Dr. Dempsey's Interests and Hobbies
One of the things I enjoy doing the most is traveling. In summer 2012, we decided to do a major driving tour of the USA. So, we spent two months on the road and drove a total of 11,000 miles in our minivan (if you want to see more pictures from our trip, go to my blog). We took almost as many pictures (close to 8,000) and saw 25 states. We also took our two high school exchange students with us for part of the trip (and sent them home from the west coast) and brought our new exchange student back with us (he flew into Seattle). So, whenever we have a day off from school, you are likely to find me in Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Little River Canyon, or Mt. Cheaha. When I am at home, I love to read novels (authors such as Steve Barry, David Baldacci, Clive Cussler, Robert Ludlum to name a few) and watch TV (NCIS, NCIS LA, Hawaii Five-0, Downton Abbey, etc.). I also love to play board games with our teenage kids. We have all of the Ticket To Ride games (my favorite), Seven Wonders (second favorite), Airlines, Carcassone, Risk (plus Star Wars Risk and Lord of the Rings Risk), Apples to Apples, etc.
I am currently seeking volunteers for the following projects:
(1) Running PSY 201 participants who are volunteering for my study on effort discounting. This is great experience for the first-time research student because the times are very flexible (we sign up participants for hours that you are able to come) and you get a real feel for doing hands-on research. I need multiple students to assist with this project and it does not require a great deal of time commitment.
(2) Coding data collected on emotion narratives. This would involve you working with me to create categories for narrative stories that people have written and then coding the narratives accordingly. This involves a little more work than the first one, but through this process you will gain a deeper understanding of emotions.
(3) Helping to design and then execute a new research study on guilt and shame. This one involves reading research articles on a given topic and then working with me to design a study that is totally new. This one involves the most independent work, but it is also one of the most rewarding as the student gets to have a hand in creating a new project.
In general, my policy is that I am willing to work with you in terms of the number of hours you can spend doing research (there is no minimum or maximum). However, I may choose to put you on a project that requires a smaller time commitment if you cannot commit that many hours. Also, I will accept new students at any point during the semester (it does not have to be at the beginning of the semester). Further, if this semester is not good for you, how about volunteering next semester?
What is the benefit of volunteering for research? Generally I try to work with my students to put together a conference presentation that involves the work in which they have been involved so that they get to have a presentation with their name on it for their Vitae and graduate school applications. If you stick around for several semesters, you may even get your name on a publication! Also, if all has gone well in your research experience, this allows me to write you a more detailed letter of recommendation for a job or graduate school. These are generally the types of letters that employers or schools are looking for because they want to know more about what you do outside of the classroom, not just in the classroom.
PSI CHI and Psychology Club
I will be emailing out invitations for students to participate in Psi Chi if they meet the criteria this spring. I am looking for people who want to lead in these organizations and who have ideas for projects and presentations. In the past, students involved in Psi Chi have done some innovative fundraisers (such as selling Psychology Department t-shirts) to raise money to attend conferences. The regional APA conferences are great for students to attend because they have special sessions on preparing students for graduate school and they have poster sessions where Psi Chi students can present their research and compete for awards. Also, this year Psi Chi is looking for student research volunteers who can help collect data for a common database (that is, your chapter would collect 80 participants and then they would have access to all of the data collected and could analyze whatever they choose for a conference presentation). If you are really gung-ho about research, Psi Chi also offers a journal where students can publish their research and grants to assist students with research costs. Please come see me if you are interested in any of this.