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2020 Psychological Science Publications and Grants

*Indicates student co-author

Charlop, Marjorie H., Benjamin R. Thomas, and Caitlyn B. Gumaer. “Family-Based Interventions: Parent and Caregiver Training.” Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development, edited by Stephen Hupp and Jeremy D. Jewell. Wiley-Blackwell, 2020.

Abstract: Ever since the first demonstration of effective behavioral treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the early 1970s, parent training has been recognized as an important and necessary component to producing long-lasting treatment gains. Since then, a number of parent training and education programs have been designed and implemented with success (Schultz, Schmidt, & Stichter, 2011). Parent training ranges from providing parents with information (parent education or parent consultation models) to teaching parents specific skills. Research indicates that providing parents with hands-on training for specific skills is more effective and is associated with more positive outcomes than supplying information alone (Kaminski, Valle, Filene, & Boyle, 2008; Schulz et al., 2011). In addition, parent training can have two other potential benefits: reducing parenting stress and increasing parents' sense of competence. Parent training approaches have been used with school-based programs, medication, and direct behavioral treatment of children with ASD (McConachie & Diggle, 2007; Oosterling et al., 2010; Roberts et al., 2011).


Thomas, Benjamin R., Marjorie H. Charlop, Nataly Lim, and Caitlyn Gumaer. “Effects of Socially Appropriate Singing on the Vocal Stereotypy of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Behavioral Interventions, vol. 35, issue 2, 2020, pp. 249-262.

Abstract: This study evaluated the effects of children with autism spectrum disorder engaging in socially acceptable singing on their vocal stereotypy. A multiple-baseline across four participants with embedded multielement designs was used to assess the effects of the singing intervention upon later occurrence of vocal stereotypy for each participant. Results showed that fewer instances of vocal stereotypy occurred during and after singing intervention sessions. Additionally, two children began to emit appropriate singing after intervention, which suggests that the topography of their vocal stereotypy (e.g., monosyllabic or screeching sounds) was altered to some extent. Overall, results suggest positive implications for teaching appropriate vocal behaviors as functional replacements for vocal stereotypy.


External Grant: Simon-Strauss Foundation Grant, Social Skills Program for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), 2020.

Conger, J. A. and Lawler, E. E.  "Mind the Gap: How Human Resources Can Become More Integral to Corporate Boardroom Agenda.” The Handbook of Board Governance: A Comprehensive Guide for Public, Private and Not for Profit Board Members, 2nd Edition, edited by Richard Leblanc. John Wiley & Sons, 2020, pp. 953-966.

Abstract: This chapter explains how the human resources function can become more integral to corporate boardroom agendas. It begins with an examination of the factors contributing to the limited influence of the HR function in boardroom decisions to date. It proposes a set of practices that will ensure that HR and especially talent management will have a greater share of mind among board members as they weigh strategic issues.

Costanzo, Mark A. and Marina L. Costanzo. “Personality and Forensic Psychology.” The Wiley Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences: Clinical, Applied, and Cross-Cultural Research, edited by Bernardo J. Carducci, Christopher S. Nave, Jeffrey S. Mio, and Ronald E. Riggio. John Wiley & Sons, 2020, pp. 575-581.


Costanzo, Mark and Lora M. Levett. “The American Psychology—Law Society Scientific Review Paper on the Collection and Preservation of Eyewitness Identification Evidence.” Law and Human Behavior, vol. 44, issue 1, 2020, pp. 1-2.

Day, David V., Ronald E. Riggio, and Rowan Y. Mulligan*. “Leadership and Monitoring Skills.” Leader Thinking Skills: Capacities for Contemporary Leadership, edited by Michael D. Mumsford and Cory A. Higgs. Routledge, 2020, pp. 340-361.

Abstract: This chapter reviews different monitoring orientations related to leadership responsibilities. In particular, we will organize our review around three central features: (a) monitoring self, (b) monitoring others, and (c) monitoring the organization.


Kragt, Darja and David V. Day. “Predicting Leadership Competency Development and Promotion Among High-Potential Executives: The Role of Leader Identity.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 11, 2020, article 1816.

Abstract: We propose that distinct leadership competencies differ in their development over time. Extending the integrative model of leader development (Day et al., 2009), we further propose that leader identity will form complex relationships with leadership competencies over time. To test these propositions, we use longitudinal data (i.e., 5 months, four measurement points) of the 80 in total high-potential executives in a corporate leadership development program. We find a significant difference in the initial levels and the changes of eight distinct leadership competencies. We also find that leader identity relates to the development of certain - but not all – leadership competencies. Finally, we demonstrate the importance of developing leadership competencies by linking them to career advancement (i.e., job promotion). These findings are discussed in light of their theoretical and practical implications.


Steele, Andrea R. and David V. Day. “Development and Preliminary Validation of the Interest in Leadership Scale.” SAGE Open, vol. 10, issue 1, 2020, pp. 1-12.

Abstract: Interest pertains to an individual's psychological arousal toward a topic, which is thought to motivate effort allocation and attention. Interest in leadership has been identified as a potential antecedent of leader development; however, supporting empirical evidence has been hindered by the lack of a relevant scale to measure the construct. Study 1 outlines the development of the Interest in Leadership Scale (ILS) using Rasch scale development principles. Study 2 establishes the predictive validity of the ILS with self-rated leadership emergence and transformational leadership behaviors. This measure is likely to prove useful in the future measurement of and research into the topic of interest in leadership.

Curtis, David S., Thomas E. Fuller-Rowell, J. Benjamin Hinnant, Alexander K. Kaeppler, and Stacey N. Doan. “Resting High-Frequency Heart Rate Variability Moderates the Association between Early-Life Adversity and Body Adiposity.” Journal of Health Psychology, vol. 25, issue 7, 2020, pp. 953-963.

Abstract: This study investigates resting high-frequency heart rate variability as a moderator of the association between early-life adversity and two measures of body adiposity. Data were collected from 149 young adults attending a large university in the Midwestern United States (Mage = 18.8 years; 45% black; 55% white; 56% female). Self-reported early-life adversity was associated with greater waist-to-height ratio and body mass index. The strength of these associations was moderated by high-frequency heart rate variability, such that the link was stronger for individuals with lower heart rate variability. Resting high-frequency heart rate variability thus has potential health significance as a biomarker of stress vulnerability.


Dich, Nadya, Naja Hulvej Rod, and Stacey N. Doan. “Both High and Low Levels of negative emotions, Depressive Symptoms and Anxiety are Associated with Higher Blood Pressure. Evidence from Whitehall II Cohort Study.” International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 27, 2020, pp. 170-178.

Abstract: Background Previous studies of negative emotions and blood pressure (BP) produced mixed findings. Based on the functionalist and evolutionary perspective on emotions, we hypothesized that the association between negative emotions and BP is U-shaped, i.e., that both very high levels of negative emotions and the absence thereof are related to high BP. Methods: Data from 7479 British civil servants who participated in Phases 1-11 (years 1985-2013) of the Whitehall II cohort study was used. Negative emotions were operationalized as negative affect and depressive and anxiety symptoms. Negative affect was measured at Phases 1 and 2. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were assessed at each phase. BP was measured at every other phase. For each negative emotion measure, an average across all phases was computed and used as a predictor of PB levels throughout the follow-up period using growth curve models. Results: Very high values of anxiety and depressive symptoms, but not negative affect, were associated with higher levels of systolic BP. However, low to moderate levels of all negative emotions were associated with lower blood pressure than the absence of negative emotions. Conclusions: The article offers a theoretical explanation for a previously observed inverse association between negative emotions and blood pressure and underscores that moderate levels of negative emotions that naturally occur in everyday life are not associated with risks of heightened blood pressure.


Dich, Nadya, Maarten Pieter Rozing, Mike Kivimäki, and Stacey N. Doan. “Life Events, Emotions, and Immune Function: Evidence from Whitehall II Cohort Study.” Behavioral Medicine, 2020, vol. 46, issue 2, 2020, pp. 153-160.

Abstract: Stressful life events have been shown to increase vulnerability to infections. However, the effects may be dependent on specific emotional responses associated with these events. In general, negative emotions are thought to exacerbate and positive emotions to protect from the adverse effects of stressors on health. In this study, we adopted an evolutionary and functionalist perspective on emotions and hypothesized that both positive and negative emotions in response to stressful events are protective, whereas absence of emotional reactions exacerbates vulnerability to infections. We assessed immune function using lymphocytes to white blood cells ratio as a proxy for current viral infection in 3,008 British civil workers (30% women). No main effect of stressful life events or emotions on lymphocyte ratio was observed in either sex. However, in men, there was an interaction of life events with both positive and negative emotions as well as a combined measure of general affect. Supporting our hypothesis, stressful life events were associated with impaired immune function in men who reported very low levels of both positive and negative emotions but not in others. We discuss potential benefits of negative and positive emotions in the context of stress and immunity.


Doan, Stacey N., and Gary W. Evans. “Chaos and Unpredictability from Birth to Age Three.” The Future of Children, vol. 30, issue 2, 2020, pp.  93-114.

Abstract: Many children, especially those from lower-income families, face considerable instability early in their lives. This may include changes in family structure, irregular family routines, frequent moves, fluctuating daycare arrangements, and noisy, crowded, or generally chaotic environments. Moreover, instability and chaos affect young children's development both directly and, via their parents' and other caregivers' exposure to it, indirectly. Unstable, chaotic environments make it more difficult for children to acquire self-regulatory skills, including self-control and planning, that help them manage their emotions and behaviors, write Stacey Doan and Gary Evans. And when caregivers themselves confront unpredictable events and unreliable circumstances that strain their own adaptive capacities, their ability to provide sensitive, nurturing care may be compromised. In this article, Doan and Evans show us how social and physical chaos can influence early child development. They focus not only on micro-level factors in families and their immediate surroundings, but also on macro-level processes such as public policy. For example, social safety net programs that are designed to help families from disadvantaged backgrounds can sometimes inadvertently increase the instability and chaos in children's lives. The authors suggest how such programs could be redesigned to decrease rather than exacerbate instability. They also review promising interventions such as parenting programs that may help to reduce instability in children's home lives.


Doan, Stacey N., Shruthi Venkatesh*, Melissa Pedroza*, Amanda Tarullo, and Jerrold S. Meyer. “Maternal Suppression Moderates the Relations between Maternal and Child Hair Cortisol.” Developmental Psychobiology, vol. 62, issue 8, 2020, pp. 1150-1157.

Abstract: Self-reports and physiological indicators of stress such as cortisol levels are correlated in maternal and child samples. This relationship is likely to be influenced by maternal emotion regulation. Herein, we investigate the moderating role of maternal regulation strategies on the association between maternal and child hair cortisol levels. Mother-child dyads (N = 63, child mean age = 49.74 months) participated in the study. Hair samples were collected from mother and child, and cortisol was assayed. Mothers reported on their own emotion regulation strategies, namely expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal. As expected, mother and child hair cortisol levels were significantly correlated. Interestingly, the relation between maternal and child hair cortisol was moderated by maternal suppression of emotion. Mother and child hair cortisol levels were related at low levels of maternal suppression, but not at higher levels of suppression. Maternal cognitive reappraisal of emotion was not associated with cortisol levels.


Gaither, Sarah E., Joshua D. Perlin, and Stacey N. Doan. “Race, Gender, and the Development of Cross-Race Prosociality.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 11, 2020, article 1525.

Abstract: Over the course of development, children acquire adult-like thinking about social categories such as race, which in turn informs their perceptions, attitudes, and behavior. However, children's developing perceptions of race have been understudied particularly with respect to their potential influence on cross-race egalitarianism. Specifically, the acquisition of racial constancy, defined as the perception that race is a concrete and stable category, has been associated with increased awareness of racial stereotypes and group status differences. Yet, little work has investigated behavioral outcomes stemming from the acquisition of racial constancy beliefs. Here, we investigate whether the presence or absence of racial constancy beliefs differentially predicts inequality aversion with racial ingroup versus outgroup members for young children. White children (N = 202; ages 3-8) completed three sticker resource-allocation games with either a White or a Black partner shown in a photograph, after which racial constancy was measured. Results revealed that the acquisition of racial constancy interacted with partner race to predict inequality aversion outcomes in one game; however, age and gender also exerted strong effects.


Harris, Alison, Aleena Young*, Livia Hughson, Danielle Green, Stacey N. Doan, Eric Hughson, and Catherine L. Reed. “Perceived Relative Social Status and Cognitive Load Influence Acceptance of Unfair Offers in the Ultimatum Game.” PLOS ONE, vol. 15, issue 1, 2020, e0227717.

Abstract: Participants in the Ultimatum Game will often reject unfair resource allocations at personal cost, reflecting a trade-off between financial gain and maintenance of social standing. Although this rejection behavior is linked to executive control, the exact role of cognitive regulation in relation to status cues is unclear. We propose that the salience of status cues affects how cognitive regulation resolves the conflict between financial gain and social status considerations. Situations that tax executive control by limiting available cognitive resources should increase acceptance rates for unfair offers, particularly when the conflict between economic self-interest and social reputation is high. Here, participants rated their own subjective social status, and then either mentally counted (Load) or ignored (No Load) simultaneously-presented tones while playing two rounds of the Ultimatum Game with an online (sham) "Proposer" of either high or low social status. A logistic regression revealed an interaction of Proposer status with cognitive load. Compared to the No Load group, the Load group showed higher acceptance rates for unfair offers from the high-status Proposer. In contrast, cognitive load did not influence acceptance rates for unfair offers from the low-status Proposer. Additionally, Proposer status interacted with the relative social distance between participant and Proposer. Participants close in social distance to the high-status Proposer were more likely to accept the unfair offer than those farther in social distance, whereas the opposite pattern was observed for offers from the low-status Proposer. Although rejection of unfair offers in the Ultimatum Game has previously been conceptualized as an intuitive response, these results instead suggest it reflects a deliberative strategy, dependent on cognitive resources, to prioritize social standing over short-term financial gain. This study reveals the dynamic interplay of cognitive resources and status concerns within this paradigm, providing new insights into when and why people reject inequitable divisions of resources.


Lee, Helen Y., and Stacey N. Doan. “Ethnicity Moderates the Association between Autonomic Functioning and Temperament in Preschool Children.” Journal of Genetic Psychology, vol. 181, issue 2-3, 2020, pp. 181-190.

Abstract: Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) has been extensively investigated as a marker of adaptive emotional functioning in both children and adults, with studies linking RSA to temperamental dimensions such as positive affect and extraversion. However, few studies have examined the extent to which relations between RSA and temperament characteristics vary across ethnicity in childhood. We examined relations between respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and temperament dimensions (Activity Level, Task Orientation, and Affect-Extraversion) and the moderating role of ethnicity among preschoolers. Chinese- American (n = 28, Mage = 54.30 months) and European American (n = 32, Mage = 50.41 months) preschoolers were assessed for their temperament and RSA. Findings indicated higher levels of Affect-Extraversion among European American children. Ethnicity moderated the association between the baseline RSA and the Affect-Extraversion dimension of temperament, with a significant positive association found only for European American children. More research is needed to examine the effects of social-cultural experiences on the relation between children’s affective regulation and autonomic functioning development.


Liu, Cindy H., and Stacey N. Doan. “Psychosocial Stress Contagion in Children and Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Clinical Pediatrics, vol. 59, issue 9-10, 2020, pp. 853-855.

Abstract: The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) pandemic has produced high and enduring levels of psychosocial stress for individuals and families across the world. Given the directives for social distancing and isolation, families are faced with a number of immediate concerns, including how to optimally perform remote work without child care, educate their children at home, and prevent disease transmission. Caregivers who are considered essential personnel and are engaged in tasks that put them at risk for virus contraction may be anxious about transmitting the virus to family members. There are additional short- and long-term concerns; for instance, the implications of job loss, food and housing insecurity, and concerns about children's learning and mental health. The impact of early stress and adversity on physical and mental health is a well-known concern among pediatric health care providers. The current pandemic is a chronic stressor that could potentially wear and tear our bodies, resulting in long-term health consequences. In the context of families and children, the direct and indirect effects of pandemic-related stress may be exacerbated and multiplied due to a process of stress proliferation among family members. We refer to this process--the psychosocial stress experienced and proliferated by children and parents as a secondary of the pandemic--as stress contagion. Given its profound and unprecedented effects on pediatric health, we explore how stress contagion manifests in families and children and suggest practice considerations for pediatric caregivers, who are uniquely trusted to promote healthy relationships and coping strategies during this tumultuous time.


Natarajan, Rama, Dana Aljaber, Dawn Au, Christine Thai, Angelica Sanchez, Alan Nunez, Cristal Resto, Tanya Chavez, Marta M. Jankowska, Tarik Benmarhnia, Jiu-An Yang, Veronica Jones, Jerneja Tomsic, Jeannine S. McCune, Christopher Sistrunk, Stacey N. Doan, Mayra Serrano, Robert D. Cardiff, Eric C. Dietze, and Victoria L. Seewaldt. “Environmental Exposures During Puberty: Window of Breast Cancer Risk and Epigenetic Damage.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17, issue 2, 2020, e493.

Abstract: During puberty, a woman's breasts are vulnerable to environmental damage ("window of vulnerability"). Early exposure to environmental carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and unhealthy foods (refined sugar, processed fats, food additives) are hypothesized to promote molecular damage that increases breast cancer risk. However, prospective human studies are difficult to perform and effective interventions to prevent these early exposures are lacking. It is difficult to prevent environmental exposures during puberty. Specifically, young women are repeatedly exposed to media messaging that promotes unhealthy foods. Young women living in disadvantaged neighborhoods experience additional challenges including a lack of access to healthy food and exposure to contaminated air, water, and soil. The purpose of this review is to gather information on potential exposures during puberty. In future directions, this information will be used to help elementary/middle-school girls to identify and quantitate environmental exposures and develop cost-effective strategies to reduce exposures.


Otto, Michael W., David Rosenfield., Eugenia I. Gorin, Danielle L. Hoyt, Elijah A. Patten, Warren K. Bickel, Michael J. Zvolensky, and Stacey N. Doan. “Targeting Cognitive and Emotional Regulatory Skills for Smoking Prevention in Low-SES Youth: A Randomized Trial of Mindfulness and Working Memory Interventions.” Addiction Research, vol. 104, 2020, article 106262.

Abstract: Research to date provides striking evidence that youth from low socio-economic status (SES) households are at an increased risk for smoking. Converging evidence from developmental studies, psychopathology studies, intervention studies, and basic research on self-control abilities have identified working memory and distress tolerance as potential crucial modifiable risk factors to prevent smoking onset in this cohort. To confirm the value of these mechanistic targets, this randomized trial was designed to evaluate the influence of working memory and distress tolerance interventions on risk of smoking initiation. Recruiting primarily from low-income community afternoon programs, we randomized 93 adolescents to one of three intervention conditions, all of which were a prelude to a smoking-prevention informational intervention: (1) a working memory intervention, (2) a mindfulness training intervention to target distress tolerance, and (3) a wellness-focused control condition. Despite a number of adherence efforts, engagement in treatment was limited, and under these conditions no significant evidence was found either for differential efficacy for smoking prevention or for intervention effects on mechanistic targets. However, working memory capacity and distress tolerance were found to be negatively related to smoking propensity. As such, our mechanistic targets-working memory and distress tolerance--may well be processes undergirding smoking, despite the fact that our interventions did not adequately engage these targets.


Son, Heimi, Young Ae Lee, Dong Hyun Ahn, Stacey N. Doan, Eun Hye Ha, and Yun Seo Choi. “Antecedents of Maternal Rejection across Cultures: An Examination of Child Characteristics.” SAGE Open, vol. 10, issue 2, article 215824402092704.

Abstract: Maternal rejection may be associated with individual child characteristics. This relationship may vary across cultures. This study aimed to identify group differences in maternal rejection as well as child characteristics. We also explored the moderating role of culture in influencing the relations between child characteristics and maternal rejection. In total, 153 mothers with a child aged 3 to 6 years participated in the survey. Participants were from the East Coast of the United States (N = 48); Seoul, Korea (N = 65); and Japan (Tokyo and Saitama) (N = 40). American mothers perceived their children to be more active and extroverted than did Korean mothers, who perceived their children to be better at controlling their behavior than American and Japanese mothers. American mothers reported significantly higher levels of their children's behavior problems than Korean and Japanese mothers. It was observed that culture moderated the relations between child factors (e.g., effortful control and internalizing problems) and maternal rejection. These findings suggest that culture influences the association between child characteristics (temperament and behavior) and maternal rejection.


Yang, Yang, Qingfang Song, Stacey N. Doan, and Qi Wang. “Maternal Reactions to Children's Negative Emotions: The Relations to Psychological Adjustment, Emotion Knowledge and Coping in Cultural Contexts.” Transcultural Psychiatry, vol. 57, issue 3, 2020, pp. 408-420.

Abstract: This study examined the relations between maternal reactions to children’s negative emotions and children’s socio-emotional outcomes, including psychological adjustment, emotion knowledge, and coping strategies. European American and Chinese immigrant mothers reported on their reactions to children’s (N = 117, M = 7.14 years) negative emotions and on children’s psychological adjustment. One year later, children were interviewed for emotion knowledge and mothers reported on children’s use of coping strategies. Mothers from the two cultural groups reported the same level of supportive reactions to their children’s negative emotions, whereas Chinese immigrant mothers more often adopted what are commonly considered to be non-supportive strategies than did European American mothers. Whereas supportive maternal reactions were associated with better child outcomes in both cultures, maternal non-supportive reactions were negatively associated with children’s functioning for European American children but not for Chinese immigrant children. The findings shed critical light on the functional meaning of parenting practices in specific cultural contexts in shaping developmental outcomes.


External grant: Doan, Stacey, Principal Investigator. “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Changes in the Stress Response: Identifying Risk and Resilience in Adults and Children.” NSF RAPID BCS: 2027694, 2020, $164,138.

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to worldwide national emergencies, causing heightened levels of stress for all individuals, potentially leading to increased anxiety, negative affect and stress. As a stressor, the pandemic is unique in multiple ways: 1) it is universal, affecting individuals around the world, across all demographics; 2) its effects are wide-ranging, affecting the work place, schools and childcare; and 3) the threat is open-ended and enduring. The nature of this pandemic suggests it is a psychosocial chronic stressor for individuals everywhere. Experimental studies examining the effects of a chronic stress is impossible due to ethical reasons, and prospective studies investigating the effects of a pandemic on psychological and physiological functioning in U.S. families are basically non-existent. By capitalizing on our ongoing longitudinal study of stress and adaptation in families, the pandemic allows us to address fundamental questions about the effects of chronic stress that we would not otherwise be able to answer. Our proposal aims to test fundamental theories of the effects of stress exposure, biological mechanisms, as well as risk and resilience factors. We take a developmental approach examining stress proliferation within families as well as the role of potential buffering effects of self-regulatory competencies and positive parenting. Our proposal aims to address such questions as 1) the extent to which a major chronic stressor prospectively predicts change in mothers' and children's physiological and psychological functioning; 2) the extent to which experiences of stress within caregiver-child dyads might mutually accelerate and reinforce one another; and 3) the possible mitigating and exacerbating effects of resilience and risk factors within the dyad. Intellectual Merit: The proposal capitalizes on a naturalistic within-subjects experimental design to determine whether the experience of chronic stress (as measured through the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic) results in increases in cortisol and downstream psychological and behavioral effects in adults and children. This proposal is rigorous, ground-breaking, and innovative as we will be able to test for the first time the effects of a worldwide pandemic on psychological and biological functioning of parents and young children. The resulting data will allow us to test theoretical models of chronic stress, stress proliferation and risk and protective factors in families using a naturalistic experiment, increasing causal evidence for the role of stressors on physiological and psychological outcomes, as well as testing cutting-edge models of risk and resilience. The proposal builds upon the prior work of our team, which has extensively investigated adversity, biological mechanisms and adaptation. Broader Impacts: Improved well-being of individuals in society. Results from our study of a naturally-occurring pandemic threat will bring us closer to understanding mechanisms involved in the biological embedding of stress. Moreover, as our study tests hypotheses about risk and resilience factors, findings will lay the groundwork for understanding who will be most affected by future pandemics or natural disasters, and the individual characteristics and parenting behaviors that might protect children. Thus, we could potentially engineer behavioral interventions to prevent, mitigate or potentially reverse the impact of future stressors. Improved STEM education. The proposed project will build capacity to engage in cutting-edge research within developmental science. The scientific collaboration between, Claremont McKenna College and Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Pomona College and would allow Drs. Doan, Liu and Smiley to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and complementary research team involving developmental science research in basic biological mechanisms, training in multi-level methods (e.g., biological, psychological, and behavioral), and the role of technology in advancing data collection. Participation of women and underrepresented minorities. The research areas in our labs (e.g., culture and stress) and opportunity for mentorship by women and ethnic minority faculty (Drs. Doan and Liu, who both self-identify as Asian American women and children of immigrants) readily attract underrepresented undergraduate students. Moreover, Dr. Doan was a first-generation college student who has worked to recruit "first gen" students to the lab.


External Grant: Doan, Stacey, Principal Investigator. “Investigating the Feasibility of Resilience and Core Skills Training for Emerging Adults.” Ho Family Foundation Special Programs Grant, 2020, $199,937.

Abstract: Evidence suggest increasing problems of adjustment and mental health problems during emerging adulthood. Yet to date evidence for efficacious, cost-effective interventions for understanding best strategies for improving psychosocial well-being for college students is limited. In the current proposal, we proposed to use a multi-pronged strategy to investigate best practices for improving student well being.


External Grant: Lau, Anna S., Principal Investigator, and Stacey N. Doan, Co-Investigator. “Offsetting the Costs of Resilience among Asian American Youth Striving in the Context of Disadvantage.” Patrick and Lily Okura Research Grant on Asian Pacific American Mental Health, 2020, $9,900.

Abstract: The current proposal examines relations between striving and physical health costs. Moreover, it tests the extent to which an intervention design to promote healthy self-regulatory skills could mitigate the physiological costs of adaptation in the contexts of risk.

Burke, C. Shawn, Justine Moavero, and Jennifer Feitosa. “Toward an Understanding of Training Requirements for Multicultural Teams in Long-Duration Spaceflight.” Psychology and Human Performance in Space Programs, edited by Lauren Blackwell Landon, Kelley J. Slack, and Eduardo Salas. CRC Press, 2020, pp. 171-193.

Abstract: The challenges facing spaceflight crew engaging in exploration missions, especially those targeting exploration beyond low-earth orbit, have been repeatedly argued. However, the so-called human element remains one of the most complex components in the design of long-duration space missions (Ball & Evans, 2001). Forming the core of many of NASA's current and future spaceflight missions are crews who are culturally diverse in terms of their nationality and corresponding beliefs and values. The diversity present in such teams may manifest in numerous ways, all with the potential to influence team process, emergent states, and corresponding team outcomes. While cultural diversity can clearly impact teams, "the challenge in managing multicultural teams effectively is to recognize the underlying cultural causes of conflict, and to intervene in ways that both get the team back on track and empower its members to deal with future challenges themselves" (Brett et al., 2006, p. 89). Therefore, this chapter reviews the state-of-the art regarding the impact that cultural diversity has on team interaction, with an emphasis on the context of spaceflight. In doing so, we seek to document what is known as well as what the future holds for research. As research explicitly examining the impact of cultural diversity on team interaction within the context of spaceflight is limited, we also leverage research conducted outside spaceflight and consider the characteristics of long duration, long distance exploratory missions to make predictions.


Davis*, Alicia S., Sofia S. Van Sickle*, Saskia Shirley*, and Jennifer Feitosa. “Publish or Perish, but What about Practice?Industrial and Organizational Psychology, vol. 13, issue 3, 2020, pp. 312-315.

Abstract: The connection between science and practice is at the core of I-O psychology, providing the foundation for applying experimental findings to the real world (Rupp & Beal, 2007). However, in the current publishing environment, journals that publish practice-oriented research often have lower impact factors. This is concerning, considering that the importance of publishing in high-quality and high-impact journals is deeply ingrained in the field of I-O psychology and even more so for our colleagues affiliated with business schools. The current structure of the scholar rewarding system, also known as "publish or perish," is grounded in chasing high numbers of publications in top-tier journals with high impact factors. However, a consequence of this structure is the shift away from applied research, disintegrating the fundamental connection between science and practice for the field (Aguinis et al., 2017). Therefore, we argue that although impact factor is still a highly valued benchmark to our field, we have the ability to flip the metric by encouraging our colleagues to publish in lower impact, practice-based journals. We call for a way to rediscover the roots of the field and grow the recognition of practice-based journals, truly bridging the scientist-practitioner gap.


Feitosa, Jennifer, and Adrian Fonseca. “Teamwork: Education and Training in Healthcare.” Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: InterProfessional Team Training and Simulation, edited by John T. Paige, Shirley C. Sonesh, Deborah D. Garbee, and Laura S. Bonanno. Springer, 2020, pp. 49-63.

Abstract: Considering the amount of teamwork necessary within and across healthcare professionals, we dedicate this chapter to highlight the theoretical underpinnings that can guide tangible actions to educate and train better healthcare professionals. First, we propose the EDUCA-TRAIN model which clearly delineates evidence-based guidelines with the purpose to enhance teamwork in the healthcare context. Each one of these guidelines are properly expanded upon and used to integrate the education and training literatures. Second, we emphasize important concepts that should be incorporated throughout (e.g., simulation, training needs analysis). These are considerations that can help in the improvement and effectiveness of the education and training programs. Third, we bring key avenues for future research to the forefront, including the consideration of different pedagogies. Finally, this chapter draws from the current outlook in healthcare, at a professional and educational level, to propose what needs to be done in order to implement IPE team training into benefitting healthcare teams.


Feitosa, Jennifer, Rebecca Grossman, William S. Kramer, and Eduardo Salas. “Measuring Team Trust: A Critical and Meta-Analytical Review.” Journal of Organizational Behavior, vol. 41, issue 5, 2020, pp. 479-501.

Abstract: Team trust is gaining attention in research and practice due to its benefits for team performance, yet clarity about the intricacies of its measurement is needed. Therefore, we meta-analyzed 118 studies (N = 7,738) to untangle the role of measurement features by investigating the degree to which they influence the trust-performance relationship. Results showed that the trust-performance relationship is contingent upon time lag and source of measurement. Specifically, cross-sectional and single-source studies produced higher effect sizes than time-lagged and different-source studies. In contrast, the moderating roles of conceptualization-operationalization alignment and referent of trust measures were not supported. Post hoc analyses revealed that affective trust is more strongly related to global, versus specific team outcomes, and that mixed-referent items are particularly effective within intact teams, whereas the trust performance relationship is constrained when direct consensus items are used within ad hoc teams. Furthermore, we provided a critical review that highlights the importance of composites, multilevel forces, and item content and wording. Finally, we clarified key gaps in the literature, calling for research where needed. This review serves as a bridge between conceptualization and measurement and lays the groundwork for advancing knowledge of team trust.


Ninan, Preeya, Jennifer Feitosa, and Fabrice Delice. “Developing an Effective Diversity Training Intervention: Best Practices and Challenges.” Advancing Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice through Human Systems Engineering, edited by Rod D. Roscoe, Erin K. Chiou, and Abigail R. Wooldridge. CRC Press, 2020, pp. 247-266.

Abstract: Well-managed diversity in the workplace has the potential for increasing creativity, improving efficiency, and benefiting interpersonal relationships. In the present chapter, we establish the need for diversity training by addressing the common pitfalls of mismanaged diversity in the workplace. By examining the literature, we highlight the best practices as well as the challenges of diversity training interventions to guide the development and implementation of relevant training. This work intends to lay the foundation for maximizing the benefits of diversity and for aligning the training outcomes with the organizational goals.

Charlop, Marjorie H., Benjamin R. Thomas, and Caitlyn B. Gumaer. “Family-Based Interventions: Parent and Caregiver Training.” Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development, edited by Stephen Hupp and Jeremy D. Jewell. Wiley-Blackwell, 2020.

Abstract: Ever since the first demonstration of effective behavioral treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the early 1970s, parent training has been recognized as an important and necessary component to producing long-lasting treatment gains. Since then, a number of parent training and education programs have been designed and implemented with success (Schultz, Schmidt, & Stichter, 2011). Parent training ranges from providing parents with information (parent education or parent consultation models) to teaching parents specific skills. Research indicates that providing parents with hands-on training for specific skills is more effective and is associated with more positive outcomes than supplying information alone (Kaminski, Valle, Filene, & Boyle, 2008; Schulz et al., 2011). In addition, parent training can have two other potential benefits: reducing parenting stress and increasing parents' sense of competence. Parent training approaches have been used with school-based programs, medication, and direct behavioral treatment of children with ASD (McConachie & Diggle, 2007; Oosterling et al., 2010; Roberts et al., 2011).


Thomas, Benjamin R., Marjorie H. Charlop, Nataly Lim, and Caitlyn Gumaer. “Effects of Socially Appropriate Singing on the Vocal Stereotypy of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Behavioral Interventions, vol. 35, issue 2, 2020, pp. 249-262.

Abstract: This study evaluated the effects of children with autism spectrum disorder engaging in socially acceptable singing on their vocal stereotypy. A multiple-baseline across four participants with embedded multielement designs was used to assess the effects of the singing intervention upon later occurrence of vocal stereotypy for each participant. Results showed that fewer instances of vocal stereotypy occurred during and after singing intervention sessions. Additionally, two children began to emit appropriate singing after intervention, which suggests that the topography of their vocal stereotypy (e.g., monosyllabic or screeching sounds) was altered to some extent. Overall, results suggest positive implications for teaching appropriate vocal behaviors as functional replacements for vocal stereotypy.

Harris, Alison, Aleena Young*, Livia Hughson, Danielle Green, Stacey N. Doan, Eric Hughson, and Catherine L. Reed. “Perceived Relative Social Status and Cognitive Load Influence Acceptance of Unfair Offers in the Ultimatum Game.” PLOS ONE, vol. 15, issue 1, 2020, e0227717.

Abstract: Participants in the Ultimatum Game will often reject unfair resource allocations at personal cost, reflecting a trade-off between financial gain and maintenance of social standing. Although this rejection behavior is linked to executive control, the exact role of cognitive regulation in relation to status cues is unclear. We propose that the salience of status cues affects how cognitive regulation resolves the conflict between financial gain and social status considerations. Situations that tax executive control by limiting available cognitive resources should increase acceptance rates for unfair offers, particularly when the conflict between economic self-interest and social reputation is high. Here, participants rated their own subjective social status, and then either mentally counted (Load) or ignored (No Load) simultaneously-presented tones while playing two rounds of the Ultimatum Game with an online (sham) "Proposer" of either high or low social status. A logistic regression revealed an interaction of Proposer status with cognitive load. Compared to the No Load group, the Load group showed higher acceptance rates for unfair offers from the high-status Proposer. In contrast, cognitive load did not influence acceptance rates for unfair offers from the low-status Proposer. Additionally, Proposer status interacted with the relative social distance between participant and Proposer. Participants close in social distance to the high-status Proposer were more likely to accept the unfair offer than those farther in social distance, whereas the opposite pattern was observed for offers from the low-status Proposer. Although rejection of unfair offers in the Ultimatum Game has previously been conceptualized as an intuitive response, these results instead suggest it reflects a deliberative strategy, dependent on cognitive resources, to prioritize social standing over short-term financial gain. This study reveals the dynamic interplay of cognitive resources and status concerns within this paradigm, providing new insights into when and why people reject inequitable divisions of resources.

Adolescents' Depressive Symptom Experience Mediates the Impact of Long-Term Exposure to Maternal Depression Symptoms on Adolescents' Body Mass Index.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 54, issue 7, 2020, pp. 510-517.

Abstract: Background: Obesity is a cardiovascular disease risk factor and affects approximately 13.7 million U.S. children and adolescents between the ages of 2 - 19 years old in 2015-2016. Objective: To determine the relationship between the children's average long-term exposure to maternal depressive symptoms age 1 month to grade 6 and adolescents' body mass index z-score at age 15 mediated by the adolescents' depressive symptom experience. Methods: A total of 1,364 infants and their families from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were recruited. Results: Mediation analyses revealed a significant relationship between children's average long-term exposure to maternal depressive symptoms from age 1 month to grade 6 and adolescents' body mass index z-score at age 15 (total effect = 0.015, p = 0.013, 95% CI: 0.0032, 0.027). The adolescents' experience of depressive symptoms significantly mediated this relationship (indirect effect = 0.0021, bias corrected bootstrapped 95% CI: 0.0004, 0.0044), with this mediated relationship more pronounced in girls. Conclusion: Findings indicate the possible existence of a mediating role of adolescents' depressive symptoms experience in the pathway from average long-term exposure to maternal depressive symptoms during children's early life to adolescents' elevated body mass index.

Scurich, Nicholas and Daniel Krauss. “Public's Views of Risk Assessment Algorithms and Pretrial Decision Making.” Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, vol. 26, issue 1, 2020, pp. 1-9.

Abstract: Risk assessment algorithms are increasingly—and controversially—being used to inform whether criminal defendants are released or held in custody prior to their adjudications. A representative sample of Californians (n = 420)—the most recent state to consider eliminating cash bail and adopt an algorithmic approach to pretrial detention—was used to assess public knowledge and general support for the new law. The sample evidenced limited awareness of bail reform, was mixed in support of change to the existing system, and believed that an algorithm would augment rather than decrease racial and socioeconomic disparities in the criminal justice system. In terms of actually implementing a risk assessment algorithm for the purpose of pretrial decision making, it is ultimately a human decision maker who must apply a decision threshold and determine whether a given risk level is sufficient to occasion a particular course of action (e.g., deny pretrial release). The sample was also queried about their pretrial decision thresholds. The average respondent’s decision threshold for “low risk” (or pretrial release) was 33%, indicating a 33% or less likelihood of failing to reappear or committing a new crime was tolerable, and 60% for “high risk” (or confinement), indicating a likelihood of 60% or greater of failing to reappear or committing a new crime was acceptable to deny a defendant release. Incorporating the public’s values into the decision-making process is likely to promote the legitimacy of the use of risk assessment algorithms in the criminal justice system.

Harris, Alison, Aleena Young*, Livia Hughson, Danielle Green, Stacey N. Doan, Eric Hughson, and Catherine L. Reed. “Perceived Relative Social Status and Cognitive Load Influence Acceptance of Unfair Offers in the Ultimatum Game.” PLOS ONE, vol. 15, issue 1, 2020, e0227717.

Abstract: Participants in the Ultimatum Game will often reject unfair resource allocations at personal cost, reflecting a trade-off between financial gain and maintenance of social standing. Although this rejection behavior is linked to executive control, the exact role of cognitive regulation in relation to status cues is unclear. We propose that the salience of status cues affects how cognitive regulation resolves the conflict between financial gain and social status considerations. Situations that tax executive control by limiting available cognitive resources should increase acceptance rates for unfair offers, particularly when the conflict between economic self-interest and social reputation is high. Here, participants rated their own subjective social status, and then either mentally counted (Load) or ignored (No Load) simultaneously-presented tones while playing two rounds of the Ultimatum Game with an online (sham) "Proposer" of either high or low social status. A logistic regression revealed an interaction of Proposer status with cognitive load. Compared to the No Load group, the Load group showed higher acceptance rates for unfair offers from the high-status Proposer. In contrast, cognitive load did not influence acceptance rates for unfair offers from the low-status Proposer. Additionally, Proposer status interacted with the relative social distance between participant and Proposer. Participants close in social distance to the high-status Proposer were more likely to accept the unfair offer than those farther in social distance, whereas the opposite pattern was observed for offers from the low-status Proposer. Although rejection of unfair offers in the Ultimatum Game has previously been conceptualized as an intuitive response, these results instead suggest it reflects a deliberative strategy, dependent on cognitive resources, to prioritize social standing over short-term financial gain. This study reveals the dynamic interplay of cognitive resources and status concerns within this paradigm, providing new insights into when and why people reject inequitable divisions of resources.


Mueller*, Emily A., Stacey A. Wood, Yaniv Hanoch, Yumi Huang, and Catherine L. Reed. “Older and Wiser: Age Differences in Susceptibility to Investment Fraud: The Protective Role of Emotional Intelligence.” Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, vol. 32, issue 2, 2020, pp. 152-172.

Abstract: There have been inconsistent results regarding whether older adults are more vulnerable to fraud than younger adults. The two main goals of this study were to investigate the claim that there is an age-related vulnerability to fraud and to examine whether emotional intelligence (EI) may be associated with fraud susceptibility. Participants (N = 281; 18-82 years; M = 53.4) were recruited via Amazon's Mechanical Turk and completed measures of EI, decision-making, and scam susceptibility. Participants who scored higher on "ability" EI were less susceptible to scams. The "younger" group (M = 2.50, SD = 1.06) was more susceptible to scams than the "older" group, p <.001, d = 0.56, while the "older" group (M = 4.64, SD = 1.52) reported the scams as being more risky than the "younger" group, p =.002, d = 0.37. "Older" participants were more sensitive to risk, less susceptible to persuasion, and had higher than average emotional understanding. Emotional understanding was found to be a partial mediator for age-related differences in scam susceptibility and susceptibility to persuasion.


Park*, George D., and Catherine L. Reed. “Functional Tool Actions in Near and Far Space Affect the Distribution of Visual Attention Along the Tool.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, vol. 46, issue 4, 2020, pp. 388-404.

Abstract: Researchers propose 2 opposing views regarding visuospatial attentional distributions of tool space. Tool-use in far space either (a) remaps peripersonal space leading to distributed attention along the tool, or (b) shifts attention to the tool’s functional end. However, most studies employ only one type of functional tool action to support their view. This study assessed whether attentional distributions are explained by different tool action types performed in space relative to the body. In Experiment 1, participants used a curved tool to push objects in far space or pull objects from far-to-near space, n = 96. Visual attention (mean correct RT, d′) was measured at three equidistant target locations (tool handle, middle shaft, functional end) in far space, before and after tool actions using a 50/50, go/no-go target discrimination task. In Experiment 2, push actions were confined to near space and pull actions to far space, n = 96. Regardless of pushing or pulling, tool actions in far space improved attention only at the tool’s end. Pulling objects into near space distributed attentional facilitation along the tool’s length. Thus, tool-use peripersonal space remapping and attentional shifts may be dependent on specific functional tool actions in near and far space. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)


Reed, Catherine L., Eric J. Moody, Kathryn Mgrublian*, Sarah Assaad*, Alexis Schey*, and Daniel N. McIntosh. “Body Matters in Emotion: Restricted Body Movement and Posture Affect Expression and Recognition of Status-Related Emotions.” Frontiers in Psychology, Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 11, 2020, article 1961.

Abstract: Embodiment theory suggests that we use our own body and experiences to simulate information from other people's bodies and faces to understand their emotions. A natural consequence of embodied theory is that our own current position and state contributes to this emotional processing. Testing non-disabled individuals, we investigated whether restricted body posture and movement influenced the production and recognition of nonverbal, dynamic emotional displays in able-bodied participants. In Experiment 1, participants were randomly assigned to either unrestricted or wheelchair-restricted (sitting, torso restrained) groups and nonverbally expressed six emotions (disgust, happiness, anger, fear, embarrassment, and pride) while being videotaped. After producing each emotion, they rated their confidence regarding how effectively they communicated that emotion. Videotaped emotional displays were coded for face, body, and face + body use. Based on naïve coders' scores, both unrestricted and wheelchair-restricted groups produced emotionally congruent face and body movements and both groups were equally confident in their communication effectiveness. Using videos from Experiment 1, Experiment 2 tested non-disabled participants' ability to recognize emotions from unrestricted and wheelchair-restricted displays. Wheelchair-restricted displays showed an overall decline in recognition accuracy, but recognition was selectively impaired for the dominance-related emotions of disgust and anger. Consistent with embodied emotion theory, these results emphasize the importance of the body for emotion communication and have implications for social interactions between individuals with and without physical disabilities. Changes in nonverbal emotion signals from body restrictions may influence social interactions that rely on the communication of dominance-related social emotions.


External Grant: Reed, Catherine, Primary Investigator, IUSE NSF 1914855 "Collaborative Proposal: Level II Preparing Undergraduates for Research in STEM-related fields Using Electrophysiology (PURSUE)" CMC: $725,036; Whole Grant Total: $1,997,684, 2020-2025.

Abstract: This project aims to serve the national interest in high-quality STEM education by increasing the number of college students who participate in cognitive neuroscience research. Based on survey data, few undergraduates are currently involved in cognitive neuroscience research projects at colleges and universities. In addition, those undergraduates who are working in these laboratories are involved at a basic, data-collecting level. With the necessary knowledge and hands-on experience with data analysis, more undergraduate researchers could contribute more substantially to cognitive neuroscience research. This project aims to achieve this goal by building upon a set of open-access teaching and learning resources that were developed by the principle investigators with previous NSF support. These resources include stand-alone modules that can be incorporated into existing courses, as well as an entire undergraduate course. The project will evaluate and improve these resources to make them easier to use by different faculty and at different institutions. In addition, the project will train and support faculty in effective use of the resources. This training will include support provided through a faculty learning community. This project has the potential to improve undergraduate STEM learning by increasing the use of evidence-based teaching resources, to broaden institutional capacity for STEM learning by supporting improvements to courses, and to prepare the STEM workforce by engaging students in high-quality research experiences. The specific objectives of this project are to: 1) refine, assess, and revise a set of cognitive electrophysiology training materials; 2) facilitate course implementation and broaden the cognitive electrophysiology teaching/research community through course-design workshops, especially for faculty serving populations that are under-represented in STEM; and 3) increase dissemination and accessibility of course materials through development of a website and database of electrophysiology data. Efficacy of course materials will be assessed via faculty surveys and student learning outcomes (pretest-posttest design with cohort comparison group). Workshop success and impact will be evaluated via faculty participant surveys and annual surveys tracking teaching, mentoring, and research activities. Results will be disseminated at conferences and in neuroscience and education journals. This project has the potential to improve the training of thousands of undergraduate and graduate students. The online accessibility of materials allows faculty from diverse colleges and universities worldwide, particularly those with limited resources, to increase training and research opportunities for underrepresented populations without the need to purchase or maintain electrophysiology equipment. Additionally, it can increase opportunities for undergraduates to engage in authentic research experiences that lead to faculty-student co-authored publications, better training students for graduate school and the STEM workforce. This project is supported by the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Program: Education and Human Resources, which supports research and development projects to improve the effectiveness of STEM education for all students. Through the Engaged Student Learning track, the program supports the creation, exploration, and implementation of promising practices and tools.

Carducci, Bernardo J., Christopher S. Nave, Jeffrey S. Mio, and Ronald E. Riggio, eds. The Wiley Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Wiley & Sons, 2020.


Day, David V., Ronald E. Riggio, and Rowan Y. Mulligan*. “Leadership and Monitoring Skills.” Leader Thinking Skills: Capacities for Contemporary Leadership, edited by Michael D. Mumsford and Cory A. Higgs. Routledge, 2020, pp. 340-361.

Abstract: This chapter reviews different monitoring orientations related to leadership responsibilities. In particular, we will organize our review around three central features: (a) monitoring self, (b) monitoring others, and (c) monitoring the organization.


Riggio, Ronald E. Daily Leadership Development: 365 Steps to Becoming a Better Leader. Barnes & Noble Press, 2020.

Abstract: A day-by-day guidebook for personal leader development. Each entry is grounded in leadership theory, research, and evidence-based practice.


Riggio, Ronald E. “Why Followership?New Directions for Student Leadership, issue 167, 2020 pp. 15-22.

Abstract: Followership is associated with many negative characteristics: being passive, having a lower status, possessing less intelligence, receiving lower pay, order-taking, providing less value, avoiding risk, etc. And yet, leadership, followership, and context combine to form a coherent whole. We need to start by understanding followers in the same depth as our understanding of leaders. "Why followership?" This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book. It answers why we should care about followers and followership and how it can be explained to others.


Riggio, Ronald E., Eaton, L.G., Funder, D.C. (2020). “Skill in Social Situations: The Essence of Savoir-Faire.” Social Intelligence and Nonverbal Communication, edited by Sternberg, Robert J. and Aleksandra Kostic. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 333-357.

Abstract: Savoir-faire, defined as sureness and tact in social behavior, has not been treated as a psychological construct per se; however, the construct social control (SC), sophisticated skill in social role-playing, has been similarly defined (Riggio, 1986). This study evaluates SC as a potentially sufficient measure of savoir-faire. 182 target participants and 2 of their college peers provided extensive personality descriptions of the targets. 64 behaviors were measured in 3 different social situations as participants interacted with an opposite-sex stranger. Converging personality and behavioral correlates support the contention that the SC captures the major aspects of savoir-faire. These data shed new light on social role-playing, and the potential contribution of these findings for understanding the foundation of social skills is discussed.


Riggio, Ronald E. and Rowan Y. Mulligan. “Reciprocal Peer Tutoring: A Simple Strategy for Enhancing Classroom Learning and the Academic Social Environment.” Handbook of Teaching with Technology in Management, Leadership, and Business, edited by Stuart Allen, Kim Gower, and Danielle K. Allen. Edward Elgar, pp. 150-157.

Abstract: As any graduate student or new faculty member knows, the best way to master a body of information is to teach a course on it. Studies of student tutors shows that tutors achieve relatively greater cognitive gains in course material than the students they teach (Annis, 1983; Bargh & Schul, 1980). Reciprocal Peer Tutoring (RPT) is a well-researched technique that requires students to pair up and alternately play the role of tutor and student. RPT takes advantage of the peer tutoring findings of greater cognitive learning, as well as the literature on the importance of having a social support system in college. Decades of research suggest that college students need both academic and social integration in order to be intrinsically motivated and persist to graduation (Bailey et al., 2018; Chapman & Pascarella, 1983; Tinto, 1975).


Walker, Dayna O.*, Rebecca J. Reichard, Ronald E. Riggio, and Tiffany Keller Hansbrough. “Who Might Support a Tyrant? An Exploration of Links Between Adolescent Family Conflict and Endorsement of Tyrannical Implicit Leadership Theories.” Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, vol. 27, issue 4, 2020, pp. 340-356.

Abstract: This research takes an exploratory approach to shed light on the paradox that negative leader characteristics, such as pushy, obnoxious, and manipulative, appeal to some individuals. We employ social learning theory to argue how parents can model conflict for their adolescents, which may shape implicit leadership theories later in life. Spanning 21 years, this longitudinal study examines adolescent family environment and parents’ gender attitudes as antecedents of adult tyrannical implicit leadership theories using a sample of 102 individuals and their parents. Findings from multiple regression analyses suggest that high family conflict during formative years may predispose individuals to endorse the implicit leadership theory dimension known as tyranny. Furthermore, fathers’ egalitarian gender attitudes, as well as mothers’ masculine sex-types, may amplify this effect. Results inform the literature on leadership perceptions by surfacing the early life antecedents of paradoxical leadership preferences.

Umanath, Sharda, and Dorthe Berntsen. “Some Personal Life Events are More Prominent than Others: Younger and Older Adults Agree on which Life Events Matter Most.” Memory Studies, vol. 13, issue 4, 2020, pp. 551-569.

Abstract: Some important life events are part of the cultural life script as expected transitional events with culturally sanctioned timing. However, not all personally important events align with the cultural life script, including some events that are widely experienced. Here, we ask whether there are specific characteristics that define the events that become part of a culture's life script and what role life experience plays. In Experiment 1, younger adults rated life events on different measures tapping central event dimensions in autobiographical memory theories. Cross-culturally extremely frequent cultural life script events consistently received higher ratings than other commonly experienced life story events. Experiment 2 demonstrated that these findings did not interact with age. Both younger and older adults rated the extreme cultural life script events most highly. In addition, older adults rated all types of life events more highly than younger adults, suggesting a greater appreciation of life events overall.


Umanath, Sharda, and Jennifer H. Coane. “Face Validity of Remembering and Knowing: Empirical Consensus and Disagreement between Participants and Researchers.” Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 15, issue 6, 2020, pp. 1400-1422.

Abstract: Ever since Endel Tulving first distinguished between episodic and semantic memory, the remember/know paradigm has become a standard means of probing the phenomenology of participants' memorial experiences by memory researchers, neuropsychologists, neuroscientists, and others. However, this paradigm has not been without its problems and has been used to capture many different phenomenological experiences, including retrieval from episodic versus semantic memory, recollection versus familiarity, strength of memory traces, and so on. We first conducted a systematic review of its uses across the literature and then examined how memory experts, other cognitive psychology experts, experts in other areas of psychology, and lay participants (Amazon Mechanical Turk workers) define what it means when one says "I remember" and "I know." From coding their open-ended responses using a number of theory bound dimensions, it seems that lay participants do not see eye to eye with memory experts in terms of associating "I remember" responses with recollection and "I know" responses with familiarity. However, there is general consensus with Tulving's original distinction, linking remembering with memory for events and knowing with semantic memory. Recommendations and implications across fields are discussed.


External Grant: Umanath, Sharda. "CAREER: Stabilizing Access to Prior Knowledge Across the Lifespan." National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program Award (#1941404), 2020, $700,000.

Abstract: People use accumulated knowledge from prior learning to interact with the world. However, acquired knowledge is not useful if retrieval failures hinder the ability to bring it to mind when needed. The goal of this project is to advance an understanding of cognitive aging, and to improve the accessibility and stability of prior knowledge gained across the lifespan. Practically, it will lead to strategies to make better utilization of our preexisting knowledge, which will benefit both younger and older adults. Given the demographic transitions predicted for the next decades, with an increasing number of elderly adults in the population, theoretically and empirically informed means of maintaining cognitive health throughout the lifespan are highly desirable. Retrieval failures can be useful in terms of the metacognitive feedback they offer a person as he/she remembers, and the knowledge can thereby shape future behavior. These failures come with a range of mental experiences (phenomenology), but little research has been done to characterize them beyond that of imminent recall (i.e., tip of the tongue states). The present project will examine memory performance of cognitively healthy younger and older adults, drawing on theoretical, methodological, and analytical approaches of work on: phenomenology, metamemory (introspective judgments about one's learning and memory), memory principles and application to learning, cognitive aging, and very long-term knowledge. The research focuses on knowledge that is close to successful retrieval but requires intervention (in the zone of proximal retrieval), and will test the effectiveness of strategies to recover and maintain accessibility of content in that zone. Central to this effort is the investigation of whether theoretical and empirical principles supporting retrieval practice in new learning can be extended to recovery and maintenance of knowledge, and how accessibility of prior knowledge can be stabilized. In addition to scientific broader impacts, the research activities are concurrent with plans to: 1) disseminate content on understanding how memory works and evidence-based retrieval strategies to local academic and retirement communities; and 2) mentor undergraduates to emphasize civic engagement and to broaden their access to research experiences. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Bartlett, Monica Y., Piercarlo Valdesolo, and Sarah N. Arpin. “The Paradox of Power: The Relationship between Self-esteem and Gratitude.” The Journal Social Psychology, vol. 160, issue 1, 2020, pp. 27-38.

Abstract: In contrast to earlier research, the three studies reported here find that the most powerful individuals are also the most grateful, and that self-esteem plays a role in explaining this relationship. Study 1a (N = 109) reveals a strong, positive relationship between individuals’ perceived power and gratitude. Study 1b (N = 194) replicates this and finds that self-esteem mediates this positive power-gratitude relationship. Study 2 (N = 212) manipulates power and shows its downstream effects on gratitude through self-esteem, again providing support for the positive relationship of power to gratitude through self-esteem. We argue that because gratitude is predicated on recognition that others value oneself, power amplifies rather than undercuts feelings of gratitude. We discuss possible boundary conditions.