Huffman's contributions to industrial-organizational psychology
In March, 2013, Dr. Ann H. Huffman and Dr. Stephanie R. Klein published a highly regarded book about how industrial-organizational psychology contribute to environmental sustainability in organizations.Read more
The edited volume, entitled “Green Organizations: Driving Change with I-O Psychology,” reflects expert opinion from the fields leading researchers who embrace a scientist/practitioner model to solve real-world issues. This volume has been called a “landmark” publication that will serve as a “catalyst and vanguard” in the field of Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Dr. Huffman is also the 2015 Division Program Chairperson for the American Psychological Association, Division 14 (Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychology) to be held in Toronto.
NSF REU program going strong
Since 2010, the NAU Department of Psychology has hosted a unique summer research experience program, sponsored primarily by the NSF, called Hojooba’ bee la’ hooniil, Undergraduate Studies into the Social Psychophysiology of Compassion.Read more
Hojooba’ bee la’ hooniil is a Navajo expression meaning “loving kindness as healing for the suffering of others” and our REU internship seeks to better understand, through well-designed psychosocial research, the nature of this important construct. Each summer, the principal investigator, Dr. Larry Stevens, oversees a program of eight undergraduate students from around the country. Each of the students works with an NAU Department of Psychology faculty research mentor to design, to conduct, and to present, both locally and nationally at the annual APA convention, outcomes of a Compassion research project. Past research topics have included Effects of Compassion Training on Electrocortical (EEG) and Questionnaire Measures, Compassion for Others: The Road to Happiness, Effects of a Compassion Intervention, Determination and Compassion: The Psychological Effects of Belief in Free Will, The Relationship between Self-Compassion and Exercise, Relational-Interdependent Self-Construal and Compassion, Compassion for Others, Friendship Experiences, and Happiness Among Students and Non-Students, Self-Other Discrimination and Empathic Abilities, and many others.
Dr. Ann Futterman Collier has spent the majority of her career involved in cross-cultural research and program development and evaluation with traditionally underserved populations and in her second year here at NAU is continuing her active research agenda.Read more
She was recently awarded an NAU Faculty Grants Program grant (“Developing a Culturally-Sensitive Obesity Intervention for Pacific Island Families Using a Community-Based Participatory Research Paradigm”) and will continue to work with colleagues both in Palau and through the Pacific Island Health Officers’ Association (PIHOA). Dr. Collier is also a co-investigator on a grant awarded to Dr. Leslie Schulz and Dr. Catherine Propper titled “Native Americans Exploring Global Health Disparities;” (NIH Minority International Research Training Grants program). This program will allow 1-2 students a year to work with Dr. Collier in Palau during the summer. Dr. Collier is also using community-based participatory research models to create culturally-sensitive obesity interventions for Native American people living in rural areas, especially North Eastern Arizona.
Reading research revisited
Dr. Barnhart’s recent research published in the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review literally turns reading research on its head…or at least on its side. Read more
Many theories of visual word perception assume that words are processed piecemeal (either letter by letter or syllable by syllable). However, Dr. Barnhart provided evidence that with handwritten words, overall word shape may play an important role in reading. To study configural processing of words, Dr. Barnhart asked people to read handwritten and printed words that had been rotated 90° clockwise or counter-clockwise, as rotation is thought to disrupt holistic processing. Handwritten words rotated away from their canonical orientation produced substantially higher error rates than those of printed words, suggesting that configural processes play a much greater role in the recognition of handwriting than print.
Citation: Barnhart, A. S. & Goldinger, S. D. (2013). Rotation reveals the importance of configural cues in handwritten word perception. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 20, 1319-1326. doi: 10.3758/s13423-013-0435-y.
Dr. Andy Walters’ research on human sexuality, masculinity, gender performance, and sexuality among socially marginalized populations has led to several recent publications, all of which involved former NAU students: Read more
- Sylaska, K. M., & Walters, A. S. (2014). Testing the extent of the gender trap: College students’perceptions of and reactions to intimate partner violence. Sex Roles, 70, 134-145;
- Sharpe, D. I., Walters, A. S., & Goren, M. J. (2013). Effect of cheating experience on attitudes toward infidelity. Sexuality and Culture, 17, 643-658.
- Walters, A. S., & Valenzuela, I. (2013). Under the watchful eye: Masculinity among Latino men in the wake of Arizona 1070. In J. M. Aston & E. Vasquez (Eds.), Masculinity and femininity: Stereotypes and myths, psychology, and the role of culture (pp. 51-69). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science.,
- Walters, A. S., & Burger, B. D. (2013). “I love you, and I cheated”: Investigating disclosures of infidelity to primary partners. Sexuality and Culture, 17, 20-49.
Current activities of these NAU student coauthors
Kateryna Sylaska is pursuing Ph.D. at University of New Hampshire
Desiree Sharpe is pursuing Ph.D. at University of Georgia
Ivan Valenzuela (former undergraduate and REU student) is now doing graduate work at U Colorado, Colorado Springs
Brea Burger is pursuing Ph.D. at Penn State.
Social relationships and depression
Dr. Steven Barger studies social and economic determinants of health and presented his research on social relationships and depression conducted with a large representative sample of Swiss adults (> 12,000 participants) at the 72nd annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in San Francisco, CA. Read more
This research was a collaboration with faculty at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern in Switzerland.
Dr. Barger and his colleagues Jürgen Barth and Nadine Messerli-Bürgy found that participants who reported being sometimes or very often lonely had a much higher incidence of a recent major depressive episode. In addition, participants perceiving that their support needs were not being met and those who were not living with a romantic partner were also at higher risk. Other social relationship resources, such as having a confidant, seeing friends or family regularly and/or someone to help with daily activities (tangible support) were unrelated to major depression. In contrast, all of the social relationship characteristics examined, with the exception of living with a romantic partner, were associated with depressive symptoms. That is, people who lacked a confidant, perceived their social support needs were unmet, lacked tangible support and regular contact with friends and family were more likely to have depressive symptoms. Thus, a broader range of social relationship elements were related to depressive symptoms as compared to major depression. Overall loneliness was the strongest predictor of major depression and depressive symptoms in Switzerland, replicating associations found in nationally representative studies from the US and Australia. In addition, a broad set of markers for relationship quality and quantity were associated with subclinical depression. Thus, when characterizing the types of social relationships that are associated with mental health, it is important to evaluate a number of social relationship domains and distinguish between clinical versus subclinical depression. A manuscript based upon this research was published in an issue of BMC Public Health, a BioMed Central journal. Dr. Barger is currently the Section Editor for another BioMed Central journal, BMC Psychology.