• 5th Annual Conference on Psychological Science

    April 13, 2018

    The University of Mississippi

  • The conference At a glance

    Held from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm in Peabody Hall

    Please use the links to navigate to different sections for more details.

    11:00 am - 12:45 pm

    Come grab a few slices of FREE pizza (in Peabody 112) and visit our poster sessions


    Poster Session I: 11:00 - 11:45 am in Peabody 110


    Poster Session II: 12:00 - 12:45 pm in Peabody 110


    Meet presenters and learn about findings from research conducted on campus.

    1:00 - 2:00 pm, Peabody 110

    • 1:00-1:25, Getting your Ducks in a Row: How to Prepare for Graduate School Applications

      These talks are primarily designed for undergraduate psychology majors to learn more about research opportunities on campus, psychology graduate school options, and how best to prepare their application materials.

      • 1:00-1:05: Representative from Career Services
      • 1:05-1:10: What's your path? M.A., Ph. D., Psy. D.
      • 1:10-1:15: ​Personal and Research Statements
      • 1:15-1:20: Curriculum Vitae (CVs)
      • 1:20-1:25: Survey of UM Psychology Research Labs
    • 1:25-2:00, Graduate Student Panel

      A live Q&A panel with current graduate students on their experiences with graduate school

    1:00 - 3:15 pm, Peabody 206

    Our short-format talks (5 minutes each) allow the audience to become familiar with research across various areas in psychology.


    Data Blitz Session 1, 1:00 - 2:00 pm


    Data Blitz Session 2, 2:15 - 3:15 pm

    3:30-3:55 pm, Peabody 206

    The following awards will be recognized at the conference.

    • Undergraduate Taylor Medal Awards
    • Graduate Research Achievement Awards
    • Faculty Graduate Mentor of the Year Award
    • Psi Chi Undergraduate Faculty Mentor Award
    • Best Poster Presentation Awards
    • Best Data Blitz Presentation Awards

    4:00-5:00 pm, Peabody 206

    About the Speaker: Dr. Kellum is the Associate Director of Institutional Research and Assessment at the University of Mississippi and an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Her research focuses on behavior analysis and social issues, behavior acquisition, and teaching and evaluation at the University level.


    Join us for her engaging talk, titled, "Minding Each Other’s Behavior: A Contextual Perspective on College Life and Learning."

  • 11:00 - 11:45, Poster Session 1

    Peabody 110, located on the bottom floor of Peabody Hall (down the stairs from the main floor)

    Behavior Analysis and Tactical Urbanism in a not-so Urban Area: Analysis of a Pop-Up Complete Street​

    Rufus Leflore & Kate Kellum


    A group of people interested in sustainability sought to improve the walkability and bikeability of a quarter mile segment of University Avenue. While the temporary construction was in place, there was a decrease in the 85th percentile speeds and an increase in the percent of active transportation users.

    The Perception of Moral Disgust and Physical Disgust among Individuals Identifying as Religious: An Understanding of Disgust Responses through Videos​

    Emory K. Hamblin, Sarah M. Scott, & Danielle J. Maack


    The study's objective is to explore the difference between moral disgust and physical disgust susceptibility for individuals who identify as Christian. Christian affiliates generally endorsed the same or higher disgust sensitivity than their non-Christian counterparts. These findings were significant when viewing videos evoking contamination and moral disgust. Findings suggest that Christian participants abide by a stronger moral code when viewing videos of disgust evoking stimuli.

    Effects of Emotion and Construal Level on Obesity Stigma​

    Peyton D. Curtis & Elicia C. Lair


    This study investigated if emotion and using a collective versus individual perspective influenced obesity stigma. We found that emotion influences how supportive one is of an obese friend, while perspective taking influences to what extent personal and biological attributions are endorsed for one's weight.

    Family Stress and Psychological Flexibility​

    Michael L. Thorn, Gina Q. Boullion, Emmie R. Hebert, Karen K. Kellum, & Kelly G. Wilson


    The goal of this study is to examine correlations between family stress and psychological flexibility. The findings suggest that specific types of family stressors may be related to psychological flexibility or inflexibility.

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms and their relationship with the Fight Flight Freeze System (FFFS)​

    Kirsten Abbott, Molly Wickenhauser, & Danielle Maack


    The goal of the present study was to explore the relationships between different OCD symptoms and the Fight Flight Freeze System (FFFS). Contrary to hypotheses, overall OCD symptoms were significantly correlated with all three responses. Further, the relationships between specific OCD symptoms (i.e., washing, obsessing, hoarding, ordering, checking, neutralizing) and the FFFS varied. Specific findings and recommendations for future research will be discussed.

    Experiential Avoidance and Negative Affectivity: Moderating Role of Gender​

    Hayley M. Schrock, Skylar R. Cochran, & Todd A. Smitherman


    This study assessed relations between experiential avoidance and depression, anxiety, and stress among a large non-clinical sample. Large positive associations were found between experiential avoidance and each form of negative affect. Women reported higher experiential avoidance than men, and this difference remained after controlling for negative affect.

    Investigating the Relation Between Self-Compassion and Romantic Relationships​

    Peter Andes, Emily Jacobson, & Kelly Wilson


    Self compassion has recently emerged as a component of psychological health has been related to lower levels of distress and higher levels of positive affect. results indicated that self compassion was positively and significantly correlated with relationship quality, and acts as a unique predictor of relationship quality.

    Examination of Dental Anxiety in Relation to Anxiety Sensitivity, Pain Sensitivity, and Distress Tolerance​

    Sydney K. Olson, Sara M. Witcraft, & Laura J. Dixon


    This study examined relations between dental distress and common anxiety-related transdiagnostic processes in a convenience sample. Results suggest that higher dental distress is associated with greater sensitivity to anxiety and pain, and less distress tolerance.

    Growth Mindset and Persistence in Children's Creative Performance​

    Tiffany L. Gerlinger, Brittany N. Avila, & Stephanie E. Miller


    This study works to fill the gaps within the literature to link persistence, mindset, and creativity by investigating if children will underestimate how many novel ideas they will generate when given time to persist and if individual differences in mindset predict how much children value persistence during creative performance. I found that children with higher baseline fluency gave higher estimation scores and children with better fluency underestimated their persistence less.

    What the Flex?: The Relationship between Cognitive and Psychological Flexibility ​

    Chantellus D. Adams, Emmie R. Hebert, Brittany N. Avila, K. Kate Kellum, Kelly G. Wilson, & Stepanie Miller


    This talk discusses the relationship between cognitive flexibility and psychological flexibility. Our findings suggest that cognitive flexibility could be broken down into two components, with psychological flexibility being related to only one of these. Additionally, the implications of these findings contributing to overlap in experimental and clinical psychological will be discussed.

  • 12:00 - 12:45, Poster Session 2

    Peabody 110, located on the bottom floor of Peabody Hall (down the stairs from the main floor)

    Physical Activity and Headache: Relationships and Diagnostic Differences​

    April M. Carr, Patrick W. Richardson, Daniel G. Rogers, & Todd A. Smitherman


    The purpose of this study was to explore relationships between physical activity and headache variables among individuals with migraine, tension-type headache, and without headache. Contrary to predictions, physical activity did not differentiate these groups and was not significantly related to headache variables.

    Anxiety Sensitivity and General Psychological Health​

    Madison S. Varner, Patrick W. Richardson, Kristen E. Buchanan, Skylar R. Cochran, Ashley R. Rose, & Todd A. Smitherman


    This study investigated predictive utility of anxiety sensitivity on overall psychological health. As predicted, anxiety sensitivity and its components were significantly related to poorer psychological health, but this relationship is not likely to be clinically meaningful once depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms are accounted for.

    Disney Princesses' Influence on Dating​

    Lauralee Davis, Gina Q Boullion, Emily Jacobson, Karen Kate Kellum, & Kelly G. Wilson


    We examined the possible influence that Disney princesses have on college women's perception on dating, while also comparing response to attention checks for students taking the survey in the lab and those taking the survey online by using bogus items randomly placed throughout the survey.

    Anxiety, Anxiety Sensitivity, and the Functional Impact of Skin Picking among Individuals with Dermatological Concerns​

    Sarah Berry, Reagan Pierce, Taylor Stockton, Gina Q. Boullion, & Laura J. Dixon


    The current study investigates the relations between anxiety and anxiety sensitivity and psychological consequences of skin picking. Results indicated significant positive correlations between the psychosocial consequences of skin picking with anxiety and the physical, cognitive, and social concerns of anxiety sensitivity.

    The influence of cues, executive function, and theory of mind in children's sarcasm understanding

    Katie Fijman, Abigail McMullan, Olivia Turner, Lea'Lah Watson, Kristen Barnett, & Stephanie Miller


    The present study examined how 6- to 9-year-olds use cues (i.e., verbal prosody and facial cues) to understand sarcastic comments. We also examined whether social understanding and problem solving abilities related to children's ability to understand sarcasm. We found that cues did not have an effect on the sarcasm understanding. While social understanding was not related to sarcasm, there were a few marginally significant relationships between problem solving and sarcasm understanding.

    Stickers as a Reinforcer for Credit Card Sign Ups in a Retail Store​

    Samantha L. Knowles, Emmie R. Hebert, & Karen K. Kellum


    The purpose of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of a sticker program as a reinforcer for obtaining store credit card sign-ups at a local retail store. Data suggest that providing contingent stickers may be an effective way to increase credit card sign ups.

    Headache Experience and Emotion Regulation​

    Kendyl Williams, Enoch Sackey, & Danielle J. Maack


    This study investigated the function of emotion regulation problems and behavior inhibition and activation systems on the frequency and intensity of headache experience. In a sample of 219 college students, it was found that individuals who exhibits problems associated with the behavior inhibition system demonstrate significant reports in headache frequency and intensity.

    Prescription Stimulants and Polysubstance Use Among College Students

    Alexis N. Cantrell, Greyson K. Young, Sara M. Witcraft, & Laura J. Dixon


    This study examined prescription stimulant use among college students and the differences in alcohol use among students who abuse prescription drugs and those who do not. Results indicate that prescription stimulant use is common, and prescription drug and alcohol abuse commonly occur together.

    Understanding the correlates of Posttraumatic Stress: A Preliminary Investigation following Hurricane Harvey and the flooding in Houston​

    Emily A. Gawlik, Jeffrey M. Pavlacic, & Stefan E. Schulenberg


    The goal of this study was to examine the correlates of posttraumatic stress in a sample of Houston community members affected by Hurricane Harvey. Results showed a negative relationship between PTS symptoms and resilience and between PTS symptoms and values-based behavior.

    Examining Racial Differences in Prenatal Depression, Anxiety, and Stressful Life Events​

    Mallory M. Long, Lauren E. Ellison, Megan M. Perry, & Laura J. Dixon


    The goal of this study was to examine racial disparities by exploring the differences in stressful life events, prenatal depression, and anxiety in Black and White women from Central Mississippi. Compared to White women, Black women reported significant greater stressful life events, perinatal depression, and anxiety.

  • 1:00-2:00, Featured talks For Undergraduates

    Peabody 110


    1:00-1:25, Getting your Ducks in a Row: How to Prepare for Graduate School Applications

    These talks are primarily designed for undergraduate psychology majors to learn more about career services, departmental research opportunities, psychology graduate school options, and how best to prepare their application materials.


    1:25-2:00, Firsthand Experience: How to Get Involved Now and What it Looks like Later

    A brief overview of the current research lab departmental offerings, followed by live Q&A panels with current undergraduates and graduate students on their experiences.


    Interested in learning more about the psychology major? Check out our academic advising website!


    1:00-1:05 Representative from Career Services

    Whitney Woods


    A brief overview of how the career services center can help psychology majors succeed in their job searches.


    See more about potential careers here at the psychology advising website.

    1:05-1:10 What's your path? M.A., Ph.D., Psy.D.

    Ashley Polk


    Can’t decide what kind of program you should apply to for graduate school? Master’s or PhD? Clinical or Experimental? This talk will give you a brief overview of different options you can take for graduate school.


    See more here at the advising website.

    1:10-1:15 Personal and Research Statements

    Anandi Ehman


    This talk will introduce how to write personal and research statements for graduate school program applications and direct you to further resources.


    See more here at the advising website.

    1:15-1:20 Curriculum Vitae (CVs)

    Elise Elligett


    If you've ever wondered what a Curriculum Vitae, this brief talk will go over the basics and direct you to further resources.


    See more here at the advising website.

    1:20-1:25 Survey of UM Psychology Research Labs

    Brooklee Tynes


    Nope, that wasn’t a typo. This unique presentation will give you a taste of the labs in our department that offer opportunities for undergraduate research experience IN JUST 5 MINUTES. If you’ve thought about joining a lab but aren’t sure what they are, definitely find 5 minutes in your schedule to check this out.


    You can also find information about various labs here at the psychology department's website.

    1:25-2:00 Current Graduate Student Panel: What graduate school is REALLY like!

    Chair: Emmie Hebert

    Clinical Students: Jeff Pavlacic & Yelena Johnson

    Experimental Students: Heather Bliss & Don Skinner


    So, what’s graduate school like after you get in? Here is a good opportunity to find out! Some graduate students from our department will be here to answer any questions you have about their graduate school experience. *NO FACULTY ALLOWED*

  • 1:00-2:00, data blitz session 1

    Peabody 206

    Limited Access to Emotion Regulation Strategies Influences Depression among Individuals with Dermatological and Body Dysmorphic Concerns

    Gina Q. Boullion & Laura J. Dixon


    The current study investigated the role of ER difficulties in depression among adults with skin disease and provisional BDD. Results demonstrate that ER difficulties, specifically limited access to ER strategies, account for significant variance in depressive symptoms among adults with dermatology conditions who met for provisional BDD.

    Emetophobic Symptoms and the Fight, Flight, Freeze Response System

    Jennifer A. Petell & Danielle J. Maack


    Specific phobia of vomiting (SPOV) is an anxiety disorder associated with marked fear of emesis. This study aimed to directly assess SPOV symptoms and the domains of temperamental fear (fight, flight, freeze). Findings indicated significant positive correlations between both SPOV symptoms and the total fear response system (r= .20, p < .01), as well as with the individual subscales of fight (r=.20, p < .01;), flight (r= .15, p < .05), and freeze (r=.14, p < .05).

    Is the relationship between disgust sensitivity and behavioral avoidance moderated by the flight and freeze responses?

    Molly E. Wickenhauser & Danielle J. Maack


    The primary goal of the present study was to examine if the flight and freeze responses of the Fight Flight Freeze System moderated the relationship between disgust sensitivity and behavioral avoidance. Contrary to hypotheses, neither of the moderation analyses were significant. Possible explanations for these findings and recommendations for future research will be discussed.

    Exploring Norepinephrine Effects on Attentional Control

    Zach V. Redding & Karen Sabol


    Prior work in this lab suggested that synaptic norepinephrine levels are critical for attentional control in rats. The present study sought to link the effects seen in the two-choice reaction time task with specific activity at alpha-2 noradrenergic receptors. The selective alpha-2 agonist, guanfacine, reduced the number of attentional lapses in rats, suggesting a specific role for the alpha-2 receptor in attentional control.

    The effect of self-monitoring and social support on weight management: a pilot study and dismantling design

    Kathryn L. Prendergast, Marissa A. Gowey, & John N. Young


    A pilot intervention was conducted to determine the differential and combined effects of self-monitoring and social support on weight management in college students. Despite the barriers of an underpowered sample and minimal resources, results revealed a trend toward the efficacy of self-monitoring on college students' weight loss.

    Individual differences in psychopathology

    Enoch T. Sackey & Danielle J. Maack


    The study analysis consisted of fitting the personality dimensions of BIS/BAS, DERS, and ASI-3 to M.I.N.I. psychiatric disorders to delineate the cognitive and behavioral processes are associated with the psychiatric diagnosis. Preliminary latent class analysis of the multivariate personality dimensions associated with the MINI psychiatric disorders indicated significant correlations between ASI-3 dimensions of cognitive and social concerns and suicidality, mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

    Gender identification influences the relationship between emotion and likelihood judgments

    Lauren N. Jordan & Elicia C. Lair


    This study investigated if gender identification influenced the relationship between emotion feedback on abstract or construal processing in likelihood judgements. Male MTurk participants were asked to write about a recent life event in which they felt either angry or disgusted and then rated how likely several events would be. Intense anger conveyed negative emotion feedback for those who highly identified with their gender but positive feedback for those who were low-identifiers.

    Does quality of sleep predict suicidality in pregnancy?

    Brittany S. Sapp & Danielle J. Maack


    The current study investigated the relation between sleep quality and suicidality in pregnant women. Results showed that sleep quality significantly predicted suicidality with a 1.21-fold increased odds of suicidality (OR=1.21; 95% CI 1.04-1.42) in this sample of pregnant women. Future research is warranted to better screen for these difficulties, monitor sleep and suicidality throughout the course of pregnancy, and develop specific treatment and intervention programs pertaining to these issues.

  • 2:15-3:15, data blitz session 2

    Peabody 206

    Exploring the relationship of moral and sexual disgust using video clips

    Sarah M. Scott & Danielle J. Maack


    Moral disgust is defined as a reaction to social violations and proves difficult to measure; it has been suggested that moral scruples and sexual acts both play a role. As there is only one measure that assesses both moral and sexual disgust sensitivity, Three Domains Disgust Scale (TDDS), the current study examines whether these subscales accurately predict disgust responses to three moral disgust video clips. Findings support that both subscales play a role in predicting the disgust response.

    Blame it all on me: Individual and collective construal priming effects on victim blaming in sexual assault

    Anandi Ehman & Elicia Lair


    The present study examined whether priming an individual or a collective construal effected the extent to which individuals engaged in victim blaming in a sexual assault scenario. The moderating effect of previous correlates of victim blame, such as acceptance of rape myths, were also examined. The present study found that women who were high in acceptance of rape myths were more likely to blame victims when using an individual construal.

    Behavioral Inhibition and Other Vulnerabilities to Avoidant Behavior During an Observed Behavioral Task

    Daniel J. Pineau & Danielle J. Maack


    Individuals have a tendency to approach or avoid stimuli that may be potentially rewarding or punishing. This study aimed to identify BIS/BAS and its contribution to avoidant behaviors while controlling for other vulnerabilities (ASI and DERS). Results indicated that BIS/BAS was predictive of avoidant behaviors (p = .04).

    Examining the Understanding of Moral Disgust in Preschoolers

    Melea J. Mansel, Tonya M. Vandenbrink, & Stephanie E. Miller


    Physical disgust emerges early in life and is understood by children as young as 2-years-old. However, moral disgust has only been investigated and shown to be understood in children as young as 6-years-old. This study aimed to extended moral disgust research to the preschool years. Results revealed an emergence and development of moral disgust understanding within the preschool years, with 5-year-olds showing a better understanding of moral transgressions as disgusting than 3-year-olds.

    Predicting Mindfulness Behaviors from Values Progression Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    Jeffrey M. Pavlacic, Stefan E. Schulenberg, Erin M. Buchanan, & Gina Q. Boullion


    The primary goal of this presentation is to examine changes in mindfulness behavior by prompting individuals to report mindfulness-related behaviors and progression towards values for 2 weeks. Results showed that mindfulness behaviors increased throughout the course of the study. Also, results showed a positive relationship with values progression and mindfulness.

    The unique contribution of obsessive-compulsive symptoms above and beyond disgust and emotion regulation on behavioral avoidance

    Alexandra M. Gilbert, Molly E. Wickenhauser, & Danielle J. Maack


    The current study aimed to investigate the specific impact of obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms on behavioral avoidance controlling for disgust sensitivity and emotion regulation. Results indicated that OC symptoms predicted behavioral avoidance above and beyond other cognitive vulnerabilities. This finding has important implications for the conceptualization and treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    Examining emotion regulation differences in prescription drug abusers and non-users

    Sara M. Witcraft & Laura J. Dixon


    Prescription drug abuse is a rapidly increasing problem among young adults, but little is known about risk factors and related correlates. The current study examined the role of emotion regulation and found that it predicted additional variance beyond stress in the likelihood of past year prescription drug abuse.

    The Significance of Access to Emotion Regulation Strategies on Maternal Postpartum Quality of Life and Parenting Distress

    Megan M. Perry & Laura J. Dixon


    The present study evaluated access to emotion regulation strategies on maternal postpartum quality of life and parenting distress beyond anxiety, depressive, and stress symptoms in a Central Mississippi sample. The results demonstrated that engaging in emotion regulation strategies was a critical component of postpartum negative maternal outcomes.

  • Awards Ceremony

    3:30-3:55, Peabody 206

    Annual Departmental Achievement Awards

    Marcus Elvis Taylor Medal Recipients, awarded to undergraduates with outstanding academic achievement


    Research Achievement Awards, granted to graduate students with outstanding research productivity (sponsored by ORSP)


    Faculty Graduate Mentor of the Year, to recognize outstanding mentorship of graduate students by a faculty member


    Psi Chi Faculty Undergraduate Mentor of the Year, to recognize outstanding undergraduate mentorship by a faculty member

    Conference Awards (sponsored by ORSP)

    Best Poster Presentations


    Best Data Blitz Presentations

  • Keynote Presentation

    Dr. Kate Kellum

    Minding Each Other's Behavior:

    A Contextual Perspective on College Life and Learning

    4:00-5:00 pm, Peabody 206

    About the Speaker: Dr. Kellum is the Associate Director of Institutional Research and Assessment at the University of Mississippi and an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Her research focuses on behavior analysis and social issues, behavior acquisition, and teaching and evaluation at the University level.

  • Show your UM Psychology Pride!


    A limited number of t-shirts will be available for purchase the day of the conference and are priced at $20.00.



    5-minute feedback survey

    We'd appreciate your feedback about this year's conference. What could we improve? What should stay the same? The survey won't take longer than 5 minutes and will help us make next year's conference even better. Click here to participate.

    Honor Society for Psychology Majors

    Think about joining Psi Chi! If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can become a member and get more involved in the department. This is a great opportunity for undergraduates looking to pursue a graduate degree in psychology.