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

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

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!

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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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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! Let's have some Halloween fun AND promote diversity issues. 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

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.

Related Articles

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

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 or on iTunes.

Or visit her blog at

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

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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