Keera Bhandari ’08/MA ’09 presented her research at the 2009 Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), held in Denver, Colo. from April 2-4. The poster presentation, co-authored with Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, was titled “Acquiring Knowledge from Others: Preschoolers’ Use of Testimony.”
Jessica Sullivan ’08 presented a poster co-authored by Kyle MacDonald ’10, Annie Paladino ’09 and Barth at the 2009 Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), titled “Children’s Mappings of Number Words to Large Numerosities.”
Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, co-authored an article with Jessica Sullivan ’08 and Ariel (Ballinger) Starr ’07. Their work on children’s numerical estimation will appear in the journal Cognitive Development in 2009.
Scott Plous, professor of psychology, is featured in an Dec. 2008 article on action teaching in the APA magazine Monitor on Psychology. Plous coined the term “action teaching” in 2000 to refer to teaching that leads not only to a better understanding of psychology but to a more just, humane, and peaceful world, and he manages the web site ActionTeaching.org.
Lisa Dierker, professor of psychology, has received a $50,000 research grant from the Peter F. McManus Charitable Trust. The award will support her work focusing on individual differences in the development of addiction. This research is aimed at identifying youth at greatest risk for dependence at various levels of alcohol and tobacco exposure.
Scott Plous, professor of psychology, was quoted in a Dec. 14 issue of The Washington Post in a story titled “Choosing Not To Choose: Ever feel lost in a maze of too many options?”
The article, which focused on the overwhelming abundance of life-changing decisions such as finances, health care and career moves, mentions Plous’s book, The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making.
“There’s no question that we have more choices than ever before,” Plous agreed. “And decisions are generally harder and more time-consuming when there are lots of alternatives.”
Barbara Juhasz, assistant professor of psychology, is the author of “The processing of compound words in English: Effects of word length on eye movements during reading,” published in Language and Cognitive Processes, 23, 1057-1088, Nov. 2008. She also is the co-author of “The processing of novel and lexicalised prefixed words in reading,” published in Language and Cognitive Processes, 23, 1133-1158, Nov. 2008.
Cathy Race, administrative assistant in the Psychology Department, is the key contact person for the department, oversees the undergraduate major, is the department's archivist and website moderator.
Q: Cathy, when did you come to Wesleyan? What office did you start in?
A: I started in 1981 in the Alumni Relations Office. Then I transferred to a joint position in the Science in Society Program/Health Education, then the College of Social Studies, and then in 1991 to the Psychology Department.
Q: Do you have a personal interest in psychology or has your interest peaked since you started working with psychologists?
A: My interest in psychology could never peak. I’ve always been curious how the mind works. The field is fascinating. It goes beyond textbooks. The faculty are amazing and the majors are ambitious. I can honestly say I love my job.
Q: Could you touch on some of the department’s highlights?
Ruth Striegel-Moore, the Walter A. Crowell University Professor of the Social Sciences, professor and chair of psychology, is the recipient of the New England Psychological Association’s (NEPA) Distinguished Contribution Award. She delivered the Distinguished Contribution Award Lecture titled “Reducing the Burden of Suffering from Eating Disorders” during the 48th Annual Meeting of the organization at Western New England College, Springfield, Mass. on Oct. 25.
The award honors psychologists with current or prior association with New England who have distinguished themselves by advancing the science of psychology; used psychology to advance individual and/or community well-being through service; are conducting a program of research or service which is currently making major strides in furthering new knowledge in psychology; and/or have engaged in teaching and mentoring in a manner reflecting commitment and innovation well beyond the norm.
Steven Stemler, assistant professor of psychology.
Failure to adapt in certain military maneuvers or assignments can lead to fatal errors. To help prevent grievous mistakes, the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense has asked psychologists to study adaptability. Assistant Professor of Psychology Steven Stemler was awarded a $60,000 subcontract via the University of Central Florida to study the concept and develop tools to measure adaptability.
Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, is the co-author of “Nonsymbolic, approximate arithmetic in children: Evidence for abstract addition prior to instruction,” published in the journal Developmental Psychology, September 2008.