VanLiere Symposium Posters

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The VanLiere Symposium is an event held every spring when the Psychology Department majors present posters of their their Senior Integrated Projects (SIPS, formerly known as Senior Individualized Projects) to the members of the campus, families and guests. The VanLiere Symposium honors the late Donald VanLiere who was the first experimental psychologist at Kalamazoo College. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff. If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email us at to request access to this material.

The VanLiere Symposium was not held in 2011, 2020, and 2021.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 243
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    Trauma-Informed and Anti-Biasing Strategies to Support Students of Color Facing ACEs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College, 2023) Binkley, Anna
    Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been declines in learning progress and performance for students. (Mervosh, 2022a; Mervosh, 2022b). Also, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may have been exacerbated by the consequences of the pandemic (Bryant et al., 2020; McManus & Ball, 2020). Furthermore, students of color are disproportionately affected by both the COVID-19 pandemic and ACEs, in comparison to their White peers (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022; Mervosh, 2022b; Strompolis et al., 2019). Given this, it is important for schools to use trauma-informed strategies and anti-biasing techniques in order to give additional support to students of color who have had adverse experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic so that all students can succeed academically.
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    Moral about as a Need Capable of Biasing Responsibility Intuitions Free Will and Determinism
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College, 2023) Lucking, Nick
    I investigated the extent to which people have a psychological need for moral responsibility, as well as the extent to which this potential attachment may influence a person’s beliefs in free will and determinism. My hypotheses were that people would reveal an attachment to moral responsibility, and that this attachment would play a role in biasing people against a belief in determinism and in favor of a belief in free will. Participants consistently testified to the satisfaction that moral responsibility affords people through both the praiseworthiness and blameworthiness it rationalizes. Participants also gave compelling testimony to the effect that people’s attachment to moral responsibility seems like a leading contributor to the distortion that surrounds the process of making impassive judgments about free will and determinism.
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    Adverse Childhood Experiences as a Potential Determinant of Participant’s Graduation Timeline in Sobriety Courts
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College, 2023) Kim, Brandon
    The ramifications of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are often overlooked or dismissed when examining one’s recovery period from substance abuse. ACEs are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood, including exposure to violence, abuse, and growing up in a family with mental health or substance use problems. Drug courts provide an alternative solution for those with alcohol addictions convicted of nonviolent crimes, offering treatment as opposed to imprisonment. Exit surveys from the Kalamazoo County OWI (Operating While Impaired) Court were analyzed to determine if a participant’s time taken to graduate from the sobriety court is associated with their ACE score.
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    The Abortion and Mental Health Debate
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College, 2023) Fairbank, Olivia
    The purpose of this essay is to review the literature on the most common factors that predict adverse psychological reactions after an abortion procedure and the agreements and disagreements regarding how the data should be interpreted. By reviewing varying arguments and suggestions in the literature, this essay argues for pre-abortion risk-factor screening to identify the women most vulnerable to the adverse mental health effects of abortion.
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    Analysis of the Gender Paradox of Depression
    (Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College, 2023) Richards, Chris
    This project examines the gender paradox of depression, or the difference between the ratio of rates of depression in men and women being roughly 1:2, and the ratio of deaths by suicide in men and women, roughly 3:1 or 4:1. The lowest gender ratios apply across all races and ethnicities, with some being much higher than the 3:1 minimum. The most common explanations for this gender paradox are that; men underreport their depression or are underdiagnosed, that the method of suicide men choose leads to higher mortality rates than those that women choose, that the higher rate in male suicides is the reason more women are diagnosed, or that women are truly more predisposed to depression than men. Underreporting and underdiagnosing is extremely hard to test for, but the data show that men are, to some extent, underreporting symptoms of depression. Men are twice as likely as women to have substance abuse issues, most commonly alcoholism and nicotine, but also various other drugs. There was next to no information about the gender differences in transgender and nonbinary people's depression and suicide statistics. That issue is much more complex, as there is much more diverse stress, but it does need to be studied.
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