Elizabeth Quinn is a senior at Northwestern University getting her undergraduate degree in Psychology! She presented her research (The Role of Implicit Disgust in Hate Crimes Against Gay Men) at the 2018 Midwestern Psychological Association Conference in Chicago, IL and the 2018 Society for Personality and Social Psychology's annual conference in Atlanta, GA! Congratulations Elizabeth, keep up the great work!!
The Role of Implicit Disgust in Hate Crimes against Gay Men
In hate crimes committed against gay men, victims are often blamed for provoking the violence. This argument is the cornerstone of the infamous “gay panic defense,” which legally legitimizes this behavior in 48 American states. Until now, the role of implicit disgust has yet to be explored in blame decision-making. In the current preregistered study, we examined the association between implicit disgust and blame decision-making in hate crimes against gay men. Participants (N = 252) completed a version of the Implicit Association Test adapted to assess implicit disgust and then read a case scenario detailing a homicide that ensued from an altercation between two adult men. Next, participants completed scales of blame attributed to the victim and indicated the extent to which they believed the case should be ruled as a hate crime. Results indicated that increased implicit gay-disgust associations were associated with increased blame attributed to the victim. Although implicit disgust was unrelated to defendant blame, individual levels of implicit disgust were associated with perceptions that the hate crime statute should be applied. As implicit disgust associations with gay men increased, perceptions that the homicide constituted as a hate crime decreased. The current findings suggest that implicit disgust may contribute to victim blaming in hate crimes against gay men; however, experimental evidence is needed to determine whether implicit disgust causally influences victim blaming and perceptions of hate crimes.
Emily is a first-year student at Indiana University, pursuing a PhD in School Psychology. She presented her research at the annual meeting of the AP-LS in Seattle, WA in 2017. Congratulations, Emily!
The Role of Compassion Fatigue and Years of Experience in Child Custody Decisions
Abstract: Compassion fatigue is defined as a worker’s diminished ability to empathize with clients (Adams, Figley, & Boscarino, 2008). It is common among “helping workers” and can result in psychological detachment from clients as a coping mechanism (Dane, 2000). In the present study, we explored the relationship between social workers’ compassion fatigue and years of job experience on child custody case judgements. Participants read a vignette depicting a mother who had lost custody of her son due to neglect allegations, but was attempting to regain custody. Supporting hypotheses, as compassion fatigue increased, recommendations that the mother receive custody increased. Additionally, increased compassion fatigue was associated with increased beliefs that reunification was not in the child’s best interest (e.g. the child would have no potential if reunited with the mother) and was simultaneously associated with increased beliefs that the mother was a good parent (e.g. the mother was of high character). As years of job experience increased, recommendations that the mother receive custody increased. Increased years of experience was also associated with increased beliefs that the mother was a good parent (e.g. the mother has recovered from her addictions) and was simultaneously associated with increased beliefs that reunification was not in the child’s best interest (e.g. the child would have no potential if reunited with the mother). The effect of years of experience on custody rulings was mediated by compassion fatigue. This study provides strong evidence that compassion fatigue leads to client detachment, disengaging, and work-related pessimism.
Michelle M. Pena is a fifth year student at Florida International University pursing a PhD in Legal Psychology. She presented her research at the Annual meeting of AP-LS in Seattle, WA in 2017! Congratulations, Michelle!
Kaitlynn Richardson is a 3rd-year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She presented her presentation at the APLS Access Path to Psychology and Law Experience Program. Congratulations, Kaitlynn!
I am a third year student in the Department of Biological Sciences and in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I aim to someday obtain an M.D.- Ph.D. with the Ph.D. in social psychology. I began working, and continue to work, in Dr. Bette Bottoms’ Laboratory of Psychology and Law. I have been assisting in the completion of research aimed at understanding how jurors come to decisions in cases of child abuse where the child may be either victim or perpetrator; understanding how jurors come to their decisions in cases of child abuse and animal abuse. For both of these cases, we studied factors that influence jury verdicts; such as, race, gender identity, and how masculine and/ or feminine one views oneself to be. The roles that I played in this research overall are brainstorming hypotheses, entering and checking data, reviewing documents to be submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and doing literature reviews.
During the Spring 2017 semester, I was accepted into the APLS Access Path to Psychology and Law Experience Program. This program seeks to put people who are from underrepresented communities in positions to become competitive graduate school applicants. In addition to the financial support that this program provides, students within this program become involved and gain (further) exposure to research.
Christina Perez is a second-year Experimental Psychology Ph.D. student at the University of Toledo. She presented her poster titled Cognitive and Social Predictors of Memory and Suggestibility Among School-Aged Children at the 2017 Annual Conference in Seattle, WA. Congratulations, Christina!
Why are some children more suggestible than others? We examined recall and recognition memory regarding a staged event among 59 4- to 9-year-olds. An event was staged for children, and several days later, they were interviewed with misleading questions. After a week delay, they were interviewed with recall and yes-no questions. A battery of cognitive (IQ, standardized memory) and social (compliance, anxiety) measures was administrated. Several of the standardized memory scales were associated with children’s correct free recall but were not associated with suggestibility. Suggestibility was positively associated with anxiety and compliance.
Noelle Mathew, a 4th-year clinical psychology PhD student at Palo Alto University, presented a paper at the 2017 American Psychology-Law Society Conference in Seattle, WA titled Examining Childhood Maltreatment Rates and Psychometric Properties of the CTQ-SF in an Ethnically Diverse College Sample. Congratulations on a wonderful presentation, Noelle!
The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form is a reliable and valid screening measure for childhood maltreatment in adults (Bernstein et al., 2003); however, research to date includes samples of limited diversity. The current study seeks to estimate rates of childhood maltreatment and examine the psychometric properties of the CTQ-SF in a sample of 233 ethnically diverse college students. While, a chi-squared test of model fit revealed that the data did not adequately fit the five-factor model structure (𝝌²(265, N = 233) = 394.66, p≤.001), the RMSEA and CFI indicate a good model fit (RMSEA = .05, CFI = .97). Results indicated the estimated maltreatment rates significantly differ across ethnic groups and internal consistency is good or acceptable for all subscales except the Physical Neglect subscale. Asian participants reported significantly higher rates of emotional abuse compared to both Hispanic and Caucasian participants. Hispanic and Asian participants reported significantly higher rates of emotional and physical neglect compared to Caucasians, but did not differ from each other. Differences in reported maltreatment rates may be due to higher rates of maltreatment in certain ethnic groups; however it is also possible that different groups may interpret and endorse items differently. Results suggest CTQ-SF has a similar structure in an ethnically diverse sample, and demonstrates acceptable internal consistency for all scales but physical neglect, consistent with prior research with primarily Caucasian samples (Pavio & Cramer, 2004). Limitations include limited generalizability beyond college student population, use of broad ethnic categories, and reliance on a single self-report assessment of childhood maltreatment.
Adele Quigley-McBride, Experimental Liaison
About the Editor:
The American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychology Association) Student Committee is composed of elected student leaders representing the interests of our student members.