The WVPU Psychology Department Participates in ICPS 2017

Professors: Dr. Marc Mehu, Dr. Peter Walla, Dr. Kathleen Hodkinson, staff member: Nataly Loumba, alumna: Kathleen Burns, student: Nikola Gojcai all took part in this year's International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS) at the Austria Center Vienna.

Webster Vienna will participate in the Friday symposium: March 24th in the afternoon and Nataly’s poster presentation is on Saturday 25th in the evening.


The Role of Aesthetics on the Attraction and Satisfaction of Romantic Relationship (Nataly Loumba)

This study examines the association between interpersonal attraction, relationship satisfaction and aesthetics (dressing, way of talking, smell). The findings suggest that aesthetics significantly influence the level of satisfaction experienced in an intimate relationship. Interpersonal attraction (social attraction in particular) is an important mediator of the relationship between aesthetics and satisfaction.


Symposium: Emotion, Communication, and Social Interaction: A Multi-level Approach (Marc Mehu, WVPU; Benoit Bediou & Marcello Mortillaro, University of Geneva; Katja Schlegel, Northeastern University)

Our symposium deals with the question of how emotions help individuals assess and manage their social environment. We will show that a better understanding of the role of affective processes in social interactions can be achieved by combining different research paradigms like behavioral observations, perception experiments, and economic games.


Testosterone, Behavioral Mimicry, and Negotiation (Marc Mehu)

We investigated gender differences in behavioral mimicry (the extent to which people imitate the behavior of their partner in a social interaction) and its effect on the material and relational outcomes of a face-to-face negotiation. The analysis revealed gender differences in smiling mimicry: Women, more than men, tended to reciprocate the smiles of their partners. Depending on gender and on the measure of smiling mimicry we looked at (whether it is mimicry of low versus high intensity smiles), we found different patterns of associations between smiling mimicry and material or relational outcomes of the negotiation. This suggests that the relationship between smiling mimicry and negotiation outcomes is complex and can be better understood if we look at different forms and intensities of smiles.


Additional topics presented by Webster faculty and students are:

  • IV-097 Self-referential processing elicited by words and figures: High score on self-consciousness correlates with increased brain activity (Gojcai and Walla): ERPs elicited by words and figures are described with respect to a non-individualized self (Me1) and an individualized self (Me2). Furthermore, on the basis of a self-consciousness questionnaire, individuals who scored high on this dimension showed a more distinct pattern of the individualized self (Me2) than those who scored low.
  • IX-107 Brain preference versus self-reported experience during reading of printed and digital text (Burns and Walla): Is print or digital reading more enjoyable? By analysing both explicit and implicit measures we found that implicit (non-conscious) brain preferences opposed explicit (conscious) opinions of the participants. Print was the most enjoyable reported reading device, while smartphone elicited the most pleasant response deep inside the brain. (Consumer Research,Biological Psychology)
  •  II-010 Cognitive Processes in Burnout (Hodkinson and MA alumni student Aaron Zieger): Cognitive Processes in Burnout have received little research attention thus far. This prospective study investigated the role of cognitive distortions and dysfunctional attitudes in predicting burnout in university students. Results indicated that these cognitive processes are related to burnout but do not appear to predict burnout at a later date. (Cognition & Emotion,Clinical Science)