Psychology Colloquium Speaker Series

The PLU Psychology colloquium series aims to provide PLU students, faculty and staff rich, meaningful exposure to the state of the art in research in psychology. Each year, 5-6 invited speakers from a range of backgrounds, subdisciplines, and career stages are invited to present their current research. Our colloquium series is unique both in terms of its size and its scope; in addition to faculty development, the series is used for partial satisfaction of Research Familiarization requirements in PSYC 101 and other undergraduate courses.

2022-23 Confirmed Speakers

May Colloquium

Regan Gurung, Ph.D. Dr. Regan Gurung
Professor and Director, General Psychology Program at Oregon State University
May 5, 2023, 2-3pm 

April Colloquium

Heidi McLaughlin

Heidi McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Pacific Lutheran University
April 21, 2023, 2-3pm

We Can’t All Be Right: Psychological and Social Implications of Intellectual Humility

Mark Leary, Ph.D.Dr. Mark Leary
Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University
March 3, 2023, from 2-3pm via Zoom: 

People differ widely in intellectual humility – the degree to which they recognize that their beliefs and attitudes might be incorrect. Differences in intellectual humility have implications for the degree to which people are open to different viewpoints, attuned to the quality of evidence, derogate those who disagree with them, and behave in ways that promote satisfying close relationships. This presentation will examine the psychological roots of intellectual humility, its effects on people’s well-being, and the relevance of intellectual humility for ideological divisions in society.

How important is child-directed input for supporting learning?

Laura Shneidman, Ph.D. faculty photo
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Pacific Lutheran University
November 18, 2022, 2-3pm in Xavier 201

A great deal of research has highlighted the importance that child-directed interactions have for supporting children’s learning, in both formal schooling environments (e.g., Alfieri et al., 2011; Mayer, 2004) and in everyday learning contexts (e.g., Csibra & Gergely, 2011; Tomasello, 1999). However, this work has traditionally focused on children from communities who are regularly engaged in child-directed interaction. In this talk I consider children’s early social and linguistic input in Yucatec Maya communities and ask to what extent child-directed interactions occur. I then consider whether child-directed input relates to learning outcomes for Maya children, and what other kinds of social contexts might be conducive to supporting early learning.

Individual and Social Influences on Protective Decision-Making

Joy Losee, Ph.D. Dr. Joy Losee
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Dayton
November 4, 2022, 2-3pm via Zoom:

Why do people so often underestimate (or fail to respond appropriately) to threatening situations? And conversely, why do people sometimes perceive threat where none exists? Perceptions of threat (or lack thereof when appropriate) underlie many current social, health, and environmental issues. And many of these issues can be better understood by examining the social and individual factors that may influence how people perceive and respond to threatening information. In this talk, I’ll discuss using this approach in the context of hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can racial stereotypes explain emotion perception better than acoustic cues? Evidence from studies on language and cognition

Rachel Weissler, Ph.D.Dr. Rachel Weissler
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Linguistics, University of Oregon
September 30, 2022, 2-3pm, Xavier 201

This research is centered upon how American English-speaking listeners cognitively interact with Black and White Voices. We investigated how individuals make judgements about the race and emotion of speakers. Participants listened to isolated words from an African American English (AAE) speaker and a Standardized American English (SdAE) speaker in happy, neutral, and angry prosodies (the melody or intonation of speech), and were asked to indicate the perceived race and emotion of the speaker. Speech stimuli were analyzed for variation in pitch, creaky voice, and intensity, three acoustic factors used to distinguish emotion. Results of the perception study showed that SdAE was rated whitest in the happy condition, whereas AAE was rated blackest in neutral and angry conditions. Interestingly, the acoustic measurements of the two speakers evidenced that they use pitch, creak duration, and intensity in similar ways (according to mean and range). The results of the perception study indicate that listeners must be relying on cues beyond emotional acoustic ones to make their decisions for race and emotion of speaker. We argue that the pervasiveness of the Angry Black Woman trope in the U.S. is a stereotype that may have influenced participants’ choices. As this is a first foray into raciolinguistic ideologies and emotion perception, we suggest that incorporating stereotypes into interpretation of emotion perception is crucial, as it may be a stronger driver of determining emotion from the speech than acoustic cues.

Past Colloquium Speakers

DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
April 8, 2022Jaimie Krems, Ph.D.``Frontiers of friendships: Surprising findings on what we want in, how we compete for, and ways we keep our friends.``Oklahoma State University
February 25, 2022Cassandra Jacobs, Ph.D.``Language Shapes Memory: Insights from Behavioral and Computational Approaches``Department of Linguistics, University at Buffalo
November 5, 2021Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D.``Applications of Nonverbal Communication in the Workplace (and Career Options)``Claremont McKenna College
September 24, 2021Eric Landrum, Ph.D.``All That (Undergraduate) Work Was for Something: Telling Your Story for the Psychology Workforce or Graduate School``Boise State University

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the 2020-21 Colloquium Speaker Series was canceled for the first time in 25 years.

DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
February 21, 2020Jonathan Adams, Ph.D."Individual and school-level predictors of perceived violence, victimization, and safety in middle and high schools"Department of Psychology, Pacific Lutheran University
November 13, 2019Joseph McFall, Ph.D. "Multilevel Modeling, a Basic Introduction using the EAMMi2 (Emerging Adulthood Measured at Multiple Institutions 2)"State University of New York, Fredonia
October 18, 2019Amanda Elbassiouny"What Are the Differences in the Impact of Religious and Moral Identity Priming on the Evaluation of Religious Ingroup and Outgroup Job Applicants?"California Lutheran University
October 4, 2019Munro Cullum, Ph.D."Concussion: Facts, Risks, and Long-Term Outcomes"University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
September 20, 2019Alex Czopp, Ph.D."From Humiliation to Humility: Responding to the Bias of Others"Western Washington University
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
May 3, 2019David C. Funder"Accuracy in Personality Judgment A (very) Long View"University of California, Riverside
April 5, 2019Rihana S. Mason, Ph.D."Exploring Vocabulary Assessment Issues in Young Children from Diverse Linguistic Backgrounds"Georgia State University
November 16, 2018Maria Guarneri-White, Ph.D."Are Your Friends Making You Sick? Co-rumination and Peer Victimization in Two Adolescent Samples"Psychology Department, Pacific Lutheran University
October 12, 2018Jennifer M. Roche, Ph.D."Affective Convergence of Intonational Punctuation During Text-Based and Computer-Mediated Communication"Kent State University
September 21, 2018Melanie Domenech Rodriguez, Ph.D."Advancing Social Justice in Our University Communities: Using the Tools of Psychology"Utah State University
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
April 6, 2018Alexandra Paxton, Ph.D."Data, Data, Everywhere: How A Computational Perspective Can Help Psychology Harness the Data Revolution"Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences, University of California, Berkeley
March 2, 2018Charlotte Vaughn, Ph.D."The Perception of Linguistic Variation: Expectations & Social Meaning"Department of Linguistics, University of Oregon
February 16, 2018Kate Sweeny, Ph.D."Secrets to Waiting Well"University of California
November 10, 2017Jenny Harris, Ph.D."Forensic Psychologist, Northwest University"Northwest University
October 27, 2017Marzena Cypryanska, Ph.D."Ubiquity of Comparisons: Everything is Relative (Perhaps/Probably)SWPS University of Social Science and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland
October 6, 2017Katie Corker, Ph.D."College Student Personality Traits and Motivation: Levels, Stability, and Change"Kenyon College
September 22, 2017Laura P. Naumann, Ph.D."The Expression and Perception of Personality in Everyday Life"Nevada State College
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
May 5, 2017Christine L. Hansvick, Ph.D."Changing Realities: A Social Psychologist's Perspective"Department of Psychology, Pacific Lutheran University
April 21, 2017Sanjay Srivastava, Ph.D."Personality is for Perceiving: Functions of Personality Impressions in Social Life"Department of Psychology, University of Oregon
March 10, 2017Jennifer L. Howell, Ph.D."Avoiding Information: Prevalence, Causes, and Remedies"Department of Psychology, University of Ohio
November 11, 2016Daniel P. Corts, Ph.D."Forgetting on Demand"Augustana College
October 7, 2016John Alderete, Ph.D."Investigating Perceptual Biases, Data Reliability, and Data Discovery in a Methodology for Collecting Speech Errors From Audio Recordings"Simon Fraser University
September 16, 2016Sunila Nair, Ph.D."DREADD'ed addiction: Investigating the role of the lateral habenula and its neuronal circuitry in cocaine addiction"Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
May 6, 2016John Moritsugu, Ph.D."Curiouser and Curiouser"Department of Psychology, Pacific Lutheran University
March 18, 2016Lynette H. Bikos, Ph.D."Re-entry from Abroad: Plotting the Pathway Home"Department of Clinical Psychology, Seattle Pacific University
March 10, 2016Jennifer Howell, Ph.D."Avoiding Information Prevalence, Causes, and Remedies"Ohio University
December 4, 2015Azim Shariff, Ph.D."Religion: How Social Psychology Can Help Us Answer the Big Questions"Department of Psychology, University of Oregon
November 6, 2015Sherry L. Willis, Ph.D."Cognition and Aging: The Good, Not so Good, and Potential Plasticity"Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington
September 11, 2015Melissa Baese-Berk, Ph.D."Factors Influencing Perception of Non-Native Speech"Department of Linguistics, University of Oregon
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
April 24, 2015Christine Moon, Ph.D."What does the very young brain need for favorable psychological development?"Pacific Lutheran University
April 10, 2015Corey Cook, Ph.D."Are you Threatening me? How perceived threats influence stereotyping and prejudice"University of Washington, Tacoma
February 13, 2015Mark Costanzo, Ph.D."The Psychology of Police Interrogations and False Confessions"Center for Applied Psychological Research at Claremont McKenna College
November 14, 2014Anthony G. Greenwald, Ph.D."Societal Impact of Scientific Research Using the Implicit Association Test"University of Washington
October 31, 2014Kalim Gonzales, Ph.D."How the Rich Multidimensional Environment Assists Early Bilingual Learners"Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, China
October 17, 2014Izabela K. Grey, Ph.D."Preschoolers' Play Narratives and Childhood Adaptation in an Ethno-racially Diverse Sample"Pacific Lutheran University
September 26, 2014Philip Watkins, Ph.D."The How of Gratitude and Happiness: Exploring How Gratitude Enhances Subjective Well-Being"Eastern Washington University
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
May 9, 2014Scott Bates, Ph.D."The Opportunistic Generalist: Bunnies, Dropouts, Space Plants, and College Students"Utah State University
April 11, 2014Ethan McMahan Ph.D."Lay Beliefs and the Experience of Well-Being"Western Oregon University
March 14, 2014Carolyn Weisz, Ph.D."Anticipating Stigma: The Double Burden of Homelessness and Race"University of Puget Sound
November 8, 2013Heidi Beebe, Ph.D."Health related knowledge in rural Maasai village: What is learned, who is sharing it?"Pacific Lutheran University
October 4, 2013Courtney Stevens, Ph.D."Eavesdropping on the brain: Vulnerability and plasticity of selective attention to children at risk for school failure"Willamette University
September 13, 2013Michael Zarate, Ph.D."Cultural Inertia and Immigration - or When Theory Goes Applied"The University of Texas at El Paso
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
May 3, 2013Laura Kemmer, Ph.D."Behavioral Investigations of Right Hemisphere Contributions to Syntactic Processing"Pacific Lutheran University
March 15, 2013Russel Kolts, Ph.D."A Brief Introduction to Compassion-Focused Therapy"Eastern Washington University
February 21, 2013Andrea Karkowski, Ph.D. and Erin McKenna, Ph.D."Speciesism: Philosophy/Psychology Dialog"Department of Psychology, Capital University and Department of Philosophy, Pacific Lutheran University
November 9, 2012K. Warner Schaie, Ph.D., ABEPP'The Seattle Longitudinal Study"Pennsylvania State University and University of Washington
October 12, 2012Kathryn C. Oleson, Ph.D."Self-Doubt"Department of Psychology, Reed College
September 14, 2012Alice Eagly, Ph.D."Women as Leaders: Negotiating the Labyrinth"Northwestern University, Evanston
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
April 13, 2012Sarah Roseerry, Ph.D. "Social Cues 'Mediate Media' for Language Learning"Center for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington
March 16, 2012Julie T. Kinn, Ph.D. and Kelly Blasko, Ph.D. "Technology in Care for Posttraumatic Stress: Mobile Applications, Websites, and Virtual Reality" National Center for Telehealth & Technology, Joint Base Lewis McChord
March 2, 2012Time Beyer Ph.D."Young Children's Interpretation of Standard American English Morphology Across Varieties of English"Department of Psychology, University of Puget Sound
November 11, 2011Amani El-Alavli, Ph.D."Dr. and Mrs. Professor: Why do Students Use Less Formal Terms of Address for Female Versus Male Professors?"Eastern Washington University
October 7, 2011Jillian McLellan, Ph.D."Choosing a Career Path: Spotlight on Industrial/Organizational Psychology"Seattle Pacific University
September 16, 2011Travis L. Osborne, Ph.D."Making Sense of Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring"Evidence Based Treatment Centers of Seattle
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
April 29, 2011Karen Povey"Cooperative Care: Application of Operant Conditioning in a Zoo Setting"Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
March 25, 2011Jungsik Kim, Ph.D."Culture's Influences on Self-Evaluation and Presentation"Kwangwoon University, Korea
February 25, 2011Dianne Learned, Ph.D."Imagination and False Memories for Childhood Events"Experimental Psychologist
November 19, 2010Key Sun, Ph.D."Working with offenders with mental disorders and other correctional clients"Law and Justice Center, at Central Washington University, Pierce
October 8, 2010Ryne Sherman, Ph.D."A Psychological Assessment of Situations"Department of Psychology, University of California
September 17, 2010Agnes Kwong, Ph.D."Walking the Bicultural Tightrope"Counseling Center, University of Washington
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
May 14, 2010James Shepperd, Ph.D."Information Avoidance: Exploring Who, What, When and Why"University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
April 30, 2010Mike Hawrylycz, Ph.D."The Allen Brain Atlas: Gene Expression and Neuroanatomy in the Brain"Allen Institute for Brain Science
February 12, 2010Marieka Miller, Psy.D."Can Marital Satisfaction of Parents Raising Children with Autism be Predicted by Child and Parental Stress?"Private Practice, Issaquah, WA
November 13, 2009Jon Hammermeister, Ph.D."Sports Psychology at the Winter Olympics"Army Center for Enhanced Performance
October 16, 2009Rich Furman, Ph.D."Toward a Transnational Human Services"University of Washington, Tacoma, WA
September 25, 2009Mark Russell, Ph.D."The Origins of the Military Mental Health Crisis"Antioch University, Seattle, WA
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
April 3, 2009Garrett Gilchrist, Ph.D."Body image and muscularity in male bodybuilders and exercisers"PLU Counseling Center
March 13, 2009Alvah Bittner, Ph.D."Adventure in Statistical Power Analysis"Bittner and Associates
March 6, 2009Rich Furman, MSW, Ph.D."Transnational social work: Practice in the new global context"Social Work Program, University of Washington, Tacoma
February 20, 2009Christine Moon, Ph.D."Newborn infants and vowel movements: Learning language in the womb"Pacific Lutheran University
November 21, 2008Leigh McGraw, RN, NP-C, Ph.D., LTC, AN"Psychological Stress and Cardiovascular Disease"Nursing Research Service, Madigan Army Medical Center
October 17, 2008David Ward, Ph.D."Making Hope Happen: A Theory of Hope and Its Application to Relationships"Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Pacific Lutheran University
September 19, 2008Michael Brown, Ph.D."Burden, Bonding, and Youth: Suicide in Evolutionary Perspective"abc
DateSpeaker NameTitleAffiliation
April 18, 2008Lisa Thomas, Robin LW Sigo, Gidget Lincoln"Re-Indigenizing Our Science: Ethical and Respectful Research Partnerships with Tribal Communities"University of Washington & Suquamish Wellness Program
March 14, 2008Kevin King, Ph.D."Alcohol Dependence in the Absence of Drug Dependence" An Issue of Severity of Disorder or a Case of Unique Etiology"Child Clinical Program, University of Washington
February 22, 2008Christina Graham, Ph.D."The Practice of Health Psychology in a Regional Trauma Center"Pacific Lutheran University
November 20, 2007Christine Hansvick, Ph.D."Fostering Cognitive Complexity: Study Abroad within the Liberal Arts Context"Pacific Lutheran University
October 12, 2007Patricia L. Linn, Ph.D."Learning That Lasts a Lifetime: A Mixed-Method Study of Learning in Cooperative Education"Antioch University, Seattle
September 14, 2007Sara Hodges, Ph.D."The Me in Understanding You: Self-ish Empathy"University of Oregon