Ashland University Professor Awarded Psi Chi Faculty Advisor Research Grant

9/12/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Dr. Diane Bonfiglio, assistant professor of psychology at Ashland University, has been awarded a Faculty Advisor Research Grant from Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.

Dr. Bonfiglio is one of 12 Psi Chi advisors nationwide to receive this award for the 2011-2012 academic year. The $2,000 grant will partially fund a planned collaborative study by Dr. Bonfiglio and Dr. Mitchell Metzger, professor of psychology and department chair. The study will investigate physiological reactions in a directed forgetting procedure.

The funds also has allowed the Psychology Department to purchase software and equipment that will extend the function of Ashland University's new physiological data acquisition system, which allows the University to collect heart rate, electro dermal responses and other signals from human participants.

The grant proposal submitted by Bonfiglio was titled "Coping Style and Autonomic Responses During and Following a Directed Forgetting Procedure."

"Cognitive avoidant coping appears to be used to protect the self from negative affect, but it may carry a physiological cost," Bonfiglio said. "This investigation will examine differences between high-avoidance copers and low-avoidance copers in their performance on a directed forgetting task, as well as differences between the groups with respect to autonomic reactivity to the directed forgetting task and a speech task."

Bonfiglio said participants will be characterized with respect to coping style using a questionnaire.

"They will complete both a directed forgetting task and a speech task while their skin conductance responses, heart rate and heart rate variability are recorded," she said. "It is hoped that this data will add clarity to the literature on possible benefits and disadvantages of cognitive avoidant coping."

All current faculty advisors and co-advisors who have served an active Psi Chi chapter for at least one year were eligible to apply for faculty advisor research grants. The purpose of this program is to provide funds for advisors to defray the direct costs of conducting a research project.

Ashland University (<>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.