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Psi Chi Stories: Ja’Darrius and Sondeika

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, August 14, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Psi Chi Stories:
Ja'Darrius and Sondeika

Did you know that
Psi Chi’s Membership Assistance Fund allows Psi Chi members who show financial need to join for free? It’s true! Each academic year, the faculty advisor at every chapter may request up to two eligible students have their lifetime membership fee waived. The first 100 applicants who are approved by the Central Office each year will be accepted into Psi Chi at no cost so that these students can enjoy all the many membership benefits of Psi Chi!

In today’s interview, Psi Chi members Ja’Darrius Strickland and Sondeika Miller (University of Southern Mississippi) share their experiences of joining Psi Chi through our MAF program. Ja’Darrius is a member of his campus’s memory and cognition lab. He has tutored statistics, is a member of the National Society of Leaders, and was accepted to participate in a Citi Internship. Sondeika is a dean’s list student, was a delegate for the Student Leadership Summit in March 2017, and an honor’s graduate in May 2017. She was also the first runner up in the SMAC Talent Show in October 2016.

Caption: (from left) Sondeika Miller and her advisor, Dr. Elena Stepanova.

How did it feel to become a Psi Chi member?

Ja’Darrius: 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.

Sondeika: 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.

What can you take advantage of most now that you are a member?

Ja’Darrius: I understand the weight that membership in this organization holds. It opens you to many opportunities such as scholarships and internships that are available, some only to Psi Chi members. It also connects you to many professional resources and individuals in the field of psychology for reference during your progression in this field.

Sondeika: Not only is it a great organization, but it has many advantages like scholarships and grants that are beneficial to my undergrad as well my grad career.

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

Ja’Darrius: Yes, I do believe that Psi Chi, as I mentioned is a prestigious society that is well-respected around the nation. 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: 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.

What other ways could your Psi Chi membership benefit you?

Ja’Darrius: Psi Chi is also respected by many employers, and not only in the field of psychology. Membership adds to my chances of getting hired to a job, or accepted into a possible internship. Many people familiar with the society understand the criteria for induction into most of these organizations, and hold high preference over individuals exhibiting these characteristics and credentials.

Sondeika: Besides providing grants and scholarships, Psi Chi is a great way to network with other psychology majors and psychologists. It is also helpful in getting students, grad and undergrad, prepared for grad school. Then, it provides information about conventions, internships, and many more great opportunities. It's just a great organization overall, and I am glad to be a part.

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, please welcome Ja’Darrius and Sondeika to Psi Chi in the comments below! You are invited to share your own Psi Chi stories here as well! Also, remember to subscribe above this article to receive future Psi Chi success stories in your inbox.

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Some Words of Inspiration to Start the School Year

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Some Words of Inspiration to Start the School Year

Justine N. Rossi, MS, SSP
School Psychologist II

What better way to start your new school year than with some words of inspiration?!

That’s why we invited Psi Chi member Justine Rossi to share a recent talk she gave at Winthrop University’s (SC) spring 2016 induction ceremony. After her article, we also provide “Six Ways to Start Your Year With Psi Chi.”

Hello, fellow psychologists!

My name is Justine Rossi, and I am a School Psychologist serving two elementary schools and one high school in the state of North Carolina. As a Winthrop University psychology undergraduate, I served as a Psi Chi president and held many other positions within the Psi Chi and Psychology clubs. The interactions I was afforded with psychology classmates, university professors, and other like-minded individuals helped me define my graduate school decisions and pushed me to get more involved in our field. After finishing my undergraduate work at Winthrop, I stuck around for another 3 years and completed the school psychology graduate program earning a master’s degree of science in school psychology and a specialist’s degree of school psychology.

I encourage each of you to reach out, read up, and integrate yourself in your respective field of psychology. Do not take for granted the plethora of resources you have available at your disposal! I am cheering you on right now to: learn, experience, do, seek, desire, practice, observe, talk, listen, and feel out each and every possibility presented to you in your psychology studies.

As an undergraduate, I presented group research at a professional psychology conference in New Orleans, LA, and ended up winning not only an award, but some much needed cash and recognition from my university! The research was fun, I learned a lot, and the experience was one of a kind. Toward the end of my undergraduate career, I presented independent research in St. Petersburg, FL. Although I did not take home any prizes, I again received recognition from my university, and the experience widened my scope of understanding of psychology . . . not to mention, it boosted my résumé, and I got to take a trip to the beach!

Speaking candidly with you, at times I took the “easy road” and skipped over required readings, did the bare minimum with putting myself out there, so-to-speak, and did not always immerse myself into all of the outlets available to me at the college level in the field of psychology. When crunch time came for graduate school applications, it truly hit me how much time, energy, and resources I did not tap into for furthering my early stages of becoming a psychologist.

Although I am so grateful for all of the experiences I did have, I am also regretful that I did not take absolute full advantage of the opportunities available. Be confident in the direction(s) you head, yet go forth with an open mind and heart for the bumps in the road that you will meet. Sometimes, these bumps are the best game changers you could hope for. Best of luck to each of you!


Justine N. Rossi, MS, SSP
School Psychologist II

Six Ways to Start Your Year With Psi Chi

  1. Start Looking for the Perfect Career
    Psi Chi’s Career Center has thousands of psychology-related job openings to choose from. Even if you aren’t searching for a job right now, go ahead and set up an automatic Job Alert in case your dream job becomes available someday in your general geographic area.
  2. Write an Article for Psi-Chi-ology Lab
    Our submissions guidelines are short and sweet. As Justine told us in an e-mail, submitting was “such a fun opportunity!” We’re sure it would be fun for you too.
  3. Apply for an Award or Grant
    We offer more than $400,000 in awards and grants to all member types. We’ve got a little something for everyone: scholarships, awards for chapter leadership, awards for research, grants to travel to conventions, and much more.
  4. Submit to Psi Chi Journal
    Our rigorous, peer-reviewed Journal accepts undergraduate, graduate, and faculty submissions by Psi Chi members. All published manuscripts are free to read at They are also indexed in Crossref, PsycINFO, and EBSCO databases.
  5. Offer to Support Your Chapter
    Consider volunteering to manage a community service event. Or invite a guest speaker such as a local alumni member like Justine.
  6. Conduct a Lab Experiment
    Psi Chi members, share your (and your chapter’s) top goals for the new academic year in the comment section below.

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Psi Chi UCA Receives Model Chapter Award TEN Years Running!

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, July 24, 2017
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017


Psi Chi UCA Receives Model Chapter Award TEN Years Running!

Please join us in congratulating the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) Chapter for receiving Psi Chi’s Model Chapter Award 10 years in a row! The Model Chapter Award is one of Psi Chi’s methods to encourage chapters to have a successful academic year. To receive this award, all that is required is for a chapter to (a) complete 13 basic steps throughout the year and then (b) apply for the award before the spring deadline.

All qualifying chapters automatically receive $100 and a custom certificate to reward the chapter and inspire membership for years to come. The UCA chapter was one of 42 chapters that achieved Model Chapter status this year (great job, everyone!). In today’s interview, UCA faculty advisor Shawn R. Charlton, PhD, shares a little about how and why his chapter regularly applies for this award.

(left) Shawn R. Charlton, PhD, Psi Chi’s Southwestern Regional Vice-President and faculty advisor at the UCA chapter. (right) Students at the UCA Chapter are all smiles!

What is it that makes your chapter a Model Chapter? And how have you done that for 10 years straight?

A major key to our chapter gaining and maintaining Model Chapter status for the past 10 years is to focus our chapter on being engaged in research and other scholarly pursuits. Our officers are constantly focused on the awards and grants, and striving to get students to apply for every program. Every year, we aim to have at least one chapter member apply for each grant. This includes the chapter awards.

How has Psi Chi served as support to your chapters’ student members?

It is not possible to measure how much Psi Chi's support has benefited all students in our program, not just the Psi Chi members. Students who received grants and awards over the past year were directly benefited. The culture of scholarship that has been created by students engaging in Psi Chi supported work is a benefit to all of our students and faculty.

We have several dissertations that were funded by Psi Chi grants. Students who went to conferences that they could not afford to attend with the support of Travel Grants. Chapter awards have helped support a number of activities in the department as well as improvements to the research facilities. Conference grants to support the Arkansas Symposium for Psychology students have benefited psychology students throughout Arkansas.

Would you recommend that others “Give Back” with financial gifts to Psi Chi so that we can continue our mission and better serve our members?

Absolutely! Psi Chi invests its money and resources into directly benefiting students' scholarly and professional development. The benefits of Psi Chi's programs reach beyond just the students directly assisted and into their local chapters and communities.

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, now is the perfect time to get started in preparing for the Model Chapter Award. View the guidelines. Also, do you have questions about earning the award or being a “model chapter” in general? Please share them in the comment section below.

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Oh the Places, You’ll Go!

Posted By Dr. Krystal Warmoth, Monday, July 17, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Oh the Places, You'll Go!

Dr. Krystal Warmoth, Valparaiso University Psi Chi Alumna

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psychology Applied to Health
University of Exeter Medical School

When I was a psychology student at Valparaiso University in Indiana, I would have never thought that I would be where I am now. Seven years after completing my undergraduate degree, I am conducting National Health Service-funded research in England.

I ended up in England as a result of an impulsive notion, really. The summer before the final year of my undergraduate studies, I worked at a summer camp with international staff. We discussed university—as you do with other students—and I found out that it only takes a year to obtain a masters degree in the United Kingdom. For the heck of it, I decided to apply to a couple programs in England for the following reasons:

  1. the short time requirement to get a graduate degree,
  2. no cost to apply (unlike in the USA), and
  3. an interest in studying abroad, which I had not done before because of other responsibilities.

I was accepted and started the following autumn at the University of Exeter. Over the course of the year, I studied social and organizational psychology with leading researchers, and fell in love with applied research. I knew that I wanted to pursue a PhD and was starting to look at openings back in the United States when my supervisor said that I should check out the openings in the medical school. I applied and was offered a PhD studentship in collaboration with the medical school and psychology department.

After three and a half years and countless cups of tea (yes, I drink tea now), I received my PhD in psychology. My student visa was coming to an end, so I applied for jobs in the United States. I worked in Houston for a year, but I missed the life that I had created in England. Consequently, I left my position and returned to the United Kingdom. I am at the University of Exeter Medical School again.

Looking back, I cannot believe what all I have accomplished. And there are several things that I have learned.

First, travel and/or study aboard. It is a life-changing experience. I truly loved my time studying in the United Kingdom and encourage others to do it.

Second, do not be afraid of starting over. I have had to do it several times in my life already. For example, when I went to college, studied in the United Kingdom, and moved to Houston. It is a part of life, and you learn a lot about yourself doing it.

Third, create a supportive social network. As psychologists, we all know the importance of social support. When I moved to England, I arranged regular Skype dates with my family. I actually talked to them more when I went to the United Kingdom than I ever did when I was in the United States. I also sought out different activities and groups in order to make new friends.

You never know where your journey will take you. As my fellow doctor would say (i.e., Dr. Seuss), “oh the places, you’ll go!”

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, tell us what incredible places you've traveled to during your studies!

Tags:  A Better You 

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Praise or Criticism: Which Is Better?

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, July 10, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Praise or Criticism: Which Is Better?

Have you ever been shouted at or talked down to by a coach? Don’t feel bad—many athletes, both amateur and expert, have experienced the same thing. But why? What effect does criticizing, insulting, and even belittling people have on their performance?

Psi Chi member Thomas Gambino (Rutgers University, NJ) recently conducted a study about this controversial topic called “The Effect of Verbal Praise on Maze Completion.” In the study, some of his participants were praised while trying to complete a simple maze task. For example, at the one minute mark, these participants were told, “You are doing great. There are still four minutes left. Remember to erase your lines if you come to a dead end.”

Here’s where it gets interesting. Other participants were not treated so kindly. For example, at the one minute mark, Thomas told them all this: “You are not even close. This maze is hard, but not that hard. Are you taking this experiment seriously?”

In today’s behind-the-scenes interview, Thomas tells us a little about the inspiration and results of this fascinating project.

How did you become interested in this topic?

I became interested through my experiences playing sports. I was fortunate enough to be able to play basketball throughout high school and two years in college. I played on many school teams and travel teams. I always thought the team and I played better with a more encouraging coach. I wanted to put my theory to the test.

What were the general findings of your article?

The general findings were that the encouraging group completed their maze faster than the less encouraging group. The encouraging group was also more likely to persist in completing the task. You can read the complete study, including the encouraging and less encouraging scripts HERE.

What was it like working with participants?

It was very interesting discouraging the participants in the less encouraging group. Many of them either began talking back to me or even insulted me. This caused them to waste time in completing the maze. Many participants gave up after one discouraging statement. At times, it was difficult for me to keep a straight face while saying the discouraging statements. I am not someone that enjoys making people feel uncomfortable.

After the study was over, the participants in the less encouraging group were all relieved to know I was reading off of a script. Some were still confused about why I was “mean” to them. I definitely enjoyed praising the participants in the praise group. It was almost like I was instilling hope in them to keep going, and many thanked me for praising them while they were completing the maze.

Did any challenges arise while you were conducting the study, and if so, how did you handle them?

I had a difficult time finding participants. The study required that participants feel comfortable sitting in a quiet room with me to complete the study. I do not consider myself a creepy person but sitting alone with a stranger can be uncomfortable. What drove me to finish this study was the hope that coaches and teachers would be able to use these results in working with their students and players. Hopefully, I will be able to change a team or classroom in promoting a positive and happy environment.

What advice do you have for individuals wanting to learn more about conducting research?

I would recommend that interested individuals recruit diverse participants. Almost all of my participants were White college students. It would be interesting to see how others would react. In conducting any research/experiment, it is important that the individual loves the topic. It is not enough to be “interested” alone.

Another helpful tip is to find a research advisor who you love working with. My advisor, Dr. Verneda Hamm Baugh was instrumental to my study. I remember spending countless hours in her office working on my paper. It is definitely a long road but something I would highly recommend for every undergraduate student!

Conduct an Experiment

Psi Chi members, can you think of a time when you received praise or less than encouraging feedback from a coach or mentor? Tell us how this made you feel and how you reacted in the comments below.

Also, don't forget, submissions to Psi Chi Journal are open year round!

Tags:  All Things Psych  Conducting Research 

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Welcome New Chapters: 2016-17

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, June 26, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Welcome New Chapters: 2016–17

It’s been yet another outstanding academic year for Psi Chi! The total number of Psi Chi chapters located in the United States and countries around the world is up to 1,130+. Of these, 15 were accepted as new chapters during the 2016–17 year.

Our New Chapters

  • Chaplain College
  • Columbia College, SC
  • Columbia University, NY*
  • Grand View University*
  • Hope International University
  • Kentucky State University
  • Peru State College
  • Rochester State College
  • UCF Valencia-Osceola
  • University of Dubuque*
  • University of Guelph-Humber
  • University of North Texas at Dallas*
  • Universidad San Francisco de Quito
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  • Wilmington University

Every time a new chapter is founded, we at Psi Chi Central Office get excited all over again. Excited for the new relationships we’ll form and the opportunity to assist yet another chapter with our mission of “recognizing and promoting excellence in the science and application of psychology.”

Has your chapter been around for 1 year or 88? Either way, here are some specific resources to help officers, faculty, students, and alumni prepare for an awesome 2017–18 school year.

Other Notable Accomplishments

  • We quadrupled our Scholarships program to $48,000 this year! Eight $3,000 undergraduate scholarships are due July 5, 2017, and eight $3,000 graduate scholarships are due July 15, 2017.
  • We launched a new Career Center last fall, which already contains literally thousands of new psychology related job openings across the United States. If you haven’t checked it out, be sure to do so! You can also upload your resumé to receive free personalized feedback from our career experts.
  • We published our new eBook, which brings together Psi Chi’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. Many chapters have been updated to include the latest trends and information. Only $4.99 for members.
  • Oh, and we created a pretty cool new blog too! ;)

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Welcome our latest new chapters in the comment section below. Have advice for these chapters? Please share that information as well!

* Denotes chapters that have been Board approved but not yet installed.

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Dissociative Identity Disorder in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split: Fact vs Fiction (Contains Spoilers)

Posted By Kevin Malley (Robert Morris University), Monday, June 12, 2017
Updated: Monday, June 12, 2017

Dissociative Identity Disorder
in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split:
Fact vs Fiction (Contains Spoilers)

On January 20, 2017, the new psychological thriller Split hit theaters. The movie centers on Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), a man with 23 different personalities. His psychiatrist, Dr. Karen Fletcher, states that he was diagnosed with what is called dissociative identity disorder (DID). In the movie, Kevin switches through these personalities by bringing them to what he refers to as “the light.” When a certain personality is “brought to the light,” that personality dominates Kevin’s actions. The plot of the movie is simple: Kevin’s personalities work together to keep hold of three girls so that Kevin’s 24th personality, The Beast, can consume them.

Where Split Got It Right

So how much of Kevin’s DID comes straight out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)? And how much is just movie magic? To begin, the DSM-5 states that “the defining feature of DID is the presence of two or more distinct personality states or an experience of possession” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Kevin Crumb easily fits this description with his 23 defined personalities. The audience is introduced to at least three of these within the first 30 minutes of the film.

The second DSM criteria involves recurrent gaps in the recall of everyday events, important personal information, and/or traumatic events that are inconsistent with ordinary forgetting. When Kevin switches from The Beast back to himself, he immediately says “What did I do?” Kevin did not recall any of the events that conspired while he was dominated by The Beast.

Third, DID is typically caused by childhood trauma. Individuals are subjected to a sort of physical or emotional torture that they cannot cope with at their current developmental period. Their minds are just not strong enough to work through the pain. The individuals become psychologically weak and start looking for ways to protect themselves. One way they find is to create these splits in personalities. Instead of a weak host dealing with the trauma, a new identity is created to protect the original. This new identity is typically very different from the host identity, therefore being stronger and better apt to protect itself. As more trauma ensues, more identities are created to protect the host. The movie gives the audience a glimpse of this during a flashback of Kevin’s mother screaming and threatening Kevin. This is followed by several identities stating that those who are “impure” deserve to be consumed by The Beast. “Impure” is used to describe those who have not suffered in their lives. This is more proof that Kevin underwent extreme suffering as a child.

Where Myth Started to Take Over

Discussing The Beast is where the fiction begins to arise in Split. It is true that some physical characteristics can change as a result of identities switching, but The Beast takes it to a new level. It is possible that an individual’s eye color, handedness, or voice can change with each personality, but The Beast literally increases the size of Kevin’s muscles, becomes impenetrable to bullets and other weapons, and gains the ability to scale walls.

The Beast is also portrayed as an angry and violent creature who seeks out “impure” humans and consumes them. On the contrary, DID develops in individuals in real life as a coping mechanism, not a weapon. It is possible for individuals with DID to be violent, but in most cases these individuals use their personalities to better cope with the traumas they experienced in early life. They are actually more likely to hurt themselves than others. The one personality that does seem to help Kevin cope with his trauma is the nine-year-old boy, Hedwig. This personality is the comic relief of the movie and appears to be the personality that shows up when Kevin needs to relieve stress and act like a kid again.

Another one of Kevin’s personalities, Jade, claims to have diabetes and takes insulin shots. This aspect is highly controversial in the field. Is it really possible for the body’s chemistry to shift with the personalities so much that it develops a biological medical condition? Or does the brain just believe the individual has diabetes and needs the insulin shot? These are the types of questions that make DID so debated in the psychiatric field. It comes down to how much impact the brain actually has on biology, which is beyond the scope of this movie.

Generally speaking, Split got a lot of Dissociative Identity Disorder correct: the distinct personality states, the recurrent gaps in recall, and the childhood trauma. Unfortunately, the movie stretched itself a little too far when it changed the entire biological makeup of Kevin to turn him into The Beast. This being said, The Beast is an integral part of the movie and adds a necessary horror component to it. It may not be clinically correct, but it was a fantastic aspect of the movie and made the ending more exhilarating. Dissociative Identity Disorder is a fascinating yet controversial mental health condition that can be displayed in a many ways in pop culture, but it is always interesting to see just how far movies like Split will stretch the truth.

Conduct a Lab Experiment

The portrayal of DID in the film is controversial indeed! Psi Chi members, let us know what you thought about the film in the comments section below.

Tags:  All Things Psych 

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All About Psi Chi's New Call for Abstracts!

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Wednesday, June 7, 2017

All About Psi Chi's
New Call for Abstracts!

To encourage open and reliable research practices, Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research is proud to announce a Call for Abstracts (due June 30) for potential manuscripts to be published in a special issue. In today’s post, Invited Editor Dr. Steven V. Rouse (Pepperdine University) shares about this very unique opportunity.

What is the special issue about?

In the last couple of years, there has been growing interest in making research more transparent. It used to be the case that researchers would only share their materials or data with people who directly asked for it, and then only when they could justify a compelling reason. The problem is that this made it hard to replicate studies, so it was hard to know whether the results were simply a statistical fluke or really represented a consistently observable finding. So, several journals have started awarding Open Practice Badges to articles that have followed some of the contemporary best practices in research.

What are Open Practices Badges?

The Center for Open Science encouraged journals to begin awarding three badges, which you can see at The first is called Open Data, which simply means that the researchers have agreed to post their data online at an open-access site, allowing anyone to download the data (provided that it doesn’t violate confidentiality or any other aspect of the IRB approval).

The second is Open Materials, which is given to an article if the authors post their surveys and other research materials on a freely accessible website (except, of course, for anything that is protected by copyright or test security restrictions).

The third is Preregistration. This means that the researchers took the time (ideally prior to data collection, but at least prior to data analysis) to specify their research plans. This would include details like the number of subjects that would be included, the specific procedures of the study, the hypotheses, and the statistical analyses that would be performed. Really, almost all of us think through these questions before starting a study anyway because these are the kinds of questions that researchers have to answer for IRB approval. The difference is that the researchers agree to have these details “frozen” on a publicly accessible website before gathering or analyzing their data.

In addition to those three badges created by the Center for Open Science, Psi Chi Journal also created its own fourth badge: Replication. Because Psi Chi Journal and the Psi Chi Research Advisory Committee believe that replication is an important part of the scientific process (as explained HERE), we wanted to recognize articles that serve this important role.

Beyond that quick overview of the four badges, I wrote an editorial that explains each of them in more depth.

Why should a researcher want to be published in this special issue?

I truly believe that the field of empirical psychology is at a turning point that will be historic. We are moving in a direction that is more open and transparent, more collaborative, and more intentional. And I think this change is a positive one. It excites me to know that Psi Chi Journal is at the forefront of this change, along with some of the flagship journals of the Association for Psychological Science. And it excites me to know that our authors—especially the authors who are already doing high-quality empirical research in their undergraduate years—will be among the earliest psychological researchers to earn Open Practice Badges.

Who is eligible to submit an abstract?

Any Psi Chi member—undergrad, grad, or faculty member—can submit an empirical research article to be considered for publication in Psi Chi Journal. For this special issue, though, there are a couple of specific criteria. First, the manuscript needs to qualify for one or more of these Open Practice Badges. But, second, the project needs to be far enough along—either completed or in advanced stages—for us to be able to expect the completed manuscript submission later this fall. So if you are working on your IRB proposal this summer and plan to collect data when the fall arrives, why not send in a proposal abstract?

How easy or difficult is it to earn a badge?

The nice thing about the badges is that researchers can choose for themselves how much they want to jump into this new approach—do they want to stick their toes in the water to try it out, or do they want to jump all the way in. For me personally, when I realized that this was the direction that our science is moving in, I just jumped right in, and I found out it was a lot easier than I expected. In part, this is because of an amazing website called the Open Science Framework (, which allows researchers to create free accounts that they can use to store their data, their materials, and to preregister their studies.

But, realistically, some badges would be easier to earn than others. The Open Materials badge would be the easiest. After all, this just means that the authors have posted the surveys and other research materials on OSF for anyone to access. As long as this doesn’t violate copyright laws or test security ethical principles, I think most studies should be able to earn this badge. In fact, every time I conduct a survey study now, I post the survey on my OSF site:

People who are willing to make a bigger commitment could also explore the Open Data badge. It’s still a very easy process—authors simply upload Excel files or SPSS files or R files onto OSF. This is a bit trickier than the Open Materials Badge, though, because authors need to make sure this doesn’t violate privacy. If an author didn’t indicate on their IRB proposal that they were going to upload the data, they should probably check with their IRB representatives to make sure that this wouldn’t be a violation of their approval. But now, for example, whenever I submit an IRB proposal, I inform my IRB that the data will be stripped of any identifying information and then will be posted permanently on OSF; I also explain this on the Informed Consent Forms.

A Preregistration requires a greater commitment, but it’s become so helpful to me personally that I can’t imagine ever doing a study without preregistering it. When you create a project on OSF, there’s a link that lets you preregister it; it leads you through a set of questions about your methodology, hypotheses, and planned analyses, and then when you are satisfied with your answers, it freezes the preregistration. In other words, the system puts a time-stamp on your preregistration and prevents you from making any further changes. Then, when you actually conduct the study, you follow the steps you already laid out in advance (unless you have a reason to make a change, in which case you simply explain the reason for the change. These are called Transparent Changes, which still allow you to earn a badge).

Probably the greatest commitment is a Replication, because everything about your study is guided by the article that you are trying to replicate. In some ways, this seems like it should be easier, because you are following in someone else’s footsteps. However, in order to be a true replication, an author needs to be conscientious to step exactly in those existing footprints or to be aware of any deviations. So everything about the study must perfectly duplicate the original study or clearly explain what factors they changed and why. After all, if the results of a replication differ from those of the original study, we need to be able to come up with hypotheses for why the findings weren’t consistent.

Would my article be eligible for the $1,000,000 Preregistration Challenge?

This is really exciting. The Center for Open Science has a $1,000,000 fund to award prizes of $1,000 to 1,000 researchers who preregistered their studies and then published them in approved journals. Learn more.

However, there are two important details. First, when preregistering on OSF, you have to specify that you want to be eligible for the Preregistration Challenge and answer a specific set of questions. You see, when you preregister, OSF provides you with a few different options of preregistration questions to answer. The simplest set of questions is the AsPredicted form, which I used for a project preregistered as seen HERE. As shown, this is simply a set of eight very basic questions. However, this wouldn’t qualify for the challenge. Another option is called the Preregistration Challenge form, which I used for a project I preregistered HERE. As you can see, this is much more in-depth, with 26 questions to answer. Then, when you submit it, a researcher at OSF reviews it and sends you an e-mail if there are details that you need to clarify. So this is more time-consuming, but I have found it to be really helpful in getting feedback about my plans.

Second, even if a project has been preregistered, it can only win the award if it gets published in a journal that qualifies for Preregistration badges. If you visit HERE, you can see that more than 3,000 journals are now awarding badges. However, only a few dozen of these are in psychology—the rest are in other scientific disciplines. So you have to be sure to submit it for publication in one of the journals on this list. Because Psi Chi Journal was one of the early adopters of the Open Practice Badges, our manuscripts meet this qualification requirement for the award.

What were your thoughts when you were asked to lead this special issue?

When Dr. Debi Brannon, the editor of Psi Chi Journal, asked me to serve as the guest editor, I was really excited. After all, I really believe that this is an important new change in the field of empirical psychology, and I look forward to the day when it’s more common to see preregistrations, replications, and open posting of data and materials. But then it struck me how unique this idea is. You see, every time I’ve ever seen a Special Issue of any psychological research journals, all of the articles are unified by a certain theme or a certain topic, like when the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science had a special issue all about the cognitive ability of dogs (Vol. 25, Issue 5). This is completely different. This issue won’t be unified by a topic area. Instead, the articles will be similar in that they will have all taken the steps necessary to earn one or more of these badges. Psi Chi Journal has never before had a special issue, and I think this is the best way to start—bringing awareness to this new set of best practices in psychological research.

Conduct an Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, do you have questions about the special issue, our journal, or its badges? We would like to hear from you in the comment section below.

Tags:  Conducting Research  Psi Chi Related 

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Psi Chi Story: Julia Daugherty

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Psi Chi Story: Julia Daugherty

Meet Julia Daugherty, who joined Psi Chi at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Julia recently received a Division 52/Psi Chi International Travel Grant for $1,500 and is now assisting with the process to start a new international chapter at The University of Granada in Spain. Today, she answers a few questions about her Psi Chi Story.

For what purpose did you use your travel award?

The travel award covered expenses from Spain to the APA Convention in Denver this past summer. Fortunately, I was able to extend my stay for a two-month research practicum at the University of North Carolina Wilmington while back in the United States. Reinforcing the research connection between these two universities has been vital to my thesis and continued education. Without Psi Chi’s travel award, this wouldn’t have been possible.

Would you have been able to attend the convention without the award from Psi Chi?

No, I wouldn’t have had sufficient funding to attend.

How did it feel to win an award from Psi Chi?

It was a great honor. There are many deserving researchers around the globe who would have also benefited greatly by attending the convention. That is why I tried to make the most of my visit, connecting with others who are likewise dedicated to the same line of research in intimate partner violence. I am deeply grateful for this award!

Would you recommend Psi Chi awards and grants to fellow students?

Absolutely! Psi Chi awards and grants give endless possibilities for learning and networking. Every psychology student and member of Psi Chi should give it a shot.

What has your overall experience with Psi Chi been like?

Very positive. I’ve found staff and other Psi Chi members to be supportive in advancing not only individual professional trajectories, but also psychology as a whole. I look forward to starting a new chapter in Granada so that more students can benefit from all it has to offer.

Describe your experience with starting a new chapter in Granada.

I first learned about the possibility of starting a new chapter at my university in Granada (Spain) when I met Dr. Zlokovich at the APA convention in 2016. I was immediately interested because Psi Chi has provided me with so many great opportunities, and I wanted to extend that to other students in Granada. There is a strong international focus at the Universidad de Granada, because all doctoral students are expected to complete an international research stay at another academic institution. Psi Chi is a great way for students to make these connections and to network with other researchers for potential collaborations.

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, have you received Psi Chi funding or other experiences and opportunities due to your involvement with our Professional Organization? Take a few minutes to tell us about your Psi Chi Story in the comments below.

Also, don’t forget: this year’s Division 52/Psi Chi International Travel Grant is due June 30, 2017.

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych  Chapter Life 

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