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

Spring Into Research

Posted By Sarah Ann Coffin, CSU Monterey Bay, Thursday, February 8, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Spring Into Research

The morning espresso-to-go routine is back! Welcome all to the new spring semester. As you begin to order books and learn new class schedules, don’t forget to keep your eye on the summer research prize. Often at the start of a new semester, I find myself wrapped up in to-do lists and settling into revised routines. After the extended holiday and relaxation, it can be difficult to prioritize internships and summer research. However, the beginning of the semester is the perfect time to plan for great new opportunities!

Start With a Timeline

Nothing says organization like a rough outline of your research plan. Take a step toward meeting your goals for this semester and summer by establishing a location to jot down deadlines and requirements. Applications like Evernote and Microsoft OneNote provide platforms to map out weekly tasks in organized notebooks by subject. Busy students can use these apps on their mobile phones for quick access to to-do lists on the run. If you are like me, you will love the color coding features that help you keep track of assignments for all of your psychology classes. By getting in the habit of writing down due dates and future opportunities, you can stay on top of research applications, grant deadlines, and assignments this semester.

Fund Your Research

Psi Chi offers grants and awards to fund your research as early as February and March of this year. If you are enrolled in lab or plan to join within the coming year, Psi Chi provides opportunities for financial support for both undergraduate and graduate students. Applications open 30 days prior to deadline dates, so stay updated on ways to fund for your research! While you are perusing Psi Chi’s funding opportunities, take a moment to also check in with your university’s student research center. Many universities throughout the nation provide services to support your research and quest to graduate school through workshops, awards, and grants. Don’t put your dreams of conducting experiments on the back burner; take advantage of the fantastic resources provided to you as a student and member of Psi Chi.

Summer Is Coming!

Let’s face it, it can be frustrating to try to balance a research internship with maintaining grades, personal care, and a social life. Whether you are choosing to invest in summer research for personal edification or for graduate school, finding the right data sources to assist your search for an internship is essential. Try starting with broad websites to give you an idea of the potential research positions available in your concentration, such as the American Psychological Association or the National Science Foundation. From there, you can find sites with internships specific to your interests, such as Johns Hopkins for research in child development or Yale University for origins of social cognition. When you find the concentration that best suits you, don’t forget to record application deadlines in your Evernote or Microsoft OneNote file. Your future self will thank you!

Prepped to Go

With planning on your side, you can tackle landing your desired research position without all of the last minute hassle. For those of you who resolved to procrastinate less in 2018, now is your time to shine! When you do apply for this year’s funding and positions, be confident in your abilities. Whether you are one of ten applicants or one of thousands, be proud of yourself for your careful planning and efforts invested. In preparation alone, you will have exhibited qualities in organization, critical thinking, and goal achievement. Not only will these qualities reflect in your application, but in the way you conduct yourself in your research position as well. Good luck this semester and in all your research endeavors! I can’t wait to see where science takes us next.

Related Articles

Join a Collaborative Research Program
Submitting to Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research
Tips to Find a Faculty Sponsor

Tags:  A Better You  Conducting Research 

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Establish Concrete Goals for Your Chapter—Here’s How!

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Establish Concrete Goals
for Your Chapter—Here’s How!

Psi Chi’s Board of Directors instituted three Vision 2020 goals for Psi Chi that you can also use as a roadmap at the local chapter level. The three goals are:

  1. Scholarly Pursuits
  2. Member Development
  3. Chapter Experiences

Chapters that make concrete plans ahead of time are more likely to be successful. So, today’s article will discuss how to use Psi Chi’s three goals to support your chapter.

First, at the beginning of each semester, encourage your officers and members get together to complete this brief Chapter Goals worksheet. Then, be sure to make copies for all your members or display your chapter’s goals somewhere public to help keep everyone focused on the tasks your chapter will have set for itself.

Starting in January 2018, we invite you to upload your chapter’s goals to the Psi Chi website so that other chapters can see and take inspiration from your endeavors. To view other chapters’ goals, visit HERE. The downloadable worksheet and your chapter’s goals can also be accessed via your appropriate Faculty Advisor or Officer Admin pages.

When your chapter works together as a team, you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish. Make a point to attend as many meetings and events as you can, and remember to offer your assistance to your officers and advisors as needed. Here are some specific suggestions to help your chapter accomplish each of Psi Chi’s goals:

Goal 1: Scholarly Pursuits

To embrace this goal, consider suggesting that your chapter host a meeting in a campus computer lab where students can all visit Psi Chi’s Post a Study page to gain experience participating in online research. Students might also appreciate a group lesson on Attending and Presenting at Conventions. Better yet, use this article to inspire your chapter members to attend or even present at a local, regional, or national convention.

Furthermore, if your students are interested in obtaining careers in research, your chapter could conduct or assist a collaborative group research project. Here are some example collaborative Research Opportunities to consider. You might also work together to submit your research to our prestigious Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research. Being able to place a publication on your resumé is especially helpful if you are hoping to attend graduate school!

Goal 2: Member Development

One simple, yet effective, way to support your local members’ personal and professional development is to host events about finding a psychology-related job and/or attending graduate school. Our Careers in Research, Going to Graduate School, and Attending and Presenting at Conventions online resources are packed with information that you could share with your fellow members. In addition to the priceless information you will obtain when hosting these events, you will also gain real leadership experience that can easily be included on your resumé or CV.

Certainly, it is never too late to strengthen your professional skillset by taking on a valuable role in your chapter. Even if annual chapter officer positions have already been filled, you can always offer to start a new committee or officer position at your chapter. Visit this list of leadership types to see which ones might be suitable additions for your chapter.

Goal 3: Chapter Experiences

There are countless ways to create long-lasting memories and friendships with your chapter members. For example, consider having regular community service events, ice cream socials, game nights, pizza parties, and more! Learning about fascinating topics such as Female Serial Killers or watching a psychological thriller film together can be lots of fun too!

And last of all, remember to make recruitment a priority at your chapter. Inviting potential members to join early in the semester could give you chapter an extra boost in attendance and support throughout the year! View our Identify–Invite–Induct PDF for specific suggestions to support your recruitment drives.

Conduct an Experiment

It’s going to be a great academic year! In the comments below, tell us some activities you would like to participate in with your chapter (login required). And don’t forget to upload your chapter’s official goals HERE.

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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If Knowledge Is Power, Experience Is the Key: Internships and Service Learning Opportunities

Posted By Kaitlyn Louise Nasworthy, Tuesday, December 12, 2017

If Knowledge Is Power,
Experience Is the Key: Internships
and Service Learning Opportunities

Kaitlyn Louise Nasworthy, Georgia Southern University

All serious psychology students are aware of how important their degree credentials will be to their future. Their alma mater, GPA, chosen courses, and CORE course levels will be examined every time their transcript is submitted for potential jobs and graduate schools. This is why many programs on campuses nationwide push students to succeed in their degrees and earn the highest grades they possibly can earn. Psychology students get an abundance of resources that include tutoring and mentoring, research mentors, how-to guides from online schools, free pdfs of APA writing guildlines and research methods, and loads of extra credit from very kind and understanding professors. As long as students apply themselves, succeeding in getting a psychology degree presents very little difficulty.

But, being a psychology student should be more than just getting a degree. It needs to involve service learning, volunteer work, gaining experience in several areas of psychology, and taking a more hands-on approach to their career building. Although some colleges do offer service learning courses for psychology students and many offer internships, academic excellence is pushed above all else. This, combined with the lack of paid and/or part-time internships, sets up students to defer hands-on work experience in favor of studying, earning extra credit, and focusing more on lecture material than applying it to their future careers. As a result, many psychology students ignore the importance of building tangible real-world skills for their chosen careers, or miss out with experimenting in potential psychology fields they may not have considered otherwise.

Challenges to Obtain These Opportunities

Academic excellence is highly important, and I have always pushed myself to do my very best for both of my degrees. Likewise, I encourage all my peers and colleagues to do the same. However, I do wish I was more involved in service learning opportunities while in school. The few internships and service learning course slots filled up quickly, were highly competitive, and had very strict entrance criteria to meet before being considered. I have heard many other psychology students voice similar opinions on the matter as well. For example, a colleague of mine applied to one of the internship opportunities that my university offers twice, but could not get it because of no prior work experience within the field (clinical psychology). Another colleague of mine applied to this same internship and did not get it because they were 0.2 of a GPA point away from the official GPA requirement, despite having three years of experience. Then, there are students who cannot afford to work in unpaid internships because they are paying for school, and even their own bills!

Strategies to Succeed

So, how do we fix this problem? In my opinion, internships should be gateways to skill-building, and prospective students should not be required to have prior experience to be considered for them. But, internships should not be the only service learning to be presented to students. Professors and faculty could always make sure students are aware of community events that could use their help, centers that need volunteers, and part-time work on and off campus that could help students hone their psychology skills. There should always be a chance for students of all walks of life to apply themselves and learn more about what to expect from their chosen careers.

I also understand that all internships cannot afford to pay students. That being said, internships should offer more than just class credit for students because many students would have to balance class and another job with it. Perhaps they could be treated like graduate assistantships; in lieu of giving the students a paycheck or stipend, offer them a tuition discount for the semester after completing the internship. This would make paying for school easier and allow the students to perform their internship duties relatively stress-free, increasing job performance. This would be especially helpful for on-campus internships and volunteer work because both the students and the university would benefit from it.

As psychology students, we know our field has, can, and will continue to change the world. We learn this in lecture, online work, while writing research papers and reading peer reviewed journals, and creating and carrying out our own research and peer-reviewed writing. Nevertheless, learning should take place outside the classroom as much as it does inside the classroom. So apply to that internship, volunteer at your local psychology clinic, shadow a classroom, type in data for a colleague’s research, and always look out for new opportunities to learn in every psychological field. If knowledge is indeed power, than experience is the key to utilizing that power.

Tags:  A Better You  Career Advice 

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The Pursuit of Graduate School: Vanity or Necessity?

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

The Pursuit of Graduate School:
Vanity or Necessity?

Carolyn Cowl-Witherspoon, Walden University (MN)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conduct a Lab Experiment

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


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

Kuhn, D., Ramsey, S., & Arvidsson, T. S. (2015). Developing multivariable thinkers. Cognitive Development, 35, 92–110.

Murdoch, D. D. (2016). Psychological literacy: Proceed with caution, construction ahead. Dove Press, 9, 189–199.

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

Tags:  A Better You  Going to Grad School 

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Keeping Procrastination at Bay

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

Keeping Procrastination at Bay

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

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

1. Time and Guilt

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

2. Lack of Information and Initiative

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

3. Keep Distractions to a Minimum

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

4. Listen to Your Conscience and Agree With It!

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

5. Work Out and Practice Your Interest

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

6. Not a One-Time Affair

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

7. Reward Yourself

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

Conduct a Lab Experiment

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

Tags:  A Better You 

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

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


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

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

Allegheny College, PA 

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

Problems of Group Work

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

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

Benefits of Group Work

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

Advice for Professors

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

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

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

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

Advice for Students

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

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

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

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

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


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

Herk, M. (2015, June 11). The skills gap and the seven skill sets that employers want: Building the ideal new hire. In the Nation’s Interest. Retrieved from

Ingham, A. G., Levinger, G., Graves, J., & Peckham. V. (1974). The Ringelmann effect: Studies of group size and group performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 10, 371–384.

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

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

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

Karau, S. J., & Williams, K. D. (1997). The effects of group cohesiveness on social loafing and social compensation. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 1, 156–168.

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

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

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

Nemeth, C. J., & Ormiston, M. (2007). Creative idea generation: Harmony versus stimulation. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37, 524–535.

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

Wuchty, S., Jones, B. F., & Uzzi, B. (2007). The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge. Science, 316, 1036–1039.

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

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life 

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What Happens After Graduation? Tips to Find a Job

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

What Happens After Graduation?
Tips to Find a Job

Ashley Garcia, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

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

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

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

1. Have a Great Resumé

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

2. Write a Stand-Out Cover Letter

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

3. Utilize the Psi Chi Career Center

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

4. Prepare for an Interview

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

5. Don't Be Scared

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

Conduct a Lab Experiment

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

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych  Career Advice 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you in advance for your generous gift.

Tags:  A Better You  Psi Chi Related 

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How Traveling Abroad Transformed My Religious Faith

Posted By Jada Hall, Monday, October 2, 2017
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2017


How Traveling Abroad Transformed
My Religious Faith

Jada Hall, Azusa Pacific University (CA)

I found myself in the 100-degree weather of the Middle East. In the Garden of Gethsemane, I lay exhausted from the hours of walking we had been doing. I contemplated where Jesus sat when He cried out to the Father. The olive trees surrounding me offered comforting shade. The stillness of the garden cleared away the reality of war just outside the gates.

There were bomb shelters dispersed throughout the kibbutz community along the Gaza Strip. When a bomb is launched, the sirens go off, giving the residents 15 seconds to reach the fortified structures. That day, we were lucky; no one decided to launch. A student asked a woman why she stayed in this region. She responded that though she is not a soldier, she stays on the front lines to show her support for Israel. This is her family’s home.

Caption: The Garden of Gethsemane

The world is becoming increasingly “globally oriented,” as Dr. David Towson puts it in his article “Why Study Abroad? What Psychology Students Have to Gain from Study Abroad Opportunities.” Travel abroad experiences, he says, are an invaluable resource for any student looking to grow professionally and personally.

I went to Israel with the intention of learning about the ongoing conflict between them and the Palestinian Authority. Politically, the situation seemed esoteric. I wanted to increase my cultural competency, which is most effectively done by traveling abroad as Dr. Towson briefly explains. Not only did I learn the Israeli perspective of fighting for their homeland to protect the citizens and basic human rights, I also learned the Palestinian sentiment of feeling like a refugee.

Caption: Bomb shelter at a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip

In addition to this professional growth, I experienced an area of personal growth not outlined in the aforementioned article: religious development. At the time of the trip, I was a five-year-old Christian in a rut. I did not go to Israel expecting to be transformed in my faith. However, three lessons and realizations occurred.

First, I saw how the Jewish people encounter God. As I approached the ancient stones of the Temple during Shabbat, I saw my Jewish sisters completing their daven as they rocked back and forth, oblivious to anyone bumping into them. They were entranced in their communion with God. It was similar to the Christian practice of rocking side to side during worship.

Second, I realized that I had not heard from God in a seemingly long while. I desperately wanted to “hear God’s voice” as I stood on the Mount of Beatitudes or to “see God’s presence” as I swam in the fresh waters of the Sea of Galilee. Only once did I remember key biblical passages reminding me that He takes care of my every need. After all, He brought me from having no money in my childhood to a university that provided the opportunity to visit the Holy Land. Aside from this, God seemed far off compared to everyone else’s experience. He showed me it was time to grow in my faith. When I returned stateside, I learned of St. John on the Cross's concept called The Dark Night of the Soul. This is a time when God seems distant, a feeling all too many Christians will experience as a wake-up call to join  the Lord in deeper communion.

Third, my travels caused the Bible to “come alive.” In Israel, I found myself wanting to see Jesus cry in the Garden and dine with His disciples over bread and wine. I wanted to sit at His feet in the unearthed synagogue in Magdala. I suppose, being in Israel created a stronger anticipation for the millennial kingdom.

Caption: (left) Jada enjoying the scenery during a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee (right) Jada getting ready to pray at the Temple’s Wailing Wall

I never dared to dream of studying abroad, but there I was in the summer of 2016, traveling to the Holy Land of my faith. TRiO, a program for first-generation college students, found an organization called Passages to make this experience possible. I can tell several stories of when my group received baptism in the Jordan river, floated in the Dead Sea, and trekked through the narrow passage of Hezekiah's tunnel. However, I will leave it up to you to experience the numerous benefits of travel abroad for yourself.

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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“But I Thought Psychology Would Be Easy!”

Posted By Kaitlyn L. Nasworthy, Monday, September 25, 2017
Updated: Monday, September 25, 2017


"But I Thought Psychology
Would Be Easy!"

Kaitlyn L. Nasworthy, Georgia Southern University

My academic career technically started at a community college, but Georgia Southern University is where I consider my true academic beginning. At Georgia Southern University, I began to learn about the research process, reading and writing peer reviewed articles, how to write in APA format, how to choose a career within the psychology field, how to create paper and poster presentations for conferences, and so on. I learned how to be a research assistant, wrote a research proposal and created my own IRB-approved research project under a mentor, and presented the project at two conferences.

Why am I telling you this? I am using a personal anecdote to point out that until I attended Georgia Southern University, I had little to no introduction on how to truly work within the field of psychology. I am neither criticizing my community college nor the professors (both were fantastic. They introduced me to psychology, memorable figures, the history of the field, and some writing. And yet, I was fairly lost during my first few weeks at Georgia Southern University, and it took me some time to adjust to scientific thinking.

I am also not the only student to be faced with this conundrum. Many of my past and present classmates and colleagues had a hard time adjusting to this, because most high schools and many community colleges only teach MLA format and very little science outside of their standard biology and chemistry courses. As a result, many students enter the psychology field thinking it will be an easy major because it is not a “true hard science” like biology or chemistry. Because of these incorrect assumptions, I have seen classmates fail within the field, or drop out altogether, because psychology was not what they were lead to believe.

If we wish to create and keep passionate scholars within psychology, earlier exposure to the research process is crucial for students. I understand that some schools, like the community college I attended, are not research facilities. Therefore, they would not have the resources to fully introduce students to psychology research. But, they can include resources for students to research on their own. Students are ultimately in charge of their education, but students need to know what they should be looking for as well.

The wonderful thing about this dilemma is that it is relatively easy to fix. All schools and professors really need to do is introduce students to APA, research design and processes, and academic reading and writing earlier, perhaps in all standard Introduction to Psychology courses nationwide. We will see students pick the field for the right reasons and develop a passion for research and writing much earlier. They will pick solid career paths and stick with them, and know exactly what steps they need to take to get there. Psychology students too often only find their career paths because of an epiphany, and in our go-go-go society, that is not enough. Psychology students deserve to know exactly what they are getting into at the beginning, so let’s give future psychology students the information and tools they need to succeed.

Let’s Conduct an Experiment

Psi Chi members, did you transfer from a community college to a 4-year university? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below (member login required).

Tags:  A Better You  All Things Psych 

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