October 25, 2021

Psychology Alum Shares Renowned Gift

Rachael Wonderlin ’11, a renowned dementia care consultant and author, returns to UMW as the 2021 Psychology Graduate-in-Residence.

Rachael Wonderlin ’11, a renowned dementia care consultant and author, returns to UMW as the 2021 Psychology Graduate-in-Residence.

Rachael Wonderlin ’11 spent hours as a teen volunteering at a skilled nursing facility. One day, a friend remarked she had a gift for working with older adults.

“I didn’t realize at the time that this was a skill,” said Wonderlin, who channeled her talents into a psychology degree from the University of Mary Washington and a master’s in gerontology.

Now a renowned dementia care consultant and author who has taught her trademarked technique to senior living communities worldwide, Wonderlin has been named the UMW Department of Psychology’s 2021 graduate-in-residence. Last Thursday, she presented a free, public lecture entitled “Everything You Need to Know About Dementia Caregiving Communication” in the Hurley Convergence Center at 4 p.m. Read more.

Rettinger Discusses Grade Obsession, Cheating with Bakersfield.com

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger weighed in on a recent article on Bakersfield.com (California) on how focusing too much on grades can often lead to cheating.

It’s been a rough year for authentic learning. High school and college cheating levels are skyrocketing — or, at least, more professionals are looking for cheating and finding it. “I’ve seen 100-200% increases,” says psychology professor David Rettinger, who is director of academic integrity programs at the University of Mary Washington. “There are a lot more reports of student academic misconduct.”

This is not surprising. When students feel the odds are stacked against them, they do not respond with heartfelt engagement and honesty. “If students don’t think that it’s possible to learn something, or they think the situation is inherently unfair, they say, ‘Well, it’s not reasonable to expect me to do the work fairly because the situation is unfair,’” Rettinger says. Read more.

Liss Interviewed by WalletHub.com on Women’s Equality

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss was interviewed for a WalletHub.com article entitled “2021’s Best & Worst States for Women’s Equality.”

The US is currently ranked 87th globally when it comes to the gender gap in health and survival. What is driving this? What should be done to close this gap?

One factor driving this is the fact that health insurance and access to healthcare are contingent on employment. If we had a universal health care system, women who are not working or are underemployed would have better access to healthcare and better health outcomes. Women are much more likely than men to live in poverty and often must make tough choices about paying for healthcare and paying for other needs such as food or diapers for their children. Thus, their own healthcare and well-being often get sacrificed. Other policies that would help close the gap would be universal childcare because women often cannot seek preventative care because they do not have adequate childcare. Read more.

Rettinger Discusses Contract Cheating on CBS News

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger, who oversees Academic Integrity Programs at UMW, was interviewed by CBS News about the rise of contract cheating at colleges and universities, which has resulted in a billion dollar cheating industry based in Kenya, where American students are paying African students to do homework, write essays and in some cases, even complete degrees for them. Watch here.

Cheating American College Students Are Paying Kenyans to Complete Schoolwork That Is So Good Some Contractors Are Asked to ‘Dumb Down’ Their Work (Atlanta Black Star)

As online education grows, the business of cheating is booming (Wink News; Texas News Today)

Rettinger Discusses College Student Cheating on Brookings Podcast

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger, who is director of Academic Integrity Programs at UMW, participated in the Brookings Institute TechTank Podcast, discussing “How Universities Deal with Student Cheating?”

The COVID pandemic forced many schools and universities to remote education where students logged onto video calls for their classes. At one level, technology was helpful in giving students opportunities to continue learning despite being limited to their homes. Yet during the pandemic, there was a startling increase in the use of online monitoring software designed to prevent student cheating on exams. To discuss these issues, host Darrell West is joined by David Rettinger and Lindsey Barrett. David is a professor of psychological science and director of academic integrity programs at the University of Mary Washington. He also is the president emeritus of the International Center for Academic Integrity. Lindsey is the Fritz Family Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center and the author of a paper entitled “Rejecting Test Surveillance in Higher Education.” Listen here.

Wilson Comments on Colorado Shooting in The Washington Post

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson was interviewed by The Washington Post on her thoughts about the recent Colorado shooting for an article entitled, “Police officer killed in ‘ambush’ by man who ‘expressed hatred’ of law enforcement, officials say.” The article also ran in The Sentinel Source.

Laura C. Wilson, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, said that years ago she might have thought about each mass shooting or shooting in a public place as having unique characteristics that affect survivors. But she now considers the trauma of multiple events. Read more.

 

Liss Discusses How Being ‘Quirky’ Makes People Seem More Attractive With BBC.com

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss was quoted in a BBC.com article entitled, “Why ‘quirky’ people are attractive.”

Subtle differences in our appearance can make a big difference. Slight changes in dress make women seem more trustworthy, competent or attractive. As psychologist Miriam Liss of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and her co-authors found, to look honest and competent in a career setting, or even electable as a politician, a woman must dress conservatively and not sexily. Read more.

Rettinger Comments on Cheating in the News

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger, who is also director of Academic Integrity Programs at UMW, has recently appeared in several interviews on academic integrity and the uptick in cheating during remote learning, including a segment on NBC4 in Washington. Watch here.

He was also recently interviewed in the GW Hatchet, the student newspaper at George Washington University.

“You’re hearing a lot of students say things like ‘I really can’t learn in this environment,’ and some of that has to be because of the quick turnaround to online,” Rettinger said. “And then you add in the social psychology of it, so it’s a lot easier to be dishonest with someone who’s not right in front of you.” Read more.

Liss, Erchull Discuss Selfie Behaviors on ‘With Good Reason’

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professors of Psychological Science Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull will discuss their research on selfie behaviors and self-esteem on “With Good Reason” show on Saturday, May 1 through Friday, May 7. With Good Reason airs Sundays at 2 p.m. on Fredericksburg’s Radio IQ 88.3 Digital and at various times throughout the week on stations across Virginia and the United States. Check the website for show times.

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Entertain Us

More and more often, celebrities are home-grown in front of a ring light and iPhone. As viewers keep scrolling past these insta-celebs, they’re starting to see themselves differently. Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull (University of Mary Washington) say we compare ourselves to what we see despite knowing all that glitters isn’t gold. And: Have you been running to Twitter to cope with the crazy news cycle over the past year? John Brummette (Radford University) says it’s a common coping mechanism.

Later in the show: Long before social media, there was cancel culture. Carolyn Eastman (University of Virginia) reminds us of Mr. O, the first “cancelled” celebrity you’ve probably never heard of. Plus: Matthew Turner (Radford University) says that all comedy is an inside joke, but some jokes span generations.

Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature will be posted the week of the show to our website: https://www.withgoodreasonradio.org.

Kolar Discusses the Pandemic’s Impact on Personality

Professor of Psychological Science David Kolar

Professor of Psychological Science David Kolar

Professor of Psychological Science David Kolar weighed in on an article in The Alpena News in Michigan how the pandemic and isolation can impact personality.

David Kolar, a psychology professor at the University of Mary Washington, said personalities remain relatively consistent throughout our lifetime.

“While personality certainly can change with age, we tend to keep our rank order on a trait,” he said. “For example, while research shows that we tend to get more conscientious as we get older, people who had higher levels of conscientiousness compared to others at younger ages tend to still have higher levels of conscientiousness compared to their peers as they get older.” Read more.