Other Research

Accuracy and Assessment

Peer Review and Scholarship. The journal articles you read to learn about the latest scholarship in any area have one thing in common: each one has been through the peer review process. A scholar writes about a new finding and sends it to a journal editor, who sends it to experts in the field for review. How accurate is this process, and how can it be improved? We are looking for these answers by studying the peer review process across disciplines. Cindy Pury

Clinical Psychology

Stigma of Psychological Problems. We are all aware of the stigma associated with admitting a psychological problem and seeking treatment for that problem. Our research team examines the consequences of stigma for reactions to stressors and treatment seeking. This researches examines the predictors and consequences of stigma among college student and employee sample. Thomas W. Britt

The Positive Psychology of Courage. Courage is needed in many difficult situations, including saving others in physical peril, standing up for what is right, and stepping outside one’s comfort zone to try something new. Although courage has been praised throughout history, it turns out we know remarkably little about the psychology of this important virtue. My research examines courage as a multi-faceted construct, and I am currently working on developing and testing a model of courageous action. In other words, in a given situation, what will help someone behave more courageously? What factors determine (after the fact) if we label an action as courageous? These questions have application in a variety of applied settings, including schools, the work place, therapy and coaching settings, and society at large. Cindy Pury

Social Psychology

Determinants and Consequences of Self-Engagement. What determines whether individuals become personally engaged in activities such as work, voting, and relationships? Our program of research examines the predictors and consequences of engagement in different areas. We have published articles addressing engagement at work, engagement in voting, engagement in academic tests, and engagement among soldiers in military operations. Thomas W. Britt

Psychological Stamina. Although research has been devoted to understanding the construct of physical stamina, virtually no work has been conducted on psychological stamina, which we define as the ability to perform mental, emotional, and social tasks over time without experiencing a drop in performance. We have developed a measure of different forms of psychological stamina and are examining the ability of this scale to predict performance over time. Thomas W. Britt

Stigma of Psychological Problems. We are all aware of the stigma associated with admitting a psychological problem and seeking treatment for that problem. Our research team examines the consequences of stigma for reactions to stressors and treatment seeking. This researches examines the predictors and consequences of stigma among college student and employee sample. Thomas W. Britt

Cyber Bullying. Whereas the traditional bully was most frequently encountered at school during school hours, a new bully is now on the scene. This bully is often anonymous and can bully his or her victim 24/7. Cyber bullying, also known as electronic bullying or online social cruelty, refers to bullying that occurs through electronic means, such as email, chat rooms, instant messages, web pages, and text messages sent to cell phones. As one victim of cyber bullying phrased it, the inability to escape cyber bullying without completely disconnecting from social communications means that one is forever tethered to one’s tormenter. Our research on cyber bullying examines the frequency with which it occurs, who is involved, as victims and/or perpetrators, and what the consequences are. Robin M. Kowalski

Complaining. Everyone complains, although clearly some people complain more than others. Even though complaining has negative connotations associated with it, there must be some benefit to complaining or people would not do it so often. Very little research within psychology has examined complaining. Thus, our research focuses on why people complain, the intrapersonal and interpersonal consequences of complaining, and who is most likely to complain. Robin M. Kowalski

The Positive Psychology of Courage. Courage is needed in many difficult situations, including saving others in physical peril, standing up for what is right, and stepping outside one’s comfort zone to try something new. Although courage has been praised throughout history, it turns out we know remarkably little about the psychology of this important virtue. My research examines courage as a multi-faceted construct, and I am currently working on developing and testing a model of courageous action. In other words, in a given situation, what will help someone behave more courageously? What factors determine (after the fact) if we label an action as courageous? These questions have application in a variety of applied settings, including schools, the work place, therapy and coaching settings, and society at large. Cindy Pury

Teaching of Psychology

Motivation and Assessment. One portion of my research effort is focused on how to better motivate students to learn. This involves encouraging active involvement from the student in the learning process through group work, creative projects, reflection papers, and other teaching paradigms. The goal of this research is to investigate teaching strategies that can increase retention and learning in students. June J. Pilcher

Science Education. How can educational innovations in science classes increase student learning and interest? Ben Stephens