Author Archives: emileecausey

OU Hosts Founders’ Day Faculty Recognition Event

The annual Founders’ Day Faculty Recognition event commends faculty members whose teaching and research excellence, creative achievements, and community service have contributed to the betterment of society. They honor OU faculty members for their scholarly achievements and dedication regarding research and critical teaching roles in educating the leaders of tomorrow. This year, the FF-PTG lab’s very own director, Dr. Kanako Taku has been awarded as an honoree for her teaching. In regards to her skills in the classroom, Dr. Taku “helps her students find success by using data derived from students, making students more involved and classroom time more engaging.” But her dedication and passion for teaching goes beyond the classroom: “the students that she has supported have found success, earning awards, grants and presenting work at local, national, and international conferences”. Congrats Dr. Taku! The lab is extremely proud of you and all of your accomplishments!

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Colin’s Master’s Thesis Proposal Updates

Colin, second year master’s student, presented updates to his master’s thesis proposal titled Types of Change in Anxiety Regarding
Mass Shootings in Response to New Information
. He intends to examine psychological outcomes, focusing on taking a closer look at the different types of change in anxiety experienced by individuals and their responses to various types of information regarding mass shootings. Recently, he began collecting data for his thesis through the use of online surveys, allowing for preliminary analysis of the responses from the participants. With the data collection being a work in progress, Colin has been able to work on analysis on the different types of changes in anxiety: alpha (linear), beta (non-linear reprioritization & recalibration), and gamma (non-linear reconceptualization). His analysis revealed that regardless of emotional content in information presented to individuals, the discussion of mass shootings alone is enough to raise anxiety levels. Congratulations, as well, to Colin, for being awarded the Provost Graduate Student Research Award
which will aid him in furthering his research!

With his research, Colin hopes to better the current understanding of how various forms of media on mass shootings are impacting individuals not directly involved in the event. He aspires to one-day assist in the creation of active shooter training based on his research, by finding better ways to spread awareness and news within the media. In addition, Colin hopes to discover different therapeutic routes for those both directly and indirectly involved in. Amazing work Colin, we look forward to hearing more about your findings!

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The FF-PTG Lab Welcomes New Member

Welcome to Emily Burley, our new undergraduate research assistant! Emily is currently a sophomore at Oakland University, double majoring in psychology and human resources management. She joined the lab due to her interest in using psychology to help others achieve a better quality of life, and hopes that learning about PTG will help her do so. Emily plans to study PTG as it relates to specific groups of people, such as grade school teachers and people who cause traumatic events by hurting others, both intentionally and unintentionally. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend graduate school and start a career in psychology. Emily can be reached at emilyburley@oakland.edu.

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Emilee’s Article Presentation

First semester undergraduate lab member, Emilee, recently gave her first article presentation titled Is Resilience only skin deep? Rural African Americans’ socioeconomic status – Related Risk and Competence in Preadolescence and Psychological Adjustment and allostatic load at age 19 that was published by Gene H. Brody et al. in 2013. The researchers of this study wanted to analyze the interaction between resilience and negative physical outcomes in a population of disadvantaged African-American preadolescents. They predicted that the preadolescents who exhibited high psychosocial competence despite their lower socioeconomic status would at the same time show signs of stable mental health and increased physical health problems, specifically higher levels of allostatic load (a measure of a person’s stress response). The results showed that higher resilience, or psychosocial competence, in the preadolescents correlated with higher levels of allostatic load and physical health issues at age 19, but these results were found only for the disadvantaged preadolescents. This suggests that resilience is multidimensional, positively affecting mental health while simultaneously negatively affecting aspects of physical health. These results help to facilitate the discussion of the complexity of psychological constructs and the possible “dark side” to ones which are consistently viewed in a positive light. The researchers believe that future directions should seek to explore mediating factors and functions behind the biological and physiological effects of active coping skills. Emilee would like to use this article to build upon her own interests in examining the unexplored sides to common psychological constructs. Great job on your presentation, Emilee!

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Taylor’s Research Study Proposal

Recently, third semester undergraduate student, Taylor, presented her proposal for an independent research study titled, Individual Differences in Emotion Recognition: Examining the Relationship Between Posttraumatic Growth, Empathy, Personality, & Facial Expression Recognition. Based on previous research conducted, Taylor is interested in looking at the relationship between posttraumatic growth (PTG) and emotion recognition ability (ERA) and how the Five Factor Model personality traits of: agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness to experiences, and extraversion may moderate this relationship. Taylor aims for her research to help aid in understanding the ways that PTG can impact day-to-day communications and individual’s interpretations of them. With her research, Taylor hopes to point towards the possibility of promoting PTG in trauma victims that suffer from mental disorders to improve their ERA. This will, in turn, positively impact daily social interactions, aid in creating healthier relationships, and increase success in professional domains. Great work Taylor, we can’t wait to learn more from your study!

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