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October 2010 issue | Volume 4, Issue 2 Latest Information | Issue Archives | Unsubscribe
Ruiz, Davidson Publish Articles

Dr. Maria Ruiz recently published a major theoretical paper in the journal Behavior and Philosophy entitled Beyond the mirrored space: Time and resistance in feminist theory. This complex paper analyzes the philosophical underpinnings of how people understand the causes of behavior through the window of legal cases in which an abused spouse is accused of violence against her abuser. Ruiz argues that both the immediate contingency requirements of the self-defense legal standard, and the feminist-inspired pathologization of "battered women syndrome" are inadequate (and potentially damaging) explanations of the cause of behavior. Ruiz argues for the more dynamic "Darwinian" view, which recognizes that biology and behavior are constantly subject to the forces of selection (in both the evolutionary and experiential sense.) Dr. Alice Davidson, with coauthors Scott D. Guest and Janet A. Welsh, recently published a research article in the Journal of School Psychology entitled Relatedness with teachers and peers during early adolescence: An integrated variable-oriented and person-oriented approach. This paper was just one product of a major longitudinal study examining peer influence processes on children’s academic achievement and self-concept across the transition to middle school. Davidson and colleagues found that aggressive behavior in 5th grade predicted poor relationships with both teachers and peers in 6th grade. Such poor relationships also were associated with a range of adjustment problems across middle school.
Rollins College: Where Community Involvement Begins At Age 2
For the third consecutive year, Rollins' youngest community members have done their part to give back to our community. As part of the curriculum of the Child Development and Student Research Center, preschoolers (aged 2-4) learn about caring and sharing and empathizing with others. Early Childhood Specialist Diane Terorde-Doyle led the 2010 Trike a Thon for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. On October 8, The 18 kids donned their helmets and raced around Mills Lawn to the cheers and encouragement of their parents and Rollins College Psychology majors. Their laps were financially sponsored by many of the onlookers, and their efforts raised over $1000 for the Children's Hospital. Congratulations to everyone, young and old, involved in this great event!
Ruiz and Carnahan Kick Off Scholarship Series
The Interdisciplinary Scholarship Series is an opportunity for faculty to engage in collegial discussion topics and promote interdisciplinary scholarship at Rollins. The series is sponsored by the office of the Dean of the Faculty and is in its second year. Dr. Maria Ruiz was the first presenter of the 2010-11 series and her talk entitled Unconscious Prejudice and Language: What’s Hate Got To Do With It? focused on her research collaboration with Dr. Bryan Roche of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Dr. Ruiz and Dr. Roche and their students have worked together for the past eight years to develop a behavior analytic model to study implicit cognitions and relations. Their published work ranges from laboratory studies of implicit cognitions to the development and use of implicit tests to distinguish groups of internet consumers of child pornography from convicted pedophiles in prison populations. Psychology will continue to be well-represented in the series as the next talk is scheduled to be from Dr. Sharon Carnahan entitled 15 years of community based program evaluation: Combining teaching, research, and service in Central Florida.
Psychology To Offer 3 Intersession Courses
Pre-registration for the Winter Intersession and the Spring 2011 term opens on November 1, with advising week beginning November 8. This year you will be able to choose among 3 Intersession courses. These courses run four hours a day from January 3-7 and count 2 credits. Courses offered:
•PSY 205A - The Mind In The Machine
M-F, 9 am -1 pm - Dr. Harris
•PSY 205B - This Is Your Brain On Music
M-F, 1-5 pm - Dr. St. John
•PSY 205C - Art and the Brain
M-F, 12-4 pm - Dr. Woodard
Intersession courses are a great way to earn a couple of credits by taking special topics courses without the stress of a full-load semester. Talk to your advisor to find out which one would be best for you.
Plan Your Spring 2011 Schedule
Pre-registration for Spring 2011 term opens on November 1, with advising week beginning November 8. Among the new or rarely offered courses is PSY 315M: Probability Theory, Judgment, and Gaming offered by Dr. Richard and cross-listed Holt/A&S. This course is inspired by Dr. Richard's research and will cover social cognition, risk-taking, internet gaming, and related topics. Course meets from 10 am to 4 pm on alternate Saturdays. Dr. Queen will be offering her popular BIO-COG: Brain and Language in which students will examine language in a biological context and investigate the relationship between brain mechanisms and language behavior. Topics will include aphasia and other language disorders, hemispheric specialization, aphasia in the deaf, critical periods and aphasia in children, and gender differences in brain organization and cognitive abilities. Class will meet MW 11:00 - 12:15. Dr. Carnahan is offering a new course, PSY 315J: DEV: Childhood Across Cultures which will meet MW 9:30 - 10:45. Dr. Houston will be offering ISP: Psychology of Work TR 3:30 - 4:45, and Dr. Harris will teach PSY 327: BIO-ISP: Evolutionary Psychology. You'll notice that most courses now have prefixes (BIO, COG, etc.) which indicates how those courses count toward the major for Psychology majors declaring on or after Fall, 2010. Students under the "old major" can ignore these prefixes and pay attention to the course number or course title. For those of you under the "new major", keep in mind that you can take PSY 155: Perspectives in Psychology II whether or not you have taken Perspectives I. Also remember that PSY 150, PSY 155, PSY 250, and PSY 255 are the only 100 and 200-level courses that count toward the (new) major.
Psychology Introduces New 400-level Courses
Students who began a Psychology major in Fall, 2010 or after will be required to take a senior seminar course. Beginning in the Spring semester of 2011, you will notice that our 400-level courses will now mostly be offered under PSY 491, 492, 493, 494, or 495, which describe senior seminars with a focus in one of the many subdisciplines in our field. For example, both Dr. Ray and Dr. Ruiz will be offering a section of PSY 491: Senior Seminar in Behavioral Psychology. Dr. Richard will offer PSY 495: Senior Seminar in Individual Social Psychology. Students under the "old major" should also take these courses to satisfy the 400-level requirement. Although both Dr. Ruiz and Dr. Ray's courses have the same names and numbers, they will have different content. Dr. Ray's course is a senior retrospective course that will include conceptual and historical foundations of all the topics/chapters normally covered in an Introductory Psychology course, but with emphasis placed on the landmark research, theories, and contributors that blur the lines between these common "chapter-headings" within the field. Dr. Ruiz's course addresses the growing prevalence of autism and how behavior analysis has been the demonstrated evidence-based treatment of choice. Practicum and classroom experience will expose students to this fascinating field. Dr. Richard's course is a clinically oriented course examining gambling as pathology in which students will become acquainted with the methodology of epidemiological surveys, test construction and construct validity procedures, analogue research studies, and evidence from treatment outcome studies.
The Out Of The Darkness Walk
Vicki Long, Administrative Assistant in the Rollins Psychology Department, is again the inspirational force behind the Out Of The Darkness Walk for suicide awareness. In honor of the memory, passion, and commitment to her father, who committed suicide in 2004, she started the Out of the Darkness Walk in Baldwin Park. This year's 5K walk will be the 4th Annual, and will be held Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 9am (sign-in at 8am). 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 make a donation to support this worthy cause.
The band REM took its name from a stage of sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement, which is one of the tell-tale indicators when a person has passed into this sleep stage - the person's eyes will move vigorously under their closed eyelids. REM sleep is also known as "paradoxical sleep", because it is in some respects the most active sleep stage, and in some respects, the least. While the eyes are rapidly moving, the body, from the neck down, is motionless. It is the only stage of sleep where the muscles are almost without tone. It is difficult to wake someone from REM sleep, since sensory inputs are almost completely shut down, yet this is also the sleep stage in which we have our most vivid, visual dreams. Unlike other stages of sleep, where our bodies use far less energy than when we are awake, during REM sleep, our bodies may actually have higher energy demands than when we are awake. Most intriguing, scientists are still unsure what the function of this sleep stage is - but we do know that when people are prevented from entering REM sleep on one night, they will show an "REM rebound effect" on the next - they will go into REM sleep earlier and stay in it longer as though making up a deficit.
Vicki Long is a recipient of Rollins College's prestigious Thaddeus Seymour Award for her community involvement efforts. Vicki has been a major force in organizing 3 annual Out of the Darkness walks to raise money for the American Society for Suicide Prevention. In addition to this event, which will have its 4th iteration in February (see story), Vicki has also contributed to several events on campus with a similar theme.
•11/1 - 11/5 A&S registration
•11/4 125th Anniversary
•11/7 Set your clocks back 1 hour
•11/8 - 11/12 Advising week
•11/24 - 11/28 Thanksgiving recess
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. We thank Bennett Garfinkel for contributions to this issue.