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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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Psi Chi Story: Katina Harris

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, October 9, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Psi Chi Story: Katina Harris

Katina D. Harris (Prairie View A &M University) recently won a Psi Chi travel grant to attend to attend SWPA, and so could you! View the deadlines for next year’s regional conventions.

A third-year PhD student, Katina serves as a research assistant and research mentor in the African American Faith Communities Project Lab. She received her BA in psychology at North Carolina Central University, and she has conducted nearly 20 scholarly presentations. Katina’s goal is to become a clinical psychologist and work in academia; her research interests include emerging adults, religion, academics, and mental health. In today’s interview, she answers five quick questions about her Psi Chi story.

For what purpose did you use your travel grant?

SWPA’s 2017 convention in San Antonio was the first academic convention I attended without a mentor or peer. I drove to San Antonio, which is about 3 hours from my home. Because I have an older car, I did not feel confident about driving my personal vehicle to the convention. I used the Psi Chi Travel Grant to secure a rental vehicle ($104.00) and pay hotel parking ($36.80).

I am grateful to receive a Psi Chi travel grant, which helped reduce SWPA expenses and allowed me to present on the importance of mentoring students. Attending SWPA provided a great opportunity for me to meet leading experts, learn about groundbreaking research, and receive presentation feedback. Because I am interested in a career in academia, I also looked forward to meeting psychologists who might provide career advice and inspire new research ideas.

Would you have been able to attend the convention without the travel grant?

This was a wonderful convention and I would like to believe that I would have attended without external funding sources. However, I can not say definitively I would have attended SWPA 2017 convention without financial support from Psi Chi.

How did it feel to win a grant from Psi Chi?

It was my first time applying for any type of award through Psi Chi, and I felt ecstatic to win the travel grant.

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

I recommend other students apply to receive Psi Chi awards and grants to support their research and professional development.

What has your overall experience with Psi Chi been like?

I have had a good experience with Psi Chi International Organization. The organizational representatives have always been helpful when I called and were very responsive by e-mail. I value my membership with the organization, and I do not regret my decision to become a Psi Chi scholar. When I learned of Psi Chi in 2012, I looked forward to becoming a member because I believed that the organization would benefit me as an undergraduate student. Now as a graduate student, I realize the organization continues to benefit me in multiple ways.

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, we’d like to hear about your Psi Chi story in the comments below (member login required). And don’t forget to congratulate Katina too! Happy travels, everyone!


Tags:  Conducting Research  Psi Chi Related 

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Why Our Annual Campaign Can Change the World

Posted By Cynthia Wilson, Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Why Our Annual Campaign Can Change the World

Cynthia Wilson
Psi Chi Director of Membership and Development

Here at Psi Chi Central Office, I have the pleasure of interacting with members on a daily basis. I love to hear and tell members’ stories about their exciting contributions to psychology. It’s the stories of our members, the mentoring of our incredible advisors, and the leadership of our board of directors that get me excited about the possibilities for the future of Psi Chi.

You are the future of Psi Chi. By supporting you, by offering you benefits and opportunities, we secure the future of psychology and guess what, you can change the world.

Please join us in our first year-long annual giving campaign. This year’s goal is $88,000 (for Psi Chi’s 88th anniversary on September 4, 2017) to help destigmatize mental illness, aid our Membership Assistance Fund, as well as to support our awards, grants, and scholarships.

And can you believe we’re already 20% toward our goal? With your help, we can surpass it! Many get into the field because of a desire to give back. Now, by giving back to Psi Chi, you can make a direct impact on the science of psychology!

By raising funds, Psi Chi can better support its mission and expand opportunities for its members worldwide. Psi Chi President Dr. R. Eric Landrum of Boise State University has a year-long presidential initiative. His goal is to help destigmatize the process of seeking help for mental illness. With your support, this initiative will change the world for those who need help and for those who give help. Our Give Back campaign will also support this very important initiative.

So what does this mean for you? It means more opportunities for awards, grants or scholarships, expanded benefits and a way to be directly engaged with important initiatives like Dr. Landrum’s.

I encourage you to consider giving back to Psi Chi today. Simply visit psichi/ and make your tax exempt gift. We are striving to make your experience as a life-long Psi Chi member valuable. By raising funds to support our mission, Psi Chi will be stronger now as well as into the future.

Thank you for giving back to Psi Chi!

Tags:  A Better You  Psi Chi Related 

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Think You’re Ready to Be an Officer? Six Things You Should Know

Posted By Central Office, Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Think You're Ready to Be an Officer? Six Things You Should Know

Incoming officers, I would like to be the first to thank you for accepting a leadership opportunity at your chapter! Year after year, I have witnessed students take the reins at chapters and guide their members to incredible success. This year, I can’t wait to see what wonderful things you will do as well!

Today’s blog post will help you be the best officer you can be. Armed with answers to the six questions below, you will be ready to have an incredible year!

  1. Can you access your Officer Admin page?
    Try to access it with your Psi Chi login, right now. If you can view the webpage, then that’s great! If not, please send your local advisors an e-mail asking them to update the current officers online via their special Faculty Advisor Admin page.

    Your Officer Admin page includes special resources available only to designated officers. This is sure to give you a leg-up throughout the academic year. Being listed online as an officer will also grant you access to a special monthly Advisor/Officer e-mail with specific advice throughout the academic year.

  2. Are you aware of your specific duties throughout your term?
    Yes, specifically you! Do you know your officer duties? Psi Chi has an Officer Guidelines document available on your Officer Admin page. Download this file to review the specific suggested responsibilities for 15 unique officer positions. All chapters are somewhat unique, but this should get you off to a great start!
  3. Do you have specific chapter goals to look forward to?
    Chapters that identify concrete goals at the beginning of the year are more focused and more likely to excel! We’ve got a special Chapter Goals Worksheet that is again available on your Officer Admin page (starting to see a trend here!?). Print out a copy and suggest that your chapter complete the worksheet together at the start of the year. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

  4. Do you have adequate support?
    Our smallest chapters have accomplished some incredible things! However, take a moment to consider this: if a chapter with 10 members can raise $1,000 for some great cause, then imagine the potential for a chapter with 20 members.

    The more students you have who are engaged at your chapter, the more your chapter will be able to accomplish! So, don’t try to run your chapter all by yourself. Instead, ask yourself if your chapter needs more members, and then ALWAYS say “Yes!” Chapters can ALWAYS benefit from additional members. Therefore, your natural course of action is to start your recruitment drives as early as possible in the fall.

    Psi Chi is here to help you with this! We have downloadable posters, advice for identifying and approaching potential members, and even template letters you can choose to send. (You guessed it. These resources are on the Officer Admin page!)

  5. Can you identify any personal passions or interests?
    Bring those with you to Psi Chi. Our Honor Society is a unique opportunity for you to pull together a group of people with similar interests. Are you are interested in helping the homeless, conducting a particular research project, or finding out about careers for when you graduate? Discuss this with your fellow members! You may be surprised by just how many people will share your aspirations and want to learn more about your passions as a group.
  6. Any other questions about leading your chapter?
    We at the Psi Chi Central Office are always glad to help out. We’ve seen A LOT in the past 88 years, so please let us know if you need any advice or assistance. Contact us anytime at

Best wishes as you go on your journey with Psi Chi this year! Soon, your members will thank you for stepping into a leadership position at your chapter. Members of your community will thank you. Your resumé will thank you! And you will thank yourself too!

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Psi Chi members, what is your officer role for this year? What accomplishments do you look forward to? What challenges will your chapter need to overcome to do great things in your community? I would love to hear from you in the comments below (member login required).

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Psi Chi Stories: Ja’Darrius and Sondeika

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


Psi Chi Stories:
Ja'Darrius and Sondeika

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

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

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

How did it feel to become a Psi Chi member?

Ja’Darrius: It has truly been an honor being both recommended and accepted into this honor society. Being recognized for my accomplishments in academia gave me a bit of a needed spark to continue striving for success in my studies.

Sondeika: To become a member of Psi Chi was one of my best accomplishments thus far here at the University of Southern Miss. I had recently applied the year before and didn't get accepted. However, I'm glad that I persevered and kept going and finally got accepted.

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

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

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

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

Ja’Darrius: Yes, I do believe that Psi Chi, as I mentioned is a prestigious society that is well-respected around the nation. As a member, I feel that this role is like a badge of honor, and mentioning of it during my application process will help give me that extra push that may be needed in the decision-making process of the different review boards in which I will be submitting.

Sondeika: Having Psi Chi on my resumé will be an advantage when it comes to applying and getting accepted into grad school. Being a member shows that I have determination, I'm a hard-worker, and I believe in having great academics because all of these are requirements to join. Not only that, Psi Chi gives insightful and helpful tips on how to apply for grad school.

What other ways could your Psi Chi membership benefit you?

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

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

Conduct a Lab Experiment

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

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Some Words of Inspiration to Start the School Year

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


Some Words of Inspiration to Start the School Year

Justine N. Rossi, MS, SSP
School Psychologist II

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

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

Hello, fellow psychologists!

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

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

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

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

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


Justine N. Rossi, MS, SSP
School Psychologist II

Six Ways to Start Your Year With Psi Chi

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

Tags:  A Better You  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Psi Chi UCA Receives Model Chapter Award TEN Years Running!

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


Psi Chi UCA Receives Model Chapter Award TEN Years Running!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conduct a Lab Experiment

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

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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Welcome New Chapters: 2016-17

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


Welcome New Chapters: 2016–17

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

Our New Chapters

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

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

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

Other Notable Accomplishments

  • We quadrupled our Scholarships program to $48,000 this year! Eight $3,000 undergraduate scholarships are due July 5, 2017, and eight $3,000 graduate scholarships are due July 15, 2017.
  • We launched a new Career Center last fall, which already contains literally thousands of new psychology related job openings across the United States. If you haven’t checked it out, be sure to do so! You can also upload your resumé to receive free personalized feedback from our career experts.
  • We published our new eBook, which brings together Psi Chi’s very best advice about applying to graduate school—advice accumulated from 25+ experts in over 20+ years of Eye on Psi Chi magazine issues. Many chapters have been updated to include the latest trends and information. Only $4.99 for members.
  • Oh, and we created a pretty cool new blog too! ;)

Conduct a Lab Experiment

Welcome our latest new chapters in the comment section below. Have advice for these chapters? Please share that information as well (member login required).

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

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

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All About Psi Chi's New Call for Abstracts!

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

All About Psi Chi's
New Call for Abstracts!

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

What is the special issue about?

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

What are Open Science Badges?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who is eligible to submit an abstract?

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

How easy or difficult is it to earn a badge?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conduct an Lab Experiment

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

Tags:  Conducting Research  Psi Chi Related 

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