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November/December 2009 issue | Volume 3, Issue 3 Latest Information | Issue Archives | Unsubscribe
Analyze This!

Dr. David Richard recently had two co-authored manuscripts published. The first, with Diane Andrews and Karen Aroian of UCF, was published in the Western Journal of Nursing Research and was a factor analysis of a self-care measure commonly used in nursing research. Although the Denyes Self-Care measure has been promoted as a unidimensional measure, the authors found the measure was multidimensional, implying that the current scoring system did not adequately take into account the underlying structure of the instrument. The second paper was accepted to the APA journal Personality Disorders and was another factor analysis, this time involving clinician interviews of 1600 patients diagnosed with one or more personality disorders. Richard and colleagues Steve Huprich (Eastern Michigan), Mark Zimmerman (Brown), Thomas Schmitt (Eastern Michigan), and Iwona Chelminski (Brown) found that the factor structure for personality disorder only bore a vague resemblance to the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, suggesting that some re-thinking of PD diagnoses may be warranted.
Psi Chi To Induct New Members
Psi Chi, the Psychology Honor Society, is pleased to announce its new members: Christine Ackley, Indrid Atiles, Tyler Cloutier, Craig Federer, Alethea Garcia, Ashley Imburgia, Sarah Kramer, Ali Kren, Tawny Najar, Mai-Han Nguyen, Kate Piselli, Jesse Radloff, Kaitlin Reynolds, and Jessica Thompson. The Induction Ceremony will take place in SunTrust Auditorium at 6:30 pm on Friday, December 4, with a reception beforehand beginning at 6:00 pm, for inductees and family. Kaitlin Reynolds and Ali Kren are serving as President and Vice President. The Department of Psychology extends its congratulations to the inductees. Psi Chi is a national honor society established in 1929. The Rollins Chapter organizes psychology-related events open to all students.
Rollins-Miami Collaboration
In October, Michael Sinclair, a graduate student at the University of Miami in the Neuroscience Program, visited Rollins College to collaborate in research with Dr. St. John. The labs got together because, as part of his dissertation work under the direction of Dr. Nirupa Chaudhari, Mr. Sinclair had identified oxytocin receptors in taste buds. Oxytocin, a hormone known for its role in reproductive and parental behaviors and also associated more recently with trust, love, and social recognition, was previously unknown to have any role in modulating the way things taste. Dr. St. John and Mr. Sinclair collaboarated on assessing the functional role of these oxytocin receptors by comparing taste-related behaviors in mice injected with oxytocin relative to those injected with saline. The data are still being examined, but early indications are that oxytocin does modulate the taste system, in addition to its more famous functions. In the future, both Dr. St. John and Mr. Sinclair hope to involve interested Rollins students in this psychobiological research.
Dr. St. John's web page
The Chaudhari lab at Miami
Rollins-Ireland Collaboration
Dr. Maria R. Ruiz traveled to Ireland this fall to meet with her research collaborator Dr. Bryan Roche of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Dr. Ruiz and Dr. Roche have collaborated for the past six years on research involving behavioral modeling of the Implicit Association Test. Their work focuses on language-based equivalence relations as a building block in the acquisition of implicit relations and unconscious cognitions. Their research program has generated several honors thesis at Rollins and doctoral thesis at NUI, Maynooth. Senior Ingrid Atiles and Junior Micha Purdy are researchers on the team this year and will present two symposium papers at the meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in San Antonio, Texas next May.
The Truth About Suicide
On January 21 at 7pm, the Rollins College Chapter of Psi Chi and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are pleased to host The Truth About Suicide: Real Stories About Depression In College, an interactive symposium in SunTrust Auditorium. The event features Marie Dudek, Chair of the Central Florida Chapter for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Dr. David Richard, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Organizational Behavior Program, Dr. Martin Farkash, Professor of Psychology, and members of the Rollins College Counseling and Psychological Services Department. Depression and suicide have touched the lives of many people on the Rollins College campus and in our community; in addition to raising awareness of these issues, the symposium will bring together many of the local organizations who provide support for people concerned for themselves or loved ones. The event features a DVD followed by a group discussion. The event is free and open to the Rollins community. Stay tuned for details.
The video
Psychology Facebook Site Launched
The Department of Psychology is pleased to announce a Psychology Facebook page. The primary goal of the page was to reconnect with alumni and to allow current students to connect with alumni. By adding your name to the group, you can keep track of recent alumni that you may have known during their time at Rollins, and also get an idea of what alumni are doing today with their Psychology degrees. Friend your psychology department today! Contact Dr. Harris for an invitation to join.
Suicide Prevention Walk: Take Part!
Vicki Long, Administrative Assistant in the Rollins Psychology Department, is again organizing the Out Of Darkness Walk for suicide prevention in honor of the memory of her father, who committed suicide in 2004. The 2010 3rd annual 5K walk will be Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 9am (sign-in at 8am) at Baldwin Park. The Rollins Psychology team is already getting organized! Check out The Out Of Darkness website and the information page on the Rollins PSY for Vicki team, where you can register to walk or to donate. Get involved with this great cause!
If They Replaced A Human Being Would You Notice?
Dr. Woodward's Cognitive Psychology class recently completed a study on the phenemenon of change blindness - the observation that people are often surprisingly ignorant of changes in the visual environment. In their study, a female researcher asked directions of an experimental subject near the Cornell Campus Center. As they talked, other members of the research team walked between them carrying a large banner, and during this time, a second female researcher took the first one's place. Would the experimental subjects detect that the person asking them directions had been replaced by a different person entirely? Consistent with the class's hypothesis, female subjects never detected the swtich, whereas males proved more observant. The class hypothesizes that male subjects were more observant especially given that the experimenters were of the opposite sex.
The t-test, a commonly-employed statistical procedure used throughout science, was invented in 1908 by William Gosset, a chemist working for the Guinness Brewery in Ireland. A student of Karl Pearson, himself the inventor of other oft-used proceudres, such as the Pearson correlation and the chi-square test, Gosset developed his statistical procedure to verify the quality of stout beers brewed by Guinness' company. Recognizing the importance of his test, Gosset published his work despite the fact that the procedure was, at the time, a trade secret of Guinness. To avoid detection, he published under the pseudonym Student. Today, the test, one of the most important advances in the science of statistics, is known as the Student's t-test - and not Gosset's t-test.
Dr. David Richard once avoided being sentenced to a Soviet Labor Camp thanks to a handheld electronic soccer game. On a college trip to Russia, Dr. Richard acquired a number of souvenoirs on the black market including flags and artwork. In those days, the Soviets did not allow any goods out of the country, and he had amassed $500 worth. At the end of the trip, Dr. Richard's train was boarded by Soviet Army men leading german shephards and toting guns. Dr. Richard pulled out a handheld electronic soccer game as one of the younger guards approached his cabin to search it. The guard became interested in the game, and Dr. Richard showed him how to play it. The guard disappeared with it to play it some more until the train whistle sounded. The guard returned his game on the way out, and Dr. Richard escaped with his contraband and his freedom.
•11/25-29 Thanksgiving
•12/4 Last day of class
•12/7-11 Final Exams
•1/4-8 Intersession
•1/12 First day of Spring term
Shrink Rap is an email publication of the Rollins College Department of Psychology. This issue can also be found online. The newsletter is sent monthly during the academic year to Psychology majors and minors in A&S and Holt, students in A&S psychology classes, psychology faculty and staff, and friends of the department.