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    School of Social Sciences, Communication, and Education
    Phone: 724-805-2950
    Fax: 724-532-5083 


Home > Majors and Programs > Psychology

    The Psychology Program 

    Student Work and Research in Psychology

    Students in the Psychological Sciences Department at Saint Vincent College are encouraged to be active participants in the research of psychological science.  Our students have the opportunities to collaborate with our faculty on research projects at many levels of the scientific process.  Advanced students may also design and conduct their own research under the supervision of the faculty, completing one of their program requirements through our Thesis option.  Most of these projects are presented as posters at national conferences, and many have been recognized for excellence.  Some collaborative and student projects are published in peer-reviewed journals.

    Experience in research is a trait many graduate programs (both Master’s and Ph.D. programs) look for in prospective students.  The Psychological Sciences Department at Saint Vincent boasts a remarkable 87% acceptance rate for students applying to doctoral programs thanks in large part to opportunities such as these. 

    Saint Vincent College Psychological Sciences students have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members on projects.  Our students have been co-authors on these recent academic publications:

    Integrating Inattentional Blindness and Eyewitness Memory 
        Student Collaborators: Kelly A. Brown, Alexis D. Rodgers, Sara V. Maurer, Tyler C. Camaione, 
    Robert M. Minjock, & Gina M. Gowen 
        Faculty Author: Mark Rivardo 
    Summary: Inattentional blindness, or the inability to notice an unexpected event due to preoccupation of attention, is becoming an increasingly pertinent field of study, though there has been little research relating it to the accuracy of eyewitness memory. Members of the collaborative research seminar conducted a study in which inattentional blindness and eyewitness testimony were tied by using a staged surveillance video. 
                Rivardo, M.G., Brown, K.A., Rodgers, A.D., Maurer, S.V., Camaione, T.C., Minjock, R.M. Gowen, G.M. (2011).
                      Integrating Inattentional Blindness and Eyewitness Memory. North American Journal of Psychology, 13(3), 519-538. 

    Noticing of an Unexpected Event is Affected by Attentional Set for Expected Action 
        Student Collaborator: Tara E. Karns 
        Faculty Author: Mark Rivardo 
    Summary: Noticing an unexpected event is dependent on the attentional set, or the type of stimulus on which the participant is focused. When participants of this thesis project were focused on finding a man with a possible criminal record, they were more likely to see an unexpected physical confrontation. 
                Karns, T. E., & Rivardo, M. G. (2010). Noticing of an unexpected event is affected by attentional set for expected  action. 
                      North American Journal of Psychology, 12, 637-649.

    Spanish Language Training for Law Enforcement Officers: Study Aid Use, Motivation, and Need to Use Correlate with Vocabulary Retention 
        Student Collaborators: Doreen M. Blandino, & Samantha L. Zbur 
        Faculty Author: Mark Rivardo 
    Summary: A Psychological Sciences and Spanish language professor collaborated with a student on a study of the effectiveness of study aids on the long-term acquisition of Spanish language. Past need for the language and motivation to learn it also correlated with test performance. 
                Blandino, D. M. & Rivardo, M. G., & Zbur, S. L. (2010). Spanish language training for law enforcement officers:
                      study aid  use, motivation, and need to use predict vocabulary retention. Journal of Police and Criminal
                      Psychology, 25, 43-48. 

    Stereotype Threat Leads to Reduction in Number of Math Problems Women Attempt 
        Student Collaborators: Tyler C. Camaione & Jessica M. Legg 
        Faculty Authors: Mark G. Rivardo, Michael E. Rhodes 
    Summary: A Psychological Sciences and Biology professor collaborated with students on a study regarding the effect of stereotype threat on women’s ability to successfully complete math problems. Both groups in which stereotype threat was employed performed worse than the group in which it was not. 
                Rivardo, M. G., Rhodes, M. E., Camaione, T. C., & Legg, J. M. (2011). Stereotype threat leads to reduction in number
                      of math problems women attempt. North American Journal of Psychology,13, 5-16.

    Collaborative Recall Reduces the Effect of a Misleading Post Event Narrative 
        Student Collaborators: Tara E. Karns, Sara J. Irvin, & Samantha L. Suranic 
        Faculty Author: Mark G. Rivardo 
    Summary: Students studied the effects of working together to recap events in a video on identifying false information. Students watched a video of a car accident, and then read a summary that included false information. When students worked in pairs, they were more likely to recall the correct events. 
                Rivardo, M.G., Karns, T.E., Irvin, S.J., Suranic, S.L. (2009). Collaborative Recall Reduces the Effect of a Misleading
                       Post Event Narrative. North American Journal of Psychology, 11(1), 17-28.

    Saint Vincent College Psychological Sciences students have recently presented independent research at the following conferences: 

    • Eastern Psychological Association, Pittsburgh (2012)
    • Eastern Psychological Association, Boston (2011)**
    • Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, Denver (2010)**
    • Eastern Psychological Association, Pittsburgh (2009)**
    • Eastern Psychological Association, Boston (2008)**
    • Eastern Psychological Association, Philadelphia (2007)**
    • Eastern Psychological Association, Baltimore (2006)
    • Eastern Psychological Association, Boston (2005)
    • Eastern Psychological Association, Baltimore (2003)
    • Laurel Highlands Undergraduate Research Conference, Johnstown, PA
    • Saint Vincent College Undergraduate Conference (multiple years)

    ** - denotes a year in which Saint Vincent College students have been recognized with research awards

    Saint Vincent College Psychological Sciences students have recently published manuscripts in the following peer-reviewed journals: 

    • North American Journal of Psychology
    • Psychological Reports
    • Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research
    • Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
    • College Student Journal
    • Modern Psychological Studies