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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology

Dr. Tahira Probst study featured in Forbes

A Happy Society Is An Entrepreneurial Society

“In a recent article, I explored the importance of institutions to successful entrepreneurship. It perhaps stands to reason that if you have high-quality institutions your trust in them, and wider aspects of government, can also be high.

This has numerous benefits. For instance, research from Washington State University highlights how trust in government appears to be closely linked with our feelings of security at work and loyalty to our employer.

The researchers surveyed several hundred American adults about their trust levels in both state and federal government, as well as a number of work-related issues, such as their wellbeing levels. The results revealed that higher levels of trust in government were linked with better workplace attitudes and overall wellbeing.” Excerpt by Adi Gaskell Forbes Contributor

In Whom Do We Trust? A Multifoci Person-Centered Perspective on Institutional Trust during COVID-19

by Lixin Jiang, Erica L. Bettac , Hyun Jung Lee, and Tahira M. Probst
1. School of Psychology, University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
2. Department of Psychology, Washington State University Vancouver, Vancouver, WA 98686, USA

Academic Editors: Silvia Pignata and Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1815;
Received: 14 December 2021 / Revised: 2 February 2022 / Accepted: 3 February 2022 / Published: 5 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Psychosocial Issues in Occupational Disease and Occupational Health)

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Dr. Carrie Cuttler on NBC news

Marijuana use may cause cognitive impairment even when not still high

FEBRUARY 16, 2022 (Original Post by CAS in the Media)

Scott Isbell had been smoking weed since he was 17. By the time he turned 19, he was having difficulty setting goals and meeting deadlines at college. His grades had dropped from A’s to B’s and he was losing friends. Still, none of it seemed important enough to give up marijuana — until he started theater class.

A recent analysis of previous research on the impact of cannabis on young’s people’s cognition found that many of the known learning and memory difficulties — such as slowed processing speed, and difficulties in focusing — could linger for weeks. Verbal learning, retention and recall were especially affected for longer periods when the person was no longer high, researchers from the University of Montreal found.

Carrie Cuttler.

“The cannabis of today is very different,” said Carrie Cuttler, an assistant professor in the department of psychology and director of the Health and Cognition lab at Washington State University. “Back then cannabis had maybe 3 percent THC, now we’re seeing as much as 90 percent in some samples.”

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nbc news

Dr. Spradlin’s research on social media and face-to-face interactions covered on Psychology Today

The psychology department’s Dr. Alexander Spradlin and colleagues, including Dr. Carrie Cuttler, recently published research on Facebook users, examining their social media use, in-person interactions, and personality traits. Their findings were covered in a recent post on Psychology Today :

Dr. Chris Barry’s Study featured across the U.S. and internationally

Dr. Chris Barry, from the Department of Psychology, along with WSU psychology students and collaborators from the University of Southern Mississippi conducted a novel experiment with hundreds of actual Instagram users to determine if there are certain types of self-image posts that cause others to make snap judgements about the user’s personality.

They analyzed data from two groups of students for the study. The first group consisted of 30 undergraduates from a public university in the southern United States. The participants were asked to complete a personality questionnaire and agreed to let the researchers use their 30 most recent Instagram posts for the experiment.  The posts were coded based on whether they were selfies or posies as well as what was depicted in each image, such as physical appearance, affiliation with others, events, activities or accomplishments.

The second group of students consisted of 119 undergraduates from a university in the northwestern United States. This group was asked to rate the Instagram profiles of the first group on 13 attributes such as self-absorption, low self-esteem, extraversion and success using only the images from those profiles.  Barry’s team then analyzed the data to determine if there were visual cues in the first group of students’ photos that elicited consistent personality ratings from the second group.

Their work shows that individuals who post a lot of selfies are almost uniformly viewed as less likeable, less successful, more insecure and less open to new experiences than individuals who share a greater number of posed photos (posies) taken by someone else.  The students who posted more posies were viewed as being relatively higher in self-esteem, more adventurous, less lonely, more outgoing, more dependable, more successful and having the potential for being a good friend while the reverse was true for students with a greater number of selfies on their feed.

The study, titled ‘Check Your Selfie Before You Wreck Your Selfie: Personality Ratings of Users as a Function of Self-Image Posts and published in Journal of Research in Personality has been the subject of numerous stories in print, television, and radio outlets across the U.S. and internationally, including features in The Seattle Times, The Huffington Post, KRON in San Francisco, KING5 in Seattle, and CBS television affiliates throughout the U.S.

Dr. Collins highlighted in three Seattle periodicals

Congratulations to Dr. Susan E. Collins.  Her research was mentioned in three Seattle periodicals in early October.

This feature in Crosscut discusses our work with low-barrier, harm reduction housing and celebrates the awesome work some of our community-based partners do:

This article in Seattle’s main weekly, The Stranger, cites our work in why giving people experiencing homelessness access to coffee doesn’t contribute to homelessness:

This article in The Seattle Times is a opinion article:

Dr. Masha Gartstein publishes book: Toddlers, Parents, and Culture.

How where you’re born influences the person you become

DECEMBER 3, 2018

By Samuel Putnam, Bowdoin College and Masha A. Gartstein, professor of psychology, Washington State University

As early as the fifth century, the Greek philosopher Thucydides contrasted the self-control and stoicism of Spartans with the more indulgent and free-thinking citizens of Athens.

Today, unique behaviors and characteristics seem ingrained in certain cultures.

Italians wildly gesticulate when they talk. Dutch children are notably easygoing and less fussy. Russians rarely smile in public.

As developmental psychologists, we’re fascinated by these differences, how they take shape and how they get passed along from one generation to the next.

Our new book, “Toddlers, Parents and Culture,” explores the way a society’s values influences the choices parents make – and how this, in turn, influences who their kids become.

The enduring influence of cultural values

Although genetics certainly matter, the way you behave isn’t hardwired.

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Abbey Brewer and Ray Quock Publish Paper

Abbey Brewer and Ray Quock with Yangmiao Zhang, Jordan Nelson, Paxton Smith, and Donald Shirachi published a paper, “Hyperbaric oxygen produces a nitric oxide synthase-regulated anti-allodynic effect in rats with paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain” in the journal Brain Research, vol. 1711, pages 41- 47, May 2019.