University of Minnesota
Department of Psychology

Department of Psychology's home page.


October 2014

Administrative Updates & Announcements

Please welcome Matthew Ogbeifun to the department. Matthew will be working as a Student Tech for PsyIT. Matthew is an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Originally from St. Paul Minnesota, Matthew enjoys listening to music, watching independent films, and volunteering/researching at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. Matthew's work schedule will be as follows (N211 Elliott Hall):

  • Mondays: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • Tuesdays: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • Fridays: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

This fall, students may withdraw from classes without instructor of College approval through the tenth week of class. The final date that students may withdraw is November 10. Previously, students could withdraw without approval through the eighth week of class. Deadlines for cancelling or adding classes are available on the One Stop website.

You want an undergraduate research assistant. You are swamped with requests from students looking for research positions. You wade through all the requests and most of them are from students who don't have what you're looking for. You spend time exchanging emails with students who did not provide enough information in the first place, only to find that they won't work out for you either. Time passes. Frustration builds. Work goes unfinished. OR...You request a copy of the Available RA List containing information from students looking for RA positions and you find all the information you want in convenient spreadsheet form. You choose an RA who has the right background and interests. Done. The list has been updated in the past few weeks with all new information. Faculty and graduate students conducting research can request a copy of the list from Mark Stellmack.

Psychology Advising is on FaceBook! This fall, an undergraduate intern will be working with Psychology Advising to raise our social media profile. Check out our page, Like us, and encourage undergraduates in your classes and labs to get connected.

Awards & Accomplishments

Professor Gene Borgida was quoted in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on implicit racial bias in the treatment of a man accused of trespass in a public area of the St. Paul skyway system, subjected to Taser, and taken to jail - all while waiting to pick up his children. To read the article and watch the video of the incident, visit here.

Professor Traci Mann's research was discussed in Yahoo! News article "Obesity research confirms long-term weight loss almost impossible". Traci indicates that maintaining weight loss is highly unlikely for most individuals.

Professor Andrew Oxenham was elected to the Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum (CORLAS). CORLAS is dedicated to the pursuit of scientific advances in the broad field of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. Membership in this international honor society is by invitation only, and is limited to 6 non-clinical members from the U.S.

Professor Jeff Simpson's research on how couples deal with insecurities was featured in The Huffington Post article "The Buffer Zone: Romance and Insecurity" and the article "Dr. Jeffrey Simpson: The Go-To Source on Romantic Attachment Theory".

Emeritus Professor Gloria Leon was appointed Chair of the NASA Standing Review Panel, Behavioral Health and Performance Scientific Element, reviewing research progress on NASA-funded projects. We are pleased to see members of our faculty represented in the article titled "An Incomplete List of Eminent Psychologists of the Modern Era" by Ed Diener, Shigehiro Oishi and JungYeun Park published in the in the APA Archives of Scientific Psychology

Former graduate student Sandra Davis (Counseling, 1973), co-founder and immediate past CEO of MDA Leadership Consulting, was recognized by the George Family Foundation as one of 84 exceptional women leaders making remarkable contributions to building the Twin Cities in an event on Tuesday, Sept. 16. Davis and other honorees were recognized at the "Celebrating Twin Cities Women Leaders" event at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. The event celebrated women in the Twin Cities who have served as CEO, board chair or president of prominent companies and organizations in the community. Of the 84 honorees, Davis is the only one to head a leadership development firm.



Department of Psychology Colloquium
Sponsored by the Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics (PIB) and Biological Psychopathology (BP) Areas

Speaker: Raymond A. Mar, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, York University

Friday, October 3, 2014 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Elliott Hall N639
Can Consuming Narrative Fiction Create Empathy?

Most of us engage with fictional narratives on a daily basis, be it a novel, film, or favourite television show. In doing so, we often imagine the inner worlds of others who are quite different from ourselves, which may provide an avenue for developing perspective-taking and empathy towards others. In this talk I will provide a critical overview of the available research on whether exposure to narrative fiction can improve our capacity to understand other people. This includes work based on various methodological approaches, including neuroscience, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and individual differences.


Department of Psychology Colloquium
Sponsored by the Social Psychology Area

Speaker: Hazel Rose Markus, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, Stanford University

Monday, October 6, 2014 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Elliott Hall N639
Inequality, Social Class and Self

The U.S. is increasingly marked by inequality and divided along social class lines. The divide is evident in what eat for dinner, how we parent, how we vote, and how long we live. In this talk I integrate many of the powerful and previously unexamined psychological consequences of social class, suggesting that societal rank has its influence on behavior through one’s experience of self. In North American settings, those with higher rank (whether measured or manipulated) tend to experience themselves as independent selves—as separate from others, as expressing and promoting their own interests, choices and goals, and as influencing and controlling social interactions. Those with lower rank tend to experience themselves as interdependent selves—as connected with others, as responsive to the social situation and to others’ goals, emotions and needs, and as adjusting and deferring to others in interaction. The more unequal we become and the more different our selves become, the more societal dysfunction we will experience. Addressing inequality in health, education, and political engagement requires policies and practices that bridge these socioculturally shaped differences in self.


Department of Psychology Colloquium

Speaker: Brian Engdahl, Ph.D.
William L. Anderson Chair in PTSD Research & Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience & Cognitive Sciences, University of Minnesot

Thursday, October 16, 2014 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Walter Library 402

Neuroimaging, PTSD, Resilience, and Posttraumatic Growth

The search is on for biological markers of mental disorders. Neuroimaging techniques that assess brain function (EEG, PET, MRI) are providing tools in this search. We are using magnetoencephalography (MEG), a unique neuroimaging technique that is simple (task free resting state), safe, short (1 minute), dynamic (based on ongoing activity collected every millisecond) and sensitive to changes in brain communication patterns. MEG allows excellent discrimination between controls and disorder-specific groups. We have studied nearly 2000 subjects. Findings on multiple select groups will be presented, highlighting neural differences in PTSD, trauma adaptation, and posttraumatic growth.

Visiting Scholars

Marion David, Postdoc at the University of Lyon in France, has been invited by Professor Andrew Oxenham to visit our Department from November 2014 - August 2015. This will be Dr. David's second visit to our department, her first visit as a graduate student for six months earlier this year. Dr. David will continue to participate collaboratively with department researchers in the areas of human auditory perception and neuroscience with particular emphasis on auditory scene analysis.

Chair's Office

Monica Luciana
N210 EltH - 625-7873

Pat Frazier
Associate Chair
N571 EltH - 625-6863

Jonathan Gewirtz
Associate Chair
S245 EltH - 625-6653

Guillermo De Paz
N210 EltH - 625-7852

Orbe D. Walther
Assistant to the Chair
N210 EltH - 625-7873

Heidi Wolff
Executive Ofc & Admin Specialist
S248 EltH - 626-3171

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