Journal Club

-Are you interested in learning more about current psychology research?
-Do you like to hang out with psychology majors?
-Do you want to get better at understanding psychology journal articles?

Then come join us at the Monthly Psychology Club Journal Club!

Each month, we select a short (<10 page) journal article from a recently published psychology journal, we read it and discuss it at our next Journal Club meeting.

Spring Semester 2016

First Meeting: Wednesday, February 24th, 2016, 4:30-5:30pm, Centenary Square 210
(changed from Thursday the 25th!)

Time Isn’t of the Essence: Activating Goals Rather Than Imposing Delays Improves Inhibitory Control in Children
Jane E. Barker and Yuko Munakata

Is it easier to inhibit inappropriate behaviors if one pauses before acting? An important finding for theory and intervention is that children’s inhibitory control improves if an adult imposes a delay before they can act. Such findings have suggested that the passage of time allows impulsive urges to dissipate passively. However, in prior studies with imposed delays, children were also reminded about what they should be doing, which may have aided their activation of goal-relevant information. We tested this possibility by independently manipulating delays and task reminders, and measuring 3-year-olds’ abilities to inhibit opening boxes in a go/no-go box-search task. Task reminders, but not adult-imposed delays, improved children’s response inhibition. However, as in prior work, children who spontaneously delayed their action longer on go trials exhibited better response inhibition on no-go trials. These results pose a challenge to the view that the passage of time plays a causal role, suggest that spontaneous delays index other processes that improve inhibitory control, and highlight the importance of goal activation in developing inhibitory control.

Second Meeting: Wednesday, March 16th, 2016, 4:30-5:30pm, Centenary Square 210

The Foundations of Literacy Development in Children at Familial Risk of Dyslexia
Charles Hulme, Hannah M. Nash, Debbie Gooch,Arne Lervåg, and Margaret J. Snowling

The development of reading skills is underpinned by oral language abilities: Phonological skills appear to have a causal influence on the development of early word-level literacy skills, and reading-comprehension ability depends, in addition to word-level literacy skills, on broader (semantic and syntactic) language skills. Here, we report a longitudinal study of children at familial risk of dyslexia, children with preschool language difficulties, and typically developing control children. Preschool measures of oral language predicted phoneme awareness and graphemephoneme knowledge just before school entry, which in turn predicted word-level literacy skills shortly after school entry. Reading comprehension at 8½ years was predicted by word-level literacy skills at 5½ years and by language skills at 3½ years. These patterns of predictive relationships were similar in both typically developing children and those at risk of literacy difficulties. Our findings underline the importance of oral language skills for the development of both word-level literacy and reading comprehension.

Final Meeting of year: Monday, April 11th, 2016, 4:30-5:30pm, Centenary Square 210

Evidence of Change in Men’s Versus Women’s Emotional Reactions to First Sexual Intercourse: A 23-year Study in a Human Sexuality Course at a Midwestern University
Susan Sprecher

With a large sample (N=5,769) of university students obtained over a 23-year period (1990–2012), which represented three decades of first sexual intercourse experiences, the present study examined gender differences in pleasure, anxiety, and guilt in response to first intercourse. Men reported more pleasure and anxiety than women, and women reported more guilt than men. Anxiety decreased over the three decades for men; pleasure increased and guilt decreased for women. As a result of these changes, the differences between men and women in emotional reactions decreased slightly over time. The magnitude of the gender differences overall and in the most recent years of data collection, however, suggests that emotional responses to first sexual intercourse should be included in a small list of sexuality variables that are exceptions to Hyde’s (2005) gender similarities hypothesis.

If you have questions, please email email in the Psychology Department.

Wondering what we've read previously? Look here.