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Spring 2008 Colloquium Series

February 13

Speaker: Dr. Ilona Federenko, UCI, Health Psychology

The idea that stress and health are intricately linked is almost universally accepted. Much less research has been directed at understanding the link between stress and health during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. Since pregnancy is accompanied by changes in the function of stress-related physiological systems, it cannot be assumed that findings in non-pregnant women are applicable to pregnant women as well. This presentation will discuss pregnancy-related changes in stress hormones and point out the implication of these changes for postpartum health and disease.



February 27 CANCELLED

Speaker: Scott Roesch, Ph.D., San Diego State University

Topic: Stress and Coping

This meta-analysis assessed the efficacy of coping strategies on psychological physical adjustment in children with cancer (n=1230). Coping strategies were operational along two dimensions: 1) approach or avoidance coping; and problem-focused or emotion-focused coping were unrelated to overall adjustment. A small-to-medium but negative association was found between problem-focused coping and adjustment, indicating more use of these strategies is associated with poorer adjustment. Follow-up analyses found coping-adjustment relations were both dependent upon time since diagnosis and the particular stressor the child was dealing with during treatment.



March 12

Speaker: Aaron T. Goetz, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, California State University, Fullerton

Topic: Why do men sexually coerce their intimate partners? An evolutionary perspective informed by sperm competition theory

Research on sexual coercion in intimate relationships has focused exclusively on its proximate (or immediate) causes. Only very recently have researchers begun to examine the ultimate (or evolutionary) causes of sexual coercion in intimate relationships. this talk reviews recent theoretical, comparative, correlational, and experimental evidence on the ultimate causes of sexual coercion in intimate relationships. Five studies are presented which support sperm competition theory and demonstrates the utility of appreciating that ultimate causes often exist alongside proximate causes.



March 26

Speaker: Erica L. Wohldmann, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, CSU Northridge

Topic: Learning by Thinking: An Examination of How Action and Imagery Differ

We all know that learning by doing is an effective way to learn a new motor skill, but it is not the only way. Numerous studies have shown that motor imagery (i.e., the mental simulation of body movements in the absence of physical action) enhances subsequent physical performance. In three experiments, the effects of motor imagery for skill learning, retention, and transfer were examined. The task involved learning to type 4-digit sequences on the computer keypad. In Experiment 1, motor imagery was as effective as physical practice for sequence learning and retention. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that learning is less susceptible to retroactive interference effects (forgetting of old movements after new movements are rehearsed) after mental practice than after physical practice. The results provide support for the hypothesis that mental practice strengthens an abstract representation that does not involve specific effectors.



April 16

This colloquium will be held in Peterson Hall Room 223

Speaker: Seth Kalichman, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, HIV Prevention

Topic: Sex, Drugs and Viral Load: HIV Prevention for People Living with HIV/AIDS

HIV prevention programs require scaling up in communities most seriously affected by AIDS and interventions that target people living with HIV/AIDS (positive prevention) should be included in all comprehensive HIV prevention plans. Positive prevention interventions have been demonstrated effective but will be underminded by beliefs about HIV transmission risks. Efforts to implement positive prevention will be enhanced by increasing access to HIV/AIDS care services including antiretroviral therapies and sexually transmitted infections detection and treatment.



April 30

Speaker: Brian Lickel, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, USC

Topic: Social Groups and Shame

Collective blame of outgroups is an important element in intergroup conflict and explains in part how cycles of retributive violence are maintained over time. Recent work, which will be discussed in this talk, addresses the cognitive and affective mechanisms that play a role i the collective blame process. In particular, outgroup directed anger plays a strong role in fueling motivation for outgroup directed aggression. However, there are instances where individuals blame their ingourp for the intergroup conflict. Under these circumstances, self-conscious emotions such as shame and guilt may occur and may sometimes provide a basis for reducing intergroup conflict.