Congrats Haley Potts! Haley won a $500 AP-LS Student Travel Grant! This means that according to reviewers, her conference submission (her thesis!) was among the very top students submissions. Haley will present at the AP-LS Conference in March.
BIG AL chilled with CLASS at the Faculty Research Showcase in November. Thank you Spencer, Bekah, & Jasmine for helping. We are excited to have recruited some awesome RAs!
CLASS lab has four paper presentations and one data blitz accepted for presentation at the American Psychology-Law Society's conference in March!
From #cut50: This week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in New Jersey voted to dramatically improve the lives of incarcerated women and primary caretakers in the state’s prisons and jails. The Dignity for Incarcerated Primary Caretaker Parents Act passed the Senate and Assembly with a supermajority of the legislature voting in support!
Twitter: VICTORY FOR INCARCERATED WOMEN AND FAMILIES IN NEW JERSEY! The Dignity For Incarcerated Primary Caretaker Parents Act sets higher standards for how women must be treated in prison and creates pathways for keeping families close. #DignityForIncarceratedWomen
Welcome to our new Undergraduate RAs: Jasmine Arnold, Emma Bumgardner, Anna Bending, Hannah King, Marin Montebalo, Phoebe Ringers, & Eli Wolf!
Ashley Peck successfully proposed her thesis, "Handcuff restraint influence on state anxiety and Personality Assessment Inventory responding." Thank you Drs. Cox and Gardner for the awesome feedback.
Abstract: Standardized test administration is key to a test’s validity, but is sometimes thwarted in correctional environments when policy or staff require that examinees wear restraints. Restraints such as handcuffs may impact participants’ state anxiety, stress, frustration, and profile validity, thereby confounding “state” and “trait” anxiety and construct validity. Participants in this study will be randomized to handcuffed or unhandcuffed conditions and administered the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). State anxiety will be measured subjectively via the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and objectively using heart rate variability (HRV). I hypothesize that individuals who are handcuffed while completing the PAI will report higher subjective state anxiety and show decreased HRV (an objective indicator of higher state anxiety) than individuals who are not handcuffed while completing the measure. In addition, I expect to find that handcuffed individuals will produce more invalid PAI protocols than unhandcuffed individuals due to elevated INF, INC, and NIM scale scores and significantly higher PAI scores associated with anxiety, stress, and irritability. PAI scores will be partially explained by handcuff/unhandcuffed conditions and subjective and objective measures of state anxiety in regression analyses. Findings will inform “real world” forensic practice, when standardized test administration is not always the norm.
Article by Ben Meyers posted here.
Shelby Hunter will present the poster, Do neuropsychologists find pediatric patients more credible than adults? Exploring potential for age bias in neuropsychological effort testing, at the International Neuropsychology Society's 2020 Conference.
Investigators: Hunter, Hovater, LaDuke, & Kois:
Objective: Credibility research shows adults often find children more believable than adults. We examined whether these findings translate to neuropsychological contexts, specifically as related to performance validity. This topic is underexplored in the neuropsychology literature (MacAllister et al., 2009). We anticipated that neuropsychologists would more likely find pediatric examinees effortful relative to adults.
Participants and Method: Participants were NAN and AACN listserv members who completed the study via Qualtrics. Participants were randomized to vignette conditions describing either a pediatric (age 9) or adult (age 23) assessment scenario. Vignettes were otherwise identical and indicated the examinee performed below recommended cut-offs on the TOMM and VSVT Hard Items.
Participants indicated whether the examinee’s performance was invalid, valid, or that they were unsure, as well as their level of confidence (slightly, moderately, very, or extremely). A composite outcome variable was constructed by multiplying participants' perceived performance validity by their level of confidence.
Results: An initial 94 participants began the study. A final sample of N = 44 were included in analyses after excluding due to failed manipulation checks, incomplete surveys, and not reporting at least slight familiarity with both pediatric and adult validity literatures. Participants were approximately 45 years old on average, 71% women, and 98% White. The majority (66%) held a PhD and have been practicing for approximately 15 years.
An independent sample t-test indicated a significant difference between conditions on validity/confidence composite scores, t(42) = 2.05, p = .047, Cohen's d = 0.65. Participants were significantly more likely to find the pediatric examinee’s performance valid and were more confident in their opinions relative to the adult examinee. This was a medium-to-large effect size.
Conclusions: This novel yet concerning finding suggests that neuropsychological standards of care can vary according to examinee age. Results remind neuropsychologists of the importance of objective normative data and stress the need for continued research in this area.
The Supreme Court of the United States heard Kahler v. Kansas, a case particularly relevant to CLASS, on 10/07/2019. At issue is whether defendants' due process rights are violated when they do not have the option of posing a traditional insanity defense. The American Psychological Association, along with the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, filed an amicus brief supporting Kahler's position. It is critical to remember, as noted in the brief, that the insanity defense is not "used and abused." Indeed, we know that very few defendants attempt an insanity defense, and Kois & Chauhan (2018), in their meta-analysis, found that approximately 13% of defendants who pose the defense are found not criminally responsible. You can hear the SCOTUS oral arguments here, the transcript here, and a re-cap here. The case is pending.
Lt. Scott teaches CLASS members how to safely handcuff research participants for our projects on the influence of handcuffs on state anxiety, frustration, and personality measurement
Congrats to Associate Professor Dr. Jenni Cox, a newly-appointed Associate Editor at Law and Human Behavior!
Haley Potts passes thesis proposal, the Impact of Defendants' Clinical Presentation and Medication Status on Mock Juror Perceptions of Insanity, chaired by Dr. Kois
Her thesis committee, consisting of Jennifer Cox, PhD; William Hart, PhD; and Christopher Slobogin, JD, LLM, gave great suggestions regarding theoretical approach and methods. We look forward to integrating their feedback to build a stronger study and help boost its "So what?" factor. Congrats Haley!
Doctoral student Haley Potts voted AP-LS Student Committee Clinical Liaison for the second year in a row! Congrats Haley!
Doctoral student Ashley Peck voted the American Psychology-Law Society Student Committee's Communications Officer! Go Ashley!