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Celebrating Psi Chi From A–Z

Celebrating Psi Chi From A–Z

As we celebrate Psi Chi's 90th Anniversary year of excellence in psychology, we want to share with you 26 unique things, from A to Z, that make Psi Chi special.

Twenty-six Unique Ways


    Dr. Virginia Andreoli Mathie

    Psi Chi Executive Director (2004–08)
    Psi Chi’s 90th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the organization’s beginnings, recognize the leaders who guided Psi Chi to its current success, applaud all that Psi Chi currently offers to members, and ensure that Psi Chi’s legacy continues in the future. By donating to Psi Chi’s annual giving campaign, members help Psi Chi expand the awards, grants, scholarships, leadership opportunities, and resources that encourage and support psychology’s future leaders. Furthermore, increasing Psi Chi’s financial resources helps the organization establish new programs that transcend the academic and career environments and help members develop important life skills that will serve them well regardless of the career they pursue.

    Psi Chi partners with Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation.

    Our partnership with Born This Way Foundation will challenge you to spread kindness. The #BeKind21 Challenge runs September 1–21. Please read item C below to discover how Psi Chi is encouraging chapter involvement this fall.

    Continue to spread kindness as you take part in the Psi Chi Fall 2019 Chapter Challenge.

    The Psi Chi Chapter Challenge is a way student members can fundraise on behalf of Psi Chi via their chapter fundraising team. We encourage you to take part in the #BeKind21 Challenge and then use that momentum to spur your fundraising efforts to support ALL Psi Chi member programs. The Chapter Challenge will officially run November 1–December 3, but you can get started today!

    Giving Back to Psi Chi means gifts of service and financial donations!


    Dr. Melanie Domenech Rodríguez

    Psi Chi Past President (2018–19)
    Utah State University

    Challenge yourself out of your comfort zone! Psychological research shows that contact with people that are different from you can reduce prejudice. The best way to nip implicit biases in the bud is to be proactive! Put yourself in new situations, be open to learning from others, and make meaningful positive contact. These exchanges are good for all of us. Sometimes being an “outsider” allows for seeing and naming things that are otherwise taken for granted.

    Comfort zone
    Implicit biases
    Be proactive
    Seeing and naming


    90 Years of Excellence in Psychology Campaign

    The former and current Psi Chi Executive Directors, respectively Drs. Virginia Andreoli Mathie and Martha S. Zlokovich, would like to applaud all of our chapter, regional, national, and international leaders for the time and effort they devote to enhancing the educational experience of our members. Psi Chi leadership also offers rewards such as the satisfaction of initiating projects the leader values and bringing them to fruition, the gratification of mentoring others, and the opportunity to augment their marketable skills. We encourage you to pursue a leadership role as a chapter officer or advisor, a regional vice-president or committee member, or an international committee member.

    Dr. Florence Denmark

    Distinguished Research Professor
    Psi Chi Past President (1978–80)
    Psi Chi Distinguished Member

    Psi Chi looks beyond having a certain type of member and warmly invites students of all identities and backgrounds to apply. By committing to diversity, you can enrich your discussions, meetings, and chapter as a whole. An organization is more powerful when comprised of individuals from different backgrounds and celebrates these different points of view. Reach out to your classmates and invite all eligible students to apply for membership.

    Florence L. Denmark Faculty Advisor Award


    Dr. Regan A. R. Gurung

    Psi Chi President (2019–20)
    Oregon State University

    Dr. Regan A.R. Gurung wishes Psi Chi a Happy 90th Birthday. View his Presidential video message here to learn how you can help support 90 more years.

    You too can Give Back to Psi Chi safely and securely at Your gift will ensure 90 more years of both recognizing and promoting excellence in psychology.

    In September, Psi Chi partnered with Born This Way Foundation, as founded by Lady Gaga and Cynthia Germanotta. We promoted the #BeKind21 Challenge which ran from September 1–21 to our membership.

    According to the Born This Way Foundation: “#BeKind21 is an opportunity for individuals and communities to build and practice habits of kindness—towards themselves and to each other while fostering the mental and emotional wellness that is critical to a healthy, thriving life.”

    The Science of Kindness

    Studies have found that being in the habit of kindness can: Boost happiness (Dunn, Aknin, & Norton 2008) and increase feelings of self-worth and calmness while decreasing feelings of depression (UC Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center).

    As part of Psi Chi’s promotion of service, we feel that even though the #BeKindChallenge ended on September 21, the need to spread kindness never ends. Therefore, we challenge you to take or retake the #BeKind21 Challenge! View our calendar and challenge yourself to spread kindness! Let’s all get in the habit of being kind. Post your acts of kindness on your social media pages and include #BeKind21!

    Psi Chi is celebrating its 10th year as the International Honor Society in Psychology. Our first international chapter was chartered as an affiliate chapter in 2003 at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Executive Director Virginia Andreoli Mathie worked to bring on both the next two international chapters, in Ireland and Puerto Rico. Since then, ED Martha S. Zlokovich and Associate Director of Membership and Development Lisa Norman have worked to charter 24 international chapters in 17 countries/U.S. territories. Our international chapters expand the diversity of our society and bring unique and important contributions to the Psi Chi community. We encourage your chapter to reach out and partner with a Psi Chi chapter in another country to share programming, research or presentation ideas.


    Dr. Debi Brannan

    Psi Chi Journal Editor
    Portland State University (OR)

    The Journal is Psi Chi's scientific arm of the organization. In addition to many other benefits of being a member of Psi Chi, all members are able to submit and possibly publish in our Journal. We are a rigorous, scientific, international Journal that offers our authors an opportunity to go through the publishing process with support and encouragement. Would you like to gain valuable research experience or support others who are seeking to polish their research and writing skills? View our Submission Guidelines or learn about Becoming a Reviewer


    Dr. Nadine Kaslow

    Former Chair of the Psi Chi Annual Giving Campaign (2018–19)
    Emory University (GA)
    NIA Project

    “Nia saved my life. I felt lower than an ant when I started and now I love myself.”—former patient

    Domestic violence related deaths are at an all time high.
    —The stress of domestic violence makes women want to end their life
    —Death by suicide is more common than homicide
    —Abused and suicidal women need our help!

    The Nia Project was founded by Nadine Kaslow, PhD, ABPP, Professor and Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Chief Psychologist, Grady Health System; 2014 President, American Psychological Association; Former Chair of the Psi Chi Annual Giving Campaign and Distinguished Member of Psi Chi.

    The Nia Project’s mission is to empower abused, suicidal women to access behavioral health services, find a new sense of purpose, lead more meaningful lives, and affirm their commitment to living a violence-free life. Nia provides a safe, compassionate community that supports women in healing and becoming active in society. This evidenced-based and culturally-informed program offers free individual and family therapy, 20 weekly groups, and a 24-hour crisis system; and assists women in accessing community resources and educational/vocational training (See Nia Project and news story). Since the early 1990s, this nationally recognized empowerment program has helped over 2000 women who have felt so helpless and hopeless after being abused by their partner that they attempted suicide. Most of the women are poor and have few resources, and many are homeless. An evaluation of the program demonstrates that Nia helps women feel less depressed and suicidal, empowers them to feel more capable and hopeful, and enables them to cope better with stress.


    Dr. Elizabeth Lofus

    Psi Chi Distinguished Member
    University of California, Irvine

    My research has centered on a common theme: Human memory is malleable

    Memory can be changed, or contaminated, or even created out of whole cloth. I’ve demonstrated this in hundreds of studies involving more than 30,000 research subjects. In a typical study, witnesses see a simulated accident or crime and later receive some misinformation about the event. A stop sign at the intersection when it was actually a yield sign. A thief in a brown jacket when it was actually green.

    When later tested, many witnesses will claim the misinformation as their memory. This phenomenon is now known as the “misinformation effect.” Not only can people be led to misremember details of an event, they can also be led to remember entire events that never happened, like being lost in a shopping mall, or even something as scary as witnessing another person be possessed by demons.

    The fact that people can be led to remember their past in different ways and can even be led to remember entire events that never happened to them, has important implications for the legal system, and beyond. We need to scrutinize a memory report and not simply accept uncritically as true. We need to recognize that false memories, like true ones, can be expressed with a lot of confidence, detail and even emotion. Such a realization might help reduce the number of innocent people who are convicted of crimes they did not do. Such a realization can also help us be more tolerant of the mistakes of memory that friends, family members, and even we ourselves, sometimes make.


    Psi Chi boasts over 800,000 lifetime members. Members are what make Psi Chi a truly special honor society. Our Distinguished Members are the top in their field. Our faculty members serve as mentors and our advisors and officers keep our chapters running smoothly.

    In this 90th year, student members have won scholarships, presented research, raised funds on behalf of Psi Chi as part of the Chapter Challenge, and dedicated themselves to excellence in psychology

    Thank you for being a lifetime member of Psi Chi!

    A great new member benefit for Psi Chi members is Psi Chi’s Network for International Collaborative Exchange (NICE). NICE allows you to discover or post research projects seeking collaborators. You can also suggest potential projects that Psi Chi will then promote in order to generate large-scale collaboratively collected data.

    For more information visit RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES.

    Please view this brief video from Psi Chi President-Elect, Dr. Deborah Harris O’Brien. Dr. O’Brien reminds us of why Psi Chi is a special Society, how we can give back, and what it means to be a member in our 90th anniversary year.

    Dr. Inez Beverly Prosser is recognized as the first African American woman to receive a PhD in psychology. Her dissertation examined how childrens’ personality related to their performance in segregated or mixed schools. This was her only professional research and never published because she died suddenly, shortly after completing her degree. We began the Psi Chi Scholarship for Women of Color in her name because of her role as a pioneering woman in the field and to uplift her as a role model to our members.

    Currently, a fundraising committee is raising $50,000 to fund the Inez Beverly Prosser/Psi Chi Scholarship for Women of Color. Once that $50,000 has been raised, Psi Chi has agreed to match that amount to fully endow the scholarship for generations of Psi Chi members to come.

    If you would like to donate to support this important scholarship for Psi Chi members who are women of color, you can do so easily and securely here.

    Dr. Daniel P. Corts

    Psi Chi Past President (2015–16)
    Augustana College

    I love that psychology is such an expansive and diverse discipline. In the past week, I've read research papers on topics ranging from the human genome to the exchange of cultural information over long distances. From the microscopic to the global, the one thing that unites psychology and underlies all we do is that we all start with research questions about human behavior and we answer them through systematic, empirical investigation. I began my PhD work interested in quantitative methods and even developed a new statistical approach to understanding language production. Before it was all over, however, I found myself absolutely enthralled in the quantitative analysis of the language samples I had collected. By combining quantitative and qualitative work, I was able to produce much more comprehensive answers to my questions.

    Dr. Robert Rosenthal

    Psi Chi Distinguished Member
    University of California, Riverside
    Emeritus of Harvard University

    A central theme of my research over the last 50 years or so, took shape when I ruined the results of my UCLA doctoral dissertation back in 1956. On the basis of an unnecessary exploratory analysis of my dissertation data, I discovered that I had probably unwittingly affected the responses of my research participants because I knew the conditions into which they had been assigned when I administered a pretest to them. So we might learn whether this instance of a possible "unconscious experimenter bias" might be a more general phenomenon, my students, colleagues, and I began a series of dozens of studies in which we created different expectations in the minds of different experimenters we employed, to see whether creating different expectations in the minds of experimenters might result in their research participants' responding as their experimenters expected; that is, whether experimenters' expectations might become self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Of special interest was the finding that experimenter expectancy effects were found not only in experimenters collecting data from human research participants, but that these effects were also found when animals were the subjects of the research, and that the magnitude of the effect was noticeably larger for animal subjects than it was for human research participants. In one example of these animal subject studies, experimenters were told that they would be running rats in mazes and that, as part of a genetics research study, some of them would be running rats specially bred for maze-brightness whereas others would be running rats specially bred for maze-dullness. In reality, all rats were perfectly ordinary rats assigned at random to the "maze-bright" or the "maze-dull" labeling conditions. Results of this study showed that rats believed to be brighter ran the mazes faster and more accurately than did rats believed to be dull.

    If rats became brighter when expected to, perhaps children would become brighter if their teachers expected them to. There are well over a dozen studies showing that when teachers' expectations for their students' future intellectual functioning are made more favorable, those children gain more IQ points than do the control group children. Children were assigned at random to the higher expectation group or the control group of whom nothing was said, so that the actual difference in intellectual potential was in the mind of the teacher. But interpersonal self-fulfilling prophecies are not limited to psychological laboratories and classrooms. Their effects have been studied in gymnasiums, courtrooms, health care contexts, and quite extensively in organizational contexts. And one of those organizational contexts is your chapter of Psi Chi!

    September 4, 1929

    September 4, 1929, during the Ninth International Congress of Psychology, hosted by APA, representatives from 11 colleges and universities signed the charter creating Psi Chi as a new society. This past September 4, we marked our 90th anniversary.

    Throughout this year, we have celebrated Psi Chi A—Z: looking at the many things, places, and people that make Psi Chi a truly special Society. As we reflect on these past 90 years, please take the time to reflect on your own milestones, your own successes, and your own valuable learning experiences.

    Send us your chapter activities and photos to show us how you celebrate Psi Chi.

    Many Psi Chi members and current or former Board of Directors members have authored textbooks. Dr. Virginia Andreoli Mathie, Psi Chi A-Z fundraising co-chair, 2019-20, asked many of them what motivated them to write a textbook, what they had hoped to convey, and what were the rewards of sharing psychology in the textbook format.

    Dr. Betsy Morgan, University of Wisconsin La Crosse
    Psi Chi Midwestern Regional Vice President from 2006–10; Psi Chi President 2014-15

    My book was basic information about career options for psychology majors. My impetus for writing it was to focus on two primary ideas 1) that psychology is an excellent liberal arts undergraduate major that is a good background from many types of careers and 2) that the vast majority of psychology undergraduates do *not* go on to graduate school and they have career information and development needs that deserve to be met
    Read more

    Dr. Shawn Charlton, University of Central Arkansas
    Current Southwest Regional Vice-President

    My co-authors (Ken and Susan Sobel) and I wrote Psychology: The Science of Who We Are to highlight psychology's powerful ability to promote self-understanding, a skill that is critical to improving mental health, social interactions, and our communities.

    Dr. Daniel Corts, Augustana College
    Psi Chi President 2015-16

    Psychological Science (Introductory textbook with Mark Krause)
    In addition to introducing students to psychology, we wanted to help readers develop scientific literacy: the ability to understand the content of psychological science as well as the research and applications that bring those ideas to life. To support scientific literacy, we developed models and exercises that model scientific literacy and provide opportunities to practice.
    Read more

    Dr. Dr. Stephen F. Davis
    Retired, Emporia State University (emeritus)
    Psi Chi Midwestern Regional Vice-President, 1990-93
    Psi Chi National President, 1994-95

    My coauthors and I have always attempted to make psychology an alive and relevant field, and viable occupational choice for the students who use our books. Because my first coauthor and I taught average students at less prestigious institutions, we wanted to write a text that would appeal and be affordable to "our" students. As a teacher, I have always hoped that my books would have a positive impact on as wide a range of students as possible.

    Dr. R. Eric Landrum, Boise State University
    Psi Chi President 2017-18

    If I actually limit myself to the single most important thing I wanted to convey as a textbook author, it is the idea that knowledge from psychological science can make a positive difference in people's daily lives. Our is a basic science and an applied science, and it is in that application where we can truly change lives and change the world for the better.
    Read more

    2018-19 Undergraduate Research Grant winners

    Kiah Coflin, Roanoke College
    Obtaining this grant allows for my research to be extended and conducted on Prolific Academic, increasing the generalizability of the findings. I also gained first-hand experience in grant writing and will enhance other research-related skills by completing this project, both of which will be useful in graduate school and beyond.

    Ava Peterson, Missouri University of Science and Technology
    This grant will impact our research by covering participant compensation, which is a crucial incentive to recruit volunteers to partake in our research. This grant has also taught me vital information about the processes of applying for grants, and this will be useful in my future endeavors as a physician.

    Angelee Rodriguez, University of Texas at San Antonio
    This grant will enable Angelee to complete her honors thesis at The University of Texas at San Antonio before receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology. It will greatly contribute to her research experience and assist in her pursuit of acceptance into a graduate school program and future career in research.

    Grace Tibbetts, Avila University
    This award will allow me to complete my senior thesis research on emotions and potentially traumatic events. This will allow me my first solo research study as an undergraduate and give me the foundation to continue research as my career progresses.

    Psi Chi set forth a strategic plan based upon best serving our members. That plan was shared with members on and at past regional conventions. Given the current global situation, we are now working toward creating a more virtual chapter experience for our members so they may take full advantage of their membership during this difficult time.

    We recognize that any vision must adapt and change to each new environment that is presented. We feel that our mission, to both recognize and promote excellence in the science and application of psychology is perhaps more relevant than ever. We hope to serve you as members in all ways to make your lifetime membership with Psi Chi a valuable one.

    Winning the Kay Wilson Officer Leadership Team Award last year established a standard, while challenging to maintain, something we will not retreat from. Central to our success over the past two years has been the dedicated, regular meetings with our members, incorporating the projects of our department and maintaining relevance in our student’s academic, vocational and social concerns.

    Group efforts to spread the benefits of psychology do not emerge from within a vacuum, but emerge from the passions and the talents of our membership. Our leadership team actively supports the work being done by all Psychology students in the classroom and our labs. We host study sessions, social events with the faculty and opportunities for students to shine on campus. This, in turn, maintains a foundation of trust and active engagement in the Society and in our Department.

    Finally, our members are smart and need to be challenged. This year we have set the goal to be even more ground breaking in the Chapter's impact on our campus and the engagement of our members and leadership team. We believe if you are not advancing, you are falling behind. We hope to maintain and exceed the excellence recognized last year by the Kay Wilson award.
    —Sean Siple, current Vice President of the Austin Peay Chapter


    Current and previous officers pictured from left to right:
    Hillary Crews (president), Linda Daniels (treasurer), Roxanne Hallisey (2018-19 president), Sean Siple (vice-president), Lauren Kennedy (secretary), Natalie Castillo (2018-19 treasurer), and Gabriela Rios (2018-19 vice-president).


    Fall 2018 Induction Ceremony

    The PSI CHI Chapter at Xavier University of Louisiana works annually to provide a conduit for students in the department to engage with professionals from the psychology world. Our chapter was established in the 1981–82 school year. Since that time, we have met with medical, clinical, and experimental professionals to discuss careers. We regularly partner with other student organizations to address concerns around college mental health, sexual assault/rape prevention, the role of food security and mental health, and general wellness. In addition, our members moderate rooms at our annual Psychology Research Symposium. Our favorites are our semester ice cream socials and, on the rare occasion in New Orleans, we get to enjoy hot chocolate and donuts. And of course we support our annual spring celebrations with crawfish boils! At Xavier, PSI CHI is a foundational aspect of student engagement that we use to engage each other outside of class and to interact with various professionals.


    Psi Chi doing service at the Giving Hope Food Pantry in New Orleans East

    The 90th Anniversary celebration of Psi Chi, celebrated here at Yale University last September, was my first official act as the new faculty advisor for Yale’s Psi Chi chapter. It presented an exciting opportunity to consider what Psi Chi contributes to Yale as well as its many other chapters all around the world. It is particularly exciting to reflect back on the 1929 International Congress of Psychology, where it all began, amidst luminaries like Pavlov, Lewin, Luria, and one especially near and dear to my heart—Jean Piaget. I’m a developmental psychologist, and Piaget can be credited with founding my entire field. His influence remains profound in both psychology and education.

    Reflecting on Piaget in the present context made me think about the link between scientific practice and education. The mission statement of Psi Chi is “recognizing and promoting excellence in the science and application of psychology,” and if you think about it, the foundation of excellence in a discipline is education. Furthermore, education is inherently a developmental process, a process of change over time. It involves bringing new knowledge into line with our beliefs and theories, what Piaget called assimilation, but also changing our beliefs and theories in light of new knowledge, what he called accommodation. For Piaget it was the balance of those two forces that produced the forward progress of learning and development, and I think that’s a nice statement of the goals of Psi Chi as well as the goals of educators at all the chapters. Indeed, the main reason I’m excited to be involved in Psi Chi is its broader commitment not just to the highest quality research but also to undergraduate education—which is of course the foundation of future research excellence, because our best students today are our future colleagues and the future innovators in the field. I hope I’ll still be here helping our chapter embody these values in 10 more years, when Psi Chi turns 100!

    Please view this brief video from Psi Chi Executive Director, Dr. Martha S. Zlokovich. Dr. Z brings us to the end of our A-Z campaign by announcing the newly-formed Psi Chi COVID-19 Member Support Fund to support students with financial difficulties.

Psi Chi is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Your contributions are tax deductible.


For More Information

Cynthia Wilson
Director of Membership & Development
(423) 602-9125

View More Board Videos

Psi Chi Central Office
651 East 4th Street, Suite 600
Chattanooga, TN 37403

Phone: 423.756.2044 | Fax: 423.265.1529


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