(2020). The Impact of Racial-Ethnic Socialization Practices on International Transracial Adoptee Identity Development, Adoption Quarterly,
The article is based on Marcelli’s SMP which was a qualitative study that explored adoptees’ perspectives on their parents’ socialization strategies and the effect of those practices on their sense of identity and ability to manage future challenges, such as racial discrimination. Marcelli was scheduled to present the research at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Social Workers Conference in June 2020, but the conference was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19.
Congratulations to Dr. Brian A. Sharpless, Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology, who recently published an article in the journal Sleep Medicine with several colleagues from the US and the UK. The article, “Exploding Head Syndrome: Clinical Features, Theories about Etiology, and Prevention Strategies in a Large International Sample”, was based on data from over 6,000 participants. It was carried out through the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Science Focus Magazine.
Exploding head syndrome (EHS) is a sleep disorder (i.e., parasomnia) characterized by the perception of loud noises or a sense of explosion in the head during sleep transitions. Though first identified in 1876, it has received relatively little scientific attention and no well-established treatment options are yet available for sufferers.
Results of this study indicated that those with EHS had poorer and shorter sleep than those without EHS. Not surprisingly, episodes of EHS were associated with clinically significant levels of fear, but only 25% of experienced significant distress as a result of episodes whereas only 10% reported significant life interference. The majority of sufferers believed EHS to be a natural, brain-based phenomenon, but 2.3% blamed electronic equipment and 2.8% believed that was due to supernatural causes. Finally, five effective prevention strategies were identified from the first-hand reports of sufferers. Several of these were consistent with existing treatment approaches for insomnia and anxiety and may prove useful for developing a novel treatment for chronic EHS.
On July 15, 2020, Sharpless was interviewed by Newsweek in regards to the study.
Morgan, E., & Nutt Williams, E. (2020). A qualitative study of psychotherapists’ in-session tears. Psychotherapy. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/pst0000298
The article, which is based on Emily’s SMP, examines the impact of therapists’ crying during counseling sessions from the point of view of the therapist. Morgan ’18 and Williams are also scheduled to present their work at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in August.
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.
Congratulations to Dr. Gili Freedman on her recent publication, “Obituaries can Popularize Science and Health: Stephen Hawking and Interest in Cosmology and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” in Psychology of Popular Media Culture.
Freedman’s research examines the influence of physicist Stephen Hawking’s death on public interest in science topics related to his work. She also examines whether the representation of male versus female physicists quoted in the obituary increased perceptions of gender equity in science.