2020 Research Symposium

Each year, senior Psychology majors complete a Capstone research project, in which they design and execute a research study in collaboration with one of the Psychology department faculty. In a typical year, seniors would present their work on campus in a poster session, held in the afternoon after classes, and which would be followed by a keynote lecture by a returning Psychology alum.

This year, with programming disrupted by the pandemic, our senior Psychology majors have worked intensely to complete their research projects (in many cases moving data collection to online formats, finding ways to access the necessary statistical software off-campus, and dealing with other logistical hurdles), and their efforts will be showcased today in our first virtual symposium, on Tuesday, April 28th, starting at 4pm EST. We will be using Zoom to host talks by each of our senior majors, and a link to the Zoom session will be distributed to campus by email.

If you would like to attend the virtual symposium, please contact Dr. Neil Schmitzer-Torbert (torbertn@wabash.edu), and we can provide you with information for accessing the meeting.

4:00pmWelcome and Introduction: Dr. Karen Gunther
4:10pmInvestigation of Dispositional Optimism, Not Expectancy, as a Predictor of Placebo Analgesia
Hunter Jones
Adviser: Dr. Karen Gunther
4:25pmIntroduction: Dr. Robert Horton
4:30pmAn Investigation of Conformity: Normative Influences in Social Media
Bill Polen
Adviser: Dr. Robert Horton
4:45pmImpact of Regulatory Focus and Victim Imagery on Donation Intention
Miles Barilla
Adviser: Dr. Robert Horton
5:00pmAn Analysis of Narcissistic Coaching and Its Effects on Player State of Mind
Isaac Avant
Adviser: Dr. Robert Horton
5:15pmPerceived Coaching Style and its Correlation with an Athlete’s Motivation and Team Cohesion
Nathan Melchi
Adviser: Dr. Robert Horton
5:30pmBreak
5:40pmIntroduction: Dr. Eric Olofson
5:55pmChild Temperament as a Predictor of Parental Challenging Behavior
J.R. Hill
Adviser: Dr. Eric Olofson
6:10pmThe Effects of Autonomy Support and Sensitivity on Child Exploration
Ethan Kanzler
Adviser: Dr. Eric Olofson
6:25pmIntroduction: Dr. Preston Bost
6:30pmThe Effect of Organizational Conspiracy Theories on Management Transparency
Luke Podgorny
Adviser: Dr. Preston Bost
6:45pmA Positive Patient-Provider Relationship: The Missing Link to Improving Adherence?
Abraham Kiesel
Adviser: Dr. Preston Bost
7:00pmIntroduction: Dr. Neil Schmitzer-Torbert
7:05pmLoneliness Disrupts Naturalistic Decision-Making
Thach “Ben” Huynh
Adviser: Dr. Neil Schmitzer-Torbert
7:20pmClosing remarks: Dr. Karen Gunther

(Train your) Brain Day 2014

The 6th annual Brain Day will be held at the Carnegie Museum in Crawfordsville on Saturday, July 12th from 1-4pm. This year’s theme is “Train Your Brain!”

Prof. Karen Gunther demonstrates the Rubber Hand Illusion at Brain Day 2010.

With the rise in popularity of “brain-training games” (think of the Lumosity commercials!), you may wonder: can you really change your brain? Well, brain-training games may not be worth your money, but your brain does change every day.

Join us on Brain Day for some simple demonstrations of how your brain adapts when the world changes (in prism-goggles cornhole), train your brain using biofeedback and using the Star Wars Force Trainer, and get tips on how to keep your brain healthy, and much more!

Since 2009, Wabash faculty and students have partnered with the Carnegie Museum to lead an afternoon of brain-related activities for all ages. Like Brain Awareness Week, which is organized by the Society for Neuroscience, Brain Day is intended to demonstrate basic principles of brain function, and to help us all better appreciate and care for our brains.

Wabash Psychology Department Intern Romeo Amao ’13 shows Dr. Keith Baird ’56 and his grandson, Nicholas Johnson, one of the sheep brain samples at Brain Day 2010

This year, three faculty from the Wabash College Psychology Department will lead Brain Day (Karen Gunther, Teresa Aubele-Futch and Neil Schmitzer-Torbert), who will be assisted by several Wabash students.

Prof. Neil Schmitzer-Torbert points out structures in a sheep brain at Brain Day 2010.

We hope that you can join us for another “brainy” years!

Summer psych in Hawaii: Reid ’15

Before starting his work this summer as a Sales Research Assistant Intern at Avangate, Jackson Reid ’15 took in the annual SIOP (Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology) conference in Oahu, Hawaii. The three-day conference included sessions on leadership, big data, high potential talent, self-determination theory, and more. Jackson wrote that his main reason for attending was to determine if he was interested in pursuing graduate study in Industrial and Organizational Psychology after Wabash, and whether he wanted to pursue a Master’s or PhD. After his discussions with many successful IO psychologists from all fields, which included former Presidents of SIOP and big name researchers, he has decided to pursue a PhD in IO psychology.

Save the date: Big Bash 2014

Mark Rain (’73) and Nestor Matthews (Dennison University) at the Big Bash 2013 Psychology Reception

Coming to Big Bash this year? If so, please join us for our annual Psychology Department Reception (2-4pm) on Saturday, June 7th.

Due to summer construction, the second and third floors of Baxter Hall will be closed. So, the department has moved to temporary office space in Hays Hall. And, we will be moving the reception to Hays Hall (Room 206, on the north side of the building).

We always enjoy this chance to catch up with our recent alumni, as well as share stories with alums who were here before many of our current faculty members came to Wabash. We hope to see you there!

The full reunion schedule for Big Bash if available here: https://www.wabash.edu/alumni/reunion/schedule

Schmitzer-Torbert awarded Daniel F. Evans Chair

Prof. Schmitzer-Torbert at Brain Day in 2010.

Last week. Dr. Neil Schmitzer-Torbert was named the Daniel F. Evans Associate Professor in the Social Sciences. Daniel F. Evans ’43 was a longtime Trustee and Treasurer, and served as the College CEO in 1992-3.

The Evans chair was established by the Board of Trustees in 1994, and is awarded to a Wabash faculty member every three years. The award “recognizes an individual whose teaching and scholarship are admirable and effective, and whose intellectual leadership promises to affect the quality of instruction in his or her discipline and across the College.”  Previous Psychology faculty who have held the Evans chair are Profs. Robert Horton (2008-11) and Charles Blaich (1999-2002).

Prof. Schmitzer-Torbert received his bachelor’s degree from Knox College in 2000, and completed his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota in 2005. He joined the Wabash faculty in 2006, and received tenure in 2011. He teaches in the department’s Introduction to Psychology and Research Methods & Statistics courses, as well as the department’s offerings in neuroscience (Introduction to Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience).  This fall, he will be travelling to Montreal with his Behavioral Neuroscience students to conduct research with a colleague at McGill University.

Prof. Olofoson receives award

Earlier this month, Dr. Eric Olofson received the good news that he had earned tenure at Wabash College.  This week, we were happy to hear that he has been named the 2014-15 McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Research Scholar at Wabash!  The award provides for a semester of sabbatical support, which Prof. Olofson will use to to develop his work on the “The Science of Fatherhood.”

During his sabbatical in the 2014-15 academic year, Prof. Olofson will be researching a new book which reviews the empirical research on the effects of fathering on children. The work comes out of Prof. Olofson’s course, Fatherhood, and will aim to translate the research on fathers’ effects on children, and children’s effects on fathers, for a popular audience.