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Psychology | News

Most Americans practice gratitude at Thanksgiving, but psychology professor Anthony Ahrens says we might benefit from practicing it more frequently.

Are We Really Grateful?

American University psychology professor examines gratitude and its potential mental health benefits.

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Center for Behavioral Neuroscience


Upcoming Theses & Dissertation Defenses

Sharone Weltfreid will defend her dissertation on July 20, 2016 from 2:30pm-5:30pm in Asbury 336. The title of her dissertation is: “The Relationship Between Mindfulness and Perceived Responsiveness to Capitalization Attempts.”


Anthony Ahrens, Ph.D., Chair
Nate Herr, Ph.D.
James J. Gray, Ph.D.
Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, Ph.D.(external reader)

Kate Stewart will defend her dissertation on July 22, 2016 from 10 am-1 pm in Asbury 336.The title of her dissertation is: "Interpersonal Effects of Belonging: A Brief Intervention for University Students."


Anthony Ahrens, PhD, Chair

David Haaga, PhD

Nathaniel Herr, PhD

Leslie Kirby, PhD (external reader)

Rachelle Calixte will defend her dissertation on Tuesday, July 26th, 2016, 12:30-3:30pm in Asbury 336. The title of her dissertation is "Understanding Beliefs about Mental Illness and Intentions to Seek Mental Health Treatment: A Terror Management Paradigm".


James Gray, Ph.D. (chair)
Anthony Ahrens, Ph.D.
Nathaniel Herr, Ph.D.
Melissa Soenke, Ph.D. (external reader)

Aria Ruggiero will defend her Master's Thesis on July 28th, 2016 from 11am-1 pm in MCK*T01. The title of her thesis is "The links between Emotion-Network Density, Depression, Negative Emotionality, and Sleep in Adolescents"

Committee members:

Kathleen Gunthert, Ph.D. (chair),
Nathaniel Herr, Ph.D.,
Laura Juliano, Ph.D.

Timothy Regan will defend his Masters Thesis on Monday, August 1, 2016 from 1-3 pm in Asbury 336. The title of his thesis is: "Externalizing Problem Behaviors, Alcohol Expectancies, Familial Alcohol Problems, and their Relations with Adolescents' Alcohol Use Outcomes"


Chair: Jonathan Tubman, Ph.D.
Member: Laura Juliano, Ph.D.
Member: David Kearns, Ph.D.

Rubie Peters will defend her Master's thesis on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 from 2-4 pm in Asbury 336. The title of her thesis is "What is your number? Social Norms Surrounding Desired Number of Sexual Partners in the Mechanical Turk Population"


Dr. Anthony Ahrens,Chair
Dr. Arthur Shapiro
Dr. Scott Parker