Winners of 2011 APF/COGDOP Graduate Research Scholarships are announced

Awards support research by talented students in psychological science.

By Rachel Martin

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) and the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP) have jointly offered Graduate Research Scholarships to doctoral students since 1996. The scholarships, administered by the APA Science Directorate, are intended to assist graduate students whose research reflects excellence in scientific psychology with the costs of conducting this research.

The program offers a total of thirteen awards, including the $5,000 Harry and Miriam Levinson Scholarship, the $3,000 Ruth G. and Joseph D. Matarazzo Scholarship, and the $2,000 Clarence J. Rosecrans Scholarship. In addition to these three awards, the foundation provides ten $1,000 scholarships per year. This year, over 120 applications were received, and each was reviewed by a committee of COGDOP members using a variety of criteria, including the significance of the research as well as the clarity and design of the proposal itself. The following three graduate students received the major awards:

Stephen P. BeckerStephen P. Becker (Miami University, Ohio) received the $5,000 Harry and Miriam Levinson Scholarship for his proposal “Social Information Processing and ADHD Comorbidity,” which describes research examining whether negative external and internal attribution biases differentially relate to co-occurring oppositional defiant/conduct disorder or anxiety symptoms in a sample of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. His study will be conducted as a joint project between the Department of Psychology at Miami University and the Center for ADHD at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. 

Kristy E. BenoitKristy E. Benoit
(Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) received the $3,000 Ruth G. and Joseph D. Matarazzo Scholarship. Her proposal, “Interpretation Bias in Anxious Mothers and Their Children: Can Interpretation Modification Affect the Intergenerational Transmission of Anxiety?” describes work that aims to determine whether a uniquely interpersonal interpretation modification paradigm can alter the transmission of an anxious information processing style from clinically anxious mothers to their children. In addition, this study will examine the effect that specific interpretation modification has on general interpretation biases in anxious mothers and their children.

Erik J. GirvanErik J. Girvan
(University of Minnesota) received this year’s $2,000 Clarence J. Rosecrans Scholarship. His proposal, “Habits of Meaning: When Does Learning to Categorize Situations Attenuate Bias in Social Judgments?” describes research that will examine the ways that the relevant, specialized knowledge which individuals bring to a social situation might guide judgments in ways that reduce the effects of stereotypes and inter-group attitudes on their decisions. This work may help identify those domains in which decisions are particularly prone to bias and point out new, specific types of interventions for reducing the impact of bias in them.

In addition, the following ten students, who are at various stages of their graduate careers and work in various research areas, received $1,000 APF/COGDOP Graduate Research Scholarships in Psychology: 

Courtney L. Gosnell (University of California- Santa Barbara) - “The Ego-Depleting Nature of Social Support”

Aaron E. Haas (Morehead State University) - “Economic Stress and Intergroup Relations”

Ann C. Johnson (University of Notre Dame) – “Determining the Effects of Acute Stress on Executive Functioning Among Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Disruptive Behavior Disorders”

Jessica Keeney (Michigan State University) - research on the relations of work schedule flexibility and work-life conflict

Gloria Luong (University of California, Irvine) – research on age and cultural influences on emotion regulation strategies

Daniel M. Stout (University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee) – “Isolating Attentional Control Deficits in Trait Anxiety: Implications for Predicting Vulnerability to Psychological Distress”

Erin L. Thomas (Yale University) –research on social non-prototypicality and intersectional invisibility.

Molly A. Walsh (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)) - research on bipolar spectrum psychopathology in young adults

Brandon L. Warren (Florida State University) – research on a novel animal model of emotional stress

Kevin L. Zabel (University of Tennessee) – “Motivational Endorsement of Interethnic Ideologies: An Optimal Distinctiveness Approach”

Rachel Martin is Conferences and Outreach Manager in the APA Science Directorate.