On March 12, 2020, twenty-four students were inducted into the St. Mary’s Chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. Dr. Gina Fernandez gave an invited address to the new members.
Congratulations to Katherine Agate, Aubrey Bacon, Asia Dofat, Astriana Evans, Lynx Gabinet-Bethoulle, Ines Garofolo, Bryce Harden, Grace Harriman, Kelsey Harrington, Megan Lane, Rachel Lansbury, Rory McCarthy, Emma McMurrer, Kathryn Michel, Isabella Moutoux, Rebecca Raub, Kamryn Ring, Abri Segal, Andrew Sonnenberg, Jacinda Thomas, Ocean Tyler, Paige Wilde, Elizabeth Wiser, and Gretchen Young!
Pictured above: The inductee cohort along with Psi Chi adviser Dr. Scott Mirabile and chapter officers.
Photo credit: Angela Draheim
On February 28, 2020, the Psyched for Life Team consisting of SMCM employees Angie Draheim (captain) ’03, Aileen Bailey, Kristina Howansky, James Mantell, Kelly Muldoon, Scott Mirabile, Jennifer Tickle, and Libby Williams; SMCM students Tayor Curp, Lily Folts, Alyssa Heintzelman, Abri Segal, Kayla Shockett, Becca Weber, and Katie Zielstorf; SMCM alumna and parent of a psychology major, Michele Shipley; and many of their family members and friends participated in the 6-hour, 11th Annual SMCM American Cancer Society Relay for Life event. Overall, the team helped to raise general and brain cancer awareness as well as $4,156.49 for ACS research & patient support programs. Since the first SMCM Relay for Life in 2010, Psyched for Life (which has historically been the largest faculty/staff based team and most often the highest fundraising team) has raised $45,741.86 for the American Cancer Society! The entire 2020 Relay raised $7,488.66. Across it’s 10 years at SMCM Relay for Life has raised $258,729.95.
At the event, the team raffled off two sets of drinking glasses made from up-cycled wine bottles by Dr. Scott Mirabile which were won by Mary Grube and Gretchen Young. A handmade fleece tie-blanket made by Angie Draheim was won by Dylan Verhagen,a Chipoltle giftcard was won by Beth Cavanaugh, and St. Inie’s coffeeshop giftcards were won by Paul Draheim, Joanne Goldwater, and Trevor Dunn.
Faculty, staff, and students are highly encouraged to participate in this annual fun, family-friendly event which fights back against the disease which has affected a great number of our campus community either directly or indirectly. Angie Draheim (email@example.com) is more than happy to speak to anyone about how they can get involved. It’s easy and rewarding in a variety of ways.
Professor of Psychology Aileen Bailey and Assistant Professor of Psychology Gina Fernandez attended the 42nd Annual National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology Conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida, on January 4 – 6, 2020. There, they presented a poster, co-authored by Assistant Professor of Psychology James Mantell, “Optimizing Resources: Using What You Have to Improve Your Curriculum,” based on work that has been borne out of the psychology department’s involvement in the Council on Undergraduate Research Transformations Project (CUR-T), funded by the National Science Foundation (DUE IUSE Award no. 16-25354).
St. Mary’s College of Maryland is one of only 12 institutions selected by CUR for its Transformations Project. Through this project, participants from institutions around the country have been engaged in novel research to understand the student, faculty, departmental, and disciplinary influences on the process of integrating and scaffolding undergraduate research experiences throughout the curriculum.
Congratulations to Dr. Gili Freedman on her recent publication!
Freedman, G., Brandler, S. & Beer, J. S. (2019). Does engaging in social rejection heighten or diminish social processing? Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/23743603.2019.1684820
Engaging in social rejection can lead to feeling both increased social power and decreased belongingness. Yet, social power is associated with diminished social sensitivity, whereas threatened belongingness can enhance social sensitivity. In a registered report, Freedman and coauthors tested these competing hypotheses of how engaging in social rejection may affect social sensitivity. Contrary to the competing hypotheses tested, they did not find evidence that social rejection, compared to social acceptance, led to increased or decreased social sensitivity. An exploratory analysis found that men who engaged in rejection showed decreased social sensitivity compared to men who did not engage in rejection.
Howansky, K., Albuja, A., & Cole, S. (2019). Seeing Gender: Perceptual Representations of Transgender Individuals. Social Psychological and Personality Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619875143
Using novel paradigms (i.e., facial morphing, avatar generation), Howansky and co-authors demonstrated that people perceptually represent an individual labeled as transgender as less gender-typical than the same individual without the transgender label. Moreover, they established that representing a transgender woman as less gender-typical was associated with the extent to which people felt comfortable with her using the women’s restroom and representing herself according to her gender identity. Given that many policy issues surrounding transgender individuals are contingent on how transgender people are categorized, this work suggests that being perceived as less gender-typical may be one more hurdle transgender individuals face in their struggle to be recognized in accordance with their gender identities.
In the article, Dunn and his coauthors explore which men are more likely to enact sexually objectifying behavior.
Publisher link abstract: “Given the link between sexual objectification experiences and negative psychological and mental health outcomes for sexual minority men, it is important to explore which men are more likely to enact sexually objectifying behavior. We examined predictors of sexual minority men’s sexual objectification of other men (e.g., engaging in body evaluations, making unwanted sexual advances), including focusing on appearance, involvement in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, pornography use, and men’s gender role conflict among 450 gay and bisexual men. Our findings revealed that importance placed on appearance, involvement in the LGBTQ community, and pornography use and less restrictive affectionate behavior between men were uniquely related to sexually objectifying other men. In addition, older men were more likely than younger men to sexually objectify other men, and gay men were more likely than bisexual men to sexually objectify other men.”
Congratulations to Dr. Gina Fernandez on her recent publication, “General Anesthetic Exposure in Adolescent Rats Causes Persistent Maladaptations in Cognitive and Affective Behaviors and Neuroplasticity” in the journal Neuropharmacology.
In the article, Fernandez and her coauthors examine evidence that indicates that exposure to general anesthetics during infancy and childhood can cause persistent cognitive impairment, alterations in synaptic plasticity, and increased incidence of behavioral disorders.
Publisher link abstract: Accumulating evidence indicates that exposure to general anesthetics during infancy and childhood can cause persistent cognitive impairment, alterations in synaptic plasticity, and, to a lesser extent, increased incidence of behavioral disorders. Unfortunately, the developmental parameters of susceptibility to general anesthetics are not well understood. Adolescence is a critical developmental period wherein multiple late developing brain regions may also be vulnerable to enduring general anesthetic effects. Given the breadth of the adolescent age span, this group potentially represents millions more individuals than those exposed during early childhood. In this study, isoflurane exposure within a well-characterized adolescent period in Sprague-Dawley rats elicited immediate and persistent anxiety- and impulsive-like responding, as well as delayed cognitive impairment into adulthood. These behavioral abnormalities were paralleled by atypical dendritic spine morphology in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HPC), suggesting delayed anatomical maturation, and shifts in inhibitory function that suggest hypermaturation of extrasynaptic GABAA receptor inhibition. Preventing this hypermaturation of extrasynaptic GABAA receptor-mediated function in the PFC selectively reversed enhanced impulsivity resulting from adolescent isoflurane exposure. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the developmental window for susceptibility to enduring untoward effects of general anesthetics may be much longer than previously appreciated, and those effects may include affective behaviors in addition to cognition.
Congratulations to Dr. Nathan Foster on his recent publication, “Why Does Interleaving Improve Math Learning? The Contributions of Discriminative Contrast and Distributed Practice” in the journal Memory & Cognition.
In the article, Foster and his coauthors examine why interleaved practice of materials has been shown to enhance test performance.
Interleaved practice involves studying exemplars from different categories in a non-systematic, pseudorandom order under the constraint that no two exemplars from the same category are presented consecutively. Interleaved practice of materials has been shown to enhance test performance compared to blocked practice in which exemplars from the same category are studied together. Why does interleaved practice produce this benefit? We evaluated two non-mutually exclusive hypotheses, the discriminative-contrast hypothesis and the distributed-practice hypothesis, by testing participants’ performance on calculating the volume of three-dimensional geometric shapes. In Experiment 1, participants repeatedly practiced calculating the volume of four different-sized shapes according to blocked practice, interleaved practice, or remote-interleaved practice (which involved alternating the practice of volume calculation with non-volume problems, like permutations and fraction addition). Standard interleaving enhanced performance compared to blocked practice but did not produce enhanced performance compared to remote interleaving. In Experiment 2, we replicated this pattern and extended the results to include a remote-blocked group, which involved blocking volume calculation with non-volume problems. Performance on key measures was better for remote-interleaved groups compared to remote-blocked groups, a finding that supports the distributed-practice hypothesis.
On April 5, 2019, nine students were inducted into the St. Mary’s Chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. Dr. Scott Mirabile gave an invited address to the new members.
Congratulations to Faith Armstead, Makenna Bradford, Taylor Curp, Samantha Gall, India Oates, Angel Reyes-Giron, Cory Shorter, Rachel Steelman and Kaitlyn Zielstorf!
From the Newsroom
Assistant Professor Foster Published in Journal “Learning and Instruction”
Two St. Mary’s College students win undergraduate awards