The psychology major at Williams College attracts a very large number of students with diverse interests, goals, and backgrounds. Our students follow a curriculum that teaches them not only about what we know about mind and behavior, but also about how we know it, using experiential teaching as our core pedagogy. Students learn how to use the methods of scientific inquiry to critically evaluate information, generate new knowledge and imagine its implications and applications in the world. Students take a range of courses spanning the sub-disciplines of neuroscience, cognitive, clinical, developmental, and social psychology, as well as the psychology of education.
Psychology students have multiple opportunities to conduct research collaboratively with professors. Some of these are empirical projects conducted within required 300-level level lab courses, and others are in work-study or research assistant positions or as more formal independent studies. Also, in 2011-2012 students, nine students completed year-long senior honors thesis research under the direction of Psychology faculty, on topics such as “Chin Up! The Impact of Self-Esteem on Conformity,” “Self-Affirmation and Sports,” “Infant Contributions to Biobehavioral Still-Face Responding: The Regulatory Function of Infant Gaze Behavior,” and “‘Standing’ Against Prejudice: How We View those who Respond to Bias.” Their projects are listed in the Student Abstracts section of this report.
Department events this year included student/faculty/family picnics, evening programs on “Graduate Study in Psychology” and “Careers in Psychology,” and a wine and cheese reception to celebrate honors theses presentations in the Psychology Lounge. Our student club, P.S.Y.K. (“Psychology Students Yearning for Knowledge”) had biweekly meetings to discuss recent journal articles. To encourage students to explore careers in psychology, the Class of 1960 Scholars Program brought accomplished researchers from other colleges and universities to campus to give colloquia. In advance of the colloquia, the group of 1960 Scholars read and discussed the speakers’ work with a faculty member and then joined the speaker and faculty for dinner afterward. The 2011-12 Class of 1960 Scholars are listed below. This year marked the fourth year of the G. Stanley Hall Prize in Psychology, funded by a generous gift from the Chuzi family, parents of Sarah Chuzi ’07, and given at graduation to a student who has demonstrated exceptional achievement in psychology. We were happy to award the prize to Amber Cardoos ’12 for her outstanding thesis and contributions to departmental functions.
Class of 1960 Scholars in Psychology
The faculty of the Psychology Department continued their varied and productive teaching and research programs, as detailed below. We congratulate Amie Hane on her tenure and promotion, and Nate Kornell on his reappointment. We were happy to welcome back our colleague Ari Solomon as a visitor, teaching Advanced Topics in Personality. Arriving this year was Kate Stroud, a clinical psychologist, coming to us from her postdoctoral training at Northwestern University. We bid a fond farewell to Carin Perilloux from the University of Texas at Austin, who taught evolutionary psychology and social psychology courses this year as a much-appreciated visitor. Next fall we will welcome two visitors for a year, Alicia Hofelich from the University of Michigan, and Jeremy Cone from Cornell University. They will enhance our curricular offerings in cognitive and social psychology. Lastly, special congratulations to clinical psychologists Laurie Heatherington and Marlene Sandstrom, who organized and hosted a Mellon Foundation sponsored national conference here in May, entitled “Clinical Psychology in the Liberal Arts College: Surviving and Thriving in the Twenty-First Century.”
Through all of these activities, we could not function without the invaluable help of C.J. Gillig, Psychology Department Technical Assistant, and Beth Stachelek, Department Administrative Assistant. Their wisdom and cheerfulness, as well as ability to step in, often at the last minute, to support our work, is well-known to students from Introductory Psychology through senior honors theses students, and they help keep our large department feeling friendly and accessible. It is deeply appreciated by faculty as well.
Professor Phebe Cramer is continuing her research on the development of personality from childhood to old age, and published two new research papers, focusing on the development of Narcissism in children, and on change in the use of Defense Mechanisms in adults, based on two different longitudinal studies. She is also conducting a follow-up study of the Williams Class of 1997.
In January, 2012, she participated in a Research Symposium at the annual meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, held in New York City. Her presentation was titled: “Experimental Studies of Defense Mechanisms”, and reported on several of her research studies.
Professor Cramer has continued to serve as Associate Editor of the Journal of Research in Personality, and as Consulting Editor for the Journal of Personality Assessment and the European Journal of Personality. In addition, she has been an invited ad hoc reviewer for multiple professional journals
To enhance her research skills, she attended a week long statistical workshop sponsored by the American Psychological Association, on the topic of Mining Archival Data. This was held at the University of California, Davis, in the summer of 2011.
Assistant Professor Jennifer Randall Crosby attended the bi-annual conference of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, where she presented a talk entitled, “Causes and Consequences of Targeted Social Referencing.” Crosby also gave an invited colloquium at Bard College. Crosby advised the honors thesis of Jordan Mickens ’12, investigating how people evaluate individuals who respond to prejudice. Crosby continued her research on how both majority and minority group members respond to situations where discrimination may be present. This research was assisted by Sivahn Barsade ’13, Michael DeJoseph ’12, Nick Marks ’13, Seamus McKinsey ’12, Chris Mezias ’12, and Effua Sosoo ’13. Crosby also acted as an invited reviewer for Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
During this past year Senior Lecturer Susan Engel published an article on curiosity in the Harvard Educational Review, and an opinion piece on children and happiness in The Nation. In January she traveled to Singapore and gave a series of six lectures on education at the Singapore International School. She continued her work with the Spencer Foundation, developing new ways to measure what children learn in school. The Spencer Group formed for this purpose met four times during the academic year.
Professor Engel helped Hannah Hausman ’12 write a math textbook for middle school students. Hannah also conducted an experiment to find out whether elementary school children learn new math concepts more easily if they are exposed, over time, to stories that use a lot of mathematical language (number, measurement, and shapes). Under Professor Engel’s guidance, Abi Stark ’12 conducted a study to learn more about what it means to “get lost in a book”. College students read a short story by John Updike called “The Swimmer.” While reading the book, subjects experienced an unusual event. Later they remembered far more about what was in the story than they did about what actually happened to them while reading the story. In early June Professor Engel attended, along with Steve Swoap, a conference at Bryn Mawr, which focused on getting more liberal arts students interested in teaching math and science. Starting in April, Professor Engel began a blog for Psychology Today about children and education.
The Program in Teaching hosted a lively teaching lunch series, including a talk by Kristen Baldiga’10 about her experience as a graduate student at Harvard School of Education, and her first year of science teaching in a public high school outside of Boston. The program also hosted a talk by renowned developmental psychologist Angela Duckworth, about the role of self control in education.
Assistant Professor Amie Ashley Hane’s research examines social and emotional development from infancy through middle childhood and integrates multiple levels of analysis, including behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroendocrine methodologies. She conducted several studies in her laboratory this year in conjunction with students Felecia Ferrell ’14, Julia Bender-Stern ’13, Sarah Rosemann ’13, Kaitlin Dinet ’13, Chelsey Barrios ’12, and Amber Cardoos ’12. Professor Hane worked together with honors thesis student Chelsey Barrios ’12 on research examining neonatal sensitivity to discomfort during routine home-based caregiving tasks. Professor Hane also worked with honors thesis student Amber Cardoos ’12 on her project examining the regulatory function of infant gaze behavior during experimental exposure to a mild, social stressor.
Professor Hane has continued to work in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Maryland where she is a co-investigator of a longitudinal project examining continuity in temperament from infancy through childhood. She also continued to work collaboratively with colleagues from the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University on research examining mother-infant interaction and infant self regulation. She is a co-investigator in an ongoing study at New York Presbyterian Hospital examining the effects of an intervention program for parents of infants admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit.
This year Professor Hane published original research in Infancy, BMC Pediatrics, Social Development, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, and in a special edition on Parenting at Risk: New Perspectives, New Approaches, for the Journal of Family Psychology. She presented her research at the biennial meeting of the International Society in Infant Studies and gave an invited talk to the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. Professor Hane is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Behavioral Development and served as an ad-hoc reviewer for several other journals this year, including Archives in Pediatrics, Attachment and Human Development, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Development and Psychopathology, Emotion, Infancy, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, and Psychological Bulletin.
Professor Laurie Heatherington and her students continued research on change processes in psychotherapy, including ongoing research on the therapeutic alliance in couple and family therapy (in collaboration with colleagues at SUNY Albany and Universidad de La Coruña, Spain), and outcomes of residential treatment for major mental illness. They also studied the outcomes of a NAMI-directed training for Berkshire County police officers in handling cases involving emotionally disturbed persons. Her students pursued their own independent study research projects as well, on the role of social cognitive factors in interpersonal relationship difficulties, the predictors of stigma and other judgments of children with ADHD, and international psychology.
She served as President of the North American chapter of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (NASPR), and was Co-Chair of the Planning Committee for the October 2011 NASPR Conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada. At the conference, she presented a poster, “Measuring the milieu: Outcomes of a unique residential treatment for major mental illness.” For the June 2011 Society for Psychotherapy Research Conference, in Bern, Switzerland, with colleagues, she co-organized/co-authored a structured discussion group, “‘Cultures’ of group psychotherapies: Implications for alliance conceptualization and measurement,” and a paper, “How do therapists ally with adolescents in the context of family therapy?” for the panel on Adolescents in Family Therapy: The Challenge of Building Therapeutic Alliances. She also attended the biannual meeting of the Penn State Conference on the Process of Change in Psychotherapy in March 2012. On August 2-3, 2011, she was a participant the NIH/NIDCR Consultation Meeting, “Tailoring and Targeting Behavioral and Social Interventions: Weaving a Strategy for Effective Efficient Intervention Research, in Bethesda, MD.
She published a chapter in L. Castonguay and C. Hill (Eds.), Transformation in Psychotherapy: Corrective Experiences Across Cognitive Behavioral, Humanistic, and Psychodynamic Approaches, published in 2012 by the American Psychological Association, and a multi-authored chapter in the same book, Corrective experiences in psychotherapy: Definitions, processes, consequences, and research directions.
Professor Heatherington continued to serve on the editorial boards of Psychotherapy Research, Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, and Applications, and Journal of Counseling Psychology. She was newly appointed to the editorial board of Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, and did ad-hoc reviewing for several other journals and publishers. She served on the Directors and Associates Board of the Gould Farm (Monterey, MA), a treatment center/working farm serving people with schizophrenia and other major mental illnesses and directs an ongoing thirteen-year program evaluation & outcomes study there. She served as an external reviewer of the Bryn Mawr and Haverford Psychology departments.
With Williams colleague Marlene Sandstrom, she organized a Mellon Foundation-funded conference at Williams May 18-21, “Clinical Psychology in the Liberal Arts College: Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century.” This brought together 21 clinical psychology faculty members from liberal arts colleges across the country to share ideas and resources on teaching, research, advising, and career development.
Professor Saul Kassin was on sabbatical while serving as a Distinguished Professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Focused on policy reform and matters concerning wrongful convictions, Kassin worked this past year with the American Psychological Association in writing an amicus brief on false confessions and has continued working on his three-year National Science Foundation grant to study “The Videotaping of Interrogations: Testing Proposed Effects on Police, Suspects, and Jurors.” This past year, Kassin received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iiiRG) after a keynote address in Dundee, Scotland. He also contributed chapters to three scholarly books; presented talks at various institutions; and worked with the news media on stories concerning false confessions. In October 2011, he appeared on CBS 48 Hours “Amanda Knox: The Untold Story;” in April 2012 he appeared in a Cannes Film Festival documentary by Ken Burns entitled “The Central Park Five” (in the fall of 2012, Kassin will appear on CBS 60 Minutes). He has also served as Consulting Editor for Law and Human Behavior, Research Advisory Board of the Innocence Project, Advisory Board member of the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), external faculty for the International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology at the University of Portsmouth, reviewer for the National Science Foundation, and consultant and expert witness in a number of criminal and civil cases.
Professor Kris Kirby collaborated with Daniel Gerlanc ’07, in developing the software package Bootstrap Effect Sizes (‘bootES’) for the R statistical computing environment. Professor Kirby joined the editorial board of Judgment and Decision Making, and continued to serve on the board of the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. He also served as an ad hoc reviewer for the journals Behavioural Processes, Cognition, Learning & Behavior, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, Psychological Science, and Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Professor Kris Kirby chaired the Cognitive Science Program.
Assistant Professor Nate Kornell continues to research the interaction between learning, memory, education, and self-monitoring. His research was featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, and New Scientist. He continues to blog for Psychology Today.
Professor Marlene Sandstrom’s research focuses on children’s social relationships. She is particularly interested in victimization, bullying, bystander behavior, peer rejection, popularity, and social influence. This year, Professor Sandstrom and her thesis student (Aaron Lim,’12) examined the extent to which an experimental boost in self-esteem buffers against pressure to conform to group opinion. This project examined developmental trends in conformity to peer opinion, and included research participants of multiple ages including 4th graders, 7th graders, and college students. In the fall, Professor Sandstrom presented a research talk at Bennington College, titled Popularity in the Peer World: What is the Price of the Prize. In the spring, Professor Sandstrom chaired a symposium at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Adolescence in Vancouver, titled Risky Business: Popularity and Social Influence Processes in Adolescence. At this same meeting, Professor Sandstrom presented her own work, titled Standing Out and Fitting In: Popularity, Conformity & Risk in High School. Over the past year, Professor Sandstrom has served as an ad hoc reviewer for Journal of Research in Adolescence, Child Development, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology , and Merrill Palmer Quarterly.
Associate Professor Noah Sandstrom, along with former thesis students Jennah Durham ’10, Marijke DeVos ’11, Katherine Jordan ’09, and Erika Williams ’08, published work on the neuroprotective effects of estradiol with photomicrographs from the paper being selected to appear on the cover of Brain Research. Additional work in the lab has focused on the effects of exercise on mood with Logan Todhunter ’12 as well as the role of hormonal changes associated with puberty in modifying brain and behavior with Greg Johnson ’12 and Kate Shaper ’12. Sandstrom is the Chair of the Behavioral Neuroscience Fellowship study section at the National Institutes of Health and currently serves as President-Elect of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience society.
Professor Kenneth Savitsky continued his research on everyday social judgment. He published two article in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, one based on the honors thesis research of Robert Adelman ’09 and one, coauthored with Professor Steven Fein, based on the honors thesis research of Anna Merritt ’08. He also co-authored two presentations at the annual meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, in San Diego, CA, one based on the honors thesis research of Robert Adelman ’09, and one, with Assistant Professor Jennifer Randall Crosby, based on the honors thesis research of Maddie King ’11.
Assistant Professor Catherine Stroud has begun a new project examining biological, psychological, interpersonal and environmental factors that affect adolescents’ response to stressful life events and ultimately confer increased risk for the development of major depression during adolescence. In addition, Professor Stroud and Elizabeth Greiter ’12 completed a study investigating emotion regulation strategies in adolescents. Stroud also presented her work on the influence of parents’ marital relationship on parent-child relationships at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in Toronto, Ontario. Professor Stroud and her colleagues published this work in the Journal of Family Psychology. In addition, she contributed to two manuscripts examining interpersonal relationships in adolescent girls and co-authored a chapter on the assessment of couple and family functioning.
Professor Zaki continued her research in her laboratory on how humans perform various categorization and memory tasks. One paper on the idea that aimed at demonstrating that categorization and recognition can stem from a single brain system rather from distinct brain systems is in press in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. She also submitted two other papers for publication. Some of this research was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society with co-author Dave Kleinschmidt ’09. She also gave an invited address at One Day University in New York City as part of an effort to share current scientific findings with the general public.
In addition to reviewing grant proposals for the National Science Foundation, Professor Zaki reviewed articles for a number of different journals including Cognitive Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition; Journal of Experimental Psychology: General; Memory and Cognition; Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Science, and Visual Cognition.
Betty Zimmerberg continued her service as chair of the Psychology Department this year. In November, she attended the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, where Shivon Robinson ’11 presented her senior honors thesis research, entitled “Communal nesting has an epigenetic effect on cognition in an animal model of affective behavior.” Zimmerberg also gave a presentation on “Landscapes of the Mind: Teaching Neuroscience in an Art Museum” at this meeting. Students in the lab this year, studying the effects of prenatal antidepressant exposure, were Sierra Germeyan ’13, Manasi Iyer ’14, Daniela Zarate ’15 and Lillian Audette ‘15. Other professional activities included serving on the Editorial Board of Developmental Psychobiology as well as reviewing for several journals and for the National Science Foundation.
PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT COLLOQUIA
David Sherman, University of California, Santa Barbara
“Self-Affirmation and Threats to the Self: Implications for Stress, Defensiveness, and Academic Performance”
Rick Doblin, founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
“The Medical Benefits of Psychedelic Drugs”
Angela Duckworth, University of Pennsylvania
“Self Discipline in Childhood”
John Stobierski, Attorney, Greenfield, MA
“”The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis: How Psychology, Religion and the Law Collided to Expose Hypocrisy, Corruption and Child Sex Abuse
Leah Doane, Arizona State University
“Day-to-Day Dynamics of Loneliness and Stress in Adolescence and Young Adulthood: Physiological Pathways”
“Experimental Studies of Defense Mechanism”
American Psychoanalytic Association annual meeting, New York, NY
Jennifer Randall Crosby
“Who Says It’s Discrimination? Causes and Consequences of Targeted Social Referencing
Psychology Department Colloquium, Bard College
Amie A. Hane
“Sustained Influence of Infant Temperamental Inhibition on Dyadic and Maternal Behavior Across the First Five Years”
Paper presented in the symposium chaired by R. Brooker and E. Kiel entitled “Infant Influences on Parent Emotion Behaviors, and Symptoms: How Infants May Contribute to Their Own Early Risk for Anxiety” at the biennial meeting of the International Society on Infant Studies, Minneapolis, Minnesota with W. Marquis and N. A. Fox
“Beyond Licking And Grooming: Maternal Regulation Of Infant Stress In The Caregiving Context”
Invited presentation for the Department of Psychology, Columbia University
“Nurture Intervention in the NICU: Neurobehavioral Outcomes in Preterm Infants”
Paper presented as a poster at the annual meeting of the International Society of Developmental Psychobiology, Washington, DC with M. G. Welch, M. A. Hofer, S. A. Brunelli, J. Austin, R. J. Stark, R.A. Polin, J. M. Lorenz, E. S. Fiedor, and M. M. Myers
“Measuring the Milieu: Outcomes of a Unique Residential Treatment for Major Mental Illness”
Poster presented at North American Society for Psychotherapy Research Conference, Banff, Alberta, Canada
“‘Cultures’ of Group Psychotherapies: Implications for Alliance Conceptualization and Measurement”
Society for Psychotherapy Research Conference, Bern, Switzerland
“How Do Therapists Ally with Adolescents in the Context of Family Therapy?”
Paper presented for the panel on Adolescents in Family Therapy: The Challenge of Building Therapeutic Alliances
Society for Psychotherapy Research Conference, Bern, Switzerland
Saul M. Kassin
Colloquia and Guest Lectures
Rochester Institute of Technology – Conference on Wrongful Convictions
Saint Anselm College – The New Hampshire Institute of Politics
New York State Bar Association
Columbia University Law School
The Graduate Center – City University of New York
State University of New York at Albany – School of Criminal Justice
“Why Confessions Trump Innocence: The Case of Amanda Knox”
Keynote address at an International Conference titled, Global Perspectives on Justice, Security and Human Rights, New York City
“Accuracy and Potential for Bias in Judgments of Handwriting Evidence”
Poster presented at the Meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago with J. Kukucka
“Do Confessions Promote Confirmation Bias in Juror Evaluations of Handwriting Evidence?“
Poster presented at the Meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago with J. Kukucka
“Do Confessions Taint Juror Perceptions of Handwriting Evidence?”
Paper presented at the Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Puerto Rico with J. Kukucka
“Confession Errors as “Structural Defects”
Poster presented at the Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Puerto Rico with J. Kukucka
“Police Practices and Beliefs: Survey of European Investigators”
Paper presented at the Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Puerto Rico with J. Schell
“Medium of Presentation and the Assessment of Juvenile False Confessions”
Poster presented at the Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Puerto Rico with C. Honts and R. Craig
“Bluffing about Evidence: Do Laypersons Get It?”
Poster presented at the Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Puerto Rico with J. Perillo
“Video Recording of Interrogations: Does It Alter Police Behavior Toward Suspects?”
Poster presented at the Meeting of American Psychology-Law Society, Puerto Rico with J. Kukucka, V. Lawson, and J. DeCarlo
“Why Innocent People Confess — And How Their Confessions Corrupt Judgments”
Keynote speech presented at the Meeting of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, Dundee, Scotland
“Standing Out and Fitting In: Popularity, Conformity and Risk in High School”
Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Adolescence, Vancouver. Paper Symposium: Risky Business: Popularity & Social Influence in Adolescence with A.H.N. Cillessen
“Factors Affecting Susceptibility to Peer Influence on Risky Behavior: The Role of Puberty, Situational Context, and Parenting”
Discussant at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Adolescence, Vancouver
“The Feature-Positive Effect in Allocations of Responsibility for Collaborative Tasks
Society of Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA with R.M. Adelman and J. Kruger
“Race in the Spotlight: Minority Status, Conversation Topic, and Perceptions of Others’ Attention
Society of Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA with J.R. Crosby and M.J. King
Catherine B. Stroud
“The Relationship between Stress and Depression in First Onsets versus Recurrences”
Bard College, Department of Psychology
“Spillover to Triadic and Dyadic Systems in Families with Young Children”
Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Toronto, Ontario with C. E. Durbin, S. Wilson, & K. Mendelsohn
“Response Location Effects in Categorization: Evidence for Multiple Systems or Task Complexity? The Role of Gaze Direction”
50th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomics Society, Minneapolis, MN with D. Kleinschmidt
“Landscapes of the Mind: Teaching Neuroscience in an Art Museum”
Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, Washington, DC
“Communal Nesting Has an Epigenetic Effect on Cognition in an Animal Model of Affective Behavior”
Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, Washington, DC with S. Robinson
POSTGRADUATE PLANS OF PSYCHOLOGY MAJORS
|Katelyn S. Aldrin||Working at a talent agency in Los Angeles|
|Kristin M. Alotta||Unknown|
|Chelsey S. Barrios||Doing research in the Child Development Lab at University of Maryland with Nathan Fox, Ph. D. and plans to get a Ph.D. in clinical psychology after this 2 year research job|
|Daniel M. Canina||Unknown|
|Amber M. Cardoos||Working as a Research Coordinator at the Depression Clinical and Research Program at MGH in Boston|
|David A. Carlin||Risk analysis at PNC bank|
|Laurel A. Carter||Unknown|
|Susan T. Chapman||Unknown|
|Evan R. Cohen||Unknown|
|Benjamin L. Contini||Unknown|
|Colin D. Curzi||Unknown|
|Chase E. Davenport||Teaching at a bilingual elementary school for Teach for America in San
|Jessica N. de la Cuesta||Unknown|
|Steven P. Denza||Unknown|
|Brett K. Eisenhart||Unknown|
|Kaitlin H. Ellis||Unknown|
|Brian D. Emerson||Unknown|
|Kathryn H. Evans||Unknown|
|Colleen W. Fitzpatrick||Working for women’s health services or an organization that helps to advocate for reproductive rights|
|Katrina E. Flanagan||Doing research with two professors at Harvard Business School next year, and then attending Harvard Law the year after that|
|Taylor D. Fleishhacker||Unknown|
|TiaMoya L. Ford||Unknown|
|Barry A. Frett||Unknown|
|Katharine F. Gallagher||Paralegal at Lankler, Siffert, & Wohl in New York City|
|Shelby D. Golan||Unknown|
|Jill E. Greenberg||Working at a management consulting firm called Parthenon in Boston|
|Elizabeth A. Greiter||Working as a research coordinator at the Bipolar Clinic and Research program at Mass General Hospital in Boston|
|Meeka S. Halperin||Unknown|
|Raven H. Hills||Planning on going to graduate school in Clinical Psychology|
|Imran K. Khoja||Working on his own Williamstown born startup called Designed Good (www.designedgood.com) and joining the Stanford Graduate School of Business Class of 2016 MBA program|
|Thomas M. Kuczmarski||Fulbright Scholarship winner teaching English as an English Assistant in Taiwan|
|Brianne S. Kumar||Applying to medical schools for 2013|
|Anna A. Lee||Unknown|
|Pinsi Lei||Doing marketing in New York City|
|Aaron C. Lim||Working at the Center for Addictions, Personality, and Emotion Research in College Park, MD|
|Stephen P. Maier II||Unknown|
|Ryan C. Marrano||Unknown|
|Mario J. Mastromarino||Unknown|
|Lia B. McInerney||Unknown|
|Meisha M. McIntosh||Unknown|
|Emily A. McTague||Unknown|
|Christopher M. Mezias||Unknown|
|Jordan L. Mickens||Working in Boston at a management consultant firm called OC&C Strategy Consultants|
|Nikola V. Mirkovic||Unknown|
|JenniferAnne L.M. Morrison||Unknown|
|Helena E. Nannes||Unknown|
|Cam V. Nguyen||Pursuing an MPhil in Development Studies at Cambridge in the UK|
|Benjamin M. Oliva||Unknown|
|Eric D. Outterson||Unknown|
|Xiomara E. Pinto||Attending Medical School at Albany Medical College|
|Margaret E. Richmond||Unknown|
|Taisha Rodriguez||College counselor and Spanish teacher at BART Charter School|
|Ana M. Rodriguez-Villa||Applying to medical school while working at The Gunderson Residence at McLean Hospital|
|Conor P. Ryan||Unknown|
|Nargis S. Sakhibova||Unknown|
|Noah E. Schoenholtz||Unknown|
|Kendra D. Sims||Unknown|
|Abigail M. Stark||Working at Mass General Hospital in the pediatrics unit of the OCD and Anxiety Clinic|
|Nicole J. Stenquist||Working at Children’s Hospital Boston for two years assisting the Fellows on the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU), and hopes to go to medical school|
|Pamela M. Summers||Unknown|
|Brian I. Thomas||Unknown|
|Logan P. Todhunter||Unknown|
|Sydney L. Tooze||Unknown|
|Kristen A. Tubbs||Working in Management Development for McMaster Carr in Cleveland, OH|
|Ashley E. Turner||Unknown|
|Philip E. Vestergaard||Managerial Consultant in the Department of Software Development for Booz Allen
Hamilton in Washington, DC
|James T. Wang||Unknown|
Infant Contributions to Biobehavioral Still-Face Responding: The Regulatory Function of Infant Gaze Behavior
The regulatory function of three infant gaze behaviors (gaze to mother, scanning, and focused gaze) during the modified still-face paradigm (SFP) were examined. Individual differences in these gaze behaviors and their associations with biobehavioral responding (vocal distress, autonomic, and neuroendocrine responding) and maternal report of temperament were examined. Forty-seven mother/infant dyads participated in the SFP when their infants were six months old. Infant gaze to mother, scanning, focused gaze (on proximal objects or the self), and duration of vocal distress during the modified (double) SFP were coded and measures of heart rate and vagal tone were collected at baseline and throughout the SFP. Saliva was collected from the infants immediately (at baseline) before and 15- and 30-minutes after the SFP. Infant focused gaze behavior during the two still-face episodes of the SFP was associated with less vocal distress, less cardiac reactivity, and augmented vagal tone, as well as maternal reports of less proneness to distress and better self-regulation. Gaze toward the still-faced mother and scanning during the still-face portions of the SFP were characterized by more dysregulated biobehavioral profiles during the SFP. Gaze to mother was associated with more vocal distress, increased cardiac reactivity, and vagal suppression. Scanning was associated with less vocal distress, but vagal suppression, higher basal cortisol levels, and maternal reports of increased proneness to distress. The convergence of behavioral, autonomic, neuroendocrine, and maternal report data supports distinct regulatory functions for each form of infant gaze behavior. Consistent with research examining attention regulation in children, infants who were able to focus gaze on proximal objects or the self showed a robust biobehavioral profile of effective regulation, across multiple levels of measurement (behavioral, physiological, and maternal report). Results converge to show that the ability to focus attention, or self-distract, when confronted with a stressor supports self-regulation early in infancy and in the context of the SFP.
The Baby in the Bath Water: Associations Among Maternal Caregiving, Neonatal Somatic Discomfort and Stress Reactivity during Bathing and Dressing
Previous research has demonstrated that quality of maternal caregiving behavior in infancy influences development of the neuroendocrine stress response, but little research to-date has focused on infant contributions to the caregiving context. The current study sought to extend this literature by using a novel coding scheme adapted from NICU pain scales to examine levels of infant discomfort in relation to stress reactivity and quality of maternal caregiving behavior during the routine stressor of being undressed, bathed, and redressed. Mothers and infants were visited in the home and videotaped during their daily routines. The bathtime process was coded for behavioral indicators of infant pain, infant negative reactivity, and quality of maternal caregiving behavior (MCB). Infant salivary cortisol (CORT) was sampled at baseline and 15 minutes following removal from the tub. Results showed that there was a significant positive relationship between infant behavioral discomfort and increase in CORT response. There was a significant negative association between infant discomfort and quality of MCB, such that more uncomfortable infants received lower quality MCB. It was demonstrated that quality of MCB significantly and fully mediates the effects of behavioral discomfort on change in CORT, revealing a strong association between MCB and infant biobehavioral defensive responding to routine care. Future research examining this novel construct of infant sensitivity to discomfort separate from the caregiving context is suggested, and intervention programs that emphasize maternal protection of the neonate’s comfort are discussed.
Contexts and Benefits of Women’s Sexual Misperception
David A. Carlin
We studied female misperception in an evolutionary context using Error Management Theory (Haselton & Buss, 2000). In the first experiment, female participants perceived greater interest from male targets with high mate value than from lower mate value targets. These differences between conditions appeared for single women but not for mated women. These findings suggest that single women’s perceptions of male interest are influenced by the characteristics of the man in question. In the second experiment, men showed more interest in women who appeared to overperceive their initial interest. While female underperception may elicit greater male interest in the case of men who are already interested, in men who are not already interested in the target the use of short-term mating strategies raised questions about the hypothesized effects of female underperception.
To Convict or Not to Convict: Motivations behind Juror Bias in Decision-Making
Jessica N. de la Cuesta
Building upon the literature of race salience, self-affirmation, and moral self licensing, two studies were conducted to clarify the motivations behind juror decision-making in studies on race salience. In Study 1, we hypothesized that affirming jurors would result in a reversal of the reduction in anti-Black bias associated with race salient trials. The study failed to find anti-Black bias. However, race salience was found to significantly reduce the pro-Black bias jurors did display, suggesting that the concept of race salience may be more complex than previously thought. Given the surprising findings of Study 1 and that no interaction was found between juror verdicts and self-affirmation, a second study was conducted to re-test our original hypothesis. For exploratory reasons, moral self-licensing was also included in Study 2. Like self-affirmation, it was expected to moderate juror bias. Again, evidence for racial bias against Black defendants was not found. However, both self-affirmation and moral self-licensing were found to moderate juror leniency toward Black defendants. Implications of the findings and future directions are discussed.
What Should I Study?: The Effectiveness of Different Study Strategies in Both Short- and Long-Term Learning
Katrina E. Flanagan
The present research explored learners’ restudy choices. We start by identifying a study strategy that has been established both as one that students actually employ and as one that is in fact optimal for learning: restudy unknown items. We then move to an evaluation of the effectiveness of this strategy as compared to that of an alternative strategy (restudy known items) for both short- and long-term learning. We present a series of experiments designed to test our hypothesis that the strategy of restudying unknown items is good for short-term retention but bad for long-term retention. Our results generally supported the hypothesis that restudying known items can be simultaneously a good learning strategy for short-term retention and not particularly beneficial for long-term retention. This challenges the assumption that if a study strategy is optimal for short-term learning, it will be optimal for long-term learning as well. Students and teachers should be aware of this and other errors in their beliefs about learning and memory, and they should use this awareness to improve the effectiveness of their studying and teaching.
Chin Up! The Impact of Self-Esteem on Conformity
Aaron C. Lim
This study was designed to explore the impact of a self-esteem boost on peer conformity in three age groups (4th graders, 7th graders, and college students). In addition, a number of personality characteristics were examined as potential moderators of resistance to conformity (e.g., social status, fear of negative evaluation, trait self-esteem, and importance of popularity). Participants completed self-report measures of individual characteristics and then were randomly assigned to an ego boost or neutral task. Finally, participants rated the humor value of three cartoons. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to rate the comics independently, while the other half rated the comics after viewing bogus peer ratings. Results revealed that participants of all age groups engaged in conformity. Participants rated a bland comic as significantly more funny when they believed that their peers thought it was funny than when they rated it independently. This conformity effect was not moderated by age, gender, or individual characteristics. An ego boost was somewhat successful in mitigating against conformity. Among 4th graders, participants assigned to the ego boost condition exhibited less conformity than those assigned to the neutral condition. The ego boost had a similar effect among participants who placed a high value on popularity. Future research should examine self-esteem’s impact across multiple types of conformity, as such boosts may represent a short-term intervention strategy for helping young children resist antisocial norms.
Standing” Against Prejudice: How We View Those Who Respond to Bias
In four studies, we examined how the group membership and apparent standing (see Miller, Effron, & Zak, 2009) of an individual who responds to discrimination affects how that individual is evaluated. Study 1 found that participants rated a responder more negatively and as more of a complainer than a non-responder, but participants also liked the responder more and found him more justified. Studies 2 and 3 found that participants viewed an individual who responded with no standing most negatively, and an individual with racial standing least negatively. In addition, participants high in prejudice liked the responder with racial standing more than the responder with no standing, while this pattern was reversed for participants low in prejudice. Study 4 found that Blacks liked responders more than non-responders and felt they were more justified, regardless of standing. Taken together, these studies provide evidence that psychological standing affects how majority group members view those who respond to prejudice, and that Black individuals are more concerned about someone responding to discrimination than about the standing of the responder.
The Science of Politics and the Politics of Science: An Examination of How Liberals and Conservatives Value and Are Influenced by Science-Based versus Non-Science-Based Evidence
Helena E. Nannes
Although scientific research has the potential to greatly inform public debate about issues such as energy and the environment, it is clear that politicians and the general public often ignore, subvert, or dismiss evidence from science when forming or promoting relevant policies. Samples of adults from across the United States participated in three studies that were designed to address three important questions. First, are people’s attitudes influenced more by arguments that are based on scientific evidence rather than non-scientific opinions? Second, do the effects of these arguments vary as a function of whether liberals or conservatives are said to endorse the issue? Third, do liberals and conservatives differ in the extent to which their attitudes are influenced by science rather than non-science and by the political framing of the issues? Results showed that (1) scientific evidence sometimes has no more effect on attitudes than non-scientific opinion; (2) liberals were more swayed by scientific evidence when the issue was framed in an apolitical context, whereas conservatives were more swayed when the science supported a conservative perspective; and (3) liberals reported more trust and placed more value in learning information from science than did conservatives.
Self-Affirmation and Sports
Noah E. Schoenholtz
For experienced athletes, the high pressure and stress of performance in competition can lead to sub-maximal performance. Empirical research in non-athletic fields has demonstrated that people can be buffered against self-threats in a specific domain if they affirm the core aspects of themselves that they value most (Steele, 1988). The present studies examined the hypothesis that self-affirmative exercises will protect experienced athletes from the detrimental effects that pressure and stress can have on their performance. Study 1 demonstrated that self-affirmation can increase the likelihood that experienced golfers will perform well under pressure. Experienced golfers who focused attention on a specific, successful facet of their lives in a domain unrelated to athletics putted more successfully under pressure than did golfers who completed a manipulation that did not affirm any core aspects of their self-concepts. Study 2 failed to extend the findings from Study 1 to a general population of participants with no golf experience. Study 3 found that self-affirmation can improve an experienced rower’s ability to produce power over the course of a 15-minute ergometer test compared with experienced rowers who completed a manipulation unrelated to affirmation. Self-affirmed rowers in Study 3 achieved a greater average speed and covered more meters over 15 minutes than non-affirmed rowers did. Studies 1 and 3 demonstrate the effectiveness of a highly realistic self-affirmation technique in improving the high-pressure performance of experienced athletes. In Studies 1 and 3, female athletes tended to show a greater negative effect of high pressure on performance, as well as a greater positive effect of self-affirmation on high-pressure performance, compared with male athletes. Possible explanations for this gender difference are discussed.
Narcissism through the Ages: What Happens When Narcissists Grow Older?
Journal of Research in Personality, 45, 479-492 (2011)
Three types of adult narcissism were studied over a period of 25 years, with participants from the Intergenerational Studies of the Institute of Human Development, UC Berkeley. Narcissism was assessed on three occasions, from age 34 to age 59. Hypersensitive narcissism was found to decrease, Autonomous narcissism increased, and Willfulness narcissism did not change with age. At age 34, both Willfulness and Autonomous narcissism were related to agentic personality characteristics, but only Autonomous narcissism was related to the communal personality characteristic of empathy. Change in narcissism between age 34 and age 59 was shown to predict change in personality at age 71. The agentic personality characteristics that had been associated with Willfulness narcissism at age 34 were no longer characteristic of those individuals at age 71. In addition, in contrast to Autonomous narcissism, at age 34 Willfulness and Hypersensitivity were associated with emotional maladjustment, and predicted continuing maladjustment and less favorable life outcomes in later life.
Psychological Maturity and Change in Adult Defense Mechanisms
Journal of Research in Personality, 46, 306 -316 (2012)
Change in the use of defense mechanisms between late adolescence and adulthood was assessed in two different longitudinal studies from the Institute of Human Development. The results were virtually identical: the use of Identification decreased, the use of Denial increased, and there was little change in the use of Projection. Both the use of Identification at adolescence, and its subsequent decrease in adulthood were found to be predicted by ego strength and committed identity – that is, by evidence of developmental maturity at late adolescence. The decrease in Identification is consistent with predictions from the theory of defense mechanism development: defenses are related to developmental period; once that period is concluded, the use of the related defense declines.
Children’s Need to Know: Curiosity in Schools
Harvard Educational Review, 81, 625-645 (2011)
In this essay, Susan Engel argues that curiosity is both intrinsic to children’s development and unfolds through social interactions. Thus, it should be cultivated in schools, even though it is often almost completely absent from classrooms. Calling on well-established research and more recent studies, Engel argues that interactions between teachers and students can foster or inhibit children’s curiosity. She offers an explanation for why curiosity is not a priority in our educational system and calls for greater attention to children’s interests and explorations, which, she argues, are the mechanisms that underlie authentic learning.
Maternal Caregiving Moderates the Relation Between Temperamental Fear and Social Behavior with Peers
E. C. Penela, H.A. Henderson, Amie A. Hane, M. M. Ghera, & N. A. Fox
Infancy, Advanced online publication. doi 10.1111/j.1532-7078.2012.00114.x. (2012)
Temperament works in combination with a child’s environment to influence early socioemotional development. We examined whether maternal caregiving behavior at infant age 9 months moderated the relation between infant temperamental fear (9 months) and observations of children’s social behavior with an unfamiliar peer at age 2 in a typically developing sample of 155 children. When infants received lower quality maternal caregiving, temperamental fear was inversely related to observed social engagement and aggression. These relations were nonsignificant when infants received higher quality maternal caregiving. Findings indicate that variations in temperamental fear may predict individual differences in future peer interactions, but sensitive, nonintrusive caregiving behaviors can attenuate these associations.
Reactive Temperament and Sensitivity to Context in Child Care
D. Phillips, N.A. Crowell, A.L. Sussman, M. Gunnar, N. Fox, Amie Ashley Hane, & J. Bisgaier
Social Development. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2011.00649.x (2012)
Consistent with Biological Sensitivity to Context and Differential Susceptibility hypotheses, this study found that children who, as infants, were more temperamentally reactive were more sensitive to the quality of childcare they experienced as toddlers, but not to the amount of childcare with peers they had experienced since birth. Children with both highly positively and negatively reactive temperaments were more socially integrated when care quality was higher and less integrated when care quality was lower compared with moderately reactive children. Reactive temperament was not found to moderate relations between care quality or care duration and internalizing or externalizing behavior problems. These findings support the need to consider individual differences among children in evaluating the impacts of childcare.
Family Nurture Intervention (FNI): Methods and Treatment Protocol of a Randomized Controlled Trial in the NICU
M. G. Welch, M.A Hofer, S.A. Brunelli, R.I. Stark, H.F. Andrews, J. Austin, M.M. Myers and Family Nurture Intervention (FNI) Trial Group
BMC Pediatrics 12:14 (2012)
The stress that results from preterm birth, requisite acute care and prolonged physical separation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can have adverse physiological/psychological effects on both the infant and the mother. In particular, the experience compromises the establishment and maintenance of optimal mother-infant relationship, the subsequent development of the infant, and the mother’s emotional well-being. These findings highlight the importance of investigating early interventions that are designed to overcome or reduce the effects of these environmental insults and challenges.
The Relations Between Infant Negative Reactivity, Non-Maternal Childcare, and Children’s Interactions with Familiar and Unfamiliar Peers
A.N. Almas, K.A. Degnan, N.A. Fox, D.A. Phillips, H.A. Henderson, O.L. Moas, & Amie Ashley Hane
Social Development, 20, 718-740 (2011)
The present study examined the influence of children’s experiences during non-maternal childcare on their behavior toward unfamiliar peers. Participants included children classified as negatively reactive at four months of age (N = 52) and children not negatively reactive (N = 61), who were further divided into those who experienced non-maternal care and those who did not. Children were observed during childcare at 24 months of age and in the laboratory with an unfamiliar peer at 24 and 36 months of age, where their wariness, dysregulation, and social engagement were assessed. Within the negatively reactive childcare group, children’s positive interactions with peers during childcare at 24 months predicted lower levels of wariness toward an unfamiliar peer at 36 months. This relation was not significant for children not classified as negatively reactive. The findings suggest that the influence of non-maternal childcare is dependent on a child’s temperament and on the nature of peer interactions during care.
Mother and Child Interpretations of Threat in Ambiguous Situations: Relations with Child Anxiety and Autonomic Responding
Amie Ashley Hane & Emily Barrios ’10
Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 644-652. Special Issue: Parenting at risk: New perspectives, new approaches (2011)
This study examined maternal and child interpretive bias to threat (IBT) during dyadic conversation, child physiological reactivity and regulation during dyadic conversation, and maternal report of child anxiety in a community sample of 35 mothers and their 8- to 10-year-old children. Mothers and children discussed one neutral and six ambiguous scenarios, which were subsequently coded for frequency of maternal and child initiation, minimization, and expansion of threat-related themes. Child electrocardiogram data were collected during these conversations and maternal reports of child anxiety and internalizing problems were obtained. Across the sample, children initiated threat-related discussion more often than mothers. Maternal threat expansions were significantly positively correlated with child anxiety and internalizing behaviors. Maternal minimizations of threat were significantly associated with augmented child vagal tone throughout the IBT paradigm. Implications for prevention of child anxiety and directions for extending IBT research within the context of the mother–child dyad are discussed.
Attention Biases to Threat Link Behavioral Inhibition to Social Withdrawal Over Time in Very Young Children
K. Pérez-Edgar, B.C. Reeb-Sutherland, J. M. McDermott, L.K. White, H.A. Henderson, K.A. Degnan, Amie A. Hane, D.S. Pine & N.A. Fox
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 885-895 (2011)
Behaviorally inhibited children display a temperamental profile characterized by social withdrawal and anxious behaviors. Previous research, focused largely on adolescents, suggests that attention biases to threat may sustain high levels of behavioral inhibition (BI) over time, helping link early temperament to social outcomes. However, no prior studies examine the association between attention bias and BI before adolescence. The current study examined the interrelations among BI, attention biases to threat, and social withdrawal already manifest in early childhood. Children (N = 187, 83 Male, M age = 61.96 months) were characterized for BI in toddlerhood (24 & 36 months). At 5 years, they completed an attention bias task and concurrent social withdrawal was measured. As expected, BI in toddlerhood predicted high levels of social withdrawal in early childhood. However, this relation was moderated by attention bias. The BI-withdrawal association was only evident for children who displayed an attention bias toward threat. The data provide further support for models associating attention with socioemotional development and the later emergence of clinical anxiety.
Corrective Experiences from Clients’ Perspectives
In L. Castonguay and C. Hill (Eds.), Transformation in Psychotherapy: Corrective Experiences Across Cognitive Behavioral, Humanistic, and Psychodynamic Approaches. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (2012)
The chapter describes the results of multisite empirical study of clients’ perceptions of corrective experiences in psychotherapy across diverse theoretical approaches to therapy and diverse therapy settings.
L. E. Hasel & Saul Kassin
In B. Cutler (Ed.), Conviction of the Innocent: Lessons from Psychological Research. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (2012)
Forensic Personality and Social Psychology
Saul M. Kassin, & M. B. Kovera
In K. Deaux & M. Snyder (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. (2012)
The “Messenger Effect” in Persuasion
Saul M. Kassin
In R. Arkin (Ed.), Most Underappreciated: 50 Prominent Social Psychologists Talk About Hidden Gems. New York: Oxford University Press (2011)
Why Confessions Trump Innocence
Saul M. Kassin
American Psychologist, posted online at doi 10.1037/a0028212 (2012)
As illustrated by the story of Amanda Knox and many others wrongfully convicted, false confessions often trump factual innocence. Focusing on consequences, recent research suggests that confessions are powerfully persuasive as a matter of logic and common sense; that many false confessions contain richly detailed narratives and accurate crime facts that appear to betray guilty knowledge; and that confessions in general can corrupt other evidence from lay witnesses and forensic experts—producing an illusion of false support. This latter phenomenon, termed “corroboration inflation,” suggests that pretrial corroboration requirements as well as the concept of “harmless error” on appeal are based on an erroneous presumption of independence among items of evidence. In addition to previously suggested reforms to police practices that are designed to curb the risk of false confessions, measures should be taken as well to minimize the rippling consequences of those confessions.
Paradigm Shift in the Study of Human Lie-detection: Bridging the Gap between Science and Practice
Saul M. Kassin
Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.04.009, (2012)
Confessions that Corrupt: Evidence from the DNA Exoneration Case File
Saul M. Kassin, D. Bogart & J. Kerner
Psychological Science, 23, 41-45 (2012)
Basic psychology research suggests the possibility that confessions–a potent form of incrimination–may taint other evidence, thereby creating an appearance of corroboration. To determine if this laboratory-based phenomenon is supported in the high stakes world of actual cases, we conducted an archival analysis of DNA exoneration cases from the Innocence Project case files. Consistent with the corruption hypothesis, multiple evidence errors were significantly more likely to exist in false confession cases than in non-confession cases; false confessions were most often accompanied, in order of frequency, by invalid or improper forensic science, followed by eyewitness identifications, and informants; and in cases containing multiple errors, confessions were more likely to have been obtained early in the investigation. We believe that these findings underestimate the problem and have important implications for the law concerning pretrial corroboration requirements and the principle of “harmless error” on appeal.
Harmless Error Analysis: How do Judges Respond to Confession Errors?
D. B. Wallace & Saul M. Kassin
Law and Human Behavior, 36, 151-157 (2012)
In Arizona v Fulminante (1991), the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for appellate judges to conduct a harmless error analysis of erroneously admitted, coerced confessions. In this study, 132 judges from three states read a murder case summary, evaluated the defendant’s guilt, assessed the voluntariness of his confession, and responded to implicit and explicit measures of harmless error. Overall, results indicated that judges found a high-pressure confession to be coerced and hence improperly admitted into evidence. As in mock jurors, however, the improper confession significantly increased their conviction rate in the absence of other evidence. On the harmless error measures, judges successfully overruled the confession when required to do so, indicating that they are capable of this analysis.
Inside Interrogation: The Lie, The Bluff, and False Confessions
Jennifer T. Perillo, & Saul M. Kassin
Law and Human Behavior, 35, 327-337 (2011)
Using a less deceptive variant of the false evidence ploy, interrogators often use the bluff tactic, whereby they pretend to have evidence to be tested without further claiming that it necessarily implicates the suspect. Three experiments were conducted to assess the impact of the bluff on confession rates. Using the Kassin and Kiechel (1996) computer crash paradigm, Experiment 1 indicated that bluffing increases false confessions comparable to the effect produced by the presentation of false evidence. Experiment 2 replicated the bluff effect and provided self-reports indicating that innocent participants saw the bluff as a promise of future exoneration which, paradoxically, made it easier to confess. Using a variant of the Russano, Meissner, Narchet, and Kassin (2005) cheating paradigm, Experiment 3 replicated the bluff effect on innocent suspects once again, though a ceiling effect was obtained in the guilty condition. Results suggest that the phenomenology of innocence can lead innocents to confess even in response to relatively benign interrogation tactics.
Police-Induced Confessions: An Empirical Analysis of their Content and Impact
Sara C. Appleby, Lisa E. Hasel & Saul M. Kassin
Psychology, Crime & Law, (posted online at doi:10.1080/1068316X.2011.613389 (2011)
Confessions have a greater impact on juries than other types of evidence, sometimes in the face of contradictory evidence. Twenty false confessions were content-analyzed to determine the substance of false confessions and perhaps help to explain why judges, juries, and others are prone to believe these statements. Our analysis indicated that most false confessions contained references to specific visual and auditory details concerning the crime and victim(s) as well as references to the confessor’s thoughts, feelings, and motives during and after committing the crime. In a second study, mock jurors read confessions that were varied in terms of the presence of crime details, motive statements, and apologies, to determine the impact of these common aspects of confessions on a mock jury. Although a simple admission of guilt was often sufficient for conviction, more elaborate narrative confessions in which the defendant recounted how and why he committed the crime further increased confidence in these guilty verdicts.
A Stability Bias in Human Memory
In N. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 4-7). New York: Springer (2012)
Human memory is anything but stable: We constantly add knowledge to our memories as we learn and lose access to knowledge as we forget. Yet people often make judgments and predictions about their memories that do not reﬂect this instability. The term stability bias refers to the human tendency to act as though one’s memory will remain stable in the future. For example, people fail to predict that they will learn from future study opportunities; they also fail to predict that they will forget in the future with the passage of time. The stability bias appears to be rooted in a failure to appreciate external inﬂuences on memory, coupled with a lack of sensitivity to how the conditions present during learning will differ from the conditions present during a test.
Metacognition and the Social Animal
Lisa K. Son, Nate Kornell, Bridgid Finn, & Jessica F. Cantlon
In P. Briñol, & K. G. DeMarree (Eds.). Social Metacognition (pp. 159-175), New York: Psychology Press (2012)
Metacognition, at its most basic level, is cognition about cognition. For instance, metamemory involves judgments and beliefs about memory. In an ideal world, metacognitive processes would provide a perfect reflection of the mind’s contents, the way a mirror does. But research has shown repeatedly that metacognition is, at best, a distorted mirror: Predictions of future knowledge and judgments of current knowledge are subject to bias and are frequently inaccurate. The current chapter seeks to answer why, with all of its inaccuracies, metamemory survives as one of the most critical mental processes for any individual in a social world.
Estradiol Protects Against Hippocampal Damage and Impairments in Fear Conditioning Resulting from Transient Global Ischemia in Mice
Jennah L. Durham ’10, Katherine A. Jordan ’09, Marijke J. DeVos ’11, Erika K. Williams ’08, & Noah J. Sandstrom
Brain Research, 144, 64-74 (2012)
Estradiol protects against hippocampal damage and some learning impairments resulting from transient global ischemia in rats. Here, we seek to validate a mouse model of transient global ischemia and evaluate the effects of estradiol on ischemia-induced hippocampal damage and behavioral impairments. Female C57Bl6/J mice were ovariectomized and implanted with estradiol- or oil-secreting capsules. One week later, mice experienced 15-min of 2-vessel occlusion (2-VO) or sham surgical procedures. Five days later, mice were exposed to a fear conditioning protocol in which a specific context and novel tone were paired with mild footshock. Twenty-four hours following conditioning, contextual fear was assessed by measuring freezing behavior in the conditioned context (in the absence of the tone). This was followed by assessment of cue fear by measuring freezing behavior to the conditioned tone presented in a new context. When tested in the conditioned context, oil-treated mice that experienced 2-VO exhibited a significant reduction in freezing behavior whereas estradiol-treated mice that experienced 2-VO showed no disruption in freezing behavior. Freezing behavior when presented with the conditioned tone was unaffected by either surgery or hormone treatment. These findings suggest that global ischemia causes impairments in performance on the hippocampally-dependent contextual fear task but not conditioned cue-based fear. Furthermore, estradiol prevented the ischemia-induced impairment in contextual fear conditioning. Fluoro-Jade (FJ) staining revealed neuronal degeneration throughout the dorsal hippocampus of mice that experienced 2-VO. Estradiol treatment reduced the number of FJ+ cells in CA1 and CA2, but not in CA3 or in the dentate gyrus. Together, these findings suggest that 15 min of global ischemia causes extensive hippocampal neurodegeneration and disrupts contextual fear conditioning processes in mice and that estradiol protects against these adverse effects.
The Strategic Pursuit of Moral Credentials
Anna C. Merritt ’08, Daniel A. Effron, Steven Fein, Kenneth K. Savitsky, Daniel M. Tuller, & Benoît Monin
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 774-777 (2012)
Moral credentials establish one’s virtue and license one to act in morally disreputable ways with impunity (Monin & Miller, 2001). We propose that when people anticipate doing something morally dubious, they strategically attempt to earn moral credentials. Participants who expected to do something that could appear racist (decline to hire a Black job candidate in Studies 1 and 2, or take a test that might reveal implicit racial bias in Study 3) subsequently sought to establish non-racist credentials (by expressing greater racial sensitivity in Studies 1 and 2, or by exaggerating how favorably they perceived a Black job candidate in Study 3). Consistent with prior research, a follow-up study revealed that the opportunity to establish such credentials subsequently licensed participants to express more favorable attitudes towards a White versus a Black individual. We argue that strategically pursuing moral credentials allows individuals to manage attributions about their morally dubious behavior.
The Feature-Positive Effect in Allocations of Responsibility for Collaborative Tasks
Kenneth Savitsky, Robert M. Adelman ’09, & Justin Kruger
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 791-793 (2012)
People commonly believe they have contributed more to collaborative tasks than others give them credit for. We distinguish between two types of contributions—additions (such as adding words to a co-authored paper) and deletions (such as removing extraneous words)—and show that individuals are especially prone to receive less credit from others than they believe they deserve when their contributions consist of taking something away rather than adding something. Participants who shortened some writing believed they improved it just as much as did participants who lengthened some, but were seen by others as having contributed less. Although one can hardly fail to notice one’s own deletions, these contributions—like any contributions that, by their very nature, leave little trace of themselves—are easy for others to overlook.
Love Hurts (in More Ways than One): Specificity of Psychological Symptoms as Predictors and Consequences of Romantic Activity among Early Adolescent Girls
L.R. Starr, J. Davila, Catherine B. Stroud, P. C. C. Li, A. Yoneda, R. Hershenberg & M.R. Miller
Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68, 403-420 (2012).
Because the ability to flexibly experience and appropriately express emotions across a range of developmentally relevant contexts is crucial to adaptive functioning, we examined how adolescent attachment security may be related to more functional emotional behavior during a relationship promoting interaction task. Data were collected from 74 early adolescent girls (Mean age 13.45 years; SD = 0.68; 89% Caucasian) and their primary caregiver. Results indicated that, regardless of the parent’s interaction behavior and the level of stress in the parent–adolescent relationship, greater adolescent security was associated with more positive and less negative behavioral displays, including greater positivity, greater coherence of verbal content and affect, less embarrassment, and less emotional dysregulation in response to a situational demand for establishing intimacy with the parent.Implications for encouraging and fostering adolescents’ capacity to respond to interpersonal contexts in ways that promote the relationship are discussed.
Spillover to Triadic and Dyadic Systems in Families with Young Children
Catherine B. Stroud, C.E. Durbin, S. Wilson & K.A. Mendelsohn
Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 919-930 (2011)
Research has evidenced support for the spillover model, which asserts that parents’ marital functioning influences their parenting and coparenting behavior in dyadic (mother-child and father-child) and triadic (mother-father-child) family contexts. However, few studies have simultaneously investigated the spillover model in both parenting and coparenting systems, preventing examination of whether spillover impacts both systems equally or differentially. Further, little research has examined whether quality of the marital system influences children’s behavior toward their parents, as well as their parents’ behavior, in dyadic interactions. We examined the spillover model using observational measures of parent and child behavior in parent–child dyadic interactions as well as coparenting in triadic interactions. We also explored parent and child gender differences in spillover effects. Participants were families with children aged 3 to 6 years (n _ 149). Findings indicated that spillover occurs to multiple family systems, but the effects varied according to whose behavior (mother, father, child) was explored. In families of boys and girls, the marital system influenced warmth in triadic interactions, as well as fathers’ responsiveness and children’s responsiveness to mothers in dyadic interactions. Spillover effects were largely equivalent for girls and boys, but spillover to coparenting hostility in triadic interactions was limited to families raising girls. Parent gender also moderated associations between marital functioning and parent–child interactions: Spillover was significantly stronger for fathers’ responsiveness (vs. mothers’ responsiveness) and child responsiveness to mothers (vs. child responsiveness to fathers).
What I Like about You: The Association Between Adolescent Attachment Security and Emotional Behavior in a Relationship Promoting Context
R. Hershenberg , J. Davila, A. Yoneda, L.R. Starr, M.R. Miller, Catherine B. Stroud & B. Feinstein
Journal of Adolescence, 34, 1017-1034. (2011)
Because the ability to flexibly experience and appropriately express emotions across a range of developmentally relevant contexts is crucial to adaptive functioning, we examined how adolescent attachment security may be related to more functional emotional behavior during a relationship promoting interaction task. Data were collected from 74 early adolescent girls (Mean age 13.45 years; SD = 0.68; 89% Caucasian) and their primary caregiver. Results indicated that, regardless of the parent’s interaction behavior and the level of stress in the parent–adolescent relationship, greater adolescent security was associated with more positive and less negative behavioral displays, including greater positivity, greater coherence of verbal content and affect, less embarrassment, and less emotional dysregulation in response to a situational demand for establishing intimacy with the parent. Implications for encouraging and fostering adolescents’ capacity to respond to interpersonal contexts in ways that promote the relationship are discussed.
Assessment of Effective Couple and Family Functioning: Prevailing Models and Instruments
Jay Lebow & Catherine B. Stroud
In Walsh, F. (Ed.), Normal Family Processes: Diversity & Complexity, 4th Ed., New York: Guilford (2011)
We live in a world in which research on mental health primarily focuses on individuals rather than families and on pathology rather than health. With the dominance of the medical model in the funding of large scale research, evidence based models of normal family functioning are dwarfed by innumerable models and measures of individual depression and other disorders in the DSM-IV-R. In this chapter, we assume a much different lens than that focused on individual pathology and look at the state of the art in the empirical assessment of family functioning. Each of these efforts creates a model of the dimensions crucial to family functioning and a set of scales or sub-scales to assess these dimensions. There have been many laudable efforts, though only a few have gained widespread usage. In this chapter, we provide a review of measures of family and couple functioning and discuss the strengths and limitations of the models.
Catherine B. Stroud & Joanne Davila
In R.J. Levesque (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Adolescence (pp. 2252-2258). New York: Springer (2012)
There is a great deal of variation in the timing of pubertal maturation across adolescents. Pubertal timing refers to individuals’ level of development relative to a defined group. There are both genetic and environmental contributions to the onset of pubertal maturation. A substantial body of research indicates that variations in pubertal timing have psychological, social, and health consequences (Ellis2004; Hayward 2003; Mendle et al. 2007). In particular, research consistently demonstrates that earlytiming is associated with negative consequences among adolescent girls. The links between pubertal timing and social, psychological, and health outcomes are less consistent among adolescent boys. Directions for future research are highlighted.
Comparison of Two Rodent Models of Maternal Separation on Juvenile Social Behavior
Betty Zimmerberg & Kristin A. Sageser ’04
Frontiers in Child and Neurodevelopmental Psychiatry, 2, 1-10 (2011)
Early childhood deprivation is associated with an increased risk of attachment disorders and psychopathology. The neural consequences of exposure to stress early in life have used two major rodent models to provide important tools for translational research. Although both models have been termed Maternal Separation, the paradigms differ in ways that clearly shift the focus of stress between maternal and offspring units. The first model, here called Early Deprivation (ED), isolates pups individually while the dam is left not alone, but with a subset of littermates in the home nest (“Stay-at-homes”). The other model, here called Maternal Separation (MS), isolates the dam in a novel cage while the pups are separated together. In this study, these two early stress models were directly compared for their effects on social behaviors in male and female juvenile offspring. Although both models altered play behavior compared to controls, patterns of prosocial behaviors versus submissive behaviors differed by model and sex. Additionally, there were main effects of sex, with female ED subjects exhibited masculinizing effects of early stress during play sessions. Maternal behavior upon reunion with the isolated subjects was significantly increased in the MS condition compared to both ED and control conditions, which also differed but by a lesser magnitude. “Stay-at-homes” were tested since some laboratories use them for controls rather than undisturbed litters; they displayed significantly different sex-dependent play compared to undisturbed subjects. These results indicate that early stress effects vary by paradigm of separation. We suggest that MS produces greater stress on the dam and thus greater maternal mediation, while ED causes greater stress on the neonates, resulting in different behavioral sequela that warrant attention when using these models for translational research.