Tusculum College Participates In Southeastern Psychological Association Conference

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Tusculum College students and faculty participating in the annual Southeastern Psychological Association Conference included from left, Theo Oing, Jade Bussell, Melinda Franklin, Thomas Bitner, Taira Peters, Dr. Stephen Nettelhorst, Dr. Brian Pope, Robert Arrowood and Dr. Bill Garris.
Tusculum College students and faculty participating in the annual Southeastern Psychological Association Conference included from left, Theo Oing, Jade Bussell, Melinda Franklin, Thomas Bitner, Taira Peters, Dr. Stephen Nettelhorst, Dr. Brian Pope, Robert Arrowood and Dr. Bill Garris.

Theo Oing, a senior student from Chattanooga, participated with other students and faculty members of the Tusculum College psychology department in the Southeastern Psychological Association’s 60th annual Conference in Nashville.

Other participating students were Thomas Bitner; a junior from Chuckey; Taira Peters, a junior from Rogersville; Melinda Franklin, a senior from Concord, N.C.; Jade Bussell, a senior from Harrogate, and Robert Arrowood, a senior from Erwin. Faculty included Dr. Brian Pope, professor of psychology; Dr. Bill Garris, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Stephen Nettelhorst, associate professor of psychology.

Tusculum students and faculty presented five posters based upon original research conducted during the 2013-2014 year. The topics they researched and shared included Mr. Bitner, Dr. Pope, Peters and Dr. Tom Harlow’s work on the relationship between stereotype threat, positive emotions and athletic performance.  Dr. Harlow is associate professor of psychology at Tusculum College.

According to their research, the expectation was the stereotype threat “your group does poorly on this task” would impair athletic performance.   

A second project by Mr. Oing, Dr. Pope, Ms. Franklin and Lawson considered the effect of ego depletion on videogame performance. 

The research reported that the expectation was that as people experienced a frustrating situation, their performance on a videogame task would decrease.   

Dr. Nettelhorst presented two studies pertaining to consumer psychology. The first examined how individuals use customer reviews and ratings to evaluate products on online marketplaces such as Amazon.com. The second investigated whether individuals' decisions to skip an advertisement on online streaming sites (e.g. Hulu.com, YouTube.com, etc.) were influenced by factors such as the actor’s attractiveness and the viewer’s choice to view or not view the ad. 

Mr. Arrowood and Dr. Garris explored how thinking about one’s own death might influence his or her sexual interest.

The theory and prior research predicted that contemplating death would increase an interest in sex, similar to the intense romantic feelings one might feel before being called off to war. However, there was a mild dampening of sexual interest, which could be attributed to the religious values the subjects may have that were elevated when the subjects thought about “meeting their maker.” 

“This conference is always an important experience for our students because of the opportunities for professional growth and networking within the discipline,” said Dr. Pope. 

While Mr. Arrowood, Ms. Franklin, Ms. Bussell and Dr. Garris did not find results that supported their theory, a number of other researchers at the conference said they had also experienced a failure to replicate in the same research area, which led to engaging conversations and networking about common interests.  

Dr. Pope said that the psychology department strongly encourages its students to pursue research. He added, that by conducting research, students develop skills in data collection and data analysis that will help them not only in graduate school but also in their chosen professions. 



Harris Taking Her Passion To Fort Valley State University

"Dr. Angela Harris has a passion for people." It was a phrase repeated several times during a reception to bid her farewell and good luck on her new job.  Dr. Harris - who worked at Dalton State for nearly 25 years, most recently as assistant vice president of enrollment services – is now serving as the vice president for student success and enrollment management at Fort ... (click for more)

GPS Bruisers Volunteered At Ironman

Matt Hanson and Angela Naeth, the men’s and women’s winners in the inaugural Little Debbie Ironman held in Chattanooga on Sunday, ran twice by GPS volunteers at an aid/refreshment station. The Bruisers, intent on their mission – providing water, pretzels, and other nutritional supplements to the over 2,000 participants – barely noticed who was in first or last place. Some of ... (click for more)

Linear Park Planned As Extension Of Walnut Street Bridge In Front Of Planned Boutique Hotel

A linear park that will be an extension of the Walnut Street Bridge public space is planned in front of a new boutique hotel at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way (Second Street). Mitch Patel of Vision Hospitality on Tuesday night told nearby residents that "the city pushed this idea of a linear park, and we agree that it is a great idea." He said the current situation in which ... (click for more)

Sharply-Divided City Council Approves Office Reorganization; Councilman Freeman Calls Move "Evil, Hellish"

A sharply-divided City Council on Tuesday voted 5-4 to completely reorganize the council office, leaving current staffers without a job down the road but with the option to reapply. Councilman Moses Freeman called the move "evil" and "hellish." He said, "We are punishing somebody on a personal level," though he said the office has been running smoothly. Saying the majority ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)