Research in Psychology
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Faculty Research Interests (updated for Summer 2012)
In summer 2012, my students and I will work on projects concerning human memory.
One line of my research involves the relationship between time management and memory. Time management is an important skill in our lives, as many of us strive to manage multiple projects and demands of work, school, family, and personal life, frequently feeling there is not enough time to complete all work adequately and have time for other activities. Time management has been advanced as a means to aid in deciding how to allocate time and get work done, particularly for college achievement. Time management problems, such as remembering to perform certain tasks or underestimating time to task completion, imply a memory component to time management. In a recent publication (Macan, Gibson, & Cunningham, 2010), we found indeed there is a correlation between scales that measure memory and those that measure time management. Preventing cognitive failures related to time management problems such as missing deadlines and forgetting important dates and tasks are important. Our study provides empirical support of the theoretical link between the two fields of time management and prospective and retrospective memory. We hope our findings spark additional research in this area that aids in improving time management training and in understanding prospective memory failures and how time management might play a role in altering them.
One project will continue work I started between scale measures of time management and memory, but with older than college-age population. A second project also launches from the Macan et al. (2010) paper by studying working memory tasks. In the field of memory, there are various types of memory. Working memory tasks typically involve multitasking or divided attention, where resources are taxed. Performance on these tasks illustrates how well people can allocate, reason, and manipulates information. The two kinds of memories require different strategies and resources. Because time management involves dynamic changes over time, we need to see if time management correlates with working memory. We will collect both memory scale data and behavioral data.
The second line of research examines both working memory and holding memory and effects of nutrition. We hear that a good breakfast, for example, improves learning, but the data that shows such a relationship is not apparent. Students who have courses in development, physiological, or health psychology will apply their knowledge to study the benefits of nutrition on memory. I will help them in choosing tasks and designing a study that has experimental rigor of cognitive psychology. I will meet with them to discuss the psychological literature, design and collect data, analyze data, and write a paper.
Both projects can require extensive time spent on recruiting and testing community participants.
Summer Research Links
- Grinnell College Summer Research in the Sciences: Off-campus list of opportunities, the Science Division's common summer research application form, links to MAP forms, and more.
- Web Guru: Web Guide to Research for Undergraduates.
- NSF REUs: National Science Foundation - Search for Research Experiences for Undergraduates
- NSF REUs: Neuroscience Opportunities
- More Neuroscience Opportunities
Students Present Research...
Students co-author papers
- Gibson, J. M., Macan, T., Potter, K.*, & Cunningham, J. (2010). In an ideal world self-report scales predict memory experimental data. Cognitive Technology, 15, 44-60.
- Gibson, J. M., Dhuse, S.*, Hrachovec, L.*, & Grimm, L. R.* (2011). Priming insight in groups: Facilitating and inhibiting solving an ambiguously-worded insight problem. Memory & Cognition. 39, 128-146. http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13421-010-0014-7
- Chang, H.*, & Gibson, J. M. (2011). The odd-even effect in Sudoku puzzles: Effects of working memory, aging, and experience. American Journal of Psychology, 124, 313-324.
- Horst, J. S., Ellis, A. E., Samuelson, L. K., Trejo, E., Worzalla*, S., Peltan*, J., & Oakes, L. M. (2009). Flexible Categorization in Infancy: Same Objects, Same Session, Two Different Categorical Distinctions. Developmental Science, 12(1), 96-105.
- Hye-Sang Chang coauthored a paper based on summer research she conducted at Stanford Medical School: Brooks, J. O., Chang, H.*, & Krasnykh, O. (2009). Metabolic Risks in Older Adults Receiving Second-Generation Antipsychotic Medication. Current Psychiatry Reports, 11, 33-40.
- Vu, M. H.*, Kubicek, H.*, & Gibson, J. M. (2012 May). “Working Memory, Age, and Expertise in Sudoku Puzzles”. Poster presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.
- Ullberg, E.*, & Gibson, J.M. (2012 May). “Morphemes Matter to Lexical Organization: A Reexamination of the Word Length Effect" Poster presented at the 2012 APS Annual Convention, Chicago.
- Connelley, K. H.*, Sinnett, L. M., Allison, J. C., & Rahman, M. J. (2010, May). "Role interpretations as a mechanism for personality consistency." Poster presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.
- Sinnett, L. M. & White, C. (2010, May). "Experimentally manipulated but naturally occuring situational variation causes trait variation." Poster presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.
- Baumgartner, H., Karapetyan, A.,* Ellis, A. E., & Oakes, L. M. (2010, March). "Infants‘ visual short-term memory for faces." Poster presented at the 17th Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Chollet, L.* & Seawell, A. H. (2010, May). "Personal perceptions and well-being in sexual relationships among college students." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, Illinois.
- Harrington, A. L. *, Khou, C. *, & Seawell, A. H. (2010, May). " The role of hope in illness perceptions among older women with osteoarthritis." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, Illinois.
- Khou, C. *, Harrington, A.*, & Seawell, A. H. (2010, May). "The role of illness perceptions and hope in marital satisfaction among women with OA." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, Illinois.
- Nelson, E. F.*, & Seawell, A. H. (2010, May). "Education and communication: prevention of intimate partner violence." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, Illinois.
- Rempel-Clower, N.L and Peterson, S*. (2010). "Connections from the amygdala to the orbitofrontal cortex in the rat." Program No. 98.11. Neuroscience Meeting Planner, San Diego, CA: Society for Neuroscience, 2010. Online.
- Tolcha Mesele* & Kelsey Picken* (Janet M. Gibson, Faculty Sponsor). "You Look Like a Bob: The Impact of Descriptors on Face Identification and Association." Spring 2009 Midwestern Psychological Association Conference (MPA), Chicago.
- Michele A. Moore*, Frederick A. Peterson* & Misato Sawada* (Janet M. Gibson, Faculty Sponsor). "The Effect of Anagrams on the Stroop Effect." Spring 2009 Midwestern Psychological Association Conference (MPA), Chicago.
- Paul Kramer* & Michael Inman* (Janet M. Gibson, Faculty Sponsor). "The Jumbling Effect: How Schematic Representations Mediate Change Blindness." Spring 2009 Midwestern Psychological Association Conference (MPA), Chicago. Winner of a Psi Chi Award
- Jordan C. Allison*, Kathleen H. Connolley* (Laura M. Sinnett, Faculty Co-Author). "SIMulated Personality: Trait Levels and Situational Affordances in Personality Perception." Spring 2009 Midwestern Psychological Association Conference (MPA), Chicago.
- Sarah M. Luetzow* (Laura M. Sinnett, Faculty Co-Author). "Situational Influences on State Personality While Playing a Board Game." Spring 2009 Midwestern Psychological Association Conference (MPA), Chicago.
- Asani H. Seawell, Lynn Chollet*, Christina Khou*, Anna Harrington*. "Writing about Forgiveness: Implications for Mood, Empathy, and Health." Poster presented at the Spring 2009 Midwestern Psychological Association Conference (MPA), Chicago.
- Gibson, J. M., & Chang, H.* "Working Memory Modulates the Odd-Even Effect in Sudoku Puzzles and Math Problems." (MAP research). Spring 2009 annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco.
- Peterson, S.*, and Rempel-Clower, N. (2009) "Basolateral and basomedial amygdala projections terminating in the orbitofrontal cortex of the rat display laminar patterns suggesting functionality." Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Research Poster Session, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting.
- Johnson, B.*, and Rempel-Clower, N. (2009) "An investigation of the neural connections between the orbitofrontal cortex and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis." Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Research Poster Session, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting.
- Ellis, A., & McDoniel, M.* (April 2009). "Infants’ Visual Exploration of Happy and Sad Facial Expressions." Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of The Society for Research in Child Development, Denver, CO.
- Ellis, A. E., Cesa, A. *, & Worzalla, S. L. * (March, 2007) "The Way You Move, The Way You Look: Infants’ Changing Attention to Object Appearance and Object Function." Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of The Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, MA.
* Indicate a Grinnell College student author.