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The Pursuit of Graduate School: Vanity or Necessity?

Posted By Carolyn Cowl-Witherspoon, Tuesday, December 12, 2017


The Pursuit of Graduate School:
Vanity or Necessity?

Carolyn Cowl-Witherspoon, Walden University (MN)

For most of my life, I have felt suction cupped in place. It is a curious feeling because, although there is often a perceived sense of movement, no actual forward momentum occurs. It was during a moment of visceral awareness that I recognized my lack of progressive movement, and that realization propelled me to return to graduate school 30 years after completing my undergraduate degree. Making the decision to return to graduate school was fairly easy, but actually returning to graduate school has been somewhat more challenging. My young brain was a marvel, quick and curious, effortlessly connecting disparate chunks of knowledge into a seamless unification of understanding and content mastery. When I was awarded my bachelors degree, I felt no glowing sense of pride or feeling of accomplishment because it had taken no appreciable effort to achieve it. It felt more like successfully completing the automatic process of a breathing cycle: inhalation, exhalation, inhalation, exhalation. Natural.

Partnered with my older brain, graduate school and the processes of learning are both vaguely familiar and exhilarating, reminiscent of the innate cycles of my breathing, except paced to a roller coaster’s rhythm. From my very first glance at my very first syllabus in my very first graduate course, I was convinced that I had waited far too long to return to school. I was concerned that the academic burdens of graduate school might simply overwhelm my less-elastic brain, prohibiting me from learning anything. However, I was relieved to recognize that although my brain functions differently now, it still functions. Gone are the heady abilities of my youth when I could glance quickly at a textbook and be able to instantly recall its contents days later. Instead, that has been replaced by a steady consistency of reading and review, allowing me to acquire new knowledge through a cycle of gentle repetition.

And so I made it through my first course, and then my second, and then the next. In fact, it began to feel almost effortless, just like breathing in and out. It was automatic, natural. The final course in my Masters program was the subject of one of my areas of specialty, and it was especially gratifying to be able to finish my graduate degree by taking a course that I really enjoyed. As I moved through that last course and the quarter unwound with one week melting into the next, I began to wonder how it would feel when I had finally achieved my initial objective of earning a Masters degree. And more importantly, would it represent enough tangible forward movement for me to perceive that I had finally loosened and lifted the edges of my metaphorical suction cup. When I turned in my last assignment and realized that I had successfully completed graduate school after a 30 year hiatus from the educational process, I definitely, finally felt something about my academic achievement: pride, and it felt very empowering and affirming. I recognized that I had truly earned this degree through indefatigable determination, intellectual curiosity, and very hard work.



So, now what? My initial goal was successfully realized. I have completed my Masters degree, and it has been an incredibly positive and productive experience. However, have I learned enough and will it be enough, personally and professionally, for me to actually move forward (Murdoch, 2016)? My graduate program has taught me to think scientifically (Dane, Baer, Pratt, & Oldham, 2011; Kuhn, Ramsey, & Arvidsson, 2015; Pinnow, 2016), so I began to assess the logic of academic continuation from a scientific perspective. I am, after all, an older learner, and I have often wondered if it would be financially advisable or professionally viable to continue moving forward in pursuit of a PhD. I have also considered that, within the field of psychology, there is often a perceived value difference in academic credibility between a Masters and a PhD. Therefore, perhaps my career opportunities and professional options would be enhanced if I continue to move forward. Most notably, I have asked myself if the desire that compels me to consider this additional academic commitment and resulting financial burden are motivated by personal vanity or justifiably warranted because of professional necessity and expediency.

I have vacillated daily between resolving to stop and being determined to continue; but in the end, my decision was predicated upon the most unexpected catalyst. I had turned in a project in my last course, and my professor called me to say that it had far exceeded the efforts of my classmates. In fact, she told me that it had far exceeded the efforts of the doctoral students, and she wanted my permission to use my project as an exemplary for current and future students in the course. She also asked me if I planned to continue in my studies, indicating that it would be unfortunate if I chose to stop, because she believes that I understand the material in an exceptional way. It was at that precise moment that I decided to continue, unencumbered by reservations.

In reflection, maybe I felt suction cupped in place for so long because I was simply waiting for that catalytic moment, for someone who I respect to remind me that the forward momentum in our academic and professional lives really is just like breathing in and out. It can be automatic, and effortless, and natural. It is something that we just do. Upon reflection, I often wonder if these feelings are simply unique to me, or if they are shared by my colleagues, mentors, and classmates. Do we all yearn for more, and in our yearning, do we wait for that universalized catalytic moment that ultimately propels us forward? What do you think?



Conduct a Lab Experiment


Psi Chi members, are you considering returning to graduate school? Post your questions or advice in the comments below (login required).

References

Dane, E., Baer, M., Pratt, M. G., & Oldham, G. R. (2011). Rational versus intuitive problem solving: How thinking 'off the beaten path' can stimulate creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 5, 3–12. http://doi.org/10.1037/a0017698

Kuhn, D., Ramsey, S., & Arvidsson, T. S. (2015). Developing multivariable thinkers. Cognitive Development, 35, 92–110. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2014.11.003

Murdoch, D. D. (2016). Psychological literacy: Proceed with caution, construction ahead. Dove Press, 9, 189–199. https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S88646

Pinnow, E. (2016). Decoding the disciplines: An approach to scientific thinking. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 15, 94–101. http://doi.org/10.1177/1475725716637484

Tags:  A Better You  Going to Grad School 

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84 Students Receive MAF to Join Psi Chi for Free—Even More Expected This Year

Posted By Lisa Norman, Tuesday, December 5, 2017

84 Students Receive MAF
to Join Psi Chi for Free—
Even More Expected This Year

Lisa Norman, Associate Director of Membership Services

Four years ago, I had the idea to offer some assistance to prospective members who had financial need. I wanted to develop a meaningful program that would make a true difference for students struggling to afford school tuition, housing, bills, books, car payments, etc. In other words, I wanted to help students who have trouble adding just one more fee, even as small as our lifetime membership fee of $55.

During the summer of 2014, I made the request to our Board of Directors, and our Board agreed. They approved our first-ever Membership Assistance Fund (MAF) and funded 100 fee waivers. We were so excited to get this program up and running during the fall of 2014.

Awareness of the program was admittedly slow to get started, as it can be for many new programs. During the first two years, we accepted and approved 37 and then 46 requests from advisors, respectively. However, during the third academic year, we started promoting the MAF more than ever. Due to website promotion, an advisor calling campaign, and many monthly e-mails, we had a huge improvement in our MAF requests that came in. We approved 84 MAFs during our 2016–17 academic year.

Our current funding provides 100 fee waivers annually. However, I hope to have more than 100 requests during this upcoming academic year so that we can request to offer even more waivers.

Feedback from some of our MAF recipients is truly inspiring and shows me that we are meeting our mission of “Recognizing and promoting excellence in the science and application of psychology.”

Ja’Darrius Strickland of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) stated recently:

“It has truly been an honor being both recommended and accepted into this honor society. Being recognized for my accomplishments in academia gave me a bit of a needed spark to continue striving for success in my studies. As a member, I feel that this role is like a badge of honor, and mentioning of it during my application process will help give me that extra push that may be needed in the decision making process of the different review boards in which I will be submitting.”

Sondeika Miller, also from USM, stated:

“To become a member of Psi Chi was one of my best accomplishments thus far here at the University of Southern Miss. I had recently applied the year before and didn't get accepted. However, I'm glad that I persevered and kept going and finally got accepted. Having Psi Chi on my resumé will be an advantage when it comes to applying and getting accepted into grad school. Being a member shows that I have determination, I'm a hard-worker, and I believe in having great academics because all of these are requirements to join. Not only that, Psi Chi gives insightful and helpful tips on how to apply for grad school. It's just a great organization overall, and I am glad to be a part.”



Students like these from USM are exactly the students I envisioned would benefit from our Membership Assistance Fund. I wanted the MAF for involved, active, conscientious psychology students who will benefit from Psi Chi membership in their future studies, from applying for awards, grants, and scholarships to applying to graduate school. Even that leg up advantage from listing Psi Chi on a resumé can open new doors for students and connect students with others interested in psychology—great relationships that will last a lifetime! These are those students!

With tuition costs consistently going up annually, we have heard from many Psi Chi advisors about a constant need for financial assistance to help cover the cost of membership fees for eligible Psi Chi prospective members. Through the development of our MAF program, I think we are accomplishing this goal. I am proud to work for an organization that has this mission and that works with its members to encourage and support them throughout their time in college and beyond.

You can read full testimonials by MAF recipients Ja’Darrius and Sondeika in a recent blog article.


Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Behind the Scenes of Giving Tuesday at Psi Chi

Posted By Cynthia Wilson, Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017

Behind the Scenes of
Giving Tuesday With Psi Chi


Since Psi Chi launched its inaugural Give Back to Psi Chi annual giving campaign earlier this fall, things have been really busy here at the Central Office; even busier than usual. One of the reasons we’re so busy is Giving Tuesday. The concept is, after the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday there comes Giving Tuesday. A day set aside to give back: to help the nonprofit of your choosing with a gift during the holiday season.

Each year Giving Tuesday has been in existence, just 6 short years, gifts have risen sharply. In 2015 alone some $177 million dollars were donated on Giving Tuesday!* Just imagine if everyone who reads this blog would donate $28? Think of what that could mean for Psi Chi’s member programs!

Psi Chi’s Central Office has put in a great deal of work into its first Giving Tuesday. You’ll see evidence of that on psichi.org, our store, our publications, and even in Chattanooga, Tennessee’s local paper (home of Psi Chi’s Central Office) that Giving Tuesday is a day we have embraced wholeheartedly.

When you Give Back to Psi Chi, it’s not just giving back…it’s giving forward. What better time than during the holiday season to give a gift that will help build the future of psychology? That’s what you’re doing when you make your financial contribution to the Give Back to Psi Chi campaign, you know? You are making an impact.





The goal of Give Back to Psi Chi is to raise $88,000. Already, gifts total 24% toward this goal! And with your help on Giving Tuesday, we will surpass it!

Dr. Nadine Kaslow was the President of her Psi Chi chapter as an undergraduate. In 2014 she was the President of APA. Now, she is the Give Back to Psi Chi 2017–18 Chair. Watch her testimonial video to see why you too should Give Back to Psi Chi.


Just click on psichi.org/donations to make your Giving Tuesday gift now!

Please contact me if you’d like more information or to make your contribution:

Cynthia Wilson
Director of Membership and Development

Cynthia.Wilson@psichi.org



* www.givingtuesday.org


Tags:  Psi Chi Related 

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Keeping Procrastination at Bay

Posted By Rowena Li Tieng Kong, Monday, November 20, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017



Keeping Procrastination at Bay

Rowena Li Tieng Kong, University of British Columbia Chapter, Vancouver, Canada


Are you a friend or foe of procrastination? As university students, we have all been there and done that—none of us are completely free from this temptation. However, to minimize the harmful effects that procrastination tends to bring upon us, it is worth the time to think about its lures and traps. As an undergraduate for more than four years, I have put together a list of seven points and strategies that I use to remind myself to stay away from submitting an after-deadline assignment or slacking off during exams.



1. Time and Guilt

The more you procrastinate, the more it will affect the outcome, and the sooner the guilt will build up and increase along with it. The way you cope with the guilt and frustration for squandering time can either deter or lead you closer to working on that assignment and studying for finals. It takes a student’s well-balanced perspective and sense of responsibility to ensure that the burden of increased guilt will not result in avoidance of work because of the negativity of perception and emotion it carries.

2. Lack of Information and Initiative

I have found that gathering information about my assignments, no matter how trivial or insignificant the details, makes me more likely to take an earlier initiative to start working on them. Information input stirs up interest and relieves you of the burden of guilt that stems from not putting in the time and effort that you should be doing. It does not matter how small the effort with which you begin, the determination will follow later like a domino effect.


3. Keep Distractions to a Minimum

That means physically, socially, emotionally, and mentally. It is not enough to distance yourself from just one or two of these four channels because it takes only one kind of distraction to divert your attention. Students may work up their determination to reject party invitations and stay alone to study, but if they turn up the volume of their favorite music, there is still much mental concentration and focus to lose.

4. Listen to Your Conscience and Agree With It!

It is one thing to be reminded of an obligation and another thing to align your opinion completely with it. Often, we may take heed but never reach the climax of an agreement with the message broadcasted by our conscience. The inner warning bell that chimes of an impending deadline is meant for our own good and should not to be taken lightly. Interestingly, I find that it tends to resound with greater intensity and more frequently the closer I get to submission deadline, even when I have already gotten everything done for the assignment. Our brain works around time, and our consciousness of it seems to be a unique secondary kind of circadian rhythm. That inner voice could be the most dependable and wisest psychologist inside you. When we dismiss it repeatedly by countering it with excuses, its influence can be altered in the mind and former priorities shoved out of place.

5. Work Out and Practice Your Interest

Yes, it takes exercise and practice to arouse and develop a genuine interest in your coursework that could prevent you from regressing into procrastination. One of the best ways that you can succeed is asking questions about your course material and assignments. We are born to ask questions; that is what birthed science in its beginning. You don't have to worry that your questions may sound weird or off-topic. Even if they do, asking questions is your chance to work out that implicit link between your thoughts and the subject matter. This process helps generate curiosity, voluntary participation, creativity, and ultimately self-enjoyment about the course you are taking. Work becomes less dull and more bearable when you discover the fun in creating new ideas for your assignment.

6. Not a One-Time Affair

One thing we tend to take for granted is that procrastination only matters when deadlines and exams are fast approaching. Such a perception only offers us excuses to take our obligations seriously “when the time comes” and makes less use of the early period way before the deadline when we are still less stressed out. It would be a bonus to work on a task in advance when you’re spared from the time pressure so that you have clarity and peace of mind to come up with more nicely planned and creative ideas. Treat the avoidance of procrastination as an ongoing process.

7. Reward Yourself

The concept of instrumental conditioning tells us that we would engage in a certain behavior when we are given more positive rewards through reinforcement. Therefore, we should not miss out on rewarding ourselves each time we have progressed through a stage of an assignment or a list of course objectives. Often, our first thought of reward would be a physical object (e.g. snack and movie ticket), but let us not forget about meaningful emotional rewards. Each time you complete a work portion, try setting aside a personal moment for positive self-talk and praise on the effort you have sacrificed. It makes the whole job more rewarding and the final goal worth reaching for.

Caption: Rowena Li Tieng Kong

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, share your strategies to keep procrastination at bay in the comment section below (login required).

Tags:  A Better You 

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An Eye on Graduate School: Interview With Editor Merry Sleigh, PhD

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, November 14, 2017


 

An Eye on Graduate School:
Interview With Editor Merry Sleigh, PhD


In spring 2017, Psi Chi released its very first eBook, An Eye on Graduate School, which brings together our Professional Organization’s very best advice about applying to graduate school—advice accumulated from 25+ experts in over 20+ years of Eye on Psi Chi magazine issues. Today, we are excited to present this interview with the book’s lead editor, Dr. Merry J. Sleigh (Winthrop University, SC) to share a little more about this fascinating publication.



Why did you want to create this eBook?

Psi Chi has a wealth of great information about navigating the graduate school application process. Every semester, I found myself looking up some of the same articles on the Psi Chi website and recommending them to my students. I realized that it would be advantageous to have all of these resources together and easily accessible to all students.

What response have you received about the book so far?

The feedback has been very positive. My students seem to agree that purchasing one book is much easier than hunting down 10 articles that your professor recommends.

What was it like working with so many authors on this project?

Collaborating with the contributing authors was a pleasure. Their shared enthusiasm for supporting students was a tangible reminder of how important our young scientists are for the future of our discipline. All of us remember struggling through the process ourselves, and our great hope is that we can make it a little bit less stressful for others.

What one thing would you tell a student thinking about going to grad school?

Make sure that graduate school is the necessary step to get the job that you want. Sometimes we tend to think in a linear fashion, where we focus almost exclusively on our next step. However, before you apply to graduate school, you should think about life on the other side. Will the degree qualify and prepare you for the job that you want? Are there other paths to securing the same job? Are those jobs readily available or scarce? Graduate school should not be viewed as an endpoint but rather a stepping stone to the place that you want to be. It is far too expensive and time-consuming to undertake in the mere hopes that it will get you somewhere you will enjoy being.

How did you become involved with Psi Chi?

Like many students, I initially joined Psi Chi as an undergraduate at James Madison University because I thought it would “look good” to future employers or graduate schools to join honor societies. A year later, struggling to improve my resumé and noticing that I had very limited budgeting and financial management experience, I decided to run for Treasurer of my school chapter of Psi Chi. That experience did help me improve my ability to handle money, but at that time, I could never have imagined how long and impactful my connection with Psi Chi would be. During my time as an officer, I met other psychology majors, and we navigated the entrance into the post-graduate world together. Since becoming a faculty member, I have advised chapters at two different schools, served on multiple committees, reviewed grants, and presented sessions at conventions. Most recently, I served as the Vice-President of the Southeastern Region. My students have gotten travel grants, research awards, and graduate scholarships through their participation. The benefits have never ended. I joined Psi Chi viewing it as a line for my resumé and ended up being blessed with one of my most meaningful professional affiliations.

What’s your favorite Psi Chi memory?

My favorite Psi Chi memory is the first time my student researchers won a Psi Chi Regional Research Award at a Southeastern Psychological Association convention. It was exciting to see their hard work recognized in a professional context, and I was grateful to Psi Chi for placing such high value on undergraduate contributions to our discipline. I often told my students that Psi Chi membership came with many benefits, and having those students receive a check and the award certificate made that promise tangible to them.

Thinking about going to grad school? Dr. Sleigh’s eBook will help you navigate the seven primary steps that are vital to your acceptance at the program of your choice. The eBook is currently on sale in the Psi Chi store for only $4.99 for members (login required) or $19.99 for nonmembers. You can learn more at
https://www.psichi.org/store/ViewProduct.aspx?id=8266785

Tags:  Going to Grad School  Psi Chi Related 

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Psi Chi Story: Sydnee Akubiro

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, November 6, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, September 12, 2017


 

Psi Chi Story: Sydnee Akubiro


During the 2016–17 academic year, we received requests for only 84 of 100 potential recipients of our Membership Assistance Fund (MAF). This fall, if you know someone who is deserving of Psi Chi membership but may not be able to join due to financial needs, please encourage your faculty advisor to invite this person to join for free through our MAF program.

We believe all eligible students should be able to afford a Psi Chi membership! In today’s interview, recent MAF recipient Sydnee Akubiro (Spelman College, GA) shares her Psi Chi story.

 

Caption: Sydnee on the left in black and her advisor, Dr. Danielle Dickens, on the right in green pattern.

How did it feel to become a Psi Chi member?

Becoming a Psi Chi member was one of the best things that happened to me last semester. I remember coming into Spelman and hearing about Psi Chi from the psychology faculty and my peers. From the first time I heard about it, I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of. Being able to finally get inducted was an amazing feeling.

What membership benefits can you take advantage now that you are a member?

Now that I am a member, I can take advantage of the many resources that Psi Chi provides. Specifically, I can now network with many professionals that are in the field that I would like to go into. This well help me to find jobs, internships, and even mentors.

Do you think that Psi Chi will help you get into graduate school should you decide to go?

I do believe that Psi Chi will help me get into graduate school. It is a very well-known honor society, and I believe that admissions committees will recognize my membership as being a representation of my hard work and scholarship.

What other ways could being a Psi Chi member benefit you?

Being a Psi Chi member can also provide me with opportunities to present my research at different events. I believe that it is important to present research as often as possible and observe others’ research in order to develop skills as a researcher. Psi Chi will be able to provide me with opportunities to attend conventions so that I can continue to grow as a researcher.

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, please welcome Sydnee to our Professional Organization! What membership benefits do you recommend for new members to pursue? What membership benefits have helped you the most?

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Improving Group Work in the Academic Setting: Suggestions for Professors and Students

Posted By Lydia Eckstein Jackson, PhD, Ye-Eun (Maria) Kim, and Callie Garlick, Monday, October 30, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, September 12, 2017


 

Improving Group Work in the Academic Setting: Suggestions for Professors and Students


Lydia Eckstein Jackson, PhD*, Ye-Eun (Maria) Kim*, and Callie Garlick

Allegheny College, PA 


Groups are a fundamental part of human life: They allow us to feel belonging, divide complex tasks, and establish our social identity (Johnson et al., 2006). Yet, despite its designation as a “high-impact educational practice” (Kuh & Schneider, 2008), group work is often met with annoyance by students.

Problems of Group Work


When individual contributions are unidentified, group members may feel less evaluation apprehension, which can lead to social loafing (group members exert less effort than they would working alone; Ingham et al., 1974). These “free-riders”—people who contribute little, but benefit from the group—are an all-too-common source of frustration, especially when students are evaluated based on the group’s collective output.

Moreover, groups are susceptible to groupthink, which occurs when group members discourage dissent for the sake of group harmony (Janis, 1971). Groupthink can lead to poor group decisions that are never challenged by divergent viewpoints. When group members are wary of sharing differing thoughts, groupthink suppresses creativity and idea generation, which are greater in groups with more diverse perspectives (Nemeth & Ormiston, 2007). Moreover, groupthink is promoted by time pressure (Neck & Moorhead, 1995), which further restricts creative thinking in groups (Amabile et al., 2002).



Benefits of Group Work

Certainly, under the right conditions, multiple heads can be better than one. Group work can facilitate creativity among group members (Nijstad & Stroebe, 2006), allowing for more complex solutions (Laughlin et al., 2006). In an academic setting, groups can help students learn skills that are expected of college graduates, like negotiating different viewpoints, coordinating and addressing complex problems, and honing technological and interpersonal skills. Moreover, they prepare students for academic and nonacademic careers because the ability to work in teams has become a highly desired skill (Herk, 2015). Indeed, that science publications are cited proportionally to their number of authors serves as a testament to the power of collaboration (Wuchty et al., 2007). Clearly, effectual group work is a worthy pursuit.

Advice for Professors

1. When possible, allow students to pick group members and topics; students will be more likely to engage in the work and less susceptible to social loafing (Karau & Williams, 1993, 1997).

2. Include reflective work. Have students report their own individual contributions and those of their group members, perhaps through online peer assessment platforms such as Teammates.

3. Consider the use of team contracts that specify the group’s self-generated timeline, roles, norms, and repercussions for failing to meet agreements.

4. Have deadlines for interim drafts and progress reports to prevent rushed, last-minute work.

Advice for Students

1. Encourage group members to critically evaluate the group’s work and share positions and concerns that may differ from the consensus. Consider assigning a “devil’s advocate” for this purpose.

2. Allow time for numerous meetings so that group members have enough opportunities to share new ideas or doubts.

3. Keep group discussions impartial. Continually affirm that all positions and ideas are valuable and welcome.

4. To foster creativity, have group members work independently before gathering as a group to share ideas.

In sum, we argue that group work remains an important learning tool. By following a few simple guidelines, both students and professors can maximize the many benefits of collaborative work and minimize the problems of group work that contribute to its poor reputation.


References

Amabile, T. M., Mueller, J. S., Simpson, W. B., Hadley, C. N., Kramer, S. J., & Fleming, L. (2002). Time pressure and creativity in organizations: A longitudinal field study. Working Paper # 02-073, Harvard Business School.

Herk, M. (2015, June 11). The skills gap and the seven skill sets that employers want: Building the ideal new hire. In the Nation’s Interest. Retrieved from https://www.ced.org/blog/entry/the-skills-gap-and-the-seven-skill-sets-that-employers-want-building-the-id

Ingham, A. G., Levinger, G., Graves, J., & Peckham. V. (1974). The Ringelmann effect: Studies of group size and group performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 10, 371–384. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(74)90033-X

Janis, I. L. (1971). Groupthink. Psychology Today, 5, 43–46.

Johnson, A. L., Crawford, M. T., Sherman, S. J., Rutchick, A. M. , Hamilton, D. L., Ferreira, M. B., & Petrocelli, J. V. (2006). A functional perspective on groups memberships: Differential need fulfillment in group typology. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 707–719. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2005.08.002

Karau, S. J., & Williams, K. D. (1993). Social loafing: A meta-analytic review and theoretical integration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 681–706. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.65.4.681

Karau, S. J., & Williams, K. D. (1997). The effects of group cohesiveness on social loafing and social compensation. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 1, 156–168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1089-2699.1.2.156

Kuh, G. D., & Schneider, C. G. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Laughlin, P. R., Hatch, E. C., Silver, J. S., & Boh, L. (2006). Groups perform better than the best individuals on letters-to-numbers problems: Effects of group size. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 644–651. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.90.4.644

Neck, C. P., & Moorhead, G. (1995). Groupthink remodeled: The importance of leadership, time pressure, and methodical decision-making procedures. Human Relations, 48, 537–557. https://doi.org/10.1177/001872679504800505

Nemeth, C. J., & Ormiston, M. (2007). Creative idea generation: Harmony versus stimulation. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37, 524–535. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.373

Nijstad, B. A., & Stroebe, W. (2006). How the group affects the mind: A cognitive model of idea generation in groups. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 186–213. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327957pspr1003_1

Wuchty, S., Jones, B. F., & Uzzi, B. (2007). The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge. Science, 316, 1036–1039. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1136099

* Note: both authors contributed equally to this work. This post is based on a paper the student coauthors wrote in their Introduction to Social Psychology class.

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life 

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Receiving a $3,000 Scholarship; Two 2017 Recipients Share

Posted By Paige Anctil, Monday, October 23, 2017
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017


 

Receiving a $3,000 Scholarship;
Two 2017 Recipients Share

Paige Anctil
Psi Chi Awards & Grants Officer


Psi Chi truly continues to grow and expand, with the 2017 Psi Chi Scholarships being a great marker for this growth. This year, Psi Chi was able to give out a record total of 16 scholarships; and, for the first time, scholarships were available to our graduate student members. Psi Chi’s international growth was also reflected in our scholarships with applicants ranging from Malaysia all the way to Ireland. Psi Chi is proud to support and help our student members around the world as they continue learning and contributing to the psychology field.

We’ve asked one undergraduate recipient and one graduate recipient a couple questions about what receiving a Psi Chi Scholarship means to them. Rebekah Turbett is a senior at Albright College in Pennsylvania. She is currently the treasurer of her Psi Chi Chapter and recently had the opportunity to present her research at the Eastern Psychological Association this past March. Stephanie Campbell, a graduate scholarship recipient, is a second year PhD student in clinical psychology at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada. Currently the vice-president of her chapter, she will be running for president this coming year and looks forward to working with her chapter in reaching out to help those in need in the local community.



What was your first reaction upon reading your Psi Chi Scholarship notification e-mail?

Rebekah: When I first received the e-mail saying that I had won the scholarship, I honestly started crying. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude, and I was shocked that I received the scholarship. I count it a huge blessing, and an honor, to have been able to receive the scholarship and to represent Psi Chi.

Stephanie: When I received the notification from Psi Chi that I had been selected as a Graduate Scholarship recipient, I was overwhelmed with surprise, excitement, and pride. Knowing all that Psi Chi represents and stands for, there was no doubt that I was competing against an impressive pool of applicants. The fact that the judges felt my application stood out amongst this group was truly an honour. I want to thank Psi Chi for this valuable recognition.

How does receiving the Psi Chi Scholarship impact you day to day?

Rebekah: Receiving this scholarship has given me the ability to worry less about finances. This year, two of my three siblings are in college. Having to support three children in college and another child in high school was a huge source of stress for my family. Receiving this scholarship has covered the remaining costs of my education and has lifted that burden off of my family. It has also taken pressure off of me to pay for part of my education.

Stephanie: Beyond the obvious financial relief, this award has provided me with personal validation.  The academic journey is not always an easy one, but receiving awards such as this allows me to reflect on the process and feel a sense of accomplishment. All the hard work, sacrifice, and dedication has paid off, and it is an incredible feeling to have your efforts rewarded by such a prestigious organization.

What are you most looking forward to this year now that you can worry a little less about your tuition?

Rebekah: I am looking forward to dedicating more time to working on my senior thesis instead of worrying about working more to make ends meet. I am excited to explore how children differentiate between religion and characters such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, and the role parents play in teaching their children about religion.

Stephanie: Next year, I will be running for president of the Lakehead University Psi Chi Chapter. Now that I can worry less about tuition, I am looking forward to working with our executive team to continue building on our chapter’s successes. Each year, we have been expanding, and I plan to continue that trend by: reaching further into our community to help those in need, promoting a climate on campus that encourages collaboration (not competition), and supporting academic growth in all our members.  […]

What advice can you give your fellow Psi Chi members looking to apply next year?

Rebekah: Take the time and apply for the scholarship. I did not expect to win this scholarship, but I applied and took the chance. Please, take the chance to apply. It could bless you more than you know; all you need to do is step out and take the opportunity.

Stephanie: I would encourage future applicants to remember that a competitive application requires more than competitive grades. Psi Chi represents a host of admirable characteristics that exceed intellect. Try to demonstrate evidence of leadership, compassion, creativity, perseverance and humility. I took the approach of trying to help the reviewers get to know the person behind the application, and it appears my efforts were well-received by the panel.

Psi Chi Scholarships are quickly becoming Psi Chi’s most popular program, and it’s easy to see why when stories, like Rebakah’s and Stephanie’s, make it so clear how scholarships aid the daily lives and futures of the recipients. Psi Chi is currently working toward expanding the number of scholarships through our annual giving campaign, “Give Back to Psi Chi.” Donations will support Psi Chi programs such as our Membership Assistance Fund, as well as our awards, grants, and scholarships. In fact, to celebrate Psi Chi’s 100th anniversary, our vision is to award 100 scholarships.




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What Happens After Graduation? Tips to Find a Job

Posted By Ashley Garcia, Monday, October 16, 2017
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017

What Happens After Graduation?
Tips to Find a Job

Ashley Garcia, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


Graduation. Whether you are a senior finishing up your last research papers (oh, what a feeling), or are a sophomore getting ready to really jump into the psych major, the word graduation gives a mix of emotions ranging from anxiety to absolute joy.

One of the most common questions that students are asked is “What are you going to do when you finish school?” Are you going to go to grad school? Or do you need a break and want to travel? Should you get experience in the field and then see if you want to go back to school?

After graduation, the possibilities are endless. However, even if you aren’t planning to find a job right away, it never hurts to have a little career-search knowledge in your back pocket, just in case. Here are five steps that can help you prepare to get a job.



1. Have a Great Resumé

Did you do any internships? Were you on a research team for a professor? These experiences will help show prospective employers that you are ready to take on the challenge of starting your career. You want to be as specific as possible. What did you do in these positions, and more importantly, how do these job skills relate to the job you are applying for? You will also want to highlight any extracurriculars, like Psi Chi membership and involvement, that you might have participated in and include any customer service work (like being a server). Check out this article for an in-depth look on how to have an awesome resumé.


2. Write a Stand-Out Cover Letter

You want to make sure that you explain why YOU are a better candidate for a particular job than someone else. Think about what makes you stand out. How did the experiences you have on your resumé prepare you for the “real world?” This is where you can go really in-depth about what you did in each internship, job, or position you held. If you had to work to pay your way through school, then talk about that! Employers want to see that you have a great work ethic.

3. Utilize the Psi Chi Career Center

As a Psi Chi member, you get access to a psychology-based Career Center where you can upload your resumé, search for jobs, and apply online. Our Career Center also allows employers to look at your amazing resumé and contact you if they think you’ll be a good fit for their organization. You can even sign up for e-mail alerts when a new job is posted. With 1,000s of new job opportunities, you’ll be able to find something that fits your career goals.

4. Prepare for an Interview

Yeah this is really a thing. You can actually prepare for what interviewers might ask you, and knowing how to present yourself can be as important as what’s on your resumé. There are different types of interview processes, common questions, and methods you can learn about. This article gives a detailed explanation of how to prepare yourself and be more confident.

5. Don't Be Scared

When you land your first full-time job, what if you don’t know what you’re doing and you mess up? That’s totally okay. You’re probably going to be a little lost at first, especially because you’ll be adjusting to a life without school, which you’ve been in since you were about 6; It’s a hard adjustment. But if you are hired, it’s because the company thinks you can handle what they will throw at you. This article will help you with the transition from student to employee.

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, what questions or suggestions do you have about finding a job or life after graduation? (member login required to comment)

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych  Career Advice 

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Why I Give Back: Testimonials From Psi Chi’s Board of Directors

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, October 10, 2017


 

Why I Give Back: Testimonials
From Psi Chi’s Board of Directors


This year, ALL NINE of Psi Chi’s elected Board of Directors made a financial contribution to our Society’s first-ever Give Back to Psi Chi Annual Campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to expand Psi Chi scholarships, our Membership Assistance Fund, awards and grants, and our new presidential help-seeking behavior initiative (Need Help–Ask).

Our Board deserve our thanks each and every day. They provide countless hours of service and make financial, organizational, and procedural decisions for Psi Chi. They lead convention steering committees, compose regional e-mail letters, and even maintain regional Facebook pages to keep members “in the know” about upcoming opportunities. For today’s blog post, we asked each of them to share why they choose to Give Back to Psi Chi.

R. Eric Landrum, PhD
President, Boise State University (ID)
“Why do I give back to Psi Chi? Because in my life, I received mentoring and guidance through Psi Chi from my undergraduate days to today; because in my life, Psi Chi provided opportunities for me to develop leadership skills on local, regional, national, and international levels; because in my life, my involvement in Psi Chi has led to unparalleled access and experiences with the top minds in psychology and a chance to truly make a difference. I give back to Psi Chi because I have been given so much, and it is a debt that I will never be able to adequately repay—but I can try, in hopes that others will be able to benefit as I have my entire professional life.”

Jon Grahe, PhD
Past-President, Pacific Lutheran University (WA)
“It was only as a faculty member that I recognized the value of having students apply (and win!) research awards and grants or submit to Psi Chi Journal. The process itself is such an incredible learning experience, and when they won they really benefited. These opportunities led to students getting into graduate school, finding inspiration for their nonacademic careers, and their first publications. As Psi Chi kept benefiting my students, I started to become a good Psi Chi member and wanted to give back. When I joined the Psi Chi Board of Directors, I learned in detail how expensive these programs are to administer both in time and money. At the same time, I want to give more of these awards, grants, scholarships, publications, and service opportunities to more students in their vocational quest. Please join me in expanding Psi Chi's capacity to benefit our members.”

Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez, PhD
President-Elect, Utah State University
“Psi Chi brings together a community of scholars who are lifelong learners of all ages and levels of expertise. Donating to Psi Chi helps support the next generation of leaders in psychology and models the good citizenship needed to ensure the ongoing health and well-being of our community of scholars.”

Marianne Fallon, PhD
Eastern Regional Vice-President, Central Connecticut State University
“I have witnessed the transformative power Psi Chi has on our students. I have seen students who were unsure of themselves blossom into strong leaders. I have seen students who 'were not into research' surprise themselves and then be honored with research awards for their exemplary work. I have seen students become more community-minded knowing they represent Psi Chi. And I have seen Psi Chi support students who could have never afforded going to a conference or who struggled to pay next semester’s tuition. Giving back to Psi Chi ensures that more students (and faculty!) have opportunities to grow both professionally and personally.”

Melissa T. Buelow
Midwestern Regional Vice-President, The Ohio State University–Newark
"I gave back because Psi Chi provides so many opportunities to further a career in psychology. I chose to help Psi Chi continue to offer member benefits to those in the undergraduate, graduate, and ‘beyond’ stages of their careers.”

Leslie D. Cramblet Alvarez
Rocky Mountain Regional Vice-President, Adams State University (CO)
“I felt a little silly about offering a testimonial because I didn't get involved with Psi Chi until I was a graduate student/instructor and asked to be the advisor! I missed out on all the opportunities Psi Chi had to offer when I was an undergrad but saw the impact of the organization with my undergraduate peers and was quick to accept the opportunity to be an advisor as a grad student. When I arrived at Adams State, there was no Psi Chi chapter, so I decided to spearhead pursuing a charter. Since then, we've had over 80 student and faculty members and receive travel grants almost every year, which helps our students attend our regional convention.”

Christina Sinisi, PhD
Southeastern Regional Vice-President, Charleston Southern University (SC)
“Being a Psi Chi advisor has been a highlight of my career—working with bright, enthusiastic, and servant-minded students who have been a part of my chapter over these last almost 20 years has been a priceless gift. So, of course, I will give back as I can in return for all they have given me.”

Shawn R. Charlton, PhD
Southwestern Regional Vice-President, University of Central Arkansas
“I choose to support Psi Chi because I have seen how Psi Chi's programs and activities benefit more than just the Society and its members. An active Psi Chi chapter brings an immediate connection to psychology and the professionals in the field. This connection creates the foundation on which all members of the host department—Psi Chi members or no—can build their careers.”

Elizabeth “Bethy” Campbell, PhD
Western Regional Vice-President, Whitworth University (WA)
“My connection with Psi Chi is a personal one. Beginning as a first-generation college student and extending through the many years since, Psi Chi supported me in achieving my vocational dreams by affording opportunities that were otherwise unattainable. These resources helped me navigate college, gain admission and successfully complete graduate school, and even continue to help advance my academic career. I want to give back to an organization that has given me so much, and provide students with the support they need to succeed.”

If you haven’t already done so, please consider making a donation to our Give Back to Psi Chi Campaign. Our goal is to raise $88,000 this year in honor of Psi Chi’s 88th Anniversary. Visit HERE to view our progress toward accomplishing this goal!

Tuition costs continue to rise, but together, we can make a lasting difference for hard-working psychology students, people facing a mental illness, and countless others. With your help, however great or small, $88,000 is only the beginning!

Thank you in advance for your generous gift.




Tags:  A Better You  Psi Chi Related 

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