provide you with all of the information you need about internships in psychology. Not only will deadlines, requirements, and opportunities be shared, but there will also be information shared on how to present yourself with resumes and cover letters.
If you are looking to get an experience in psychology outside of Roanoke College, complete an internship credit, or learn more about the benefits of internships then stop by this info session.
If you are interested in attending RSVP by 12 PM Wednesday, February 19, by contacting (540) 375-2462, or firstname.lastname@example.org
See Toni McLawhorn (Career Services), or Dr. Mary Camac or Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand for more information.
Beginning this semester, Roanoke College’s Psychology Department began offering a class on Clinical Psychology taught by Dr. Hilton for those interested in learning more about the field.
Goals for the class include:
Clearly delineate the field of clinical psychology from all related professions
Help students understand the unique skills and abilities of clinical psychologists and how these things can be used across the many settings we work in
Give students the basic tools to think like clinical psychologists and learn how to approach things systematically and scientifically to be informed consumers and ethical providers in the future
When asked about his hopes and expectations for the class, Dr. Hilton responded:
I think the class is beneficial for anyone with an interest in the field of mental health broadly. Even if you don’t pursue a clinical doctorate, the clinical psychologist’s approach to studying and treating mental health problems can (and should) be applied to any other field.
As part of the course, students will regularly be asked to apply their knowledge in the form of reaction papers, discussion, and research. Students will have the opportunity to speak with a licensed psychologist regarding their education, training and work life and will learn the basic skills of the assessment and therapy process, later applying these in a role play with the instructor.
In recognition of this new course offering, a series of blog posts focusing on exploring what clinical psychology is, the process of becoming a clinical psychologist, and what other, similar career options will be posted over the new few weeks.
We look forward to and are excited about this new opportunity for students at Roanoke College to learn more about what clinical psychology as, as well as hope that our future blog posts will also help aid students in learning more about what careers are available post-graduation.
If you have any questions about the field of clinical psychology, or about the class at Roanoke, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Dane Hilton at email@example.com.
Looking for research opportunities and/or internships this summer, but not sure where to start?
Never fear! I bring you good news.
The American Psychological Association provides a list of opportunities at major institutions for undergraduates. Such programs are available across the United States, from New York City to California.
Take a look at a few of those offered below, you may be surprised at what’s out there.
Students interested in research on language and/or cognitive development, have experience with research methods (especially psychology or linguistics), comfortable interacting with families in a professional setting, and have excellent problem-solving and teamwork abilities
Available to high school, undergraduate, graduate, and medical school students
Receive first-rate training in neuroscience, have opportunities to network, and obtain impressive credentials when competing for graduate school, medical school, predoc or postdoc fellowships, and tenure-track positions
Applications open from mid-December through March 1st
Requires: CV or resume, a list of coursework and grades (do not need a transcript at this time), a cover letter describing research interests and career goals, and the names and contact information for two references
Program is dedicated to research and education of substance use and co-occurring disorders, prepares students for graduate school and/or Senior thesis
Up to 12 students chosen, courses in statistics and research methodology are required to be eligible
11-week program from May 27th through August 7th
And there are plenty more opportunities as well. If you are interested in learning more, follow this link to the American Psychological Association’s website where all their recommended research/internships are listed.
The Gender Race and Cultural Empowerment (G.R.A.C.E.) lab is hosting a 6-week summer program offering students the opportunity for one-on-one mentorship and research experience. The G.R.A.C.E. Lab’s emphasis is on social psychology with a focus on the experiences of Black women in STEM education.
Recruiting study participants
Data collection and analyses
Attending weekly lab meetings
Qualifications for this position:
Strong academic performance in psychology,
with a GPA requirement of 3.25 (overall and
Dependability and takes initiative
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
Rising juniors and seniors preferred
This program will run from June 8 – July 17, 2020, and will be hosted at Spelman College. You are expected to be committed for all 6 weeks. While attending this program, a stipend, housing for 6 weeks, and a campus meal plan will be included.
They will begin selecting applicants into the program on a rolling basis until February 14, 2020.
If you are interested in applying to this program follow this link and email your cover letter, curriculum vitae, and your most
recent unofficial academic transcript to Dr. Maria Jones, Postdoctoral Research Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Part of the broader NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research, the STAR Program participants (ranging from high school students to graduate or medical students) work with NIH Scientific Staff mentors regarding age-related research, culminating in presenting their research findings at the NIA Summer Student Poster Day.
While also there, participants learn about the scientific method, attend seminars, and may have the opportunity to co-author a journal article.
The aim is to provide students with the opportunity to developresearchskills through hands-on practice and seminars.
The program also provides aid regarding professionaldevelopment, through both the internship itself and assistance regarding applications to graduate or professional schools.
NIA Summer Internships range from eight to ten weeks, beginning in late May and ending mid-to-late August.
Participants will receive a stipend, with the amount depending on the level of education completed at the beginning of the internship.
If the NIA is not of interest, there are a number of other research opportunities through different NIH institutions. If interested in the other NIH research opportunities, follow this link to the NIH OITE Training Website where everything is broken down regarding overall opportunities through NIH and more.
For those interested in the NIA: applications will automatically be sent to the NIA if participants indicate such interest in the study of aging or designate the NIA as their NIH institute of choice on their application. To confirm that said application has been received by the NIA, please contact Recruitment Specialist, Ms. Arlene Jackson at email@example.com.
For advice in terms of writing a successful application, follow this link to a PDF provided by the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education.
Potential participants are also encouraged to contact either Ms. Jackson, as mentioned above, or Ms. Taya Dunn Johnson, Assistant to the NIA Deputy Scientific Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for further information.
The Center for Children and Families at Florida International University announces Summer Treatment Program Counselor, Research Assistant, and Teacher/Classroom Aide positions for 2020. The Summer Treatment Program (STP) provides services to children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, learning problems, and related behavior problems. The program provides treatment tailored to children’s individual behavioral and learning difficulties. The Center for Children and Families is directed by William E. Pelham, Jr., Ph.D., who is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Florida International University.
By participating in the STP, students will:
· Learn evidence-based techniques for working with children who have disruptive behavior disorders
· Gain valuable clinical and research experience to prepare for career and graduate school
· Help children to improve their social skills, sports skills, and academic skills
· Network with faculty members at the Center for Children and Families, as well as students from across the country.
Positions are available in three related programs serving children between the ages of 3-12. In each program, children and counselors are assigned to groups of four or five counselors and 10 to 15 children of similar age. Children participate in a variety of classroom-based and recreational activities. Staff members implement an extensive behavior modification treatment program during all program activities. The behavior modification program includes feedback and associated consequences for positive and negative behaviors, daily and weekly rewards for appropriate behavior, social praise and attention, appropriate commands, and age-appropriate removal from positive reinforcement. Staff members will also be responsible for recording, tracking, and entering daily records of children’s behavior and response to the treatment. Staff members will work under the supervision of experienced faculty and staff members and will receive regular feedback about their performance.
Experience in the STP may be helpful to prepare students for further study or employment in the fields of education, mental health, physical education, pediatrics, psychiatry, recreational therapy, behavior analysis, social work, counseling, and related areas. Staff members have uniformly reported the experience to be the most demanding but also the most rewarding clinical experience of their careers.
More than 100 positions are available across the three programs. Positions are available forundergraduate students, postbaccalaureate students, and graduate students. Detailed descriptions of each program, position descriptions, and application instructions are available at this link!
At the end of last semester on Thursday, December 5, students, faculty, and staff gathered in Fintel library to look at all of the amazing work the psychology department students have completed over the semester and summer. Various research posters and internship opportunities were shared and of course, the pizza was a hit among all session attendees! Check out the gallery of photos from the event below and congratulations to everyone who shared their research or internship on having a successful presentation and semester.
Roanoke College offers an amazing opportunity to do research with the Salem VA Medical Center. If you are looking to do research and think this could be something for you then continue reading to learn more about the program!
The Salem VA Medical Center offers the chance for Roanoke College undergraduates to gain experience working in research with a seasoned Principal Investigator (PI) on current medical research. Available research projects have included topics such as “Predictors of Treatment Response Among Veterans with PTSD”, “Mental Health in Rural Veterans with and without Traumatic Brain Injury”, and “Effect of Exercise Training on Inflammation and Function in HIV Infected Veterans”.
Students participate in research, analyze data, and present their work. Internship or Independent Study course credit is available through various departments at Roanoke College based on the particular project and student major.
Students interested should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Research, Dr. Chris Lassiter, in the fall semester or early in spring semester to discuss the program. An overall GPA of 3.4 or higher is preferred. An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher will be considered. To apply, submit a cover letter (with research interests), a CV, unofficial transcript, and two letters of recommendation to the Director of Undergraduate Research by February 28 for research in the summer or the next academic year (fall and spring semester).
For more information and other documents about this program you can follow this link.
Then this is the study for you! Even if you have no experience acting, everyone is welcome to participant so long as you are comfortable being recorded while acting out different scenes.
Dr. Dane Hilton is conducting a study in which you will be acting out different scenes and then evaluating your performance. These videos will be used in future research studies. but don’t stress if you have no experience acting, you can still come and participate!
Participants will be getting a $15 gift card for participating. This study is not being run through SONA, so if you are interested in signing up or have further questions then email Dr. Dane Hilton at email@example.com.
On October 10–12, Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand and Dr. Powell took three students to the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood (SSEA) Conference in Toronto, Canada to present research through poster sessions and presentations. These students included Casey Jo Gough ‘20, Sophie Bacon ‘20, and Abbey Packard ‘21.
Students presented research through two different poster presentations.Casey Jo Gough and Sophie Bacon both worked alongside Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand and presented their poster titled “Emerging Adults’ Social Goals for Peer Status: Associations with Aggressive Reactions to Provocation”.Abbey Packard worked alongside Dr. Powell and presented her poster titled “Teaching self-efficacy of emerging adults across a first-level education course with community-based learning”.
The students have since given some insight onto what it was like presenting at the conference as well as their reactions to Toronto:
Casey Jo Gough
The opportunity to not only partake in undergraduate research but to then fly out of the country to present at a professional conference was an unforgettable learning experience. This was my first experience leaving the country, and it was fun to explore the streets of Toronto and take in all the sights. Presenting at the conference gave me confidence in my research abilities as I prepare for grad school. I was able to speak to other researchers and received great advice about my career path as a future school psychologist. I think the best part of the conference experience was the opportunity to attend lectures and poster sessions of unpublished research. I was able to speak to other researchers about their studies and look at exciting unpublished data in my areas of interest. I can’t wait to see where my research will take me next!
Attending SSEA in Toronto was an incredible experience. Presenting our poster and findings was a really fulfilling experience and everyone who we talked to was so friendly and excited about our interest in research. Also, because I am still unsure of the direction that I want to go in when pursing graduated school, it was so helpful to talk to others who were recently in my shoes! I found walking and looking at all of the other posters to be really informative and eye-opening regarding the knowledge that we can learn about this newly defined stage of life. I felt very lucky that we were able to travel to such a cool place like Toronto, the city felt so walkable and had an abundance of hip-restaurants and soaring skyscrapers!
Canada was an amazing experience overall and as an undergraduate research student I gained lots of insight into graduate level research and felt confident being able to present my work to graduate and PhD students. The other presentations were extremely impressive and networking opportunities were all around which is always a bonus! Being able to go to Toronto was a wonderful experience thanks to the help of Dr. Powell! The city was beautiful and was an experience I’ll never forget.
Dr. Powell also presented one poster titled “Emerging Adults’ Bid Responses: A Pilot Study on Romantic Communication” as well as two papers, “How to break up: Individual differences in emerging adults’ normative beliefs about ghosting” and “Emerging adults’ perceptions of what it means to be “Talking””.
Congratulations to all those who attended the conference and for having successful presentations!
This past summer Rachel Harmon was selected as a recipient of the 2018-2019 Summer Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Undergraduate Research Grant from Psi Chi, the international psychology honorary, where she spent several weeks in Mexico working on her project titled, “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Caregiver Concerns and Resources for Children with Disabilities.”
Rachel Harmon was in the list of top 11 applications and so Dr. Powell was awarded a faculty stipend as well.
A brief interview was done with Harmon to learn more about this project and process:
Thank you for taking time to answer some questions, to start off, can you describe what the grant process was like and how you discovered it?
I began the grant application process in December of last year but ended up not submitting the grant until the May due date. I heard about the grant through Dr. Powell, who recommended applying, and advised me throughout the process. The grant required me to provide a concise version of my Literature Review and a brief Methodology section, and all the scales that I would use. I found that the grant helped me to determine the specific methodology I would use for my project and helped me to determine the specific scales that I would use.
Can you tell me more about your project?
The title of my project is “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Caregiver Concerns and Resources for Children with Disabilities”. I have collected both observational and quantitative data in both Mexico and the United States to compare the resources that are available for children with disabilities in each country and how this impacts caregiver stress levels and the emotions they feel, regarding caring for their child with a disability. I originally got the idea for my project when I traveled to Nicaragua the summer before my freshman year. While I was walking through a market in Managua, I saw a woman who was working and had her daughter who had a disability in what we would consider a baby stroller. I have worked a lot with individuals, specifically with children with disabilities and developmental delays, and I was naturally compelled to investigate the topic further.
What drew you to Mexico for this project?
I was originally supposed to return to Nicaragua for my project, but due to the current political environment, it was not ideal for travel. Jesse Griffin, who serves on the committee of my project knew of several connections that our college has with research facilities and other institutions in the Yucatán. One of the facilities was conveniently across the street from a Centro de AtenciónMúltiple, which is a government funded special education school, which was a great resource for collecting observational data and distributing surveys.
What did a normal day look like for you in Mexico as you worked on this project?
For the first month I spent in Mexico I was in Oxkutzcab, which was a small, rural town. This was where the C.A.M. school was. Each weekday I would go to the school at 7:30, and I would rotate which classroom I was in each day. The school has seven classes serving student from ages 2-28. Depending on which classroom I was in, I would either observe the class, and participate in class activities, or work one on one with students who needed more individualized attention. The school days in Mexico only last from 7:30 to 12:30, so in the afternoons I would explore or relax, and work on other research tasks.
I spent the second month in the capital of the Yucatán, Mérida. Here, I was working with an internationally run non-profit called SOLYLUNA. The organization provides special education opportunities and access to physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy for children who have a diagnosis of multiple disabilities and their caregivers. The dynamic of the organization was very different than the C.A.M. school, so it was an adjustment. The organization requires that a caregiver accompanies the child for the full day from 7:30-1:30. My job as a volunteer was to assist the parents when needed, and to observe the teachers and therapists. I also worked with the volunteer coordinator and director of the organization to create a document about potential resources to provide for caregivers, and I took pictures for them to use for promotion purposes. Since I was now in a larger city there was a lot more to explore in the afternoons, and I enjoyed travelling on the weekends.
You mentioned that you had opportunities to explore while in Mexico, what was the coolest place you visited/most favorite?
I did have a lot of time to explore while I was in Mexico, especially on the weekends. I enjoyed exploring nearby townsand venturing further to other landmarks. I think my favorite place I traveled to while in Mexico was Isla las Mujeres. This was an island off the coast of Cancún, where we were able to hear lots of live music, enjoy the beach, and go snorkeling. I met a group of other students from Millsaps College, in Mississippi while I was there, and I enjoyed traveling with them and meeting them at different places on some weekends.
If given the opportunity would you go back and work, there again?
Absolutely! While I was there, I formed a lot of connections with the kids, caregivers, teachers and therapists that I was working with and I would love to see them again (I miss them a lot)! It was hard to leave such amazing people, and such an amazing place.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Overall, my experiences in Mexico taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I especially learned a lot about collecting data in another culture, which is an experience I consider myself lucky to have had at this point in my academic career. Whether it is through research, or a different study abroad program, I highly recommend spending time in another country to everyone, because it allows you to learn so much about yourself and the world.
Congratulations again to Rachel Harmon and Dr. Powell and thank you for taking time to answer some questions!
Are you interested in taking a class in another part of the world? If so, come out to the Ballroom this Thursday, September 5 between 12 – 1 pm to hear about the awesome May Term Travel courses being offered this coming spring! Dr. Powell will be there sharing information on the course she is teaching, IL 377: Emerging Adults in Thailand – A Cross-Cultural Society, which counts as an elective for those in the Human Development concentration but is also a wonderful opportunity for all those interested in human development. Other faculty will be sharing about their courses that are also being offered as well!
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.
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.
Dr. Powell’s Research Lab
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.
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!
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.”
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.”
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!
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!
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
Congratulations to Dr. Dane Hilton on obtaining his Clinical Psychologist licensure! He explains the process of attaining the licensure and his future plans below.
On November 14 I received an email from the Virginia Board of Psychology that I had been approved for licensure as a Clinical Psychologist in Virginia. This was a pretty exciting moment and marked the final step in a long process that started over 8 years ago when I decided to pursue a career as a psychologist.
To become a licensed psychologist in most states, you must complete your PhD from an APA accredited program, complete a year-long clinical internship year from an APA accredited internship site, fulfill post-doctoral or pre-doctoral supervised clinical hour requirements, and pass the 225 question Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
It’s a lot but I thoroughly enjoyed (almost) every moment of my training and education.
Now that I have my license, I can pursue independent practice as a clinical psychologist. More specifically, this means I can engage in therapy, assessment, consultation, and supervision of trainees within the Commonwealth of Virginia. I am very excited to begin working in the greater Roanoke community to help provide access to mental health services. I do not yet have a specific plan for clinical practice and I am really just enjoying the feeling of relief to have made it over that last hurdle in my clinical training.
I am always happy to talk with students who are curious about the field of clinical psychology or who want to talk about the specifics of education and training.
Congratulations again to Dr. Hilton!
If you would like to know more about becoming a Clinical Psychologist or have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Hilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in psychology, human development, or neuroscience?
Then an upcoming talk at the nearby Virginia Tech Research Institute (VTCRI) on November 29th at 5:30 pm might be of interest to you!
The talk, titled “Synapses Lost and Found: Developmental Critical Periods and Alzheimer’s Disease”, is part of the VTCRI Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture series, will be given by Stanford’s Dr. Carla Shatz.
As the talk relates to neuroscience and human development, the psychology department is encouraging and organizing students in multiple classes and in the Neuroscience Concentration and the Human Development Concentration to attend.
The psychology department can provide transportation for students or faculty who need to or are interested in carpooling for the event but we need to know by the end of the day on November 26th (TODAY) regarding whether or not we will take a van.
If you plan to attend the talk on November 29th, please fill out the Doodle poll at: https://doodle.com/poll/cupicv2v6qqmdprv. Feel free to send the survey link to other students or faculty that you think would be interested in attending.
The Salem VA Medical Center offers the chance for Roanoke College undergraduates to gain experience working in research with a seasoned Principal Investigator (PI) on current medical research. Available research projects have included topics such as “Predictors of Treatment Response Among Veterans with PTSD”, “Mental Health in Rural Veterans with and without Traumatic Brain Injury”, and “Effect of Exercise Training on Inflammation and Function in HIV Infected Veterans”.
If you are interested in completing research with the Salem VA Medical Center, please meet with the Director of Undergraduate Research (Dr. Chris Lassiter, Associate Professor of Biology) in the fall semester or early in spring semester to discuss the program.
Application and Requirements:
An overall GPA of 3.4 or higher is preferred (though an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher will be considered).
Materials to submit include:
cover letter (with research interests),
unofficial transcript and
two letters of recommendation
Please submit the above materials to the Director of Undergraduate Research by February 15 for research in the summer or the next academic year (fall and spring semester).
Alumni Lauren Ratcliffe, Sabrina McAllister, Jacob Johnson, and Paige Dzindolet published their research seminar in neuroscience project from fall of 2016 in IMPULSE, an undergraduate neuroscience journal.
Their project, titled ‘During Ascending and Descending Limbs of the Blood Alcohol Concentration Curve’ uses a computerized trail making test in place of driving performance tests in order to better ascertain neurocognitive impairments associated with varying blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. Follow this link to go to the original article.
Students in Dr. Nichols’ research seminar in neuroscience have published their projects at a rate of one student publication per year.
Congratulations to our alumni on their recent publication!
Graduating Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Psychology from Roanoke College in 2017, Ratcliffe obtained a B.S. in Psychology and a concentration in Neuroscience. Ratcliffe is currently pursuing a Psy.D. at Mercer University in Clinical Medical Psychology with an emphasis on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ratcliffe also works as a research assistant at Mercer.
A Phi Beta Kappa member, McAllister obtained a B.S. in Psychology, a minor in Biology, and a concentration in Neuroscience from Roanoke College. McAllister graduated with ten semesters of psychology research experience in 2018. She is currently working as a psychometrist at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA, with a goal of pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Graduated in 2017 from Roanoke College with Honors in Psychology, a minor in Biology, and a concentration Neuroscience. He studied in Germany in the summer of 2016 and was recruited to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. Johnson intends on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology to teach college-level courses and perform therapy.
Dzindolet graduated in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor Biology. In 2016, Dzindolet interned at Virginia Museum of Natural History where she worked with dinosaur bones and fossils, among other things. She is currently interested in obtaining a position involving Forensic Psychology and Criminology.
Saint Joseph’s University, ranked as one of America’s best colleges in 2011 by USNews, is hosting a virtual open house on Monday, November 12th at 2:00 pm.
The university offers an MS in psychology with particular emphasis on experimental psychology. This is a full-time program designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the scientific study of psychology. All students in the program are assigned to a mentor and conduct an empirically based research thesis under his/her direction.
Information on how to attend the open house can be found here
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 email@example.com.
If you have any questions or want more information, please contact Toni McLawhorn from Career Services or Dr. Mary Camac. They will happy to help you!
Don’t miss out on this opportunity (including the free pizza)! We hope to see you there.
Interested in working with children after graduation?
Casa de Esperanza, a non-profit in Houston, Texas, provides residential care to children from birth through six years of age. These children are in crisis due to abuse, neglect, or the effects of HIV. Among their different programs is the Hands of Hope internship.
These interns, most of whom are recent college graduates, join the organization for a year working full-time. Interns live with the children they are caring for in agency homes, alongside generally three other interns who all share the responsibility of taking care of the children. One intern is designated the foster parent. Interns come from all across the United States. In addition to taking care of household needs, making sure they get to their appointments, and other such responsibilities, these interns also work with “case workers, psychological staff and community volunteers”.
In order to apply, one must be 21 years old, willing to work full-time for a year, a valid U.S. Driver’s License, and a college degree is preferred. Furthermore, one must be in good physical shape and be flexible and patient.
Dr. Dane Hilton will be discussing mental health in rural Appalachia tomorrow (Wednesday, October 3rd) at 7:00 pm in Life Science 502. Specifically, in terms of prevalent mental health diagnoses and problems with accessibility to treatment in these areas.
This talk is sponsored by the Roanoke College Honors Program.
Dr. Dane Hilton was asked by a student assistant to discuss mindfulness meditation, specifically about what mindfulness is and the many misconceptions regarding it. Thank you, Dr. Hilton, for taking time to write this post. Enjoy!
Mindfulness meditation is a topic that has exploded into the popular culture in the past 10-15 years. In 2018 alone, dozens of books have been published with Mindfulness as the main subject, with titles including Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids by Whitney Stewart, Falling Awake: How to Practice Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and the cutely illustrated A Sloth’s Guide to Mindfulness by Ton Mak. A quick search of Google Scholar for the term “mindfulness meditation” included in anything published in 2018 gets you 129,000 hits. I will admit I did not filter through all of those results to verify but the point is this: mindfulness is getting a lot of attention.
As a researcher of mindfulness meditation, I am glad that this topic is getting its time in the limelight. Mindfulness has the potential to improve the lives of humans in a variety of ways, though the questions of how, in what ways, for whom, and under what circumstances are still up for debate and empirical examination. While I am happy on one hand, on the other hand I do worry about issues that arise with the rapid increase in interest surrounding mindfulness. As we all know, popular things are marketable things. They generate buzz, get people to click on your article or blog post (like this one!), and make publishers excited when you come to them with a “cutting edge” book that claims to cure all that ails you. When demand increases, everyone is more than happy to contribute to the supply. Unfortunately, that increased quantity doesn’t equal quality. Quite frankly- you may not even get what you think you are getting…So I want to briefly talk about what mindfulness is, clarify what it is not, and present some literature supporting why I still believe you should care.
Let me be clear: mindfulness meditation is not new. It is not “cutting edge.” It is not a product of new technology or “third-wave” psychology or even a better understanding of human nature. Mindfulness is actually quite old. The mindfulness that most folks think of today is actually rooted in thousands of years of history in Eastern religions, including Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The practice itself is not new. What is new is the recognition by researchers in health and medicine that meditation can have profound physical and psychological effects on the body. I will mention some of these toward the end of this post. Regrettably, the influx of passengers on the mindfulness bandwagon- that, I must admit, includes me- has sometimes led to a watering down, or even total misrepresentation, of mindfulness.
So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness, simply put, is an open and nonjudgmental stance toward one’s present moment experiences. In other words, mindfulness is an approach to existence marked by awareness and acceptance of the full spectrum of human experience- including all the things we think of as positive (e.g., joy, surprise, laughter, love), negative (e.g., sadness, fear, loss, anger), and anything in between. We can be mindful of physical sensations (e.g., breath, pain, fatigue), thoughts (e.g., “I’m awesome,” “I feel so stupid right now”), emotions (e.g., sadness, happiness, irritation), interactions with others, experiences of the outer world, and even our relationship to ourselves via our inner world. It is an approach to living that allows you to experience fully- embracing, rather than fighting, all the things that come with being human.
So what is mindfulness not? It is not a “tool.” It is not one more technique you pull out of your grab bag of breathing exercises, stress relief tactics, and progressive muscle relaxation scripts to use when life starts getting to you. It is not a shield from the tension and busyness of this thing we call life. Despite the fact that mindfulness is clearly not meant to beat back hectic schedules, difficult relationships, troubling inner thoughts, or anxiety about impending deadlines, much of the information you will find on mindfulness presents as just that- a tool to guard against the horrors of 21st century life. Decreased stress, increased sense of well-being, better clarity of thought, and improved psychological functioning are certainly potential byproducts of regular mindfulness practice but to say that you should engage in mindfulness with those things as the goal is to totally miss the point. All the cool effects of mindfulness that make for attention grabbing headlines are, in fact, just side effects of a more open, aware, and accepting approach to the stuff life slings our way.
Another thing that mindfulness is not is a religion. I think this is an important distinction because in my short time practicing mindfulness and talking with others about it, the issue of whether mindfulness is indicative of a specific religious group or set of beliefs is often a sticking point and potential barrier to individuals looking further into it. While mindfulness meditation certainly does have roots in religion and can even be traced back to specific religious teachings, as I mentioned a few paragraphs back, the basic tenets of mindfulness meditation can fit within any number of worldviews and beliefs. If you believe that life happens now- not 5 seconds ago or 5 seconds from now- then mindfulness might just be for you.
So now that we have a brief outline for what mindfulness is and what it is not, we still have the question of why you should care. The first reason I will suggest is simply an opinion- and probably a philosophical one at that. Life is happening now. Life is happening in this present moment and once that moment passes, it is gone for good. A mindful stance to life helps us to experience these moments more fully- in essence, living more fully. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t want my life to pass by not having had the chance to truly live it. The second reason comes from my practical and scientific side- mindfulness appears to be immensely beneficial to those who practice it. As I said earlier- health and wellness are not the explicit goals of mindfulness practice, but it does have some super nice side effects.
Mindfulness practice has been associated with improved cognitive functioning (Zeidan et al., 2010), fewer depression and anxiety symptoms (Chiesa & Serretti, 2011; Hofmann et al., 2010), improved adjustment to major health problems (e.g., cancer diagnosis; Ledesma & Kumano, 2008), less pain and improved functioning in those with chronic pain (Zeidan et al., 2012), greater engagement in positive health behaviors (Jacobs et al., 2016), improved self-regulation and greater resilience in children (Coholic et al., 2012; Semple et al., 2010), and functional brain changes in areas associated with self-regulation/emotion regulation, higher cognitive function, and memory, among other functions (Gotnik et al., 2016; Gartenschläger et al., 2017). This isn’t even close to a comprehensive list but you can check this article for a well-written overview of some of the benefits of mindfulness practice. There is a reason so many people are studying mindfulness and other forms of meditation. It is an exciting time in research as we come to better understand the numerous effects of mindfulness and the mechanisms by which these effects occur.
I will end this post with a final thought on our conceptualization of mindfulness. You may have seen a picture depicting a cartoon human whose thought bubble is “mind full” while his cartoon dog’s thought bubble is “mindful.” The dog is supposedly more mindful because his thought bubble reflects the environment he is in- sun, grass, trees- while the human’s mind is filled with busyness- thoughts of other people, cars, music, bills, etc. I get the artist’s intention but I still think this misses the mark. Part of being human is that our minds are often wild and out of control. Even in this state, we can be mindful of our experience. It is when we stop fighting against the experience of the moment that we can start to appreciate living in the moment. This is mindfulness.
The following is a brief interview with Dr. Stacy Wetmore, a new tenure-track professor at Roanoke College. A student assistant was recently able to interview her to learn more about her, her interests, and some cool facts that readers may not know. There’s a picture of a cute puppy at the end of this interview: keep reading to see it.
So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from what you’re used to?
So far, I’m loving it!! I’m excited that the semester is underway and I get to teach some really interesting topics. I like that I have fairly small class sizes and I will know all of my students’ names in no time. RC is similar in a lot of ways to where I most recently taught, so now it’s just a matter of learning the little quirks about how about things work here. One thing that is a little different are the class times, so I’m always a bit nervous I’m going to be late!
Where did you go to undergraduate and graduate school?
For my undergraduate (BA in Psychology) and Master’s degree (Experimental Psychology) I was at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. And I got my PhD from the University of Oklahoma. (Dr. Osterman and I actually met there many years ago!!!).
What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?
Currently, I’m teaching two sections of the INQ 260 Psychology in the Media, and one PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology. In the near future, I’ll be teaching Cognitive Psych and Research Methods. I will also be developing (over the upcoming years) a new INQ 110, a Memory course, and a Psychology and Law/Forensic Psych course as well.
What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?
My most exciting research experience was getting to be a Postdoctoral Researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London, in Egham, England. I hadn’t yet finished my dissertation, but accepted a position overseas to work on a project evaluating the U.K.’s eyewitness identification system/technique. I got to be a researcher, without any teaching responsibilities for 1.5 years and learned a lot of new stuff, as well as did research that could inform policy abroad.
In terms of research interests, Dr. Wetmore explains…
The overall focus of my research examines the intersection between cognition and the legal system. Research that I have been involved in, thus far, has been in three major areas.
The first is research on jailhouse informants. Jailhouse informants are a leading cause of wrongful conviction, yet very little is known about this form of evidence, including how jurors perceive and weigh this information, and if there are effective safeguards against it.
Another cause of wrongful conviction that I have studied are eyewitness identifications. Specifically, my research focused on show-up identification procedures, in which the individual must make a decision from a single face. My colleagues and I found that the show-up was a more unreliable memory test than a more traditional six-pack lineup. I’m interested in developing other procedures or methods of evaluating eyewitness memory in order to make it a more effective source of evidence at trial.
Lastly, related to eyewitness identifications, I’m interested in facial processing and memory in general. Humans are made specially to be able to process faces super-fast and efficiently, however there are still instances when this mechanism breaks down and I’m interested in examining these instances when it falters. For instance, a well-known phenomenon is the cross-race effect, or own-race bias, in which we are better at identifying someone from our own race better than from another race. Although we know the phenomenon exists, little is known about what cognitively could be different in the processing so I want to investigate this issue further.
What are some random/cool facts about you?
I was a collegiate athlete in tennis.
I lived abroad for 2 years in England as a postdoctoral researcher.
Super allergic to 100% grape juice – but can drink the not healthy stuff, wine, and eat grapes… I think this fits under random.
Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?
I have the cutest (I might be biased) 7 month old puppy, Daisy, that I walk around campus every morning between 6-7 (depending on when I can drag myself out of bed) and every evening, so anyone who runs into us is welcome to say hello. 🙂
Thank you Dr. Wetmore for taking your time to answer our questions, and welcome again to Roanoke College! We are glad to have you here (and Daisy too)!
A student assistant 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.
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!
Stop by the table outside of Colket or by the box in the hallway of the 5th floor to choose your victim(s) to get pied! The professor with the most money in their jar will get a special pie, with sprinkles.
All proceeds will go to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Dr. Dane Hilton, a new faculty member in the Department of Psychology, is recruiting student research assistants to start in the fall.
The research conducted in the lab will focus on:
Cognitive mechanisms of social encoding
Mindfulness meditation and other alternative treatments for self-regulatory deficits
Improving measurement of social information processing
The use of technology in psychotherapy research/intervention
Treatment mechanisms in ADHD Parent Training
He is looking for research assistants who:
Are conscientious and hard-working
Have excellent time-management skills
Are intellectually curious
Interested in ADHD, executive function, or social interaction (preferred, not required)
Are familiar with MS Office/Google Docs
Have some familiarity with research methods and statistics (preferred, not required)
Interested in applying technology (e.g., smartphones, activity trackers, etc.) to research (not required)
Research assistants will be involved with many aspects of the research process, including developing experimental materials, data collection (in and outside of the lab), data entry, and literature reviews. Highly motivated students will have opportunities for more involvement in study design, statistical analysis, and other more advanced aspects of the research process.
Interested students from all class years are encouraged to contact Dr. Hilton for an application (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Psychology Department would like to welcome Dr. Dane Hilton as our newest tenure-track professor starting this upcoming fall semester. Dr. Hilton obtained his Masters in Clinical Health Psychology from Appalachian State University and his PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Alabama.
At Roanoke, Dr. Hilton will be teaching courses such as Abnormal, Personality, and Clinical Psychology. His research interests focus specifically on social encoding, executive functioning, and mindfulness. Dr. Hilton has conducted research on social skills in youth and emerging adults, especially those with ADHD, and on psycho-social interventions for those with executive functioning deficits.
Dr. Hilton is currently looking for student research assistants to start next semester. If you’re interested, follow this link to learn more.
Welcome again to Dr. Hilton! We are excited for him to be joining the department!
Are you looking for internships? Job opportunities? Then consider attending to Alumni Career Fair! The event will be held on Thursday, April 12th, from 5-7 pm on the main level of Colket.
Why should you attend? According to Director McLawhorn of Career Services, alumni from around 30 companies/organizations/career fields of various industries and geographic locations will be there to share about their career fields, as well as provide information about internships and/or job opportunities that may be available at their respective places of employment.
Some company recruiters will be there as well.
Things you should know before you go:
Neat, but casual clothing is fine.
It’s highly suggested that students bring resumes, but they are not required. (Students can contact Career Services for assistance with resumes prior to April 12.)
Dr. Stacy Wetmore, a new faculty member in the Department of Psychology, is recruiting student research assistants to start in the fall.
The research conducted in the lab will focus on:
Intersections between cognition and the legal system
Factors that influence eyewitness identification accuracy and confidence
Underlying processes of memory for recognizing faces
Examining the perceptions of cooperating witnesses (including jailhouse informants and accomplice witnesses)
Examining and understanding the safeguards that are in place to help jurors evaluate cooperating witnesses
Looking for research assistants who:
Are conscientious and self-motivated
Are able to juggle a variety of tasks at once
Are intellectually curious (ideally with knowledge of cognitive psychology)
Share some level of interest in the above topics
Are familiar with MS Office/Google Docs
Have some familiarity with research methods and statistics (preferred, not required)
Research assistants will be involved with many aspects of the research process, including developing experimental materials (e.g., mock crime videos and mugshots), data collection (in and outside of the lab), data entry, and literature reviews. Highly motivated students will have opportunities for more involvement in study design, statistical analysis, and other more advanced aspects of the research process.
Interested students from all class years are encouraged to contact Dr. Wetmore for an application (email@example.com).
Kaitlin Busse, a senior majoring in psychology and a student assistant for the department, was recently awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant for Denmark.
In this post, Busse discusses with a student assistant what she will be doing while in Denmark, how she learned about the Fulbright program, and advice she has for students considering applying to Fulbright and any other research/internship opportunity.
Can you tell me a little about yourself and what you will be doing in Denmark?
I am a psychology major, sociology minor, and human resources concentration, and my interests are in organizational psychology. I was awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant to Denmark and I will be in Copenhagen from August 2018 until June 2019. I will take master level classes at Copenhagen Business School, where I plan to take classes about leadership and organizational change, employee identity, and diversity management, and about Danish culture and how it influences their organizations.
While there, I am also planning to assist my affiliate, Dr. Sara Louise Muhr, with a project she is working on about improving organizational cultures for women in academia in the European Union. Part of the Fulbright experience involves a project in which you immerse yourself in the community. I am planning to partner with an organization called, Crossing Borders, where I will help teach professional development skills to refugees in Denmark.
How did you learn about the opportunity?
I actually learned about Fulbright while on my May Term to Sri Lanka. My professor, Dr. Katherine Hoffman, was a Fulbright ETA (she taught English) in Sri Lanka, and we interacted with their Fulbright Commission. I did not actually think about applying for a Fulbright until the second semester of my Junior year. I had just gotten back from studying abroad in the Netherlands and I loved immersing myself in another culture. After I came back, I received an email from Dr. Rosti about a Fulbright Information Session meeting.
What made you choose Denmark?
I wanted to go to Denmark because they are known for the great working environments and are constantly ranked one of the best places to work (and also one of the happiest countries)! My research interests lie in creating better work environments, especially in relation to work-family issues, which is what the Danes are known for! Also, I initially planned to study abroad in Denmark, but the program was cancelled during the semester that I wanted to go abroad.
Can you give any advice for those interested in applying for the Fulbright, or for research/internship experiences in general?
To people who are thinking about applying for Fulbright, I would say DO IT! It is a lot of work and it is extremely competitive to receive an award, but you develop so much personally, academically, and professionally from the application process. Even if you do not receive the Fulbright award, you end up with a great personal statement from the process.
For those thinking about research and internship experiences, I would also say DO IT! It was actually through one of my internships at a counseling agency that I learned I did not want to be a counselor and was instead most concerned with improving the work environment. Internships have also helped me get to know a little bit more about what organizational psychology and the HR field are about.
For those looking for internships, my advice would be to reach out to your networks and Roanoke College alumni (I actually [found] my first internship at a Roanoke College Career Night in NYC). I would also recommend research too because it allowed me to go in deeper to my studies and learn more about a particular area that I am passionate about.
Roanoke has an amazing research focus in the psychology program, which also gives you the opportunity to have a strong network relationship, present at conferences, and learn more about the research process.
Thank you to Kaitlin for taking her time to answer our questions, and congratulations again on receiving the Fulbright grant! Keep in touch and let us know how it goes! We’ll be cheering you on from the fifth floor of Life Science.
Also, for those interested in the Fulbright Program, click on this link to go to their official website. You can also talk to Dr. Jenny Rosti, who is the Director of Major Scholarships and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a transcription from an in-person interview with Brittney Rowe where a fellow student assistant was able to talk with her about her team winning the Freeman Award, a scholarship that helps fund research in Asian countries.
Tell me a little bit about the Freeman Award.
The Freeman Award funds around $40,000 towards conducting research in an Asian country. For our trip, we focused on South Korea, but you can also apply to go to China, which is where Dr. Xu led a team a few years ago, and to Japan as well. [The program is sponsored] through the government and it’s supposed to help promote awareness of Asian cultures.
What or who made you want to apply?
I went on the May Term to Japan last summer with Drs. Xu and Leeson who are also leading this team. A friend who went on the May Term told me about this project over the summer right before school started. So, I emailed Dr. Xu and asked about what they were planning and if I could join.
What are your plans to do when you get to South Korea?
There’s going to be multiple components. Our overarching topic is going to be focusing on North Korean refugees in South Korea. There are six students going, including myself. We each have different topics that cover aspects of our main topic. [For instance,] Anna Ford will be focusing on how North Koreans are portrayed in South Korean film and TV shows, and Carolyn Marciniec and Phantesa Ingram will be looking into their experiences relating to education.
I am going to be focusing on how North Korean women are represented in South Korean media and about their lives in South Korea. I plan to interview around fifteen women, maybe more, we’ll see, about their lives since arriving in the South, how they perceive South Korean media’s portrayal of them, and their opinions on unification as well. I will be presenting on my findings at the ASIANetwork Conference in San Diego next April.
In order to better inform my topic, there’s a TV show that I’ve been focusing on, Now on My Way to Meet You, where they kind of take the typical South Korean talk show. They have guests dance and show off their skills, but they also have the North Koreans talk about their experiences in North Korea. Something that we’ve noticed is that they never get to talk about their struggles in South Korea. It’s always like, rainbows and sunshine and sparkles – when in reality it’s not; a lot of North Korean refugees have trouble adjusting to the highly competitive, capitalist South.
Another thing that we’ve noticed is that typically, it’s pretty, young women who are chosen [to appear on the show]. It’s like a national thing where you send in your personal statement about your life and what you would talk about on the show. And then the show-runners go through the applications and choose who has the most appealing story to South Koreans. They then bring in the women and they dress them up to look like South Koreans to appeal to that South Korean audience. It’s just really interesting to see how that goes.
How long will you be studying in South Korea?
About twenty days in May.
Outside of research, is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to?
Just being in South Korea. Being able to eat South Korean food and experience their culture. We’re also going to be going on little excursions to actually go out and experience the culture. So, it’s a lot like a May Term, but a week longer than my Japan May Term.
Do you have any advice to anyone considering applying to the Freeman Award in the future?
Edit, edit, edit. Go to Jennifer Rosti.
Are you excited?
I really, really am. I’m also going to be studying abroad next semester in South Korea, so. And we’re also going to try and see if we can travel after the original period is up, maybe go to Japan.
Congratulations, Brittney! We wish you the best and hope you enjoy your time in South Korea!
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.
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!
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
(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!
Congratulations to Molly Zydel ’19 for being awarded the Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant!
Zydel will use this grant towards funding her Distinction Project, titled “Perceptions of Foster Care Youth’s Academic Identity: Comparing Reports from Foster Parents and Former Foster Care Youth.” Specifically, she will be using the grant in order to offset the costs of compensating participants for their time.
She has been a member of Dr. Powell’s research lab since fall 2016.
Zydel also went to Thailand as part of Dr. Powell’s May Term last summer. You can read about the trip here.
The Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant was founded in honor of Mamie Phipps Clark. Graduating in 1943, Clark was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University.
As such, this grant is awarded to Psi Chi students and faculty advisors who are seeking to study diverse populations and issues.
For more information about the research grant, click here.
Congratulations again to Molly Zydel! We’re proud of you and look forward to learning about the results of your Distinction Project!
On March 27th from 7 pm – 8 pm in Life Science 515, Psi Chi will be hosting a presentation by researchers from Salem Veteran Affairs Medical Center for students interested in learning about their research, as well as internship opportunities!
Congratulations to Kaitlin Busse ’18 and Riker Lawrence ’20 for their successful poster sessions at the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Conference in Richmond, Virginia!
Part of Dr. Powell’s lab, Busse and Lawrence presented two posters on their findings from researching work-life balance and perceptions of organizational climate and job satisfaction in employees from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Last semester, students from Dr. Nichols lab published a paper titled “Exploration of Methodological and Participant-Related Influences on the Number of Artifacts in ERP Data.”
Under the direction of Dr. Nichols, Ms. Stephanie M. Shields and Ms. Caitlin E. Morse conducted a study in order to see how the number of trials needed to collect enough data for Event-related Potential (ERP) could be minimized through the reduction of artifacts.
Typically, this type of research requires a number of trials in order to collect enough data. Oftentimes, several of these trials have to be discarded as a result of artifacts, or errors.
Shields, Morse, and Nichols focused specifically on the connections between “the number of trials that have to be eliminated due to artifacts and a set of methodological variables, physical considerations, and individual differences.”
To read more about what they found as a result of their research, follow this link to the original article.
Related: Ms. Shields was awarded a Fulbright grant to return to Germany to study bat vocalizations and vocal learning in Munich, Germany from September 2017-July 2018. Prior to this, she spent a summer in Hamburg, Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service Research Internship in Science and Engineering. While there, she completed a research project with Ph.D. student Signe Luisa Schneider on electroencephalography (EEG), learning, and memory. (To find out more about this latter project, follow this link.) Shields also completed over three years of research in the psychology department and had other articles published as well. She graduated with a major in psychology, a concentration in neuroscience, and a minor in German. She plans on earning a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
Related: Ms. Morse currently works as a Licensed Nursing Assistant at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire. Graduating from Roanoke College with a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science in 2017, she followed this by attending the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences where she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in order to become a registered nurse. While at Roanoke College, she worked as a research assistant in the psychology department for around three and a half years, starting in 2013. She has also participated in two other published articles through Dr. Nichols lab, alongside Ms. Shields and other students. Her Linked In account can be found here.
A two year, full-time program providing students with advanced training in research methodology, data analysis, and the core principles of psychology. Students gain invaluable experience by working with faculty conducting research in a number of different subfields, as well as developing a wide range of knowledge in psychology.
Students will be required to develop, test, and defend a thesis project based on empirical research.
Through applying the basic principles of psychology to the workplace, I/O strives to improve not only the workplace, but also the “quality of work life for employees.”
Radford offers a two year, terminal master’s degree based on a “practitioner-scholar” model that applies to a number of career paths; the M.A. option includes a thesis project that prepares students for further studies.
A required internship, as well as a client-based project for each of the six I/O courses
37 credit-hour program (9 hours per semester; 1 credit summer internship)
Counseling (Psy.D.) at Radford University focuses on rural mental health, with emphasis on “cultural diversity, social justice, and evidence-based practice in psychology.”
The program is designed for students “interested in pursuing careers as psychologists in mental health settings and institutions where clinical supervision and the direct application of counseling, therapy, and psychological assessment are required.”
APA-accredited, follows a practitioner-scholar model, and includes a 2,000 hour internship.
Applicants must have completed a Master’s degree from an accredited institution where “they provided face-to-face counseling services by August of the year in which they wish to enroll in the Psy.D. program.”
While the program focuses on rural practice in their coursework and internships as they are located in rural Appalachia, they offer field placements in Roanoke for those wanting experience in a city environment.
Accepts graduate applications at any time but does not start reviewing them until the end of January.
Applications for these programs are due February 15th. These applications must be online, require a non-refundable payment of fifty (50) dollars, and degree–seeking students must submit official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended. The application will automatically be forwarded to the selected department for evaluation.
To learn more about admissions and to find the link to the application, click here.
Have you recently completed a research study, are an undergraduate student, and want to present your findings at a well-regarded conference?
On Friday, April 13th, 2018, the University of Virginia’s annual L. Starling Reid Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference will occur.
This event highlights “outstanding empirical research conducted by undergraduate scholars.”
The proposal deadline has been extended to Monday, March 15th, 2018 at 8:00 am.
Accepted students will be notified by 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 22nd.
Due to the high volume of applicants and the limited number of spots available, this conference is competitive.
Presentation formats are either research talks lasting around fifteen minutes, or posters. The selection process for research talks are more competitive, but if an applicant fails to secure a research talk position, then they will automatically be considered for a poster.
The application is now live and can be found here. For more information about the conference, follow this link.
If you have any questions, please contact UVA psychology department’s Taylor Young, who is the Interim Undergraduate Coordinator. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growth Through Opportunity is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
GTO is looking for students who are respectful of others, positive, dependable, patient, flexible, and creative, among other traits.
Through the program, students partner with first responders at local fire stations, police departments, sheriff’s offices and courthouses, making this an ideal program for those especially interested in psychology, sociology, social work, criminal justice, education, communications, and business.
In addition to gaining experience with varying levels of our justice system and with first responders, students will also develop such skills as developing educational curriculum, teaching/job coaching, and fundraising and marketing.
Students can volunteer,intern, or complete service hours. (Though it is too late in the current semester to set-up an internship.)
Students work as job coaches with recent high school graduates with disabilities (physical, emotional, learning, behavioral), called ‘cadets,’ as they work on-site with members of our justice system and first responders. Each student will have a small group of cadets, around four-to-six, that they will look after.
The program would be both spring and fall, from five-to-twenty hours a week, or from 9 am – 2 pm Monday through Thursday, though students will have to be there all of that time.While students are not paid, GTO is applicable for academic credit or service/volunteer hours, as well as gaining invaluable experience and connections.
Furthermore, GTO will also be at the upcoming job fair on March 19th, 4:30 – 6:30 pm if you are interested and would like to speak to a representative.
Finally, if you are interested but cannot commit to the time or both semesters, the GTO team is currently working with the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services to create a summer camp where students will have the opportunity to be involved.
For those who are interested, please send a letter of interest and resume to Dawn Martin at GTOdawnmartin@gmail.com or contact her at (540)204-5945 if you have any questions.
Martin is a 1998 graduate of Roanoke College with a bachelors degree in psychology. She is happy to help interested students in finding a place at GTO.
Interested in working in the non-profit sector, or just interested in helping kids learn?
Not sure what you’re going to do yet?
Then consider applying to the Literacy Lab, a branch of Americorps.
The Literacy Lab’s mission is to provide low-income children with individualized reading instruction to improve their literacy skills, leading to greater success in school and increased opportunities in life. In Richmond they serve children K-3, partnering with school districts to help close the literacy gap, by embedding full-time, rigorously-trained tutors in elementary schools.
The Literacy Lab works in Metro DC, Greater Richmond, Baltimore MD, Kansas City, MO and in the upcoming year, Springfield MA. Students who are graduating this year and are unsure what their next steps should be, may consider applying to this amazing service term. The position is rewarding, and the professional skills developed could help with a career in the non-profit sector. There is also an expansive Americorps alumni network that you’d also become a part of.
You can choose to serve full-time as a literacy tutor for the rest of the 2017-2018 year (through July 2018), or for the next year (August 2018- July 2019).
There is also another program called “Leading Men Fellowship” through the Literacy Lab which is a year-long opportunity from August 2018 – July 2019.
You can find the applications for all three of the above opportunities here. To learn more about the Literacy Lab in general, follow this link for the general website.
Congratulations to Dr. Powell (Roanoke College), Dr. Freedman (Dartmouth University), Dr. Le (Haverford College), and Dr. Williams (Purdue University) for their recent publishing in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, titled “Ghosting and Destiny: Implicit theories of relationships predict beliefs about ghosting”!
The research article focuses on two studies conducted by the authors to determine how implicit theories such as destiny and growth influence relationship terminations and how participants view “ghosting.”
For more information, follow this link to see the original study.
Again, congratulations to Dr. Powell and her fellow researchers for their manuscript publishing!
Then please consider applying to the Yale University program in Organizational Behavior.
The Yale University program in Organizational Behavior is seeking several summer research assistants (20 hours/week; ~$350-400/week) to work on research projects at the Yale School of Management in New Haven, CT. This internship would start in the summer of 2018 and last from around June 15th to August 15th (exact dates are flexible). This internship is designed to support individuals looking to strengthen their research skills before applying to a graduate school PhD program in organizational behavior, or a related behavioral science field. Therefore, a critical component of this summer research experience will be ongoing mentoring and guidance from faculty and graduate students, and we highly encourage those from underrepresented and/or non-traditional educational backgrounds to apply.
Research assistants will collaborate with faculty (Professors Amy Wrzesniewski, Cydney Dupree, and Michael Kraus) and graduate students on day-to-day research being conducted, which includes: programming surveys on Qualtrics, data collection in the lab, field, and online environments, analyzing and summarizing data, revising/editing manuscripts, assisting with literature reviews, IRB proposals, and presentations, and attending research meetings and workshops. At the end of the 8-week internship, all interns will present their research progress at a mini-conference hosted by the School of Management.
Interested in conducting research on increasing political tolerance?
Thanks to a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, the lab of Dr. Kurt Gray is looking for a few motivated undergraduates for a full-time paid 8-week summer internship (June 18th to August 10th). Interns will receive hands-on experience with study development, data collection, and data presentation, in addition to receiving $2,800 each.
To apply, please submit a CV and a letter addressing the following questions: 1) What does political tolerance mean to you? 2) Why do you want to join this summer program? 3) What unique perspectives can you provide this internship program? 4) What are your long-term career goals?
Please e-mail Emily Kubin (email@example.com) with the subject title Summer Internship 2018 by February 15th, 2018.
Interested in working with children in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, or Elementary age groups? Want to be a Counselor, Classroom Aide, or Researcher? Looking for a chance to earn an internship credit?
Then consider applying to the Children’s Summer Treatment Program for children with ADHD or other related impairments at the Florida International University.
The Summer Treatment Program (STP) is a comprehensive program for children with ADHD and related behavioral, emotional and learning challenges. The STP has successfully helped more than 3,000 children and families and is composed of evidence-based intensive treatments incorporated into an eight-week therapeutic summer camp setting. Group and tailored individual treatment plans are focused on improving problem-solving, academic functioning and social skills—while also incorporating recreational, age-appropriate games and group activities.
The STP has been named a Model Program in Child and Family Mental Health by the American Psychological Association, and has been named the program of the year by CHADD, the national parent advocacy group for children with ADHD. Students who have worked with FIU and the STP have said that it is an incredibly rewarding. hands-on experience, with huge contributions to their professional development. The program is also helpful in continuing onto graduate school and careers, such as clinical psychopathology, pharmacology, and psychotherapy.
More information about the Summer Treatment Program and the Center for Children and Families can be found here. Information about applications can be found here.
Applications for all positions are competitive so students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
If you are considering applying to this program, please contact Dr. Camac about earning an internship credit.
If you are looking for ways of gaining clinical research experience working with youth over the summer, considering applying to the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at Ohio University.
Through this 8-week program, students will gain experience by attending seminars, working with mentors on research projects, and building a set of skills and a portfolio that will stand out to graduate schools including an independent project focused on some aspect of treatment related to youth with SEB.
Accepted students will be given a stipend of $4000, along with housing, meals, conference travel, and research incentives.
Eligible students must have at least a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate classes and must be a US Citizen or permanent resident. Applicants who have taken research methods will be more competitive, but this is not required. Finally, students from diverse or minority backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.
All applications must be submitted by February 23, 3018 at 5 pm.
To learn more about the program and how to apply, click here or on the above image to go to the official website.
The following is a transcription from an in-person interview with Victoria Preston at Fruitions where a student assistant was able to talk with her about her research and internship experiences at Roanoke College and Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare.
Can you tell me a little about yourself? (Such as interesting hobbies and your favorite color?)
I’m a psych major. I don’t think I have any interesting hobbies. I like animals and my favorite color is green.
What kind of classes are you taking this semester?
This is my last semester, so I’m at the very end of what I need to be taking. I’m taking a seminar course [for psychology], and then I’m taking a sociology class because it’s interesting to me. I [also] work for Dr. Powell on a research lab.
How do you like seminar?
It’s kind of challenging just because you’re working in a group to come up with a project. Most of the groups are four people, [but] we’ve got three, so it’s just kind of difficult to get everyone on the same page, to get everyone to meet on time, [and] to get the work done, but it seems to be going well so far.
How do you like Dr. Powell’s lab?
I love it. This is my second year working for her, second semester I guess, and her lab is about an emerging adult study or doing something with adolescents. Last semester I just worked in helping other students with their research- I didn’t do anything of my own. (…) This year I’m doing my own study from a previous student’s and some of her work. I have someone working for me this time. So, (…) I really enjoy it and you get the experience of what working in a research setting would be and you get her attention to help with anything else that you need.
So, what are you doing specifically in the lab?
There’s a Roanoke College student who graduated last year who did a study on emerging adults and talking, ghosting, friends with benefits, that kind of relationship. I’m doing a secondary data analysis of her study. Dr. Powell and Dr. Friedman did a study on a ghosting, so I’m taking some of their information and putting it together and running my own analysis of it: dealing with if there’s a time frame, what blocking is, if we can accurately define what “talking” really means. [Talking is] different for every person. That’s basically what I am doing this semester.
In addition to working in the lab, you also completed an internship. Can you tell me about that?
I interned at Blue Ridge Behavioral Health Care in the Child and Family Services [Department]. I was toying with the idea of working with children and families and I wanted to intern at a place that was local enough to where I could potentially work there because I am from Salem. [Interning at Blue Ridge] was just the best option and was something I was vaguely familiar with.
What did you learn from your experience at Blue Ridge?
A lot of what I did there was observing group therapy or sitting in on family assessment planning. If there was a kid that needed some sort of services but couldn’t afford it, they would go to this board and make their argument for the government or organization to pay for it. What I learned was that there are a majority of people who need the help that Blue Ridge is giving but they can’t afford it. That was kind of surprising to me because you think “oh, you know everybody has insurance, that insurance just pays for it” but that was not the case. [I also] just figured out my own personal biases in working with kids because I still want to work with children – I eventually want to be family therapist. Maybe. Working with kids, you think it’s going to be one thing and then it’s an entirely different thing.
I did learn a lot about what it was like to work in an actual office setting, which was really important to me because the only other job I’ve had I was working at a jewelry store. That was just really interesting to me to just see how complicated the behind-the-scenes of mental health is and trying to get people the services that they need.
Were there any moments during your internship that really surprised or struck you?
Since there are children and family services in that building, I thought it was only going to be kids needing some sort of residential treatment or psychiatric testing but it’s anything that has to do with children. […] I’m not sure… There were a lot of interesting experiences that I never anticipated or expected to see.
How do you plan on applying what you learned in your internship to what you’d like to do in the future?
The reason why I wanted to intern at a local place was because I plan on applying for a job there, so basically just taking all of the things I observed and kind of deciding if that’s the path that I want to go down since I’ll only have a bachelors [degree]. You can’t really do a lot, so I’ll probably end up being a case-worker. Just taking the things that I saw and learned in my psych classes, counseling classes, or my abnormal classes- even some of my sociology classes. I’ve taken a lot of juvenile delinquency and behavior classes and the things I’ve learned in my classes [I’ve also] seen first hand. When you do an internship, you have to write daily reflections of what you did and how it applies to what you learned and I could apply 90% of what I saw [interning at Blue Ridge] to something that I learned in my classes.
What’s some advice that you have for students who want to complete an internship?
Definitely do it. If I hadn’t taken the internship, then I would have no idea where to go or where to apply. Experiencing something is good but also being able to network and having people that you can then go to or have them be a reference for [is good as well]. I only interned for two months, so you don’t have to have a long internship to get a full experience . You can just do it for a summer. I would tell everyone to do an internship if they can, especially if they are not a hundred percent certain- even they are a hundred percent certain, but maybe they [realize they] don’t like it that much.
Thanks Victoria for taking time to meet to talk about your research experiences and your internship with Blue Ridge. Congratulations on completing your degree!
For those interested in applying to an internship or wanting to know more about research opportunities, please contact Dr. Camac in the Psychology Department and/or Dr. Lassiter in the Biology Department.
Several psychology students were recently able to present their research at the psychology poster session on December 7th. There was plenty of pizza and drinks for everyone. Great job presenting and thanks to everyone that came!
For students interested in learning how developmental processes relate to school learning and the community, as well as simply how science can be used to improve the lives of adolescents, the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia offers a graduate degree in Educational Psychology – Applied Developmental Science where students will be able to learn about their interests and apply to them to real world settings.
The program is twelve-months long and includes a 6-credit, 200 hour internship experience and is housed through the Curry School of Education, which is ranked one of 2017 best graduate schools for education by the U.S. News. Students who pursue this program later work as educators, researchers, among other various fields.
Students that are interested in the program should either click on the snapshot above to be taken directly to the site or click here. If you have any questions and want to talk directly with someone from the program, please feel free to contact Dr. Ellen Markowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the midst of winter as the cold seeps into our homes, we often tend to think of what we will be doing in the summer…
For students interested in summer research opportunities (including paid experiences), winter is also a good time to start thinking about applying to these opportunities, as many summer research opportunities have a deadline in January or February.
One notable exception to this is Roanoke College’s Summer Scholars program which has a deadline of March 15th.
Below are some of the opportunities available to students from every major, with the link to the full list of research opportunities here.
Examples from the Social Sciences and Humanities:
Leadership Alliance Mellon Initiative (many humanities and social science majors)
Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
American Economics Association Summer Training Program
American Political Science Association
Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers
Examples from the Sciences:
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs) – Includes the Sciences, Public Health, Psychology, and Anthropology
Pathways to Science
Department of Homeland Security
Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program
Student Conservation Association
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute of Health (NIH) Summer Internship Program
Dr. Powell presented on a study by herself and Sophia Bolton of Duke University, titled “Parental Knowledge and Adjustment of Mothers in a Treatment Facility.”
She posted on Facebook, saying about the experience:
The lab’s first #NCFR17 won’t be our last NCFR! Our projects were well received, catching up with colleagues and networking with new ones was productive, and (last, but certainly not least) the sunny Florida weather was much enjoyed!
Ms. Riker Lawrence also presented on her research, which was in conjunction with Dr. Powell and Dr. Katherine Karraker of West Virginia University, and titled “Caring for Toddlers: Parents’ Experiences, Desires, and Satisfaction.”
Overall, we’re incredibly proud of our department’s Dr. Powell and Ms. Lawrence for their successful presentations at NCFR and for representing the department and Roanoke College well.
For students interested in pursuing a M.S. in Counseling Psychology, consider applying to Tennessee State University.
The program offers offers two paths for students, with a non-thesis option for those who want a master’s level license as a clinician in the Tennessee area, or a thesis option for students considering future doctoral studies.
In the latter course, students work with faculty to gain skills and experiences that appeal to competitive doctoral programs, including TSU’s APA-accredited Counseling Psychology program.
Because TSU is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), they place a great emphasis on diversity and acceptance. Both students and professors work to support “… social change and advocacy through coursework, community service, practicum training, and outreach presentations and workshops delivered to community agencies that speak for underrepresented populations.”
In addition to the brochure attached above, the program coordinator can be contacted at MScounseling@tnstate.edu and the program webpage can be found here.
Applications to the M.S. in Counseling Psychology are currently open, with a deadline of the 1st of February, 2018.
Three current psychology students and one former student at Roanoke College were recently able to present their findings at the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood (SSEA) conference in Washington D.C., alongside the department’s Dr. Powell.
The theme for the SSEA’s 8th biennial conference was focusing on “Emerging Adults as Change-Makers Around the World.”
For these students, the opportunity to present their posters was an incredible experience.
Molly Zydel ’19 commented that…
“SSEA was great! It went very well for all of us with our presentations. At SSEA, we got a chance to talk to other professors, graduate students, and scholars about our research and theirs. It was interesting to get a perspective from others! We also got a chance to pick out different paper sessions to go to, where we got to listen to people present about their whole paper!”
One of the sessions students were able to go to and enjoyed seeing was the scholar Jeffrey Arnett, who created the theory of emerging adulthood as a life-stage.
Dr. Powell further commented on how impressed she was by her students, saying
The students did a great job presenting their posters and interacting with the other scholars. The conference is predominately attended by those who have earned their doctorate degree or who are working on an advanced degree, so the students were definitely in the minority. However, they represented my Developmental Self-Knowledge Lab, the Psychology Department, and Roanoke College incredibly well.
She continued on to discuss how the students found the information presented by other scholars interesting because of the relevance to them, as “the research samples emerging adults (i.e., those between the ages of 18 and 25; and is life-span stage that they are in)” and were on topics such as “… mental health, identity development, romantic relationships, peer relationships.”
We’re proud of our students (both current and former) and look forward to seeing what they will accomplish the future!
For students interested in pursuing a masters degree in experimental psychology, consider attending Saint Joseph’s University’s virtual (online) open house on Monday, November 13th at 11:30 am.
Saint Joseph’s University offers an intense, full-time program where students acquire a strong foundation for the scientific study of psychology through equal emphasis on coursework and empirical research.
For more information on how to attend the open house, click here. For those interested in the overall program, follow this link to go to the official site.
A brochure for SJU’s M.S. in Psychology can be found here.
The Psychology Department would like to congratulate Dr. Powell and Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand on getting their manuscripts accepted for publishing this semester!
Dr. Powell has published two articles this semester. The first was in conjunction with Elizabeth Babskie and Aaron Metzger, titled “Variability in Parenting Self-Efficacy Across
Prudential Adolescent Behaviors” and can be found here.
The second article, titled “Prospective Parents’ Knowledge About Parenting and Their Anticipated Child-Rearing Decisions,” has received special promotion by the National Council of Family Relations as one of the five “early view” articles from their journals for October, and was co-written with Dr. Katherine Karraker of West Virginia University.
Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand has also had a manuscript acceptance for her article on “Affective-interpersonal and impulsive-antisocial psychopathy: Links to social goals and forms of aggression in youth and adults”, which is co-authored with Tiina Ojanen, a professor at the University of South Florida, and will be published in the journal Psychology of Violence.
For Dr. FVN’s description of her article and findings, please follow this link.
Again, congratulations to both professors on their recent article acceptances!
Interested in internships? Then join us on Thursday, November 2nd, from 11:45 to 1:00 in Life Science 502 for an information session to learn about the different opportunities available, as well as their requirements and deadlines, and much, much more!
Pizza will be provided, but please bring your own drink.
RSVP by Wednesday, November 1, noon, to 540-375-2462, or to email@example.com
A student assistant was recently able to interview Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand amidst the chaos and confusion that is midterms about herself and her research interests, as well as her recent manuscript acceptance in the journal Psychology of Violence.
So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from Florida?
It’s great! Definitely different from Tampa. Smaller city, slower pace, cooler weather…all good things for me.
Can you tell me about your academic background?
I did my undergraduate degree at the University of South Florida. I also remained there, for a variety of reasons, for my Ph.D. (and Masters along the way). Towards the end of my doctorate, I broadened my interests some and was involved in a couple of projects outside of the Psychology department that involved applying psychology to the problem of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) student persistence. These projects ended up leading to an offer to remain as a postdoctoral researcher after wrapping up my dissertation. So, after my postdoc, here I am!
What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?
Right now I am teaching PSCY221- Developmental Psychology, and PSYC321- Child Development. In the near(ish) future I will teach these, as well as Intro to Psychology, Adolescent Development, and a Research Seminar in Developmental Psychology.
What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?
My research interests are related but twofold. In my primary research, I am interested in peer relationships and social behaviors during adolescence and early adulthood. In this line, I have
focused on aggression among peers, underlying motivational factors, and the ways in which aggression is tied to social status among peers. I also have continuing research aimed at understanding the role of the self in aggression and prosociality, and my studies in these area are driven by both developmental and social psychology literatures and studies. In my second line of research, I’m also interested in understanding how social experiences, like felt belonging, as well as self-concepts and motivation may drive interest and persistence in STEM disciplines. Much of the research in this area is also related to academic persistence and achievement more broadly, but has some specific nuances related to the STEM context.
I recently heard that you have been approved to publish an article in a journal, can you tell me more about that?
Sure! The paper will be published in the journal Psychology of Violence, and includes two studies (one in early adolescence, and one in young adulthood) examining two forms of psychopathy, social goals, and forms of aggression. In previous research, we’ve demonstrated that social goals for status predict heightened aggression (especially relational aggression) over time in adolescents, and social goals for closeness and affiliation are related to lower levels of aggression. In a separate line of research, psychopathy and callous-unemotional traits are consistently tied to high aggression. In our study, we demonstrated differences in relationships between psychopathy and social goals based on form of psychopathy (one form entailing interpersonal manipulation was related to social goals, whereas the other form entailing behavioral impulsivity was not), and that social goals mediated the links between psychopathy and aggression in both age groups. So, within the context of psychopathy as a risk factor, targeting social goals may help in aggression-related interventions.
What are some random/cool facts about you?
First, my husband and I have an 1 ½ year old son, who keeps us busy and I’m forever in awe of. Second, I am a huge Formula 1 racing fan! We have a lot of awkward hours in our house where we will wake up to watch the European races live. It’s a much more complex sport than you might think, and the psychology of the drivers, their competitiveness, decision making, team dynamics, etc. is really fascinating.
Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?
Everyone here has been super welcoming. So thanks!
Congratulations Dr. FVN for your recent manuscript acceptance and thank you for taking time to answer our questions!
As this is the beginning of the first official week of Hell (in other words, midterms; the second official week of Hell being finals), we thought sharing some tips on how to survive would be helpful.
In Part I there were tips about starting the semester off to a good start and what to do in preparation for classes. In Part II, we will cover what cognitive research and educators* recommend for learning in class during and after, and, most importantly, how to study for those exams you’re dreading.
Before we begin, here’s a picture of a bunny:
Do Not Skip (Unless You Absolutely Have To)
Simply put, you won’t learn if you don’t go.
Even if the lecture is essentially a review of the material you already read, just showing up and hearing the material again will allow the information to more easily become part of your long-term memory.
Furthermore, teachers will often explain the material in different ways, so if the way the book describes a concept does not make sense, the teacher’s description may help clarify what you did not understand. Teachers also tend to add additional information that they believe is relevant to the class that is not included in the book but most likely will be on the test.
Take Notes By Hand
There are exceptions to this as students become more accustomed to taking notes with a laptop than with a pen and paper. Even so, the use of a laptop could distract both you and your neighbors as the temptation to look on social media and the internet is tempting, so be careful in how you use your laptop and where you sit. The authors of the study suggest turning off your WiFi so the internet and social media will be less tempting.
The reasons behind the insistence on using the traditional method of taking notes is related to the lower levels of information processing generated when using a laptop. Students take notes with their computer mindlessly, while those who use a pen/pencil and paper must process the information and convert it into something that is not word-for-word, but will make sense to them in the future.
In other words, those who write on a piece of paper know that they cannot copy everything down and therefore have to pick and choose what is the most important information to write down in a concise manner. This method of note-taking therefore leads to greater comprehension of the material.
Obtain Slides Before Class
That way, you will not have to write everything down that your professor talks about, but can add to the information already shown. You can pay more attention to what the professor is saying instead of madly trying to copy everything down before they go to the next slide.
Most students leave immediately and focus on whatever they have to do next, but the authors of the article recommend going back over notes from your lectures later on in the day. By doing so, you can fill in whatever information you remember but did not get a chance to write down, as well as to find where you need more information on a topic.
In addition, write down whatever questions arise from your studying and try to answer them yourself before turning to your book. The authors say just spending fifteen minutes looking over your notes can help you better understand and remember what you learned that day.
By studying this way, you don’t have to re-learn everything the night before the test but can instead simply review the easier concepts and focus more on what you really struggled with.
Preparing for Tests
Advice for this section is essentially what has already been discussed. Research shows that students tend to study at the last minute by looking over notes and rereading material paying close attention to highlights, but that these methods do not work as well as one might hope. Instead, the authors recommend studying over a length of time and using active studying techniques (Putnam et al., p. 656).
Don’t cram everything at the last minute, instead, space out your studying over the course of several days. You’re still spending around the same amount of time, but you are learning much more from these study sessions than from one gigantic cramming session the night before (or day of).
Cramming may seem to work in the short-term, but for long-term memory retention, spacing out your studying sessions will drastically help your performances on tests.
The authors also make note of how rereading should be for when you are confused about a topic after quizzing yourself, not when you want to remember something. If you want to remember something, quizzing will help much more than simply reading over what you’ve already read before.
Reasons of Quizzing
This emphasis on quizzing yourself is based on a learning tool called “retrieval practice.” By quizzing yourself, the authors point out, you are literally doing what you are going to have to do for the test: retrieving information from memory.
The authors provide a few more ways to improve results from study sessions. Besides the read-recite-review method and other methods discussed in part I, the authors also recommend the use of flashcards. Use memory retrieval and do not look at the answer side when trying to answer the question; in addition, make sure you keep using the card until you have gotten the answer right at least three-to-four times. Finally, don’t just define the term, but try explaining the term to a friend; this method also helps retention.
Some Other Tips
The authors provide a helpful link towards balancing studying and retrieval practicing through suggesting looking up something called successive relearning (Putnam et al., p. 656).
Continuing on, if there are a lot of terms you need to memorize, using mnemonic techniques can be useful. Mnemonics are probably familiar to you; teachers use them often, such as when you are learning the order of operations in math. Teachers will probably use “PEMDAS” to help you remember, with each letter corresponding to something else: Please (parenthesis), Excuse (exponent), My (multiplication), Dear (division), Aunt (addition), Sally (subtraction). You can use mnemonics to help you in college as well, either through this particular way or through loci, which are mental associations formed with objects or buildings familiar to us in order to help us remember harder things.
The Final Exam
By following the suggestions above and in part I, the Final Exam will not seem quite as daunting as before and you might even be able to get a good nights rest. Be sure to start studying well ahead of time and test yourself on what you recall, reviewing what you cannot and making sure that everything you do remember is correct.
Put studying at the top of your priority list (you and/or your parents are paying a fortune for you to learn), but also remember to have fun with your friends and reward yourself for what you have accomplished so far. Exercising can be a great method of stress relief, as well as getting a regular amount of sleep.
In the end, it’s easy to get caught up in the multitude of activities and assignments we involve ourselves in, but be sure to just take a few minutes for yourself to just… breath.
Everything will be okay.
*The information discussed in Part I and Part II is taken from a study conducted by Dr. Adam L. Putnam of the Department of Psychology in Carleton College and Victor W. Sungkhasettee and
Henry L. Roediger, III of the Psychological & Brain Sciences Department of the Washington University in St. Louis. Their study, published in 2016, is titled “Optimizing Learning in College:
Tips From Cognitive Psychology” and can be found here.
It happens a lot, that dreaded “study-a-day-before-the-test” deal that causes lots of stress and results in multiple brews of coffee.
There might be highlighting.
There will definitely be crying.
Office hours might be a thing and there will probably be some frantic texts and emails sent to both professors and friends, swearing that this will “never happen again” and “when did we even learn this?”
You might look like this:
Even so, you study on and you pray that everything will be okay. You stay up all night studying, maybe getting a few hours of sleep if you’re lucky. You promise yourself that next time, you’ll do better.
If this is something you have experienced, then the information provided in a recent study* published through the Association for Psychological Science will help immensely.
In the study, the authors attempt to provide tips both from research in cognitive psychology, as well as through their own experience as educators. They provide advice for studying before classes, during, and after, as well as a lot of tips for preparing for tests.
In this part, we will discuss methods of studying and preparing before classes. In part II, we will discuss methods of better learning during and after class and in preparation for exams. Finally, parts I and II will both include memes simply for pure entertainment.
Besides the usual “don’t study at the last minute” that a lot of people know about and yet still happens because, well, life happens, there are also a number of other things that contribute to learning effectively.
Rereading textbooks and notes, generally only focusing on the highlighted words, does not work as well as we think it does. For short-term, those tricks might work, but in the long-term, studies have suggested that these methods consume a lot of time without much real output (e.g., Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan, & Willingham, 2013).
Basically? You might be okay on the midterm, but for long-term memory retention, specifically regarding that cumulative final you’re dreading, this method of studying probably won’t work as well as you might hope.
So what should you do according to Putnam, Sungkhasettee, and Roediger III?
Starting the Semester
Most of this is common sense, but try to minimize the late-nights spent studying by getting organized early in the semester so that you can minimize later stress when weeks like midterms come and assignments never seem to end. Starting good habits when stress levels are low can also help immensely during these dark times of never-ending homework.
Organization is incredibly important to maintaining both sanity and grades, while still somehow managing to get sleep and having a social life. Therefore, going to the first day of classes and carefully reading over the syllabus is key to juggling this impossible balancing act. By reading the syllabus, you will know what is happening in the class and when assignments are due, so you won’t be blind-sided by multiple projects hitting all at once. Putting your assignments all into a calendar, an excel spreadsheet, or on your phone and making a habit of checking a month ahead every week can help to maintain a good overview of your classes. This can also help you to know when you need to start studying, like when multiple projects are due on the same day.
The authors also recommend setting calendar reminders a week prior to exams, projects, or recurring assignments and quizzes so nothing gets forgotten (Putnam et al., 2016).
Buy the Books
In order to succeed in the class, you need to have the books. Buying textbooks can be incredibly expensive, but be careful of used textbooks, especially if they have highlighting because the previous owner(s) may not have recognized the crucial parts of the text.
Do Not Attempt Multitasking
Multitasking is bad.
It does not work.
Repeatedly switching attention from one task to another can make learning less effective (e.g., Anderson & Fuller, 2010; Craik, Govoni, Naveh-Benjamin, & Anderson, 1996). Any kind of multitasking, in fact, from having a Facebook tab open to listening to music can impair your ability to learn even if you don’t think it bothers you (as qt. Willingham 2010a). Try to make a habit of turning off your media while studying at a quiet place (meaning, unfortunately, Mill Mountain does not count).
Preparing for Class
Sometimes it’s hard to get all of the assigned reading done before class, but by doing so in an effective manner, you will get more out of the class. Don’t try to read as quickly as possible, even if you feel like you’re getting piled down with homework. As the authors point out, comprehension takes time and while reading quickly may get you through the text, you likely won’t be retaining the information you read (Rayner, Schotter, Masson, Potter, & Treiman, 2016). Try to make sure you understand the material before moving on to the next thing; reading is pointless if you don’t remember what you read.
In addition, while highlighting and underlining are popular, studies show that they do not really contribute towards recall later on (Dunlosky et al., 2013). Instead, try these tips:
Answer the Comprehension Questions Prior to Reading
While seemingly counter-intuitive, attempting to answer the questions before reading the chapter can help activate what prior knowledge you do have on the topic and make it easier to connect with the new material. Research also shows that by doing so, you will better be able to remember the material as well (e.g., Pressley, Tanenbaum, McDaniel, & Wood, 1990; Richard et al., 2009).
Ask Yourself Questions While Reading
By actively asking questions about the material you are reading, you will have better comprehension regarding what you read as well as for the future when you make study guides. Potential questions could include defining the topics you are learning about as well as asking yourself “Why is this true?” or “What parts of this page are new to me?” (Putnam et. al., 2016; R. Wong, Lawson, & Keeves, 2002).
“Read, Recite, and Review”
Instead of highlighting or simply reading, read the assigned chapter and then try to recall the major points of the chapter. After that, go back through the chapter and focus on what you missed. This way of studying may take more time, but in the long run, it’s more effective in remembering the material than simply reading or highlighting.
So, what sort of things should you do while in class and what are the best methods of studying for tests (like, say, impending midterms)? Continue on to part II to see what cognitive psychologists and educators recommend doing in order to survive college!
*The study, titled “Optimizing Learning in College: Tips From Cognitive Psychology” was put together by Adam L. Putnam, from the Department of Psychology, Carleton College and, Victor W. Sungkhasettee and Henry L. Roediger III from the Psychological & Brain Sciences Department, Washington University in St. Louis. The link can be found here.