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Top tags: Psi Chi Related  Chapter Life  A Better You  All Things Psych  Conducting Research  Career Advice  Going to Grad School 

We Need More Autistic Women In Media

Posted By Samantha Picaro, Kean University, Union, NJ, Friday, July 17, 2020

I was diagnosed with autism at age 3. I still have struggles, though I struggle less thanks to wonderful family support and services like tutoring and social skills lessons. Though I’m not the only woman in the world with autism, I don’t see them on TV, in movies, or in books.

Diversity is getting better in the media. Most of it centers around racial and LGBT+ diversity. But what about neurodiversity, specifically autistic women and girls?

Lack of Media Portrayal

More autistic characters have appeared in the media with shows like Atypical and The Good Doctor. But these characters, like so many autistic protagonists, are White, male, straight, and financially stable as pointed out by JR Thorpe in “Why Are There So Few Women With Autism On TV?” (2017). Only a handful of female characters have been openly identified as having ASD, like Fiona Helbron on Elementary and Julia on Sesame Street (Thorpe, 2017). But it is more common to have a female character on a show exhibit traits of ASD but not have the diagnosis confirmed in the storyline (Thorpe, 2017). The best example is Dr. Brennan on Bones, who is suspected by fans to be on the spectrum, but the show never confirmed it (Thorpe, 2017).

Confirmed and nonconfirmed female characters with autism are limited regarding diversity (Thorpe, 2017). Often the character is White, straight, and financially stable (Thorpe, 2017). This character is usually in the STEM field, being a gifted mathematician or scientist (Thorpe, 2017). Thorpe (2017) goes on to state that characters should have diverse jobs like art rather than science (Thorpe, 2017).

Misconceptions of Women with Autism

Autism is different in girls, and I can personally testify to that. Studies show that autism is different in girls and that girls may face additional challenges that boys may not. Girls are more likely to be undiagnosed or diagnosed later in life because, historically, the disorder was thought to be four times more common in boys (Szalavitz, 2016). This is because the diagnostic criteria was originally derived from studies done on males (Szalavitz, 2016). Experts also used to believe that girls with autism had more severe symptoms such as intellectual disability (Szalavitz, 2016). Even in the modern age, a girl may be more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, or anorexia (Szalavitz, 2016).

Girls with autism have different symptoms from boys. One reason girls are under-diagnosed is because they are more likely than boys to hide their symptoms (Szalavitz, 2016). Girls are more likely to be social than boys, especially due to gender expectations, thus a girl is likely to mimic the social behaviors of other children and girls (Szalavitz, 2016). For example, an autistic girl may not understand why other girls play with dolls but will learn to play with dolls too in order to fit in.

However, mimicry can only go so far to help a girl with ASD blend. Girls with ASD face more difficulties in adolescence due to the emergence of mean girls, and puberty can cause distress because both boys and girls with ASD often dislike abrupt change, and what is more abrupt a change than puberty? (Szalavitz, 2016). A girl or woman with ASD is likely to be in an abusive relationship because she may not know what comprises a healthy relationship and/or may believe nobody else will love her (Szalavitz, 2016).

Gender roles extend beyond social behavior by affecting the realm of health. Girls are expected to be hygienic, yet sensory issues may make deodorant and wearing bras uncomfortable (Szalavitz, 2016). Difficulty following appropriate sequence of behavior when the person has no interest in the activity makes it more difficult for a girl to learn to wash her hair or put on makeup (Szalavitz, 2016). As stated earlier in this article, a woman with autism may be misdiagnosed with anorexia. The reason is that one of the features of ASD is sensory issues, which means that many individuals with ASD do not like certains tastes or textures (Szalavitz, 2016). This often leads to a restricted diet, which may appear to be anorexic behavior (Szalavitz, 2016).

My Experience

I agreed with both JR Thorpe and Szalavitz in their articles regarding women with autism in media and receiving the ASD diagnosis. As a woman with ASD, I’m disappointed and frustrated with the lack of female ASD representation in media. Where is a Disney Princess on the spectrum? When will Hallmark feature a heroine with ASD? In all these coming-of-age movies and shows, where is the girl who goes to special ed classes and receives occupational therapy?

Part of the problem is understanding ASD in women. Doctors have gotten better at diagnosing women, but the field is still uneven. Portrayals of women with ASD need to include the struggles we specifically face, like the added pressure of socializing. Most importantly, like with autistic men, nonautistic people need to be reminded that autism is called spectrum for a reason. Not every person with autism, male or female, is into science.

Why is representation important? It’s human nature to be drawn toward people like us. America is diverse, and the media needs to show it. If we see a character who is like us, we are more likely to believe we can be like that someday. For example, the increase of women in STEM helps little girls understand they can be doctors. I hope autistic representation of women improves by the time I have kids because I don’t want my little girl to ask me why there are no autistic girls in her books or movies.


Szalavitz, M. (2016, March 1). “Autism—It's different in girls.” Scientific American.

Thorpe, JR. (2017, August 1). “Why are there so few women with autism on TV?” Bustle, Bustle.

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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Five Things the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taught Me

Posted By Kaitlyn L. Nasworthy, Georgia Southern University alumni, Tuesday, June 23, 2020

COVID-19 has been undoubtedly stressful for everyone. Children’s routines have been changed overnight, plans have been cancelled at the last minute, people have been laid off, fired, or had to change jobs suddenly, schools suddenly switched to online, many jobs have to be worked from home now, and people are scrubbing compulsively, keeping their distance from others, and wearing masks and gloves to protect themselves and others from spreading a novel illness that is deadly among older adults and the immunocompromised. Indeed, a quick Google search tells you everything about how COVID-19 has turned our worlds upside down and has destroyed many things we hold dear.

However, some people are beginning to discuss some good things that the COVID-19 pandemic has made possible, such as a well-needed break from work, more quality family time, time to get DIY projects done, and more. Although it is very important to address the bad parts of COVID-19, it is important to address the silver linings COVID-19 has provided us as well. During these trying, chaotic times, we could all use some positivity in our lives. I’m going to discuss five good things that the COVID-19 pandemic has provided for me in the hopes that it will provide some positivity to those who need it, and allow those same people to consider some positivity that has come to them because of the lockdowns.

1. Breaks Are Important

One unintended consequence of this pandemic is that it left me without work for almost three months; I was in the middle of changing jobs before the lockdowns began, and the government lockdowns put a hiring freeze on the job I was going for, so I was in limbo from early March to late May. Although I was initially stressed out, I did learn a few things. First of all, I was stressed out over nothing since my husband’s income covers all our bills. Second, this was the first work break I’ve had in almost ten years where I didn’t have to worry about finances. Third, with the first two points in mind, I could use the break to take some well-deserved relaxation time and work on myself. During my time off work, I have been able to work on my workaholism, reset my body and mind, and just take me-time. I used to have chronic migraines—I haven’t had one in months now! My body isn’t as sore and I don’t feel frazzled. Now that I have a part-time job again, I’ve come to appreciate taking breaks when needed, and will in the future.

2. Having Hobbies Is Wonderful

Before the COVID-19 lockdowns, I was a store manager, which left very little time for relaxation, let alone hobbies and interests. When I resigned as a manager and ended up out of work, I was lost for a couple of weeks. But during the boredom, I discovered several hobbies that I love: painting, DIY home projects, crafts, baking, and cooking elaborate meals. I have also rediscovered my love for reading, writing, and learning new information and skills. I’m taking Coursera classes and watching YouTube tutorials again. Discovering and rediscovering hobbies has added a richness to my life for the first time in years, and I’ll never let that go again.

3. Minimalism Is What We Need

It goes without saying that an income loss means having to cut costs and rebudget wherever necessary, but plenty of good can come from that. After being out of work, I’ve learned where we can cut most of our costs to save money, what our needs are versus our wants, free and low-cost entertainment ideas, and what is truly important in our lives. For example, we don’t need a new TV every two to three years, we don’t have to have the latest gaming computer, we can live without takeout and eating out often, and there are plenty of things we already have that we can sell and donate. I have already taken three huge boxes of clothes to Goodwill during this lockdown, and I probably have one or two more to give. We have sold old technology and furniture to clear the house more, and thrown away broken items. We have come to value space and peace over things, and our saved money means we can use it for bills, put it in savings, and spoil each other and our dog more.

4. It’s Never Too Late to Learn a New Habit

I took a Coursera course titled “The Science of Well-Being” as a birthday present to myself, and part of the course was learning that good habits lead to happiness rather than just things and money. Some habits I have taken to learning are regular sleeping, regular exercise, writing in a gratitude journal, savoring small things and events, and performing random acts of kindness. I have been cooking at home more and eating better, I have become less jaded and cynical, and having gratitude every day makes me feel better. All the free time has allowed me to learn better habits and reject bad ones. I can truly say it is helping me be a better person overall.

5. Reset My Priorities

All of these things meet a final, but highly important, lesson for myself, and that is where my priorities lie. Obviously, my family is my first priority, but now I have learned to focus more on my family rather than giving most of my focus to my work. I have also learned to live with less so I and my husband can work less and be home more together with our dog. We have also relearned the importance of date nights, visiting extended family, and unplugging our devices to focus on each other. In addition, we have both learned, not only how to better balance work and home, but also which work would benefit us the most and better use our strengths. I can truly say that the lockdown has provided me with clarity that I may not have received otherwise.

What’s Next?

These are five major good things that the COVID-19 pandemic has provided for me. By reflecting on the positivity, I am better able to plan ahead for myself, my family, and my future career options! Your list may be similar, or very different, but I urge all my fellow Psi Chi members to create a list of positive things that COVID-19 has allowed in your life. No matter how big or small, any and all positivity will be helpful. Furthermore, spread the lessons you’ve learned to other members and classmates and cohorts. Use them to plan your next steps in life, and always remember to stop and smell the roses from time to time.

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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An Eye on the Workplace: Full Table of Contents

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, May 4, 2020

We are so excited to have released Psi Chi's second eBook, An Eye on the Workplace: Achieving a Career With a Bachelor's in Psychology! In this digital publication, Psi Chi's veteran "Wisdom From the Workplace" columnist, Dr. Paul Hettich, brings together 31 articles published previously by numerous experts in Eye on Psi Chi magazine.

For many years, Psi Chi has been striving to share research-driven and time-tested strategies that will help our members to succeed in the workplace. Specifically, the goal of this eBook is to support those seeking to go directly into the workforce without a graduate degree. Yes, good jobs do exist for these individuals. This eBook will help you create a plan to pursue and achieve a meanginful career that is right for you.

It is thrilling to present much of Psi Chi's best career advice in this special new format, which will be useful to many students and alumni. Below, please see the full Table of Contents. We're sure that you'll see many chapters that will interest you and support your careers journey!

Psi Chi members receive a special discount. Order your copy HERE.

PREFACE By Dr. Paul Hettich

Demystifying the College-to-Workplace Transition

1. Pride of Ownership: Do You Recognize the Value of Your Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?
Stacie M. Spencer, PhD, MCPHS University

2. The Worthies Vs. the Great Unwashed: Overcoming Psychology’s Tier Problem
Jane S. Halonen, PhD, University of West Florida

3. Careers for Psychology Majors: What Every Student Should Know
James H. Thomas, PhD, Northern Kentucky University

4. Psychology Major! What Are You Going to Do With That? Strategies for Maximizing Your Degree
Derek E. Zeigler, Ohio University, and Lindsay M. Orchowski, PhD, Brown University (RI)

5. The Real and Unreal Worlds of College
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

6. Planning Your First Postcollege Job: Underemployment and What to Do About It
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

Preparing for the Workforce During College

7. Is the Student Parent to the Employee? College Experiences That Lead to a Good Job and a Better Life
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

8. What Psychology Students Learn: 10 Skills That Any Employer Will Appreciate
Jeanne M. Slattery, PhD, Clarion University (PA), and Carie L. Forden, PhD, American University in Cairo (Egypt)

9. Real-World Skills: How to Develop Marketable Career Competencies and Sell Yourself to Employers
Ayesha Shaikh, PhD, and Lorinda B. Camparo, PhD, Whittier College (CA)

10. Undergraduate Research Experience: Preparation for the Job Market
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD, and Darren R. Ritzer, PhD, Winthrop University (SC)

11. Psi Chi Officers Can Develop a Full Portfolio of Career-Related Skills
Drew C. Appleby, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Joseph R. Ferrari, DePaul University (IL)

12. Internships!
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

The Skills and Experiences Employers Seek

13. Program Your GPS: Guidelines to Proficiency in Skills for Work and Career
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

14. Increase Your Educational ROI With Career Services, Internships, and Mentorships
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

15. Identifying and Communicating Your Skills From College to Career: Part I
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University, and Hilarie Longnecker, Med, DePaul University

16. Increase Your Odds of Employment: Add a Career-Specific Skillset
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

Resumés and Letters of Reference

17. Identifying and Communicating Your Skills From College to Career Part II
Hilarie Longnecker, MEd, DePaul University, and Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

18. From Job Outlook to Job Search: Advice From Experts
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus at DePaul University

19. You’re Writing Your Own Letter of Recommendation
John C. Norcross, PhD, and J. Timothy Cannon, PhD, University of Scranton

20. Writing a Strong Resumé for Robot and Human Readers
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD, and Darren R. Ritzer, PhD, Winthrop University (SC)

21. Effective Cover Letters and Resumés: The Importance of Fit Before Format
Stacie M. Spencer, PhD, MCPHS University

Acing Interviews

22. Career Engagement Through Networking
John Jameson, Creative Financial Staffing, and Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

23. Preparing for Interview Success: Tips to Impress
Hilaire Longnecker, MEd, DePaul University

24. Everything I Needed to Know About Interviewing, I Learned From Watching The Bachelor
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD, and Darren R. Ritzer, PhD, Winthrop University (SC)

25. A Three-Step Guide to Exploring Occupations With Your Baccalaureate Degree
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

Special Topics

26. Do You Work and Attend College?
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

27. Returning Adult Students Turning to New Careers
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

28. To Double Major or Not to Double Major: That Is the Question
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

29. Searching for a Research Topic? Study Your Transition From College
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

30. Are You Ready for Your Many Transitions?
Paul Hettich, PhD, Professor Emeritus DePaul University

Bonus Chapter

31. Can Psychology Majors Prepare for a Career in Business? Part I: There Is HOPE
Drew C. Appleby, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis


Tags:  A Better You  Career Advice 

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How to Network?

Posted By Ayana Woodard, Psi Chi Central Office Staff, Monday, February 24, 2020

In early 2019, while staffing the Psi Chi booth at the EPA convention, several students asked what was the best way to build a solid career foundation? Without some thought, a good answer was hard to find, but this article could be a great way to help. There are three key things that can help when networking. Be yourself, stay in touch, and attend social events. Below, you can find in-depth explanations of these concepts.

Be Yourself

First and foremost, being your true self opens more doors than you could imagine. If you initially start with a personality not honest with yourself, it can drain a lot out of you and your networking relationship. Sooner or later, the other person will start to realize that you aren’t really what you say you are and that can stunt the growth of the relationship. You will feel happier with yourself and your network because it aligns with your values and personal goals. This will radiate confidence, and confidence attracts more confidence, which produces productive relationships between you and your colleges.

Stay in Touch

Second, don’t forget to stay in touch! The initial conversation is the hard part. Once you nail that, all you will need to do is check in periodically. Every few months or so, send them an email just asking how they are doing. What projects they are working on. How you could possibly help. This builds trust and authenticity. In today’s day and age, it is so easy to keep track of everyone with technology such as social media. Shoot them a message letting them know that you are ready, available, and eager to build your working relationship.

Attend Social Events

Last, but not least, diversify your events. Investigate conferences that interest you whether it be locally, nationally, or internationally. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and take that leap. You never know who you may meet. Psi Chi sets up booths over the country at six regionals (EPA, MPA, RMPA, SEPA, SWPA, and WPA), various international conventions, and two national conventions (APA and APS). Visit to learn more about them and see if we will be in your area!

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to bring some Psi Chi merchandise at these conventions. Psi Chi holds over three quarters of a million members, so there is a high chance your next contact could also be a part of the society. A Psi Chi Portfolio, Psi Chi Stylus Pen, or even a Psi Chi Badge ribbon can help you stand out from the crowd. Look around the store here This is a great conversation starter to get your foot through the door.

As daunting of a task as it may seem, networking can open so many doors and opportunities to help further your career. Whichever path you choose, it can’t hurt to have a few people in your network who can assist in your growth. Just remember to be yourself, stay in touch, and put yourself out there. So, the next time you visit a regional convention, don’t be shy. Stop by the Psi Chi table and introduce yourself! We love meeting and speaking with you all. Happy networking!

Tags:  A Better You  Career Advice 

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Psi Chi Chapter Challenge: A Letter from Aisha Linnea Udochi

Posted By Aisha Linnea Udochi, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Dear Members of Psi Chi,

A challenge is defined as “something needing great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully, or the situation of facing this kind of effort” (Cambridge Dictionary, n.d.). Although we often see this word and instinctually assign it a negative connotation, without the challenges we’ve faced, we would not be the people we are today. We would not appreciate the things we have worked hard for, and we would not have the skills we developed through these challenges that allow us to continue to succeed.

The great thing about living in a social world is that we don’t have to face these challenges alone. Often, if you look around to the people, institutions, and organizations closest to you, you’ll find that they have helped you get through the hard times—be they social, financial, or emotional challenges. These people and entities are the ones deserving of your time and appreciation.

For me, Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, has not only been there to support me through my own challenges, but has also continued to assist me throughout my successes. Growing up in Arkansas, my access to psychology-affiliated events was limited due to location. Needless to say, with renowned and regional conferences cycling through locations in states such as Texas and New Mexico, travel to these areas became an expensive venture. Having recently graduated, I also no longer had access to the same financial resources afforded to me as a student. Thanks to the travel grants Psi Chi offered, however, I was able to defray some of the cost so that I was able to present my research at a conference, network with people in my field of interest, and build both my breadth of experience within a professional setting and my CV for the eventual graduate school applications.

But Psi Chi’s contribution to my undergraduate success did not stop there. My chapter of Psi Chi at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) also allowed me to meet some of the greatest people and aspiring psychologists that I could have hoped for. As officers, we were able to meet and organize biweekly events to engage our Psychology Department in both fun and educational activities that not only benefitted our organization, but also every student in our department. At UCA, Psi Chi was not an organization that only sought to support honors students—we aimed for our events to enrich the experience for all students who showed interest in pursuing a future in psychology. I feel honored to have gotten to be part of the leadership of such a great organization and even more blessed because of who I met through working with Psi Chi.

It is for these very reasons that I decided to participate in the Psi Chi Chapter Challenge this past spring. Having felt both social and financial support from Psi Chi, I found this Challenge a great venue for paying them back in kind. What better way to show my gratitude than to help raise money for an organization that invested in my future? Increasingly motivating to me was knowing where this money was going. Psi Chi was very clear that the money earned from the Chapter Challenge would be put toward awards, grants, and scholarships, and that a portion of each members’ contribution would go back to our local chapter. As I previously mentioned, I benefitted a great deal from the grants Psi Chi offered, thus I felt this challenge was a great way to literally pay them back for the money they gave me. Further, knowing that I would be leaving my local chapter to pursue my graduate career, the Chapter Challenge also gave me a way to pay back the great experience the UCA chapter of Psi Chi provided me during my undergraduate career.


Each year, Psi Chi conducts the Chapter Challenge. Listen to the Chapter Challenge Spring 2019 Top Fundraiser Aisha Linnea Udochi share her experience.

View Video Full Screen

I am thoroughly excited today to encourage every Psi Chi member and chapter to participate in this upcoming Psi Chi Chapter Challenge. This semester, Psi Chi will also be partnering with the Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation to encourage each chapter to fundraise while spreading kindness within their communities. I believe that this addition to the Chapter Challenge is a great way to motivate members to actively involve themselves in the change they want to make in this world, enrich the lives of others within their communities, and still tangibly benefit from the experience (e.g., resumé builder, volunteer experience).

If you are hearing or reading this, you have probably already benefited from Psi Chi without knowing it. There are resources Psi Chi wants you to take advantage of, and whether you are a graduate student, undergraduate student, Psi Chi officer, or Psi Chi member, I want you to have the same positive experience I have had with Psi Chi. I hope that you make good use of the benefits Psi Chi offers. And, in the spirit of kindness, I hope that you will want to pay them back. Please consider participating in the Psi Chi Chapter Challenge to do this, as well as becoming more involved in your local chapter.

Thank you very much for your time.

Aisha Linnea Udochi
Doctoral Student
Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
(501) 242-2279

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Psi Chi Partners With Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation: Give Back to Get Back

Posted By Cynthia Wilson, Psi Chi Director of Membership & Development, Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, August 13, 2019

In an effort to make the Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge both fulfilling and experiential, Psi Chi has partnered with the Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation (BTWF). Together, we are proud to bring you our own special Psi Chi version of BTWF's Be Kind 21-Day Challenge, which takes place from September 1–21.

As an incentive to take this challenge, Lady Gaga has generously agreed to award one participant with a pair of tickets to an upcoming Lady Gaga show! Be sure to sign up in advance and read the details carefully to ensure that you are eligible. Feel free to invite a friend to participate in this challenge with you too!

Some Background Information

BTWF is led by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. According to their mission statement: BTWF is committed to supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world. To achieve these goals, BTWF leverages evidence-based programming and authentic partnerships in order to work with young people to build kinder communities and improve mental health resources.

The Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge is a fundraising campaign in which we ask chapters to fundraise as a team to support Psi Chi member programs for ALL members. Although the virtual fundraising component of the Chapter Challenge is critical to the sustainability of our Society, we wanted to bring a real-world element to it to make your participation in the Chapter Challenge a rewarding one.

Spreading Kindness

Based upon the concept that it takes 21 days to develop a good habit, Psi Chi and BTWF are working together to spread kindness. We encourage Psi Chi members to join us in these efforts by taking the #BeKind21 Challenge starting on September 1.

Further, we hope that you will document what your chapter does as part of this challenge: do you provide mentoring to younger students, do you collect cans for your local food bank, or do you provide resources to support mental health issues on your campus?

As you will have documented your efforts in the #BeKind21 Challenge, we then ask you to use these pictures and/or videos in your appeals that you send out to seek donations for the Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge beginning November 1. This evidence of service in your chapter will inspire others to support Psi Chi with a financial gift.


Each year, Psi Chi conducts the Chapter Challenge. Listen to the Chapter Challenge Spring 2019 Top Fundraiser Aisha Linnea Udochi share her experience.

View Video Full Screen

Our Challenge to You

For information on how you can take part in the Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge, visit It’s an easy, friendly competition, and through your participation in this fundraising campaign, you can also spread kindness. We encourage you to take both the #BeKind21 Challenge and the Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge this fall. Plus, this year, participation in the Chapter Challenge will make your Model Chapter Award application even stronger.

You got into psychology to help others. Promote prosocial behavior and volunteer to take part in these two, exciting challenges this fall. By giving back you can get back so much in return.


Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Using Psychological Science to Improve Students' Time Management for Writing Papers

Posted By Jessica Costello, Stonehill College, Monday, June 24, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 24, 2019

Jessica Costello, Stonehill College

Personal Blog

College students are notoriously bad at giving themselves enough time to do their best.

As a psychology undergraduate, I collaborated with faculty research on how college students study. Students often report dissatisfaction with their grades, believing the hours they’ve studied should have served them better. But according to Dr. John Dunlosky, a prominent education researcher at Kent State University, students often fail to retain what they study because the learning techniques that best aid long-term memory (taking practice tests, spacing study sessions instead of cramming) take more cognitive effort and more time management than passive methods such as rereading textbook chapters and highlighting notes, so students are less likely to use the more effective study methods (Dunlosky, 2013). Additionally, students are likely to focus on whatever material is due or will be tested first, and will stop reviewing material once they feel they’ve mastered it (Kornell & Bjork, 2007).

Over two semesters, my colleagues and I surveyed a selection of Stonehill students, mostly first-year students, on their beliefs about various study methods, as well as their actual study habits. When prompted, most students could recognize which study strategies would be more effective (for example, spacing out study sessions over a few days or weeks is more effective for long-term learning than cramming the night before a test). However, when asked about how they actually studied, to continue with the same spacing-cramming dichotomy, 54% of the students in our sample reported that they studied in one session before a test. This is similar to the results of previous research in this area done at much larger universities (Hartwig & Dunlosky, 2012; Morehead, Rhodes, DeLozier, 2016).

Though most of our survey questions mainly applied to preparing for high-stakes exams rather than writing papers, my experiences as a writing consultant in Stonehill’s Center for Writing and Academic Achievement (CWAA) led me to believe that a similar cramming problem exists when students are given a writing assignment.

Consider two scenarios. First, imagine a student has a calculus exam tomorrow. She hasn’t studied much, and probably doesn’t have time to learn everything that will be covered (this may or may not be how I studied calculus in high school). So she studies topic by topic until she’s crammed “just enough” into her brain to pass the exam.

Another student’s 10-page philosophy paper is due at noon on Tuesday. By that morning, he has a draft, but he’s not so confident about how it’s organized or how his points support his thesis. This student visits the writing center, but the tutor recognizes more problems than they can conquer in 20 minutes. She considers referring the student to a professional tutor, but none are available that day, and she doesn’t want to appear unhelpful. In order to get the student’s desired result (a good grade), all the work has to be crammed into the next few hours. Had that student visited the tutor earlier, he would have more time to rework his essay.

I have been the tutor in that second scenario on multiple occasions. I wanted to help, but it was difficult to recommend strategies for revision when the student had so much to improve in such a short time. It’s even worse if the writers don’t seem engaged with what they’re arguing or what they can do to improve the presentation.

How can educators get students to view the writing process as just that—a process—with different phases?

Cognitive science might be a start. From a study that asked participants to complete both tasks of completing a sentence and fixing a grammatical error, Quinlan, Loncke, Leijten, and Van Waes (2012) concluded that, when given the option, most writers chose to work on the bigger ideas of their sentences and paragraphs first, leaving smaller issues like misplaced punctuation marks to be dealt with later. This research implies that the strongest writers revise and edit in multiple rounds, focusing on a particular concern in each, and allowing themselves time to repeat the process if the need arises.

My writing center advertised that we could help at any stage of their process—brainstorming, outlining, organizing ideas, revising, or polishing. But in my experience, most students were looking for an overall check before they submitted the paper for a grade. Telling someone he might have to rewrite his 10-page paper a handful of hours before it’s due, when he was expecting a quick review, is neither supportive nor beneficial.

When the student meets with the tutor the night before the paper’s due, it’s often too late to suggest scrapping what is already written and starting over. If faculty encouraged students to give themselves more time to incorporate outside feedback, such as a tutor’s comments, into a draft, our appointments in the writing center would probably feel more productive or purposeful. Some ideas are to encourage a staged process in class—perhaps first the students turn in a rough outline and get the instructor’s feedback, or maybe peer critique is required. Anecdotally, I have benefitted from these arrangements in both academic and creative writing.

Lauren Shapiro, a writing instructor at American College of Healthcare Sciences, suggests that each individual should set firm time limits to complete the different writing stages. Her example is if the writer has three hours to complete a paper, he or she can block out “30 minutes for prewriting; 90 minutes for drafting; 40 minutes for revision; and 20 minutes for proofreading” (Shapiro, 2011). Within this self-imposed structure, students will have less time to procrastinate or panic about not having enough time.

Each assignment, instructor, and discipline can favor some strategies for improving time management over others. But by requiring them to be more conscious of their time and processes, addressing this issue will make students stronger writers and thinkers.


Dunlosky, J. (2013). Strengthening the student toolbox: Study strategies to boost learning. American Educator, 12–21.

Hartwig M., & Dunlosky, J. (2012). Study strategies of college students: Are self-testing and scheduling related to achievement? Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 19(2012), 126–134.

Kornell, N., & Bjork, R.A. (2007). The promise and perils of self-regulated study. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 14, 219–224.

Morehead, K., Rhodes, M. G., & DeLozier, S. (2016). Instructor and student knowledge of study strategies. Memory, 24, 257–271.

Quinlan, T., Loncke, M., Leijten, M., & Van Waes, L. (2012). Coordinating the cognitive processes of writing: The role of the monitor. Written Communication, 29, 345–368.

Shapiro, L. (2011, 30 March). Time management strategies for student writers. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from

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Advancements in Online Career Services: What You Should Know

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, June 10, 2019

Several features and services recently became available that will help you to identify and achieve your next psychology-related job. In addition to new career articles and advice posted in Psi Chi’s Careers in Psychology online resource, Psi Chi’s unique Job Board continues to recruit employers who are eagerly seeking psychology professionals, both new and experienced. Our Job Board is hosted through a company that links opportunities gathered through more than 2,500 similar job boards—that’s more partnering associations than any other careers platform. All of these jobs are then distributed through the latest, user-friendly technology. Best of all, applying for jobs is totally free! Here’s what’s new:

International Job Opportunities

Our Job Board has started welcoming positions from numerous countries around the world. Even as I write this post, I can see some jobs in London, Hong Kong, British Columbia, South Korea, and Australia. Would you like to be a school psychologist in the Virgin Islands (yes, please!) or an organizational development and learning consultant in Ontario? These are just a tiny sampling of the kind of jobs that you will find.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, our Job Board has consistently maintained thousands of active psychology-related job opportunities. Specific jobs were viewed more than 700,000 times during the 2017–18 fiscal year, and people clicked more than 50,000 times in order to learn more about specific job offers. We are excited to be adding international jobs in order to continue growing the usefulness of this program.

New Personalized Feedback on Your Resumé

When you upload a resumé, there is now a simple check box in order to simultaneously submit your resumé for a free evaluation from a trusted resumé expert at TopResume. By selecting this, the experts will personally review your resumé and make suggestions if they see room for improvement. With such a competitive market, a single, easy-to-miss mistake could cost you a future job opportunity; this service is highly important to help prevent that from happening!

As always, if you have some other question about finding a job, you can also ask the experts a question. To test this out, I personally submitted a question about whether it is necessary to include an introductory summary or objective statement on a resumé (because I have noticed some contradictions in the recent literature about that). I was excited to see that they responded quickly and did a great job answering my question.

Search Jobs by Date Posted

If you are actively searching a job, you can now check back regularly and search by date “posted” in order to quickly see any new additions. This will definitely help you save time and move quickly when that perfect opportunity becomes available.

You can also continue to search for jobs by geographic location, position, job function, or company. And the Job Alerts feature allows you to easily receive e-mail notifications when certain jobs become available that match your interests or location.

More and More Jobs

Dr. Paul Hettich, our veteran careers columnist asks you this: “What steps will you take tomorrow or next week to plan for the good job and the good life you seek, outcomes that motivated you to invest considerable time, money, and personal capital in a college education with a psychology major? It’s your decision.”

Each month, new jobs come and go. At the time of writing this post, there are 1,801 openings available in Psi Chi’s Job Board. It is up to you to actively review these opportunities, set up automatic job alerts, and apply whenever appropriate jobs become available.

Further, take some time to identify and build up the skills and experiences that employers are interested in. Learn to communicate your accomplishments in a professional manner, and identify strategies to ace the application and interview process. Our Careers in Psychology online resource is a good place to start!

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Tags:  A Better You  Career Advice 

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What Is Giving Tuesday? Why Is Psi Chi Participating?

Posted By Cynthia Wilson, Psi Chi Director of Membership & Development, Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Have you heard yet about Giving Tuesday? Now entering its seventh year, Giving Tuesday was conceived by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact. According to, “Since 1874, [The Belfer Center] has been bringing people together around the values of service and giving back. #GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities, and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.” So, why would Psi Chi choose to participate in a day of giving like Giving Tuesday?

Psi Chi is embarking on a new journey.

Due to an increasing need for financial funding and other programs that benefit our members and the field of psychology, Psi Chi is now a fundraising organization. We began our fundraising efforts in 2017–18, our 88th anniversary year, with the launch of the Give Back to Psi Chi annual giving campaign. The goal of this campaign is to encourage gifts that support our membership: such things like our scholarships program, grants that directly fund research, and our Membership Assistance Fund (MAF) that provides free Psi Chi memberships to students who could not otherwise afford one.

We are passionate in our commitment to recognize and promote excellence in the science and application of psychology. Further, we feel that, as the largest psychological organization in the world, Psi Chi is building the future of psychology by supporting psychology students and faculty today.

Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to those who wish to give back to organizations that mean something to them. We ask you to take a moment and consider some questions from Psi Chi this giving season:

  Why did you initially get involved with Psi Chi?

  What did Psi Chi mean to you then; what does it mean to you now?

  Why would you consider giving back to Psi Chi with a financial gift?

  Why do you think it’s important for others to consider donating?

This year, Giving Tuesday falls on Tuesday, November 27. You will likely be receiving an appeal from Psi Chi asking you to consider joining us with a gift this year. What would motivate you to Give Back to Psi Chi?

As this year comes to a close, we reflect on all that Psi Chi accomplished last year:

  We helped fund research for 102 projects.

  We provided sixteen $3,000 scholarships to deserving students.

  We helped fund travel to conferences for 181 members.

  We provided membership assistance to 100 new members who could not have otherwise afforded a Psi Chi membership.

  We offered free memberships to chapters affected by natural disasters like Hurricane Maria.

We know that’s a lot. But, we want to do even more. As we look toward the future of Psi Chi, we want to offer even more member benefits, create more engagement with our alumni members, and expand our international chapters. There is much to do. But now, today, you could show your commitment to Psi Chi with an investment of a gift this Giving Tuesday.

Psi Chi is dedicated to the future of our organization, and we know that the future is you, our members. You are what makes Psi Chi a truly special organization. Will you show your support this Giving Tuesday? Join us in our commitment to excellence in psychology. Help us build the future: one Giving Tuesday gift at a time.

Psi Chi would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season. And we value your support of Psi Chi.

Thank you,

Cynthia Wilson
Director of Membership & Development

To make your Giving Tuesday gift, visit:

Tags:  A Better You  Psi Chi Related 

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Can Psychology Be a Science and an Art?

Posted By Jessica Costello, Stonehill College, Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Can Psychology Be a Science and an Art?

Jessica Costello, Stonehill College

It’s no secret that the field of psychology has been going through an identity crisis. At my college, as I suppose is the case at many others, the psychology department is located in the science building, despite debate over whether a field focused on the ever-changing human mind qualifies as a true science. To add to the confusion, when I graduate, I’ll earn a Bachelor of Arts.

I embraced the contradiction and chose psychology as my major in part because it rests on the border between science and art. Studying the mind engages both my desire for empirical knowledge about human functioning and my curiosity about the classic existential questions that poets, artists, and theologians have posed for centuries. Getting involved in research projects at the undergraduate level has renewed my appreciation for the scientific method and ignited my curiosity about new topics.

But I worry that current trends in the field have cast off the existential flair in total favor of empirical testing. Even if an exciting study’s conclusions have many practical applications, it’s unlikely nonacademic readers will slog through pages of dry, academic text to learn about them. As the field has retreated into the lab, researchers have lost the art of communication with the outside world.

Marianne Fallon, of Central Connecticut State University, would agree. In her recent editorial, “Writing Quantitative Empirical Manuscripts With Rigor and Flair (Yes, It’s Possible),” Fallon argues for greater accessibility in scientific writing (for example, using a concrete example to help readers visualize an abstract concept) and “encourage[s] all scientists to adopt a classic style that puts writers and readers on a level playing field” (Fallon, 2018).

My first love was creative writing. As I became more familiar with psychological literature, it seemed obvious to me that I could combine my passion for crafting prose with my love of psychology and communicate scientific conclusions to everyday people. I was going to reach the audiences whom all this advanced psychological research is meant to benefit.

Perhaps that’s partially why I was so shocked when a faculty member recently questioned the value of my creative writing minor. Given the chance, I could go on for hours about the stories I’ve written, both in terms of the content and of my experience while writing them. I could ramble about how writing makes a good metaphor for life. How creating fictional characters and living in their worlds, seeing life through the narrators’ heads, has increased my empathy for people who have experienced things I can't imagine. At the heart of both fictional stories and at the heart of our real day-to-day existences lie relationships. Whole, fractured, healthy, toxic—all of them. Writing about the lives of fictional people has given me insight into how I interact with real people.

Have psychologists been so busy trying to earn the identity of a science that they have forgotten the sense of human connection that drives so many people to study psychology in the first place?

In an article for Psychology Today, Gregg Henriques, a psychology professor at James Madison University, argues that much of the confusion over the field’s status is due to a “never ending call for more research” that muddles the larger purpose for which we carry out research. He cites the data, information, knowledge, and wisdom (DIKW) pyramid to illustrate that psychologists tend to be so concerned with gaining information that we forget how to synthesize the data we collect into meaningful knowledge. As we struggle to wade through all our studies' contradictory conclusions, we risk forfeiting meaningful progress toward that eternal, poetic wisdom for which we’ve been searching.


Fallon, M. (2018). Writing quantitative empirical manuscripts with rigor and flair (Yes, it’s possible). Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 23, 184–198.

Henriques, G. (2016, 27 Jan.). The ‘Is psychology a science?’ debate. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych  Career Advice 

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