Psychology

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

July 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Psychology Carin Perilloux and her capstone students, Zack Bencal ’21, Erica Burley ’22, Alyssa Sucrese ’21, Sarah Woods ’21, and Michael Vitullo ’20, presented a poster titled “Just Friends? An Evolutionary Perspective on Jealousy and Extramarital Friendships” at the (virtual) annual meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society on June 25, 2021. Their poster was selected as one of the 12 finalists in the conference poster competition. You can watch Perilloux’s three-minute poster talk here. A copy of the poster is available here.





  • Assistant Professor of Psychology Karen Lara had an article titled “This Is Not What I Expected: The Impact of Prior Expectations on Children’s and Adults’ Preferences and Emotions” recently published in the journal Developmental Psychology.





May 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Psychology Carin Perilloux and several students recently published an article titled “Creative Casanovas: Mating Strategy Predicts Using—but Not Preferring—Atypical Flirting Tactics” in Evolutionary Psychological Science. This paper documents a series of studies conducted over a year and a half examining unexpectedness in flirting behaviors. Justin White ’18, Helena Lorenz ’18, and Aliehs Lee ’17 are co-authors.





  • Professor of Psychology Carin Perilloux and her WOU collaborator, Jaime Cloud, presented a poster with two students at the Western Psychological Association annual convention in Portland, Ore., on April 28, 2018. The poster was titled “Mate-by-numbers: Budget, mating strategy, and sex determine preferences in partner’s facial and bodily traits.” Justin Whiteand Helena Lorenz,both class of 2018, co-authored the presentation.





April 2021

  • Associate Professor of Psychology Erin Crockett ’05, Tyler Norman ’20, and Monique Pollmann (Tilburg University) published the article “Reading between the Lines: The Effects of Texting on Relationship Satisfaction and Understanding in Romantic Couples” in Computers in Human Behavior Reports.





  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor was a panelist, presenter, chair, and discussant for several sessions at the (virtual) Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting. The highlights included presenting her work on students’ physiological reactions to controversial speech on campus, a collaborative project with Emily Tesmer ’20 and Associate Professor of Psychology Erin Crockett ’05, and participating in a roundtable on “Polarization, Animosity, and Violence in American Politics.” Senior political science major Emily Gilby ’21 also presented her honors thesis, “Institutional Barriers to Youth Voter Turnout,” at the conference.





  • Several Psychology faculty members and students presented papers at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association in Houston April 7–8. Students presenting with Professor of Psychology Traci Giuliano included:

    • Kirk Zanetti, Taylor Torres, both class of 2020, and Athena Pinero, class of 2019: “Now that’s aggressive: Examining the relationship between political orientation and political flaming.”
    • Sarah Butterworth, Justin White, Kyle Fraser, all class of 2018, and Lizette Cantu, class of 2019: “Is he flirting with me? How sender gender influences emoji interpretation.”
    • Allison Cook, Rachel Allen, Winston Cook, all class of 2018, and Daniella Orces, class of 2019: Emoji manners: Perceptions of students’ and teachers’ emoji use in emails.”
    • Kate Davis, Dean Neubek,class of 2019, and Emily Olson, class of 2020:Fake smiles, faker accounts: The relationship between life satisfaction and Finstagram use.”
    • Sarah Butterworth, Rachel Allen, and Allison Cook, all class of 2018: Blogging a way out: A study of depression and Tumblr usage.”

    Students presenting with Associate Professor of Psychology Bryan Neighborsincluded:

    • Rachel Allen, Matthew Gonzales, both class of 2018, Kaylyn Evans ’16, and Purna Bajekal ’16: “Attachment Insecurity and Cognitive Distortions Among Offenders in Substance Treatment.”

    Students presenting with Assistant Professor of Psychology Carin Perillouxincluded:

    • Helena Lorenz and Justin White, both class of 2018: Creative Casanovas: Mating strategy predicts using — but not preferring — unusual flirting tactics.”




January 2021

October 2020

  • Kate Davis ’20 and Hannah Hanson ’22 conducted a SCOPE project under the supervision of Professor of Psychology Fay Guarraci, which was recently published in Physiology & Behavior. This collaboration also involved Jessica Bolton ’10, who will soon begin a tenure-track position at Georgia State University. Davis, a current graduate student in the Department of Neuroscience at The University of Texas at Austin, designed the project, and together, the team found that using an animal model of poverty caused long-term deleterious effects on reproductive physiology and behavior. Neonatal poverty disrupted maternal behavior, which accelerated physiological maturation in females but delayed sexual maturation in males. However, both male and female rats displayed enhanced sexual motivation. These results have implications for precocious sexual behavior and disrupted puberty in children who are born into poverty. This research was also supported by a Sam Taylor Award. 





  • Recent alumni Maryam Ali ’20, Michael Broyle  ’20, Kate Davis  ’20, Chantal Gonzalez  ’19, Devon Lucero  ’19, and Lainey Stary  ’19 and Professor of Psychology Fay Guarraci  published a new research project investigating the long-term effects of neonatal exposure to a component of soy (genistein) on male and female reproductive physiology and behavior in the journal Behavioural Pharmacology.  Although this research was conducted in rats, it suggests that there may be some consequences of feeding neonates soy-based formula.





September 2020

  • For the first time, members of Professor of Psychology Fay Guarraci’s  team of researchers, the Guarraci Lab, had two articles accepted for publication as companion papers in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior.  These two papers reflect a collaboration between the Guarraci Lab and Sarah Meerts from Carleton College and her student. The SU coauthors include current psychology major Shannon Odell  ’20; recent psychology graduates Kate Davis  ’20, Wes Clemmons  ’20, and Beth Henneman  ’20; Maryam Ali  ’19 (biology); as well as alumnae Chantal Gonzalez  ’19 (psychology) and Devon Lucero  ’19 (animal behavior). The first article is titled “I. Antidepressants and Sexual Behavior: Weekly Ketamine Injections Increases Sexual Behavior Initially in Female and Male Rats.” This work was supported by multiple SCOPE awards and a Sam Taylor Award. The second article is titled “II: Antidepressants and Sexual Behavior: Acute Fluoxetine, but not Ketamine, Disrupts Paced Mating Behavior in Sexually Experienced Female Rats.”