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News and Events

December 2014

Poster Session - Senior Theses & Projects

College of Liberal Arts Poster Session - Senior Theses & Projects

Featuring Undergraduate Research from The Department of Psychology & The Department of Communication

December 16, 2014
University Gallery- Vignelli Center

11:00am – 1:00pm

Refreshments will be served! 


Holiday Skating Party

Join us for our 5 th Annual Department of Psychology & Department of Criminal Justice Ice Skating Party!  Open to Department of Psychology & Department of Criminal Justice students, faculty, & staff.

Friday 12/5/14 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Ritter Ice Arena

Please RSVP to your department!



August 2014

Stephanie Barbato and Brandon Dziedzic Presented Posters

Stephanie Barbato and Brandon Dziedzic presented posters at the RIT Undergraduate Research Symposium on August 8, 2014. Stephanie and Brandon were co-op students in Dr. Caroline DeLong's Comparative Cognition and Perception Lab. Stephanie's research was on Training Goldfish to Discriminate Between Numbers and Brandon's research was on Discrimination of Simulated Dolphin Whistles by Human Listeners.

May 2014

May 20 Poster Session - Senior Theses & Projects

College of Liberal Arts Poster Session Senior Theses & Projects

Featuring Undergraduate Research from: The Department of Psychology, The Department of Communication, and The Museum Studies Program.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Vignelli Center University Gallery

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Refreshments will be served!

Everyone if invited!

April 2014

Brandon Dziedzic wins the Kearse Student Writing Award

The Department of Psychology would like to congratulate Brandon Dziedzic, this year’s winner of the Kearse Award for achievement in student writing. The title of his winning paper is “The Effect of Auditory Cues on Semantic Congruity in Humans and Rhesus Macaques.” Brandon wrote his paper for the course, Seminar in Psychology, taught by Dr. Caroline DeLong.


Dr. Kirsten Condry Receives Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching

Congratulations to Dr. Kirsten Condry, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, who has received the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching for the 2013-14 academic year! This award is one of RIT's most significant and it is a true testament to Dr. Condry's exceptional abilities in the classroom.

March 2014

March 12, 2014, Department of Psychology Brown Bag Series


Come and learn something new!

Speaker: Deborah Sunbeck, Ph.D.

Talk: Infinity Walk

Date: March 12, 2014

Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM

Location: Eastman 2383

Interpreters provided upon request and subject to availability. If you need an interpreter, please make your request at least one week before the event. To make a request go online at

Questions? Please contact



February 2014

February 19, 2014, Department of Psychology Brown Bag Series


Come and learn something new!

Speaker: Eleanor Chand-Matzke, Ph.D.

Talk: The Impact of Objectifying Situations on Women's Cognitive Performance: A Proposed Test of Objectification Theory

Date: February 19, 2014

Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM

Location: Eastman 2383

Interpreters provided upon request and subject to availability. If you need an interpreter, please make your request at least one week before the event. To make a request, go online at:

Questions? Please contact





December 2013


"What Do Your Dreams Mean? Here’s How You Can Decode Them" by Francine Russo features Dr. Roger Harnish and his DreamProfessor ap.

Student Testimonial - Melissa Masline

I believe that doing my senior project was the most valuable part of my undergraduate education that helped me prepare for graduate school. It helped me to gain the skills of doing extensive research and pose a research question, along with working alongside a professor in a professional manner to set research goals. Both of which have been valuable skills in graduate school. This was also useful for getting to do research on the topic of my choice, which can help propel your graduate school application, even if your project is not finished yet. Not all schools have this opportunity to do a project to this extent at the undergraduate level and it is a great place to show off your skills of doing research and help stand above the others.


Melissa M. ‘13 

Student Testimonial - Meghan Castagno

 I received more than an education in RIT'S Department of Psychology; I received an experience that rivals traditional competitive programs. Here, I was able foster a sense of academic direction with different track courses, have a sense of community through department and college sponsored events, and gained invaluable insight to my career options after I completed my co-ops. Very rarely will you find a program that provides academic and research independence, features a multidisciplinary faculty, and a system with years of experience helping students find paid internships.

Meghan Castagno

RIT Graduate 2012

September 2013

Student Testimonial - Ashlynn Keller

Prior to taking Scientific Writing (Research Methods 1) I thought Psychology was a matter of rote memorization, but between that class and the track classes that followed I began to understand the hard work, dedication, and perseverance that were necessary in a psychology field. I am happy to say that I am planning to pursue a PhD in psychology and that without the encouragement and constant feedback from professors in the Psychology Department I wouldn't have found my true passion: Comparative Cognition. What I would say to any perspective student would be to follow your heart and if psychology interests you, pursue it! The professors at RIT are always willing to teach you more or provide ways to become more involved, such as through research. Take advantage of the fantastic faculty and staff of the RIT Psychology Department and expand your horizons. 

Ashlynn Keller
Graduated May 2013

Student Testimonial - Catina (Link) Wright

The psychology classes at RIT really helped me a lot in my job as a full time zoo keeper at Seneca Park Zoo. I am a biology bachelor degree graduate and chose psychology as my concentration. I took behavior modification, childhood psychology, social psychology, and abnormal psychology. The last two I took because they sounded interesting, but I wanted to take childhood psychology because I knew it would help me with my current job at an after school care, and I really wanted to take behavior modification because I knew that it would help me if I got into a job involving animal care. When I got interviewed for my job at the zoo they asked me if I knew what shaping, conditioning, and reinforcement was. Of course I knew and I impressed my interviewers when I told them I took the behavior modification class. I'm currently using what I've learned in class by training and using positive reinforcement  on the zoo's river otters, a spider monkey, and did some minor training with a few other animals. I have RIT to thank for offering that wonderful class as well as the other exciting psych classes I had taken.

Catina (Link) Wright
RIT graduate 2004

PSI Day Friday

Introducing PSI Day Friday
Date:  Friday, September 27, 2013
Time:  12:30pm - 2:00pm
Location:  COLA Student Lounge, 01-2383

Please join PSS and our Peer Mentors for a free pizza lunch.
Department of Psychology students & faculty welcome.

For more information please contact:

Stephanie Barbato
Brandon Dziedzic

Department of Psychology Brown Bag Series


Come and learn something new! 

Speaker:  Nicholas DiFonzo, Ph.D.
Talk:  Team-Based Learning (TBL):  More Learning, Less Labor
Date:  September 13, 2013
Time:  9:00am - 10:00am
Location:  COLA Student Lounge 01-2383

*Interpreters provided upon request subject to availablility.  If you need an interpreter we appreciate you make your request 1 week before the event.  To make a request please go online at

Questions?  Please contact


August 2013

Orientation Schedule

Experimental & School Psychology Programs Graduate Orientation Schedule

Monday, August 19, 2013

8:00 – 8:45am – Continental Breakfast, 2383 Eastman Hall

9:00 – 9:50am – Welcome from Dean James Winebrake/Graduate Student Panel, 2000 Eastman Hall

10:00 - 10:50am – Program Orientation:  School Psychology, 2000 Eastman Hall

10:00 - 10:50am – Program Orientation:  Engineering Psychology, 2304 Eastman Hall

11:00 - 11:50am – Library Tour and Bibliography Laboratory Exercise, Wallace Memorial Library & School Psychology; Experimental Psychology

12:00 - 1:00pm – Lunch in College of Liberal Arts Commons, 1251 Liberal Arts Hall

Academic Day (Freshman)

College of Liberal Arts Academic Day (Freshman)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

9:00-10:30am – College of Liberal Arts Student Services Advising, Liberal Arts Hall A205

10:30-12:00pm – Department of Psychology Program Advising, 2383 Eastman Hall

12:00 - 1:00pm – College Picnic, Outside Liberal Arts Hall

1:00 - 2:30pm – College of Liberal Arts twitter activity/scavenger hunt, Liberal Arts Hall A205

2:30 - 4:00pm – Department of Psychology Activity, TBD

Transfer Student Orientation

College of Liberal Arts Transfer Student Orientation

Friday, August 23, 2013

1:00pm - 2:00pm:  Transfer Welcome, liberal Arts Hall A205

2:00pm - 3:00pm:  CLA Transfer Program Advising, George Eastman Hall 2383

3:00pm - 4:00pm:  Transfer Student Reception, McKenzie Commons-Liberal Arts Hall 1251

The Dream Professor

Your dreams are talking to you, are you listening? Dream Professor is your app for that! Dream Professor will analyze your dreams, daydreams, fantasies and even your thoughts! This program does not use some standard cookbook dream dictionary, which just looks up canned meanings. This means that the analysis consists of simple, brief insights, not dictionary-like explanations. These insights are meant to trigger your subconscious into expanding these insights into a full-blown understanding of what your dream is trying to tell you.

Dr. Harnish is a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, and has spent more than 30 years studying dreams, and experimenting with dream analysis programs.

June 2013

Student Spotlight: K. Tyler Wilcox

Student Spotlight: K. Tyler Wilcox

Year:  Class of 2013 graduate

Capstone project:  For his senior project, Tyler designed a study to examine the impact of relaxation on memory for emotion words.  In particular, he was interested in whether tasks like sitting and walking mindfulness meditation, mindful yoga, and passive relaxation would affect people’s emotional memory for valenced words, as well as their mindfulness and mood. One group of “expert” participants, with at least 3 months of experience in these relaxation techniques, were compared to a “novice” group of inexperienced participants, who were trained during the study in one of the four relaxation techniques. The results showed that, contrary to expectations, training technique did not affect recall for positive, negative, or neutral words. Overall mindfulness and decentering were significantly higher after training for all groups and techniques. And for the “expert” group, positive affect was significantly higher after relaxation training. These results suggest that engaging in just 10 minutes of meditation, yoga, or relaxation does not affect emotional memory, but can affect mindfulness.

Future career plans:  Tyler is entering the Ph.D. program in Social Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University in August 2013, to work with Dr. Kirk Warren Brown researching the role of mindfulness in social relationships and neurological responses to social stimuli.

Student Spotlight: Kristen Cummings

Student Spotlight: Kristen Cummings

Year: Class of 2013 graduate

Favorite Part of Program: The diversity of the research interests of the faculty and the opportunities to get involved in research.

Capstone project: For her senior project, Kristen researched an idea that is highly relevant to her future career in higher education:  Why do students get involved in campus activities and are those activities are actually fun and useful?  Students join clubs and activities during their college years in order to receive particular benefits in their personal, social, and professional lives. The goal of Kristen’s study was to examine whether being involved in clubs and activities on campus helps students gain valuable skills and reach higher levels of success and satisfaction. In the study, students filled out an extensive survey about their involvement in campus activities, their success (in terms of grades and GPA), and their satisfaction with RIT and with the activities they chose. Based on earlier research, Kristen hypothesized that students who were highly involved would have higher success and be more satisfied with their college experience than students who were less involved. Although the trend was in the predicted direction, the results were not significant: Most students reported feeling fairly satisfied with RIT, while involvement varied widely.  In general, students reported they did receive the skills and benefits they had sought from campus involvement, but often at lower levels than they had originally hoped.

Future career plans: Kristen will begin the Masters of Higher Education Administration program at the University of Arizona in August, 2013

Perceiving Objects - Dr. Caroline DeLong

Dr. Caroline DeLong co-chaired a special session on June 5 at the 21st International Congress on Acoustics that was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Her special session was called “Perceiving Objects” and her co-chair was Dr. Eduardo Mercado from the University at Buffalo. Dr. DeLong also presented a talk titled “Recognizing Objects from Multiple Orientations Using Dolphin Echoes.” Her co-authors included two RIT alumnae: Amanda Heberle (class of 2012) and Kayla Mata (class of 2013).  Dr. DeLong was co-author on a talk called “Exploring the Capacity of Neural Networks to Recognize Objects From Dolphin Echoes Across Multiple Orientations” which was presented by Matthew Wisniewski (a graduate student at UB). Both papers are published in Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (

May 2013

Alpha Sigma Lambda Honorary Society

Ashlynn Keller & Kristen Cummings inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honorary Society

May 13, 2013

On May 13, 2013 Ashlynn Keller and Kristen Cummings from the Department of Psychology were inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honorary Society.  To get in, they needed a GPA of 3.4 or better plus they needed to have demonstrated outstanding service to the RIT community through involvement in activities at RIT.  They received a medal and certificate.  Dr. Destler attended the ceremony.   Kirsten Condry and I were in attendance as their chosen mentors at the dinner.  Out of 43 recipients from across the entire institution this year, TWO were from Psychology!!!  I am proud of our students!

Written by Dr. Caroline DeLong

April 2013

Dr. Nicholas DiFonzo Featured in Article by Herb Weisbaum

Dr. Nicholas DiFonzo featured in “Every day is April Fool’s Day on the Internet”, by Herb Weisbaum

April 1, 2013

Could it be?  Will Bill Gates really give you $5,000 for sharing a link on Facebook?

Of course not. The email is bogus and so is the picture of Gates holding a sign that purportedly shows him making that promise.

This is just one of an ever-growing collection of email hoaxes that fill in-bins across the world. They’re not scams – no one is trying to steal your money or personal information – they’re just fiction.  

Why do so many people accept the bogus messages as fact and forward to others?

“It’s entertaining and it’s socially bonding; something fun that we can share together,” explained Nicholas DiFonzo, professor of psychology at Rochester Institute of Technology and author of The Water Cooler Effect. “The idea of double-checking to make sure that these things are true takes work. And even if it’s not true, it doesn’t seem to hurt anybody.”


February 2013

Dr. Robert Bowen Featured in Reporter Online Article

Dr. Robert Bowen featured in Reporter Online article “Cuddling”, by Amanda Imperial

February 15, 2013

The blistering cold wind hits your hands like daggers; you forgot your gloves, and are left without cover. Your partner reaches out to grab your hand, noticing how cold you must be. You see how your hands fit perfectly together. Later, the cold has you two cuddling together in the embrace of a blanket. You lay there, their back forming perfectly to your front, fitting together comfortably, and all you feel is pure bliss.

Various emotions can be painted on a canvas through the type of touch that sends shockwaves through our bodies. The sensation of touch has granted us benefits since birth both in our development and psychologically. The most personal and intimate form of touch is cuddling, and yet today, cuddling is generally reserved for romantic pairs of people.

The Benefits of Cuddling

Cuddling is more than just an act of physical emotion. According to Dr. Robert Bowen, a lecturer who specializes in the psychology of infant and child development at RIT, the act of touch is absolutely vital to the development of an infant. He even goes as far as to say that it would be detrimental to an infant to not feel the touch of a mother.

Read More…