Introducing the Lab on SlideShare


Here is a brief SlideShare presentation introducing the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab.
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Personal Statement Advice

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Prospective students applying to the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program are asked to write a personal statement in which they address a few specific questions (see Admissions Information). We’d like to offer some advice to applicants interested in working in the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab about the question referring to their research interests. This question asks applicants to describe their research interests and discuss how the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program will allow them to pursue these interests.

We are interested in learning about how your interests fit with ours and the sort of research you’d like to pursue during your graduate training. While providing a brief summary your prior research experience can be helpful, most of this information is likely to be reflected in your CV and letters of recommendation. Thus, we encourage you to use your answer to this question to demonstrate your fit with the lab.

Due to the competitive nature of the admissions process, the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program asks applicants to identify more than one faculty member they would be interested in working with. This is what the part of the question asking about one’s flexibility with one’s 2nd choice faculty member refers to. Applicants who clearly demonstrate fit with their 2nd choice faculty member are likely to be evaluated more positively by that faculty member. In some cases, this can increase the chances of that applicant being interviewed and ultimately receiving an offer of admission.

To sum up, applicants interested in being considered by our lab are encouraged to describe how their research interests fit with ours. Those with diverse interests who would be open to working in another lab are also encouraged to address how their interests may fit with another faculty member.
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Lab Seeking Counseling Psychology Doctoral Applicants for Fall 2018

Topics we study at the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab

We are interested in admitting a Counseling Psychology doctoral student for the Fall 2018 term. If you are planning to apply to doctoral programs in Counseling Psychology and you have research interests that overlap with ours, we hope you will consider submitting an application to the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Students interested in applying should see our page on joining the lab and consult the information available on the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program website (see Admissions Information). The application deadline is December 1, and now is the time when most applicants are thinking about where they plan to apply and working on their applications.

As is the case with most doctoral programs, the application process is highly competitive. Faculty start with an extensive review of the written application materials and work to identify a select group of the top applicants. Those selected are then invited to visit the Hattiesburg campus for in-person interviews. Interviewees have the opportunity to meet the program faculty, learn more about the lab, discuss research ideas with Dr. Dahlen, and interact with many current graduate students.

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Gaining Research Experience in Psychology as an Undergraduate

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Undergraduate students thinking about applying to graduate programs in Psychology are often advised to obtain research experience to strengthen their applications. This is good advice, especially if the student does not wait until his or her last year of college to do so. Most graduate programs in Psychology find research experience to be desirable for their applicants, and working as an undergraduate research assistant (RA) is one of the most effective things students can do to strengthen their applications.

Believe it or not, working as an RA in a Psychology research lab can be valuable for a number of other reasons too. Here are just a few examples that come to mind:

  • Some students do not discover their passion for research until they have the opportunity to be part of a research lab.
  • Obtaining research experience allows students to develop the sort of portfolio of skills many employers are seeking (e.g., knowledge of the research process, interpersonal awareness, the ability to contribute to a team, effective problem solving, organization and time management).
  • By working as an RA, a student provides a faculty member with the opportunity to get to know him or her in a meaningful way, and this often results in a more relevant letter of recommendation (i.e., the professor is able to address the student’s potential to succeed in the research-related aspects of graduate training and/or address many of the job-relevant skills noted above).
  • Being part of a research lab often gives students a clearer understanding of the research process, and this can translate into improved performance in Psychology courses.
  • Working as an RA in a lab that includes graduate students provides undergraduates with an accurate idea of what it is like to be a graduate student, what to expect from graduate training, and additional opportunities for mentoring.
  • Students can sometimes opt to earn elective course credit by working as an RA in a lab.
In short, gaining research experience as an undergraduate by working as a research assistant in a faculty member’s lab can be valuable for many reasons.

Undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus can learn more about joining the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab and explore other opportunities for gaining research experience in the department.
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Lab Welcomes Morgan Lowe

The Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is pleased to welcome Morgan Lowe, a student who will be entering the Counseling Psychology Master’s Program at the University of Southern Mississippi this Fall. Morgan completed her B.S. in psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi, so she is already familiar with the area. Her interests in forensic psychology, relational aggression, and anger make her a great fit for the lab. Her future career plans include working with juvenile offenders, and she hopes to pursue a doctorate in Counseling Psychology.

Congratulations to Morgan on her admission to the master’s program! We are looking forward to working with you.
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Opportunities for Students to Present and Publish Their Work

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One question that often comes up during doctoral admissions involves the availability of opportunities for students working in the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab to publish and/or present during their time in the program. We encourage our doctoral students to present at professional conferences and to submit manuscripts based on their work for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

So while these opportunities are available, how many of our students actually take advantage of them? Not surprisingly, this depends on each student and his or her professional goals. Most of our doctoral students present work based on their master’s thesis and/or dissertation at professional conferences. Some go beyond this and present the results of collaborative research projects, literature reviews, or more clinically focused work as well. With more available conferences than any of us have the time or money to attend, these opportunities are plentiful. Similarly, most of our doctoral students will submit manuscripts based on their master’s thesis and dissertation for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Students seeking academic or other research-oriented careers will typically be involved in additional research projects that aim to produce publishable manuscripts.

Similar opportunities exist for master’s students; however, their condensed time frame is often a limiting factor. Because master’s students have a shorter program of study and do not have the same research requirements as doctoral students, it is less likely that they will complete independent research projects comparable to a thesis. For most master’s students, getting involved in collaborative research projects makes more sense and can still result in presentation and/or publication opportunities. For especially talented master’s students aiming to apply to doctoral programs, independent research projects can sometimes be arranged based on fit and available resources.
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Welcoming Taylor Nocera-Bolton to the Doctoral Program

This announcement is long overdue, but we are pleased to welcome our newest doctoral student for the Fall 2017 term, Taylor Nocera-Bolton. Taylor has already been working with us during her time in the Counseling Psychology master’s program and had plans to pursue her doctorate. We were happy that she decided to apply to our program. As a doctoral student, Taylor plans to continue her research on cyber aggression.

Congratulations to Taylor on the admission!
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Doctoral Applications for Fall 2017 Under Review

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December 1 was the application deadline for the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at the University of Southern Mississippi, and the review of applications is now in progress. The outcome of this highly competitive process is that a small number of applicants will be invited to campus to participate in the doctoral program's interview day and interview with Dr. Dahlen.

Following the interviews, 1-2 applicants who are selected for the doctoral program typically receive an offer of admission to the program and the lab. Some applicants who are not selected for the doctoral program may be encouraged to apply to the master's program, as this provides applicants with another opportunity to join the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab and gain the sort of research experience that can strengthen their application to the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at Southern Miss, as well as other doctoral programs.
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Coming Soon: Information About Students Working in the Lab

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With graduate admissions deadlines approaching, undergraduate students planning to apply to graduate programs in psychology are in the process of researching programs and trying to decide where to apply. Although factors such as one's interest in the research areas of various faculty members, the reputation of the program, and the geographic location of the university are obvious considerations, many students are also curious about their fit with current students. Do they have similar life experiences, interests, abilities, or career goals as the students who are currently succeeding in the programs to which they are applying?

We recognize that this type of information is not always easy to find, so we aim to provide more of it for prospective students considering the doctoral or master's programs in Counseling Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi who are interested in the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab. Specifically, we plan to begin sharing some additional information about the students working in the lab in the form of brief student bios we will make available here. This should be helpful to prospective applicants by giving them a sense of where our current students came from, what they were doing before joining us, what they are working on here, and what they hope to do after they complete their graduate training.

Our first student bio should be ready soon and will be posted here as soon as it is available.
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Seeking Applicants Interested in Traffic Psychology

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With regard to doctoral and master's admissions for the 2017 academic year, the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is particularly interested in receiving applications from individuals interested in conducting psychological research on aspects of personality and driving behavior, with relevance to driving anger, aggressive driving, risky driving (e.g., speeding, driving while distracted), and/or accident-related outcomes. A variety of both adaptive and maladaptive personality constructs are of interest in this area. Examples of potentially relevant adaptive personality constructs include empathy for others, emotional intelligence, trait forgiveness, and consideration of the future consequences of one's behavior. Examples of potentially relevant maladaptive personality traits include impulsivity, sensation seeking, boredom proneness, and a variety of "dark personality" traits.

We have several ideas for research projects in this area and are hoping to attract qualified applicants with compatible interests.
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Lab Welcomes Adijah Battle

The Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is pleased to welcome Adijah Battle, a student who will be entering the Counseling Psychology Master's Program at the University of Southern Mississippi and joining us in the lab this fall. Adijah completed her B.S. in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Her interests in personality and psychopathology should make her a good fit for the lab.

Congratulations to Adijah on her admission to the master's program! We are looking forward to your arrival next month.
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Lab Welcomes Two New Doctoral Students

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The Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is pleased to welcome two new doctoral students who will be entering the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program at the University of Southern Mississippi and joining us in the lab this fall.

Savannah Merold will be graduating this spring with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. At Southern Miss, Savannah worked as a research assistant in Dr. Sacco's Social Psychology Lab. She completed an independent project focusing on how social and emotional intelligence moderated the relationship between psychopathic personality traits and social perception.

Philip Stoner will be graduating this spring with a B.A. in Psychology and English from Mississippi University for Women. During his undergraduate career, Philip worked as a research assistant in the Clinical Studies Lab at Mississippi State University, where he obtained research experience in areas such as aggression, alcohol use, narcissism, and sleep.

Congratulations to Savannah and Philip on their admission to the doctoral program! We are looking forward to working with you both.
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Doctoral Program Interview Day

The Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program is holding our annual interview day on February 5, 2016. We had several good applicants this year, and it was not easy to select who to invite to interview.

We are looking forward to meeting the applicants who will be interviewing, hearing about their research ideas, and discussing plans for future research.
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Doctoral Admissions Deadline Approaching

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Prospective students interested in applying to the doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi have until December 1 to do so. Review of applications will begin shortly after the deadline. The process is highly selective, and a small number of applicants will be invited to campus to participate in our program's interview day. For information on doctoral admissions, see the program web page.

As explained on our page for students interested in joining the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab, students who apply to work with Dr. Dahlen and receive an offer of admission to the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program are accepted to work in the lab.
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Lab Welcomes New Master's Students

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The Anger and Traffic Psychology lab is pleased to welcome two new master's students who will be joining us when they enter the Counseling Psychology Master's Program at the University of Southern Mississippi in the Fall. Michael Vidana graduated from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls and has been working with adolescents in a high school through Americorps. Taylor Nocera graduated from Auburn University and has worked locally at the Women's Center in Hattiesburg and at a group home for adolescents in Alabama.

Congratulations to Taylor and Michael on their admission to the master's program! We are looking forward to their arrival in Hattiesburg.
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Lab Welcomes Skylar Hicks

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The Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is pleased to welcome our newest doctoral student, Skylar Hicks. Skylar recently accepted an offer of admission to the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program at the University of Southern Mississippi and will be joining the lab in the Fall of 2015.

Skylar completed her bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of New Orleans, where she worked in Dr. Monica Marsee's Youth Social and Emotional Development Lab. She has been working as a research associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the LSU Health Sciences Center. Her interest and experience in overt and relational aggression make her an excellent fit for the lab.

Congratulations to Skylar on her admission! We are looking forward to working with you in Hattiesburg.
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Accepting Applications from Incoming Master's Students

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The Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is now accepting applications from students admitted to the Master's Program in Counseling Psychology for the Fall of 2015. Interested students are encouraged to contact Dr. Dahlen with any questions and to indicate interest in joining the lab.

We plan to delay decisions until early to mid June to make sure that we are able to consider all interested master's students before making decisions.
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Lab Welcomes Ashley Morrison

The Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is pleased to welcome Ashley Morrison. Ashley recently accepted admission to the Counseling Psychology doctoral program and will be joining the lab in the Fall of 2014.

Ashley is completing her bachelor's degree in psychology at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Indiana. Her interests in relational aggression and anger make her a good fit for the lab.

Congratulations, Ashley! We are looking forward to working with you.
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Lab Welcomes New Master's Student

The Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is pleased to welcome a new master's student. Mallory McCann is entering the master's program in August of 2013. She completed her undergraduate work at Louisiana State University.

Congratulations to Mallory on her admission to the master's program. We look forward to working with her.
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Lab Welcomes Two New Doctoral Students

The Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is pleased to welcome two new doctoral students for the Fall 2013 academic term.

Caitlin Clark is a master's student currently working in the lab who joined us in 2011 from Georgia College & State University. She plans to continue her research on aggression and hopes to broaden her focus beyond parenting-related variables. Niki Knight is completing her bachelor's degree at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her interests make her a good fit for the lab.

Congratulations to Caitlin and Niki! We look forward to working with you.
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Lab Welcomes Sarah Burghaus

The Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is pleased to welcome another new doctoral student this Fall, Sarah Burghaus. Sarah will be joining us from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Congratulations, Sarah! We are looking forward to working with you.
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Lab Welcomes Daniel Deason

The Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab is happy to welcome our newest member, Daniel Deason. Daniel will be joining the Counseling Psychology Program in the Fall as a new doctoral student. He is coming from Oklahoma State University - Stillwater. Congratulations, Daniel! We're looking forward to working with you.
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Lab Accepting Applications From Incoming Masters Students

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The lab is currently accepting applications from masters students who will be joining the Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Southern Mississippi in the Fall. Incoming masters students interested in anger, aggression, and traffic psychology are encouraged to complete an application.

Projects likely to begin in the Fall include:
  • Help seeking for anger problems among college students
  • Anger and alcohol abuse
  • Developing a brief screening and early intervention program for college students at risk of developing anger-related problems
  • Cultural factors in relational aggression
  • Developing improved measures of aggressive driving
Of course, we are always interested in students' ideas and welcome projects in other areas, as long as they are generally relevant to our work.
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