Author Archives: Kanako Taku

Kana Reflects On Her APA 2021 Main Stage Interview

I just uploaded a new video on Youtube where I talk my experience of being interviewed for the APA 2021 Main Stage keynote panel on the science of resiliency and bouncing back from adversity.

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Kana Headlines APA Main Stage 2021!

The APA (American Psychological Association) Annual Convention will be held virtually in August 12-14 this year.

Kana participated in the Saturday main stage headline session with Dr. Maryam Jernigan-Noesi and answered a few questions, such as:

  • What does posttraumatic growth look like?
  • What is the first step toward growth after a traumatic experience?
  • Is PTG something that requires support from a trained professional?
  • What do you do to set yourself up for growth?

Taku, K. (2021, August). Growing from our Traumatic Experiences. Invited interview for the Main Stage session, “The Science of Resilience – Bounce Back from Adversity”, at the 129th American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Convention, Online.

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The Human Right to Experience PTG without Resiliency

I just uploaded a new video on Youtube where I talk about the relationships and differences between resiliency and PTG and suggest PTG researchers should pay more attention to those who may experience PTG without being resilient.
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Whitney on USA Today

Our lab member, Dr. Whitney Dominick, comments on posttraumatic growth in the context of COVID-19! Click here for the full interview.

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Why is 10th place happier than 2nd place?

Thinking about downward and upward comparisons as a predictor of an athlete’s happiness or smiling after a sporting tournament.
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Congrats, Kara!

A second-year Master’s student, Kara Pado, successfully defended her master’s thesis titled “Perceptions of Tipping Points of Alcohol Abuse Tendencies in Undergraduate Students“.

Kara studied the importance of tipping points, specifically in how our perceptions of tipping points relate to the perceptions of alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use in undergraduate students has become increasingly prevalent, reaching levels greater than those of the general population.  Kara hypothesized that (1) individuals would indicate a later tipping point when evaluating the problematic behavior in the self-condition than they will when evaluating a peer, (2) students who reported a higher level of alcohol consumption would indicate a much larger threshold for a tipping point of alcohol abuse disorder in both themselves and a peer, and (3) participants who reported that their parents that were more accepting of alcohol will identify larger tipping points in potential alcohol abuse tendencies.

Kara then collected data from college students and analyzed 354 responses. She found that while students, on average, reported earlier tipping points indicative of problematic drinking behaviors for themselves, rather than their peers, many factors including current quantity of alcohol consumption, current frequency of alcohol consumption, and parental alcohol use all played a role in determining what quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption would constitute problematic behaviors in both themselves and their peers! Very interesting!

It would be beneficial to collect more data on current alcohol consumption, the perceptions of alcohol consumption behaviors, and the individual influences that play a role in making decisions regarding alcohol consumption among undergraduate students. This additional data would allow undergraduate institutions to effectively develop preventative measures and recovery plans for students impacted by dangerous alcohol consumption behaviors.

Excellent job! Congratulations, Kara!! We look forward to your future research in this field!

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Congrats, CJ

A second-year Master’s student, Colin O’Brien, successfully defended his master’s thesis titled, Types of Change in Anxiety Regarding Mass Shootings in Response to New Information.

He investigated how different types of information about mass shootings can affect an individual’s state anxiety, while also defining and examining the type of change taking place. CJ also examined the association between trait anxiety and changes in state anxiety. A total of 364 participants recruited from a midwestern university were randomly assigned to one of three conditions, in which they read either emotional information (news media), unemotional information (statistics), or a filler article. Before and after reading these articles, CJ asked participants to respond to questions from the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. CJ then analyzed his data by using R and SPSS. He found that participants experienced alpha changes in anxiety after reading either article related to mass shootings, but not after reading the filler article. Also, CJ found that individuals higher in trait anxiety were more likely to experience negative alpha changes after reading the filler article and were more likely to experience beta changes across all three conditions. These results demonstrate that information about mass shootings is likely to elevate anxiety levels regardless of its emotionality, which may be relevant for professionals attempting to educate about mass shootings. CJ’s thesis also illustrates the connection between trait anxiety and changes in state anxiety, and that constructs other than the construct being changed may need to be considered when testing for alpha and beta changes.

Excellent job!!

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Do We Want AI to Believe in Karma?

Thinking about the way to study karma in the FF-PTG lab.

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Now Accepting Grad Student Applications

The current application review cycle has begun and we look forward to meeting you!

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Potential Research Topics in 2020-2022

We are excited to start the new semester in a month and look forward to initiating new lines of FF-PTG LAB research projects. Here is some ideas.

  • Social, political, and psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic, including the distinctions between PTG, resilience, and well-being
  • Impact on values and trust in government and statistics that relate to personality, anxiety, coping, and PTG
  • Racial disparities, inequality, the mass protests in the U.S.,and justice related to action-focused growth 
  • PTG as defense mechanism against anxiety under COVID-19
  • Tipping point for post-traumatic/daily cognitive, emotional, personality, relational, and physical changes
  • Bright, dark, and ugly side of resilience and PTG
  • Impact of being hurt and harming others within the same person
  • Issues surrounding PTG, authentic growth, and illusory growth
  • PTG as a means of revenge, and DARVO (deny, attack, reverse victim and offender roles)
  • Sustainability of PTG and PTG as a temporal coping/mood
  • Values of leisure, outdoor activities, sports and athletes under COVID-19 relate to mental and physical health
  • Impact of cyber harassment, rejection, and bullying on well-being

If you would be interested in any of these topics, please let us know so we can collaborate and delve into some big unanswered questions together!

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