Members of the department continued their active engagement in scholarship. They wrote books, published articles, reviewed manuscripts for journals and supervised our students in ongoing research. Scholarly collaboration with undergraduates usually goes on summer, fall, winter, spring, and this year was no exception. That collaboration produced a number of publications, and ten honors theses.
We added Visiting Professor Richard Henneberry to our ranks this year. He taught neuroscience courses both fall and spring semesters, and we are grateful for his cheerful engagement in our programs. We also added Assistant Professor Kenneth Savitsky to our staff. Ken received his Ph.D. from Cornell and teaches courses in social psychology, with a special emphasis on issues pertaining to the self-concept. We are delighted that Ken has joined us. Sadly, Assistant Professor Anjali Thapar, on leave this past year, decided to resign. She accepted a position at Haverford College, wanting to live in a more urban area than Williamstown. We will miss Anjali. We thank her for her contributions to the department during the years she was with us. Fortunately, Visiting Assistant Professor Robert Kachelski was persuaded to stay on for another year, replacing Anjali in cognitive psychology.
Effective July 1, 1997, Laurie Heatherington was promoted to full Professor and Steven Fein was promoted to Associate Professor.
Psychology did its part for the growing world population this year. Thomas Kirby, Greta Savitsky, and Nicholas and Alexander Friedman all were born during the academic year. Steve Fein and Wendy Penner are expecting a second daughter at about press time for this report. In short, Psychology is growing in a number of ways. We look forward to continued active engagement in the sciences next year and in the years ahead.
Professor Phebe Cramer presented a workshop on the "Assessment of Defense Mechanisms" at the Society for Personality Assessment, Boston, February 19, 1998. Also that month, she presented as Invited Master Lecture "Future Directions of the TAT" at the Society for Personality Assessment in Boston. Professor Cramer attended the annual conference of the Society for Personality Assessment and a meeting of the Editorial Board. In June, Professor Cramer attended the Nag's Head Conference on Personality and Social Psychology in Highland Beach, Florida at which she presented a paper entitled "Defense Mechanisms and Ego Development." Professor Cramer authored two chapters this year. One, entitled "Approaching the Thematic Apperception Test" is in Teaching and Learning Personality Assessment, L. Handler & M. Hilsenroth, Eds., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. A second chapter is entitled "Defense Mechanisms" is in the Encyclopedia of Mental Health, Academic Press, reprinted from the Encyclopedia of Human Behavior. Additionally, she continued as a member of Editorial Board for Journal of Personality Assessment and served as an occasional reviewer for Journal of Personality, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, Archives of General Psychiatry, and Journal of Research in Personality. Professor Cramer is also a member of the Ph.D committee for graduate students in Psychology, Gallaudet University.
Professor George R. Goethals published a psychology of adjustment textbook, co-authored with Professor Laurie Heatherington and Steven Worchel of the University of Southern Maine, entitled Pathways to Personal Growth: Adjustment in Today's World (Boston: Allyn & Bacon). With Cynthia McPherson Frantz `91, he published an article in the American Association of Higher Education Bulletin entitled "Thinking Seriously about Paying for College: The Large Effects of a Little Thought." Professor Goethals presented an invited address at the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology in January in St. Petersburg, Florida entitled "Experiencing Social Psychology: Demonstrations in the Classroom." He continued to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and served as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. During the academic year, Professor Goethals developed a course cluster in Leadership Studies and began developing a center for Leadership Studies. The center will involve students, faculty, alumni, and leaders from a wide variety of fields in a range of leadership programs.
Professor Laurie Heatherington continued research on gender and self-presentation, cognitive processes in psychotherapy, and on the interrelationships between cognition, affect, and interpersonal control in marital interaction. The latter was supported by a grant from the Radcliffe College Research Support Program. Professor Heatherington supervised three senior honors theses and four independent study research projects in 1997-98. Together with colleagues Jana Sawicki (Philosophy) and Alison Case (English), she revised and then taught in the interdisciplinary Women's Studies 101 course. Professor Heatherington did ad hoc reviewing for the journal Sex Roles, and continued on the editorial boards of Psychotherapy Research, the Journal of Family Psychology, and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. In June 1997 she delivered a Bronfman Brown Bag talk, "Gender and Self-Presentation: Round III," in September, she gave the First Year Orientation Lecture, "Stories," and in April, presented a talk in New York City at the Williams. Club, "Gender Matters: Women, Mean, and Self-presentation." She consulted on the program evaluation of a post-adoption services grant run by the Berkshire Center for Families and Children in Pittsfield, and served on the Board of Directors and Chair of the Clinical Committee of the Gould Farm, Monterey, Massachusetts, a treatment community for people with mental illness.
Professor Saul Kassin completed the second edition of Psychology, a textbook published in 1998 by Prentice Hall. He wrote a book review entitled "Clinical Psychology In Court: House of Junk Science?" that was published as a featured review in Contemporary Psychology in 1998. Also by invitation, he wrote two commentaries, "False Memories Against the Self," published in Psychological Inquiry (1997); and "More on the Psychology of False Confessions," published in the American Psychologist (1998). Prof. Kassin presented two invited addresses: "When Worlds Collide: The Teaching of Psychology And Law" (American Psychological Society Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, June 1998, Washington, DC), "Teaching Psychology and Law" (National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, January 1998, St. Petersburg, Florida). In addition, Sam Sommers `97 and he presented "Inadmissible Evidence and Juror Noncompliance: A Further Investigation of the Just Verdict Motivation" at the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago. Prof. Kassin presented colloquia and guest lectures at Bloomsburg University (Bloomsburg, PA), University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), Southern Utah University (Cedar City, UT), University of Nebraska (Kearney, NE), Pittsburg State University (Pittsburg, KS), Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL). He also spoke on the psychology of confessions to the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in Boston. Prof. Kassin continued to serve as a consulting editor for Law And Human Behavior. He reviewed grant proposals for the Law and Social Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation and papers for numerous journals. He also served as a trial consultant and expert witness in a number of cases tried in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, and South Carolina.
Professor Robert D. Kavanaugh continued his research on the development of imagination and narrative in young children with several Williams students and three colleagues, Paul L. Harris of the University of Oxford, Marjorie Taylor of the University of Oregon and Susan Engel of Bennington College. In August, Professors Kavanaugh and Harris were awarded a renewal of their NATO Collaborative Research Grant, "The Development of Imagination in Young Children." In February, Professor Kavanaugh was the discussant in a symposium with M. Taylor on "Relationships between Pretend Play and Theory of Mind" at the annual meeting of The Association for the Study of Play. In April, he spent one week in Oxford with Professor Harris planning the next phase of their NATO research grant. Professor Kavanaugh and Professor Engel published a chapter entitled "The Development of Pretense and Narrative in Early Childhood" in O. Saracho and B. Spodek's volume, Multiple Perspectives on Play in Early Childhood Education. In the fall, Professor Kavanaugh was honored to be elected a Fellow of The American Psychological Association, Division on Developmental Psychology. Throughout the year, he continued his service as an ad hoc reviewer for British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Cognitive Development.
Associate Professor Betty Zimmerberg continued her research in developmental psychobiology, funded by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her new research centers on the role of neurosteroids in various pre- and postnatal environmental conditions (e.g., prenatal alcohol exposure, prenatal stress, and maternal separation stress) which might affect the development of anxiety-related behaviors. In July, she was invited to speak at an International Stress Congress in Budapest, Hungary, on the topic "Age, Sex and Stress Experience Modulate the Neurosteroid Stress Response in Rats." In January, she gave a keynote address, entitled "Comparative Behavioral and Neurochemical Effects of Gestational Exposure to Stress, Alcohol and Neurosteroids" as well as serving as co-organizer of an international conference in Morzine, France, on Neurobehavioral Adaptation. Additional research conducted with Dana Critchell `97 was presented at the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology and the Society for Neuroscience meetings last October in New Orleans, entitled "Differential Effects of the Neurosteroid Allopregnanolone Selectively Bred RHA and RLA Rats." Zimmerberg also worked with computer science students Tony Barnes `98 and Joshua Allen `98 to develop neuroscience-related animated and interactive multimedia teaching materials that will be made available on the World Wide Web, sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). She also continued grant reviewing for the NIH and NSF, as well as for various journals, including Brain Research, Behavioral Neuroscience, Developmental Psychobiology, and Psychopharmacology. Professor Zimmerberg, continued to serve on the steering committee of a new professional society, N.E.U.R.O.N. (Northeast Under/Graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience). She also chaired the External Review of Colgate University's Psychology Dept. last February.
Associate Professor Steven Fein conducted research on stereotypes and prejudice, attributional processes and suspicion across cultures, and the role of various social psychological in affecting people's performance (academic or athletic) under pressure. This research was conducted in India, China, Morocco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, Canada, and the United States. These studies resulted in four papers accepted for publication in psychology journals during the year. In October, Dr. Fein delivered a talk at Harvard University. Dr. Fein was elected the secretary-treasurer of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. He also served as a consulting editor of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and as a reviewer for several psychology journals. Dr. Fein supervised six independent study projects and four Winter Study independent projects. Dr. Fein also supervised the research of two students during the summer as part of the Bronfman Summer Science program. Dr. Fein organized the New England Social Psychology Association conference, hosted at Williams in October, which featured eighteen talks presented by eminent scholars in the field. Dr. Fein also arranged several other public lectures at Williams by important researchers, such as Claude Steele of Stanford University and Robert Rosenthal of Harvard University. With his psychology department colleague, Saul Kassin, Dr. Fein co-authored the fourth edition of the book, Social Psychology.
Assistant Professor Elliot Friedman's research into the links between psychological state and immune function yielded some exciting results this year. Two Neuroscience thesis students worked in his laboratory this year. Joanna Stevason `98, examined immune function in the Flinders rat model of human depression, animals that exhibit some abnormal immune responses that resemble those observed in clinically depressed human beings. Joanna immunized the rats with a novel antigen, a process similar to the immunization of human infants, and showed that the antibody responses in the Flinders rats were significantly lower than those in control rats. This project was the first demonstration of impaired humoral immune function in the Flinders rats, and it adds to the literature on this important model of physiological dysfunction in clinical depression. Cynthia Osterling `98, brought a new immunological technique into Friedman's laboratory; measurement of interleukin-2 (IL-2), an immunological hormone that is important in the development of an immune response. Using this technique, Cynthia was able to demonstrate that IL-2 production is significantly reduced in rats that experience a brief stress. Professor Friedman also served as secondary thesis advisor to two thesis students. Finally, Paul Solomon and Elliot Friedman have begun a collaborative project to examine stress, as determined by subjective report as well as objective measures of stress hormones and immune function, in people caring for individuals with Alzheimer's Disease (AD).
This spring Dr. Friedman attended a one-day meeting on "Neuropsychology and the Neuroimmune Dialog" with students Joanna Stevason `98, Matthew Whalin `99, and Jonathan Ilgen `99. The group drove down to New York for the day to attend the meeting, and all found the presentations exceptionally informative. He continued my work as ad hoc reviewer for the journals American Journal of Physiology, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, International Journal of Immunopharmacology, Journal of Comparative Psychology, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, and Journal of Neuroscience. Additionally, Professor Friedman developed two new courses this year. The first was a seminar in his field of specialization, Psychoneuroimmunology. Students in this course read cutting-edge research into how immune function is influenced by stress and personality, and how the immune system exerts an influence on brain function, behavior, and perhaps psychopathology. Approximately 50% of the students in the class elected to conduct original research. The second was a Winter Study course Genetics and Disease: the Biological, Psychological, and Ethical Issues of Genetic Testing co-taught with Deborah Weiss, Assistant Prof. of Chemistry. In this class, students discussed pressing issues of what genetic tests mean, how people respond to genetic information, and how such information should be handled. Students regularly worked together on projects, including a forum at the end of the class in which unresolved issues were presented and debated.
Visiting Assistant Professor Bob Kachelski received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 1997. He continued his dissertation research on the nature and causes of dual-task interference, presenting his results at the Second Annual Summer Workshop in Cognitive Psychology, SUNY-Albany in July 1997 and at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Philadelphia in November 1997. Dr. Kachelski also conducted research on the automatic activation of stereotypes, collaborating with Professor Steven Fein. He taught courses in cognitive psychology, including a new course, Reading and Language, as an independent study course.
Professor Kenneth Savitsky conducted research on social judgment, including work on speech anxiety, counterfactual thinking, and biases in people's assessments of how they appear to others. He had papers published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and a previous publication reprinted in Encounters with the Paranormal: Science, Knowledge, and Belief (Prometheus Books). Dr. Savitsky and his colleagues presented research at several national conferences, including the annual meetings of the American Psychological Society in Washington, DC and the Eastern Psychological Society in Boston, as well as the Empire State Social Psychology conference in Blue Mountain Lake, NY. In addition, Dr. Savitsky presented invited colloquia at Colgate University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Bronfman Science Center lecture here at Williams College. Dr. Savitsky reviewed manuscripts for several psychology journals, supervised the independent research projects of three students, and served as a secondary advisor for two senior honors theses.
Professor Paul Solomon continued his research on the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. He received several grants to test new anti-dementia compounds including a two grants from Takeda, America, Inc., Pharmaceutical Development Division to study idebenone, a grant from Pfizer Research Division to study the combination of Aricept and Zoloft, a grant from Janssen Pharmaceutica Research to study galantamine and a grant from G.D. Searle and Company to study celicoxib. He is in the seventh year on a grant from the National Institute on Aging that funds the Memory Clinic at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center where he serves as Co-Director.
Dr. Solomon continued work on a screening instrument for Alzheimer's disease, "The 7 Minute Screen," that was developed in collaboration with students at Williams. The initial paper describing the test was published in Archives of Neurology in March and received media coverage from more than 100 newspapers and 100 news shows including the CBS Morning Show, CNN National News, Fox National News, and CBS Evening News. Dr. Solomon also presented the research at the annual meeting of the American Association of Family Physicians in San Francisco where it won a First Place Award for Research In Family Practice. He was also invited to discuss the 7 Minute Screen at a number of symposia and meetings including Alzheimer's Disease Advisory Board, Bayer Pharmaceutical Research, Santa Monica, CA; Alzheimer's Disease Advisory Board, Janssen Pharmaceutica Research, San Francisco, CA; Alzheimer's Disease Educational Advisory Board, Long Island Jewish Hospital, New York, NY; Annual Meeting of the European Neurological Association, Rhodes, Greece; Alzheimer's Disease Advisory Board, Paris, France; International Psychogeriatric Association, Jerusalem, Israel; Southern Clinical Neurological Association, Huatulco, Mexico; Northern New England Neurological Association; Burlington, VT; American College of Physicians, San Diego, CA; American Association of Physician Assistants, Salt Lake City, Utah; Rutgers Memory Disorders Project Conference: Current Frontiers in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory and Memory Disorders. Newark, NJ; Wayne State University Conference: Issues on Aging. Troy, MI; Alzheimer's Association of Northeastern New York Conference: Alzheimer's Disease: Clinical & Practical Application Dementia Care. Saratoga, NY; Annual Meeting of the Georgia State Medical Association, Hilton Head, NC; American Association of Nurse Practitioner Conference, Phoenix, AZ; Fifth International Geneva/Springfield Symposium on Advances in Alzheimer's Therapy, Geneva Switzerland. Professor Solomon also continued his work on neurobiology of learning and memory and presented this work at several meetings including Memory Disorders Research Society, Cambridge, MA and The Winter Conference on Neuroplasticity, St. Lucia, West Indies.
Dr. Solomon continued as Director of the Essel Neuroscience Initiative which is currently in its sixth year. In April, past Essel fellows gathered in Williamstown to discuss their current work. It was also announced at this meeting that the Essel program will be funded for an additional 5 years. Dr. Solomon also serves on the Board of the Western Massachusetts Alzheimer's Association and continues on the medical staff at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. He also serves on the editorial boards of Psychopharmacology and Therapeutic Strategies for Older Adults.