1999-2000 Erlbaum Winners' Biographies
The chair of the Psi Chi/Erlbaum Awards in Cognitive Science Committee, Elizabeth Yost Hammer, PhD, has announced the winners of the 1999-2000 Erlbaum Award competition. The graduate student winner is Andrew L. Geers of Ohio University for his paper entitled "Affective Expectations and Information Gain: Evidence for Assimilation and Contrast Effects in Affective Experience." The undergraduate student winner is Brian M. Judd of Seattle University for his paper entitled "Memory and Story Medium: Does Presentation Mode Affect Children's Memories?" Psi Chi congratulates these 2000 winners of the Erlbaum Award and wishes them continued success in their education and careers. Cash awards were as follows: $500 for the first-place graduate student and $500 for the first-place undergraduate student.
Andrew L. Geers, the first-place graduate winner, began his career as a psychological researcher while he was an undergraduate at the University of Cincinnati. At Cincinnati he was fortunate to work under the tutelage of William N. Dember. At this time, he developed his long-standing research interest into the individual-difference variable, optimism-pessimism. His investigations concerning optimism-pessimism have been quite fruitful, and have already resulted in seven conference presentations as well as two first-author publications (Geers, in press; Geers, Reilley, & Dember, 1998). One additional paper is also being revised for publication.
Andrew is currently a graduate student in social psychology at Ohio University. Under the guidance of OU professor Dr. Dan Lassiter, Andrew has endeavored to continue his commitment to psychological research. During this time, he has been intricately involved in numerous research projects concerning the perception of ongoing behavior. One paper examining the antecedents of variations in behavior perception has been accepted for publication (Lassiter, Geers, Apple, & Beers, in press), one other is currently under review (Lassiter, Geers, & Apple, under review), and several other papers examining the consequences of variations in behavior perception are in various stages of the writing process (Dan Lassiter and Andrew also have a paper reviewing this literature in preparation).
For the past four years, Andrew has also been working on Dr. Lassiter's NSF-funded investigation of the point-of-view bias in videotaped confessions. These studies were conducted to examine the generalizability as well as the external validity of this potential juror bias. These studies are now complete, and a review of this work is forthcoming (Lassiter, Geers, Munhall, Handley, & Weiland, invited manuscript), as well as several other manuscripts.
Andrew has also developed his own independent line of programming research. His research efforts focus on what may be termed affective expectations. Affective expectations are peoples' predictions about how they will feel in a particular future situation. It has been argued that affective and emotional experience is determined as much by affective expectations as by the information present in the situation at hand. Indeed, a great deal of prior work has found that people frequently assimilate expectation-incongruent experiences to affective expectations. However, earlier researchers were unable to demonstrate that affective expectations can, in some cases, lead to contrast effects in affective experience. In the paper submitted for the Psi Chi/APA Edwin B. Newman graduate research award (Geers & Lassiter, 1999), Andrew was able to provide the first evidence that affective expectations can produce both assimilation and contrast effects in affective experience.
The first-place undergraduate winner, Brian M. Judd, recently graduated from Seattle University with a bachelor of arts in psychology and a bachelor of arts in humanities. During his time as an undergraduate, Brian served as a research assistant for the University of Washington Department of Psychology, along with other volunteer tasks including working at the King County Crisis Line and being a teacher's assistant for a Seattle University statistics course. Brian also facilitated the summer day camp and after school programs for 6- to 10-year-old children at a local recreation center.
Following his graduation in June, the Casey Family Program, a nationwide foster care agency hired Brian as a research assistant in their research department. He is currently working in a study focusing on the program's alumni and how they compare to those who have gone through the traditional government foster care agencies. Brian is also taking a year off while applying to PhD programs in clinical psychology this fall and looks forward to becoming a child psychologist. His research interests include child and adolescent development, how the family system plays into pathological behavior, and the ongoing debate regarding the etiology of homosexuality.