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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.

References

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. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-011-0181-y

Kornell, N., & Bjork, R.A. (2007). The promise and perils of self-regulated study. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 14, 219–224. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03194055

Morehead, K., Rhodes, M. G., & DeLozier, S. (2016). Instructor and student knowledge of study strategies. Memory, 24, 257–271. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2014.1001992

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. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741088312451112

Shapiro, L. (2011, 30 March). Time management strategies for student writers. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/time-management-strategies-for-student-writers/


Tags:  A Better You 

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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!


Related Articles



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 givingtuesday.org, “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: donate.psichi.org

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.

References

Fallon, M. (2018). Writing quantitative empirical manuscripts with rigor and flair (Yes, it’s possible). Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 23, 184–198. https://doi.org/10.24839/2325-7342.JN23.3.184

Henriques, G. (2016, 27 Jan.). The ‘Is psychology a science?’ debate. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/theory-knowledge/201601/the-is-psychology-science-debate

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych  Career Advice 

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Five Strategies to Prevent the Spread of Non-Diverse Zombies

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Writer/Journal Managing Editor, Monday, October 15, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2018


Yep, the title says it all! We’re going to have some Halloween fun and promote diversity issues—all at the same time. Are you aware of the five ways below to support diversity with Psi Chi?

We at Psi Chi passionately believe in the importance of embracing the unique characteristics and perspectives of all types of people in our increasingly diverse world. This is true in the classroom, workplace, family settings, and yes, even on the brink of a zombie apocalypse! That’s why Psi Chi provides a special online resource, Diversity Matters, which features free teaching tools, group activities, and other materials to help you support diversity issues in your local communities.



So, let’s talk zombies! In recent years, numerous articles have been published concerning issues of diversity in television programs such as AMC’s The Walking Dead. At times, that particular show has suffered from criticisms for lack of diversity, and yet in later seasons, it has been recognized as one of the most diverse casts for any top-rated series.

There are many reasons why people care about the inclusion of diversity in programs like The Walking Dead. For example, it helps viewers connect with people of different backgrounds, and it provides unique, and sometimes untold, story-telling opportunities. Diversity in children’s programming helps introduce kids at an early age to diverse peoples who can serve as role models. And of course, diversity in television and other media results in more jobs for individuals in underrepresented groups too!

As actor Ross Marquand says, who plays the LGBTQ character Aaron on The Walking Dead, “I’m very grateful that AMC and Scott [Gimple] and Robert [Kirkman] have done such a good job of maintaining the vision of those original [Walking Dead] comics, because I think it’s a really wonderful kind of metaphor for how we can all bind together in times of real struggle and real chaos.”

Beyond television, a large amount of psychology research has more generally indicated the value of embracing diversity-affirming stances with regard to sexual and gender diversity, racial and ethnic diversity, disability status, religious diversity, refugee and immigrant status, SES and social class, and many others. You can learn more about this in the “Related Articles” section at the end of this post.

So, in recognizing the importance of diversity everywhere (including in hair-raising scenarios involving the living dead), here are five strategies that you can use with Psi Chi to help prevent the spread of non-diverse zombies! Or in other (less playful) words, here are five strategies that you can use to help increase diversity awareness—both for yourself and for others.

1. Learn to Recognize Your Implicit Biases

Anyone can have implicit biases—even you! At this link, legendary psychologist Dr. Mahzarin Banaji encourages you to open yourself up to the possibility that you might have implicit prejudices. Dr. Banaji is a cofounder of Project Implicit (Harvard’s online Implicit Association Test), which is used to detect hidden and subtle biases that you might not even know you have.

This free online test has been taken by millions people to help them identify a broad range of biases with regard to race, gender, weight, age, disability, religion, etc. Discover how this test changed Dr. Banaji’s life, and how it has the potential to change yours too! It is never too late to work on improving yourself!

2. Apply for
Diversity Article Awards


To encourage more article submissions about diversity, Psi Chi provides two $600 awards each year. One award is given to an article published in Eye on Psi Chi magazine, and one award is given to an article published in Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research.

What are you waiting for? All articles published in our magazine and journal will be automatically considered for this award at the end of each year—no award application is necessary. It pays to promote diversity in our publications. View our submission guidelines today and meet last year’s recipients.

3. Challenge Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

Do you know who you are? Psi Chi President Dr. Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez shares how your knowledge of diversity starts with understanding who you are and what unique contributions you bring to diverse groups.

Seek activities along dimensions of identity outside of your comfort zone such as race/ethnicity, gender identity, and political ideology. This new article provides specific activities to consider, as well as a chart to help you determine who you are.

4. Discover How to Create Nurturing Environments

Establishing nurturing environments in your local neighborhoods and college campuses has the potential to change the world. So, instead of getting “bogged down” trying to change the large-scale problems of the world such as gun violence and climate change, consider starting with small meaningful acts that will support your local community.

Esteemed psychologist, Dr. Anthony Biglan, provides these eight steps to create homes and schools filled with positive reinforcement, respectful communication, and evidence-based resources. Just imagine all the ways that your communities could benefit from your acts to maintain safe and nurturing environments!

5. Post Our Pledge on Your Social Media

Last of all, we would like to invite you to participate in our Diversity Pledge. It only takes a second, and yet the possibilities to spread the message of “Diversity Matters” to others are limitless! To participate, simply share the following quote on one (or more) of your social media accounts:

I pledge to stand with #PsiChi to promote cultural diversity and awareness. Take this pledge with me by sharing it on your social media. Learn more at www.psichi.org/RES_DiversityMatters

Do you agree with this sentence from Psi Chi’s Diversity and Sustainability Statement: “The scope of our organizational relevance is only as broad as the diversity of our membership and their scholarly pursuits?” Take a moment to consider how you could use the five survival strategies above to improve yourself and others in your community.

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Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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Labeled Praise for My Kindergarten Teacher

Posted By Cristal Martinez, Licensed Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, Monday, August 20, 2018
Updated: Monday, August 20, 2018


Cristal Martinez, Licensed Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor

PsiChi Alumni from the University of Texas at El Paso class of 2009

 

I have been a therapist since 2011. I have been practicing psychotherapy with children, adolescents and adults. One day while writing a client progress note, I had a flashback. (Not like a traumatic stress type of flashback, so don't worry). It was a snippet of my life I had captured of myself in kindergarten. I loved learning and was a smart (and eager) child. One day, during free-play time, I went off to the corner of the classroom on my own and started working on a floor puzzle. I was disinterested in what the other children were doing. I had a moment of solemnity that quickly turned into fun. I can remember that it was a wooden number matching puzzle. I had to match the number “1” with another piece that had one object, the number “2” with the other piece that had two objects . . . etc.

As I was happily constructing the puzzle, my kindergarten teacher got my attention and said, “Cristal, you’re doing such a great job completing your puzzle. I’m going to give you a gold star for that.” As I looked up at her from my spot on the colorful rug I was sitting on, my face brightened. I felt warm and fuzzy inside despite sitting on the scratchy carpet, and I kept on working diligently with the puzzle. In fact, for “free play” time from that point forward, I completed puzzles, games, and read books on my own in that same corner of the classroom. My eager mind was finally met with appropriate stimulation as well as positive attention. This may be why I continued to love school and why I was motivated to obtain my master’s degree.



Treating young children with behavior problems has always been a challenge. But then . . . enter a treatment called “Parent Child Interaction Therapy.” It is great, in my opinion, because I truly believe that, to change a young child’s behavior, the intervention must be with the child’s parents and the surrounding environment. Working with children ages two to seven years old is a unique experience, and PCIT takes out most of the guesswork. This intervention is heavy in caregiver involvement and changing their interactions with their children at home, subsequently improving their relationships . . . thus reducing problematic externalizing behavior.

One of the main components of PCIT is teaching and coaching parents how to play with their children. Interestingly enough, some caregivers need to be taught how to play and some do not enjoy playing with their children. I can see how the “inner child” might’ve gotten sucked out of some of us as we’ve grown.

There are three target skills taught to each parent: labeled praises, reflections, and behavior descriptions. Each of these used during five minutes of play per day can help children and parents become closer, build a child's self-esteem, and catalyze a myriad of other benefits (Eyberg & Funderburk, 2011). We encourage, of course, that caregivers use these skills throughout the day as much as possible and to practice with other children in their lives. There are more components and you can research them on your own, because this essay is related to PCIT—not a comprehensive manual.


Caption: Cristal Martinez in a PCIT observation room speaking with a parent over a headset.

What my kindergarten teacher did was monumental although it seemed so small. I’m sure it even changed my life trajectory. Instead of wandering aimlessly in that little classroom, she pointed out and praised my productivity and independence. And, in my lifetime, there have been moments where I’ve felt disinterested and lost . . . But, I’ll never forget this labeled praise (otherwise known as an "LP" in PCIT) because it was a moment that was impressed upon my heart and mind forever. She taught me, with such few words, that I am self-sufficient, I am enough, and that I have everything I’ll ever need inside of me.

I can only imagine what PCIT and this treatment can do for kids in this day and age. The fact that the skills are meant to be constantly and consistently used (mind you, I only had memory of ONE), and that these are said by the child’s caregivers has got to be way more powerful than the one I received from a teacher. So, to Ms. Tellez at Marian Manor Elementary School, thank you for your encouragement. And to parents of young children everywhere, please try PCIT.

For more information on PCIT and to find a PCIT certified therapist near you, visit https://www.pcit.org.

Eyberg, S. M., & Funderburk, B. (2011). PCIT: Parent-child interaction therapy protocol: 2011. Gainesville, FL: PCIT International.



Listen to Cristal Martinez, MA, LPC, NCC talk about mental health on her podcast at www.throughtheeyesofatherapist.podbean.com or on iTunes.

Or visit her blog at https://cristalma.wordpress.com/

She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ThroughTheEyesOfATherapist

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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Writing Meeting Minutes for Your Psi Chi Chapter

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, July 30, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Psi Chi chapter secretaries are generally tasked with writing a record the minutes of each chapter meeting. But, wait! What exactly are “meeting minutes” and how should you write them?

Meeting minutes are simply a basic record of the events and motions made during a meeting. Of course, you don’t really need to write down the exact “minute” of every detail in a meeting. Instead, it is important that you capture the general spirit of the meeting such as motions, votes, and upcoming plans. This post will share a few tips and an example.



First Things First, Plan Before Each Meeting

Invite other officers and members to request any items that they would like added to the upcoming agenda. Having an organized agenda prepared in advance will make the most of your members’ time. And it makes taking the minutes easier too.

What to Include in Your Record of a Meeting

  • Date of meeting
  • Time the meeting was called to order
  • Roll call
  • New business
  • Motions taken or rejected
  • Items to be held over
  • Next meeting date and time
  • Time the meeting was adjourned

View an Example

So, what should your meeting minutes look like? All Psi Chi chapters are unique, but here is a general outline that you can follow:

Psi Chi Meeting Minutes

Call to Order
The chapter meeting was called and held on [DATE] at [TIME] at [LOCATION].

Approval of Minutes From Previous Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and unanimously approved as distributed.

Announcements/Officer Reports

Summarize any announcements and/or reports given.

Unfinished Business
Summarize any ongoing business.

Agenda for Next Meeting
List any items to be discussed at the next meeting.

Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at [INSERT TIME]. The next general meeting will be [DATE] at [TIME] at [LOCATION].


Sharing Your Meeting Minutes

At each meeting, you will probably be asked by your chapter president to read the minutes for the previous meeting. If you aren’t asked, then volunteer to do so anyway! Quickly reviewing past chapter decisions will help remind everyone what is going on, and catch up new attendees so that they will feel more comfortable participating.

Meeting minutes should be made available to all members. You may wish to distribute print copies to members. Or, you could share your meeting minutes on social media, or on your chapter’s website or blog!

Other Helpful Tips

  • Look over your notes and finalize your minutes as soon as possible after each meeting. This will ensure that you remember as much as possible.
  • Feel free to ask for clarification when you need it.

Related Articles


Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life 

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How to Run a Chapter Meeting

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

 

Following a set procedure for your chapter meetings—even a simple one—can go a long way toward improving your chapter’s accomplishments throughout the year. Here is some basic information about running meetings to get you started. Please keep in mind that all chapters have their own unique structures and needs. For further information about conducting meetings, members are encouraged to purchase a copy of the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Who Runs Chapter Meetings?

Chapter presidents are generally responsible for running (i.e., chairing) chapter meetings. In the event that the president cannot attend a meeting, the chapter’s vice-presidents will usually fill in.

Request a Written Agenda in Advance

Your chapter secretary is generally responsible for keeping meeting minutes and writing an order of business for upcoming meetings. Presidents, if you don’t already have an agenda, be sure to ask for one in advance.



During the Meeting—Instructions for the President/Chair

1. To start the meeting, say something like this:
“The meeting will now come to order.”

2. Request for the secretary to perform a roll call.
The secretary will then call the roll, with pauses for response.

3. Ask the secretary to read the minutes from the previous meeting.
Then, ask everyone if there are any corrections. If there aren’t, you should make a motion (see below for specific instructions) to approve the minutes so that they will be part of the official record of the current meeting’s minutes.

4. Request for members to report on any specific roles, activities, or accomplishments.
For example, perhaps an officer was previously asked to provide updates about the planning of an upcoming event. Or maybe an officer would like to share the results of a recent service activity.

5. Discuss any unfinished business from previous meetings.
Occasionally, business will be tabled to the next meeting, and this is Ok—it allows people more time to think about an issue or gather additional information. Double check the minutes of previous meetings to make sure that you haven’t missed anything.

6. Ask if there is any new business.
This is your members’ opportunity to raise issues. These issues do not necessarily have to be on the agenda that was written before the meeting. For the group to decide on any new business, a motion is required (see below).

7. If possible, go ahead and share the agenda for the next meeting.
Remember to include the date, time, and location, as well as any other relevant information.

8. To end the meeting, say something like this:
“Since there is no further business, the meeting is adjourned.”

How to Make a MotionInstructions for All Members

1. President/chair acknowledges a person who has raised a hand or stood up in order to gain your attention.

2. The person will then make a motion by saying, “I move that . . . ”

3. A different member then seconds the motion.

4. President/chair restates the motion by saying, “It is moved and seconded that . . .”

5. Members debate the motion, allowing both sides to discuss.

6. President/chair puts the motion to a vote, asking all those in favor to say “aye” and then all those who oppose to say “no.”

7. President/chair announces the results. For example, say “The aye’s have it” or “The no’s have it.”

Other Tips

1. Identify the goals or purpose of your meeting. If your chapter has specific goals for the overall school year, it is good to write these down and keep them handy at all meetings too.

2. Pay attention to the clock.

3. Take notes.

4. Follow up.

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life 

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Apply Psi Chi’s Goals to Your Personal Endeavors

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2018


In a recent blog article, we discussed how local chapters can use Psi Chi’s three goals at the start of each semester to create a roadmap to success. Today, let’s talk about how individual members, including alumni members, can benefit from these three goals too.

Members are encouraged to connect with a local chapter in their area to pursue their goals as a team. However, individual members and alumni are invited to complete our Annual Vision 2020 Worksheet too! This worksheet will help you organize and prepare for meaningful tasks to boost your resum
é, education, and career.


Here are the three goals and some specific suggestions to help you accomplish them.


Goal 1: Scholarly Pursuits

It’s never too late to learn something new! Specifically, this goal encourages you to “conduct exemplary research, disseminate and apply research findings, and maintain a lifelong interest in exploring the field of psychology.” Here are some ways to do this through your membership with Psi Chi.

First, be sure to visit our specific online resources about Conducting Research and Attending and Presenting at Conventions. You’ll be glad that you did—time and time again, research experiences and convention attendance help people discover their unique passions and develop lifelong professional relationships with their peers. Psi Chi features special programming at six regional conventions, APA, and APS. We hope to see you there!

Second, explore our
magazine, blog, and journal. These are all packed with up-to-date information about advancements in psychology. Plus, they also offer unique publication opportunities to Psi Chi students and faculty alike.

Goal 2: Member Development

This goal is a reminder for you to seek out “opportunities to enhance your professional and personal life.” In addition to the skills you will gain from conducting research and networking at conventions, here are three strategies to consider.

First, remember to take advantage of Psi Chi’s Career Center! You can create an account, search for jobs, and set up automatic Job Alerts—all for free. And just as importantly, you can also ask our career experts specific questions about your resumé, interviews, and application materials. Yes, this is a free opportunity to speak with living human beings who are dedicated to guiding you to your next great job opportunity.

A second member development strategy to consider is going to graduate school. Psi Chi is happy to help you with this too through our Going to Grad School Resource and our eBook, An Eye on Graduate School.

A third way to grow personally and professionally is to increase your knowledge of diversity issues and self-improvement strategies such as teamwork skills, mental health, so forth. Our Diversity Matters online resource has some concise steps for you to consider, and our new #Help_HelpedMe Initiative invites you to join us in creating a world where it is safe and acceptable to ask for help when you need it. Also, our three publications are packed with many articles about improving your learning techniques, balancing the work and school, de-stressing, and much more.

 
Goal 3: Chapter Experiences


Last of all, Psi Chi chapters strive to “foster a vibrant and meaningful environment for all members to contribute to and benefit from continued engagement.”

Although you might have already graduated, you are still welcome to take part in chapter and member experiences. If you have lost contact with your chapter, please take a few minutes to reconnect. Just visit our Chapter Directory, find any chapters near your current location, and then send an e-mail to those faculty advisors to let them know that you are interested in speaking with them and helping them conduct community service activities.

By pursuing each of the three goals above, you are supporting Psi Chi’s greater mission of “recognizing and promoting excellence in the science and application of psychology!” Best wishes in your many future endeavors!


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Tags:  A Better You  Career Advice  Psi Chi Related 

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Celebrate Undergraduate Research Week With Psi Chi!

Posted By John E. Edlund, PhD, Psi Chi Research Director, Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2018



Dear Psi Chi Member,

I am proud to introduce Psi Chi’s first-ever celebration of Undergraduate Research Week! All students and faculty—not just undergrads—are invited to join us April 9–13 to shine a light on the latest generation of students striving to advance the science and application of psychology.

In 2010, Undergraduate Research Week was declared by the U.S. House of Representatives. Indeed, many professionals first discovered their passion for research when they were students. This celebration is to recognize those beginnings too, and for the mentors who cultivate countless bright minds. Here are four ways you can honor this special occasion:

1. Join a Research Project

Psi Chi NICE recently partnered with StudySwap, a free tool featuring dozens of projects actively seeking collaborators such as yourself. See the brand-new article which will appear in Eye on Psi Chi, “Undergrad Researchers Will Save Psychological Science,” to learn about additional research opportunities.

2. Receive Financial Support

Psi Chi provides $400,000 annually in awards, grants, and scholarships. This includes significant funding for undergraduate research awards, research grants, and travel grants to conventions. View a complete list of annual programs and deadlines.

3. Share and Support Current Research

Share about your current research projects on Facebook. Use hashtag #PsiChiURW. Specific projects, interests, conference attendance—we want to hear about it all! You are also encouraged to participate in online surveys conducted by Psi Chi members. Twenty-one studies are currently seeking participants; submit a link to your own surveys too.

4. Learn Something New

Over the years, Psi Chi has built up a wealth of free articles and resources about Conducting Research and Attending and Presenting at Conventions. You are welcome to use these in your classrooms and other endeavors.

Open Science Practices

Research Methods

Ethics

Publishing Your Work

Presenting at Conventions

Undergraduate research opportunities cultivate future generations of passionate and innovative researchers. I look forward to your participation in the celebration!

John E. Edlund, PhD
Psi Chi Research Director
Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
research.director@psichi.org

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life  Conducting Research  Psi Chi Related 

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