2014-15 Events and Colloquia

The Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University hosts presentations each year.

Fall Welcome and Meet the Faculty Colloquium

Sep. 5, 2014

"Relapse following Behavioral Treatment: Possible Etiology and Prevention"

Clair St. Peter, Ph.D.
West Virginia University
Associate Professor

Sep. 12, 2014

Behavioral interventions are highly efficacious at suppressing problem behavior when they are implemented consistently. However, less is known about the maintenance of these treatment effects, particularly when the treatment is challenged or disrupted. A growing body of evidence suggests that treatments based on differential reinforcement may be likely to produce relapse, or “resurgence,” when the treatment is disrupted or discontinued. In this presentation, I’ll discuss the laboratory and clinical literature on resurgence of problem behavior after successful treatment, and will describe some recent research from my laboratory suggesting ways that we might prevent or attenuate resurgence when using differential reinforcement.

"Thesis/Dissertation Writing Workshop with Mendeley"

Nathan Bechtel
Dale Gregory
Daniel Sundberg 
Western Michigan University
I/OBM Graduate Students

Sep. 19, 2014

In this workshop, students learned to use a research management program called Mendeley. The workshop showed students how the program can be used from the beginning of the writing process for resource collection, organization of citations, reading, and taking notes. The workshop covered the use of the program for writing to make in text citations and bibliographies.

The workshop was hands on giving a step-by-step overview of the installation and use of the program at each stage of the writing process.

"What to Pair with Your Major"

Bette Ludwig
Western Michigan University
Psychology Undergraduate Advisor 

Sep. 24, 2014

Confused about what minor to pair with your major or what you can do with the major to begin with? Maybe you should double major or double/triple minor? Don't miss this presentation by the psychology advisor to answer those questions and more!

Michigan Autism Conference

Radisson Hotel Downtown, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Sep. 24 to 26, 2014 

Several noteworthy and prominent invited speakers will be on campus. Visit the Michigan Autism Conference website for more information.

Undergraduate Practicum Fair

Department of Psychology
Psychology Graduate Student Organizations

Oct. 3, 2014

Are you an undergraduate considering going into the field of Psychology? Do you want to know how to make the most of your undergrad experience? Would you like to find out more about the practical experiences you can obtain at Western (with a few extra resources thrown in)?

Undergraduate Resource Fair

Department of Psychology

Oct. 10, 2014

If you are an undergraduate or a graduate student in psychology and want to learn about the research being conducted in our behavior analysis, clinical psychology, or industrial/organizational behavior management programs, want to get involved in a research project, or want to hone your research skills, then this colloquium is for you!

"Thinking about Thinking, Mindfulness, and the Myth of the Mind: Implications for and Solutions to Psychological Problems"

Stephen Flora, Ph.D.
Youngstown State University
Professor

Oct. 17, 2014

“Thinking” is evaluated from a behavior analytic perspective. As weak or subtle covert behavior, how, if at all, thinking impacts overt behavior is considered. Whether thinking is functional or dysfunctional may be context specific. In certain circumstances thinking may be useful, but overt behavior and the external environment always hold primacy, without which there could be no thinking. Recognizing overt behavior and the external environment’s superordinate position over thinking has important implications for psychological treatment, and the most effective therapies focus on changing explicit overt behaviors, not thinking. Operant conditioning studies of EEG patterns (brain waves) of cats and humans and the resulting applications are reviewed to help establish thinking as nothing more than behavior. However, thinking is something that the whole body of the intact organism does, not just the brain, and certainly not a mystical mind.

"Comparisons of Intensive Behavior Analytic and Eclectic Interventions for Young Children with Autism:  Findings and Implications"

Jane Howard, Ph.D., BCBA-D
The Kendall Centers and California State University Stanislaus
2014 recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology Alumni Achievement Ward.

Nov. 7, 2014

We compared the effects of three years of intensive behavior analytic intervention provided to 29 young children diagnosed with autism with two eclectic (i.e., mixed-method) interventions (Howard et al., 2005, 2014). At their final assessment, children who received IBT were more than twice as likely to score in the normal range on measures of cognitive, language, and adaptive functioning than were children who received either form of eclectic intervention.  Although the largest improvements for children in the IBT group generally occurred during Year 1, many children in that group whose scores were below the normal range after the first year of intervention attained scores in the normal range of functioning with one or two years of additional intervention. These results provide further evidence that intensive behavior analytic intervention delivered at an early age is more likely to produce substantial improvements in young children with autism than common eclectic interventions, even when the latter are intensive. Implications for researchers and clinicians, including ways to communicate results to different stakeholders, were discussed

"Wanted: Leaders from the next generation of behavior analysts
Brown Bag Session

Jane Howard, Ph.D., BCBA-D
The Kendall Centers and California State University Stanislaus
2014 recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology Alumni Achievement Ward.

Nov. 7, 2014

More preparation and focus is needed to train leaders from current and future generations who can operate effectively advocate for our science in public and private sectors. Ways for young professionals to become involved, the value of such experiences, and ideas about the critical role this activity plays in the future of behavior analysis will be discussed. The training, background, and skills needed by those in these leadership positions were discussed.
CEU’s will be available.

Gamification: Game On or Time Out?

Mike Blahnik, Ph.D.
Innovative Learning Group

Nov. 21, 2014

The gamification hype has arrived! So how do you build credibility, and create learning and performance improvement solutions that have the correct balance of instructional integrity and engagement? When is the right time to use gamification? Game on? Or time out?

Using Simulation-Based Training to Build a Skilled Sales Force

Thor Flosason, Ph.D.
Kellogg Company

Dec. 5, 2014

This talk focused on how simulation, data collection, and feedback can be used in a corporate training environment.  Dr. Thor Flosason is the senior manager of Retail Sales Training at the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, Michigan. His team focuses on providing performance-changing learning experiences for Retail Sales Representatives and their managers across the U.S. The overall objective of these learning experiences is to enable the Kellogg sales force to successfully execute the standard sales call process in order to drive sales in the retail environment.

Flosason holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Iceland, a master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology from WMU as well as a Ph. D. in psychology (OBM track) from WMU.

Job Fair

Jan. 17, 2015

WITH RANK COMES PRIVILEGE AND WITH PRIVILEGE COMES POWER

Renee' LeClear-Gavin

Jan. 28, 2015

Renee’ LeClear-Gavin is one of 14 women who filed a gender discrimination/harassment lawsuit against the City of Grand Rapids in 2001 for actions that took place while the women were employed by the Grand Rapids Police Department. The city placed two of the plaintiffs, LeClear-Gavin and Denhof, on leave. Both women filed a secondary law suit revealing evidence that was not allowed to be presented in the first case. The first case was lost, but Denhof and LeClear-Gavin prevailed which resulted in a multi-million dollar award. Plaintiff Renee’ LeClear-Gavin spoke on what led the women to file the cases, tactics that were used against them in the law suit, and how they eventually prevailed.

Undergraduate Practicum Fair

Jan. 30, 2015

An informative event geared towards helping you find new practicum opportunities!

Undergraduate Research Colloquium

Feb. 6, 2015

Do you want to learn about the research being conducted in our Behavior Analysis, Clincial Psychology, and/or Industrial/Organizational Behavior Management programs? Do you want to get involved in a research project? Then this colloquium is for you!

Graduate Research Day

Feb. 13, 2015

Introduction by department chair 
Stephanie Peterson, Ph.D.

Methcathinone Derivatives, Mephedrone and Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), Enhance Behavioral Sensitization to Psychostimulants in Rodents 
Michael Berquist
M.Melissa Peet
Haily Traxler
Alyssa Mahler
Lisa Baker, Ph.D.

The Effects of Differential Schedule Density on Reemergence of a Previously Reinforced Response
Kathryn Kestner
Stephanie Peterson, Ph.D.

A Comparison of Wide vs Narrow Gateway, and Other Configurations, of In-Street Signs on Driver Yielding
Jonathan Hochmuth
Miles Bennett
Ron Van Houten, Ph.D.

The Effects of Incentive Pay Systems with Tiered Goals on Performance
Dan Sundberg
Alyce Dickinson, Ph.D.

A Comparison Of Two Variations Of A Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedure On Novel And Infrequent Vocalizations Of Children With Autism
Andrew Bulla
Jessica Frieder, Ph.D.

Conducting Functional Behavior Assessments via Remote Technology 
Denice Rios
Stephanie Peterson, Ph.D.
Yannick Schenk

Not Your Mother’s Bath Salts: Evaluation of MDPV and Mephedrone in Rats Trained to Discriminate MDMA or an MDMA+Amphetamine Mixture 
Eric Harvey
Amanda Quisenberry
Jennifer Walters
Lisa Baker, Ph.D.

Increasing Physical Activity in Young Adult with Autism Spectrum Disorders 
Kate LaLonde
Brian MacNeill
Alan Poling, Ph.D.

Blue Babies 
Edward Blackman
Heather McGee, Ph.D.

The Effects of the Symbol Sign and the Use of City Posts on the Efficacy of a Gateway Configuration of the In-Street Sign 
Miles Bennett
Jon Hochmuth
Ron Van Houten, Ph.D.

Educating students with emotional and behavioral disorders: The challenge of inclusion

Colloquium Sponsored by BAGSO

Matthew Hoge, Ph.D.

March 20, 2015

Dr. Matthew Hoge focused on challenges and strategies for educating students with emotional and behavioral disorders in less restrictive educational settings (e.g. the general education classroom). The presentation highlighted who these students are, what services they typically receive, what can be done to improve outcomes and why improving outcomes is so important. The presentation was supported by his research on barriers to inclusion as well as his professional experience as a behavioral consultant.

Getting Into Grad School

Bette Ludwig
Western Michigan University
Psychology Undergraduate Advisor

April 10, 2015

Confused about what minor to pair with your major or what you can do with the major to begin with? Maybe you should double major or double/triple minor? The psychology advisor answered those questions and more!

Evolution and Promotion of Ethical Behavior: A Behavior Analytic Perspective

Wayne Fuqua, Ph.D.
Western Michigan University
Professor

April 10, 2015

Behavior analysis has contributed greatly to the development of evidence-based interventions. However, the implications of behavior analytic principles and concepts are not limited to the development of treatment techniques but also apply to the full range of human endeavors including the development of codes of conduct and the promotion of ethical and moral behavior. This presentation provided a behavior analytic perspective on the evolution of ethical and moral codes of conduct and the promotion of ethical and moral behavior. In addition, this presentation described strategies for disseminating ethics throughout a professional organization.

Community-Engaged Applied Research: What it is and why do it 

Charles Greenwood, Ph.D.
University of Kansas
Professor

April 13, 2015

Brown bag discussion.

From the Basement to the White House: Lesson Learned in 50 years at the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project

Charles Greenwood, Ph.D.
University of Kansas
Professor

April 13, 2015

The development of applied research since 1964 at the University of Kansas has overlapped with the needs of a low-income Kansas community at the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project. JGCP and its program of research have continued uninterrupted to the present, producing a number of important outcomes for community residents as well as for the field in terms of human capital and methodology. Accomplishments and lessons learned when conducting community-engaged research will be highlighted.

Dr. Charles Greenwood is the director of Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, a center developed in the 1960’s to address child development concerns within low-income communities. He is co-principal investigator of a research and development center funded by the Institute of Education Sciences whose aim is development of instructional interventions for high-risk preschool children. In 2009, he received KU’s highest award for research, the Irvin Youngberg Research Achievement Award in Applied Science. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. CEU’s will be available.

CBT for Trichotillomania and Other Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Doug Woods, Ph.D.
Texas A&M University
Professor and Department Head

April 17, 2015

Trichotillomania and other body-focused repetitive behaviors such as self-injurious skin picking are much more common in children and adults than once believed. Effective behavior therapies for these problems exist and recent research has clearly demonstrated that individuals in search of treatment are likely to seek the help of a psychologist or other therapist before any other profession. Unfortunately, data also suggest that a vast majority of mental health professionals do not understand these disorders, are unfamiliar with their assessment and are not knowledgeable about available effective treatments.  

Dr. Doug Woods described a comprehensive cognitive behavioral method for understanding, assessing and treating trichotillomania and other BFRBs in adults.

BEHAvior Therapy for tourette syndrome

Doug Woods. Ph.D.
Texas A&M University
Professor and Department Head

April 17, 2015

Tourette Syndrome is a neurological condition consisting of multiple motor and vocal tics that are presumably due to failed inhibition within cortical-striatial-cortical motor pathways. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition among psychiatry and neurology about the utility of behavior therapy procedures in managing the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome in children and adults. Recently, the National Institute of Mental Health funded a multi-site group of researchers working with the Tourette Syndrome Association to conduct two parallel randomized clinical trials investigating the efficacy of these procedures in adults and children with TS. The procedures being tested in the study combine elements of habit reversal training with psychoeducation and function-based behavioral interventions, yielding a Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics. Dr. Doug Woods described CBIT as used in the treatment of children and adults with Tourette Syndrome. Participants learned about the underlying theory for behavioral intervention as well as the data supporting the model and the efficacy of the treatment.

Behavior Therapy for Tic Disorders Workshop

Doug Woods, Ph.D.
Texas A&M University
Professor and Department Head

April 18, 2015

Tourette Syndrome is a neurological condition consisting of multiple motor and vocal tics that are presumably due to failed inhibition within cortical-striatial-cortical motor pathways.  In recent years, there has been a growing recognition among psychiatry and neurology about the utility of behavior therapy procedures in managing the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome in children and adults.

Recently, the National Institute of Mental Health funded a multi-site group of researchers working with the Tourette Syndrome Association to conduct two parallel randomized clinical trials investigating the efficacy of these procedures in adults and children with TS. The procedures being tested in the study combine elements of habit reversal training with psychoeducation and function-based behavioral interventions, yielding a Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics.  

Unfortunately, very few clinicians have been trained in evidence-based treatments for Tourette Syndrome and tic disorders, and in most U.S. cities there are no behavior therapists who provide this treatment. Dr. Doug Woods described CBIT and other relevant interventions used in the treatment of children and adults with Tourette Syndrome.  

In addition to learning the general therapeutic techniques, attendees learned to appreciate the diagnostic complexities associated with tic disorders, and learned about the underlying theory for behavioral intervention, the data supporting the model and data on the efficacy of the treatment. Various instructional technologies were employed including didactic instructions, videotaped samples of actual treatment and role-play demonstrations. 

Department Award Celebration

April 24, 2015