January 19, 2020

Liss, Erchull Study Highlighted in Psychology Journal

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Psychological Science Professors Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull’s research on selfie behaviors, self-objectification and depressive behaviors in women was recently published in the psychology journal, Sex Roles. Women are given the message that they are valued for their physical attractiveness above other qualities, and the study examines how self-objectification interplays with online behaviors.

“I have been collaborating with Mindy Erchull on issues related to objectification theory for several years. I had also begun to be interested in the effects of social media on people’s experiences and had recently taught a senior seminar on the topic,” said Liss, the study’s lead author.

“[We] became interested in how objectification relates to experiences with social media — particularly Instagram, which is a platform that is based on posting visual images. Other studies on the topic had largely looked at how feelings of self-objectification can be a consequence of social media. We wanted to look at how self-objectification can change how one behaves when taking and posting selfies.” Read more.

Liss Speaks to USA Today Affiliates About Talking to Kids About Santa

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss shared her expertise in an article for two USA Today affiliates, Naples Daily News and Wisconsin State Farmer, on how to talk to children who ask questions about Santa Claus. She said parents often realize children are ready when they ask such questions as:

“How can Santa get into the house without a chimney? How does he travel all over the world in only one night?

She said the best way to handle these questions is to answer them with more questions to gauge the child’s thinking:

What do you think? Do you think it’s possible?

‘Kids who are ready will show that they’re ready,’ Liss said. If they’re not ready for the truth, Liss continued, then they’ll come up with their own explanation to keep the magic alive.” Read more. 

Wilson Speaks with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tree of Life Anniversary

Laura Wilson, associate professor of psychology

Laura Wilson, associate professor of psychology

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson, an expert on the psychological effects of traumatic events, spoke to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the first anniversary of the Tree of Life Synagogue mass shooting, in an article entitled “Stronger, more unified, survivors face risks and move forward after the Tree of Life tragedy.”

Wilson said “the responses of members of the three congregations who worship at Tree of Life, as well as a growing sense of unity, don’t surprise her.”

“It’s a common reaction we see. There is a long-term impact on psychology but what we see often is that people feel greater unity and are proud of their community when shootings target one group. It’s a way people collectively cope afterward.” Read more. 

Psychology Graduate-in-Residence Talks Motivation

James Llewellyn, a 1987 Mary Washington alumnus, has been named the 2019 Psychology Graduate-in-Residence.

James Llewellyn, a 1987 Mary Washington alumnus, has been named the 2019 Psychology Graduate-in-Residence.

When James Llewellyn ’87 was a senior, the psychology suite in Chandler Hall – where the University Center now stands – was voted one of the top 10 favorite campus hangout spots by Mary Washington students.

“The professors were so engaging and fun; learning from them was truly a gift,” said Llewellyn, who credits psychology faculty like Debra Steckler; Steve Hampton, who recently retired; and the late Topher Bill as strong positive influences on his college experience.

The exceptional liberal arts education Llewellyn received from Mary Washington is why he continues to give back to his alma mater. Now a seasoned human resources professional who applies psychology in his work in the private sector, he has been named the Department of Psychological Science’s 2019 graduate-in-residence. Established in 1995, the program exposes psychology majors to alumni who are working in the field. Graduates-in-residence are selected through a faculty nomination process.

Llewellyn will give a lecture entitled, “Engaging and Retaining Employees in Today’s Workforce: Can Money Solve All Your Problems?” in the Hurley Convergence Center today at 4 p.m. He’ll also speak about his work to classes in social psychology, research methods and advanced statistics, and he’ll give advice over lunch with psychology majors who are considering graduate school or a career in the field of human resources. Read more. 

Wilson Comments on Survivors of Mass Shootings

Laura Wilson, assistant professor of psychology

Laura Wilson, assistant professor of psychology

Assistant Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson continues to provide insight about the psychological effects of mass shootings to national media. She was recently interviewed on Brinkwire.com in an article titled “‘National anxiety’ about mass shootings following massacres in El Paso and Dayton.”

“The narrative we hear in these impacted communities is, ‘I never thought it would happen here,’ and so I think that gets people thinking, ‘Well then, that can happen to me too,'” Wilson said, adding, “The immediate aftermath is the greatest level of risk for that type of reaction and then we tend to see it decrease over time.” Read more. 

 

Rettinger Comments on Cheating in Higher Ed in USA Today

David Rettinger, associate professor of Psychological Science

David Rettinger, associate professor of Psychological Science

David Rettinger, associate professor of psychological science and director of academic programs at the University of Mary Washington, was recently interviewed by USA Today in an article titled, “Students are still using tech to cheat on exams, but things are getting more advanced.” “Technology presents new ways for students to do things that they’ve always been doing, which is avoid doing the work themselves,” said Rettinger, president of the International Center for Academic Integrity. “Forever, students would go to a book and copy things for a paper. Copy and paste plagiarism is as old as reading and writing, but now it’s so much easier. You don’t even have to leave your desk to do that. The bar has gotten much lower.” Read more. 

 

Wilson Comments on Survivors of Mass Shootings in National News

Laura Wilson, assistant professor of psychology

Laura Wilson, assistant professor of psychology

Assistant Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson’s expertise about the psychological effects of mass shootings continues to be sought-after by the national media. Here are her recent comments:

‘National anxiety’ about mass shootings inflamed by the 24-hour news cycle is sparking gunfire false alarms such as the Times Square hysteria – as experts warn of mass panic episodes following massacres in El Paso and Dayton (Daily Mail)

For some in Chicago, gun violence is a daily reality, leaving the same trauma as mass shootings (WRCBtv)

 

Wilson Comments About Psychological Effects of Mass Shootings in National Media

Laura Wilson, assistant professor of psychology

Laura Wilson, assistant professor of psychology

Assistant Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson’s expertise about the psychological effects of mass shootings continues to be sought-after by the national media. Here are her recent comments:

When the Child Parents Love Becomes a Shooter (The Atlantic)

False Reports Of Gunmen In N.Y.C. And Virginia Cause Jitters Following Mass Shootings (NPR)

For some in Chicago, gun violence is a daily reality, leaving the same trauma as mass shootings (NBC News)

Schiffrin Quoted in Article on Intensive Parenting

Professor of Psychology Holly Schiffrin

Professor of Psychology Holly Schiffrin

Professor of Psychology Holly Schiffrin was quoted in an article on TheLadders.com titled “Science suggests parents are taking parenting too far.” A leading expert on the topic, Schiffrin said, “Intensive parenting really stresses the parent out. The research is looking like it’s not beneficial for kids to do everything for them because they don’t become self-sufficient and that is correlated with higher rates of depression and anxiety at the college level.” Read more. 

Liss Interviewed for Outside Magazine on Women Anglers’ Portrayal on Instagram

Professor of Psychology Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychology Miriam Liss was interviewed for an article in Outside magazine titled “How Instagram Became Divisive for Female Fly-Fishers.” The article explains how some female fly-fishers are frustrated with companies hiring inexperienced women anglers as influencers, while, at the same time, the influencers are trying to defend themselves and their abilities to their peers. Liss says, “It’s hard for women to negotiate hypermasculine environments. You become a token. All your activities are highly scrutinized, and if you mess up, it’s seen as if all women are incapable of fly-fishing.” Read more.