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Sources: Jerry Frieman, 785-532-0607,;
and James Shanteau, 785-532-0618,
News release prepared by: Tyler Sharp, 785-532-2535,

Friday, Sept. 24, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Four Kansas State University psychology students are receiving the Doreen Shanteau Undergraduate Research Fellowships.

The $500 awards support upper-division undergraduate students in psychology for their work with a faculty mentor on psychological research. K-State's James Shanteau, university distinguished professor of psychology, established the fellowships, in memory of his wife, Doreen. Students must be nominated for the award.

"My motivation for establishing this award in my wife's memory was to encourage psychology undergraduates to become involved in research and to help them prepare for graduate school," Shanteau said.

The fellowship recipients will conduct their research projects during the 2010-2011 school year in collaboration with their faculty mentors. They are expected to present their findings at the K-State psychology department's annual Undergraduate Research Convocation at the end of the spring semester, and submit their findings for publication in a psychology journal.

Award recipients, all seniors in psychology, and their projects include:

Jaree Basgall, Hays, will examine the correlates of psychological abuse in college-age dating relationships. Basgall predicts that experiencing abuse in early life, impaired emotion regulation in adulthood, and low levels of relationship empathy will be predictive of intimate psychological abuse, regardless of gender. She will conduct her personality/social psychology project with Brenda McDaniel, assistant professor of psychology.

Lea Folsom, Hutchinson, will conduct a study on how religiosity influences the suppression of negative attitudes toward pregnant women, particularly when they uphold or violate other norms related to social and gender roles. Folsom predicts that participants will have more negative attitudes toward a pregnant confederate who violates social and gender norms, but only when she is not religious. The participants' own levels of religiosity will also be examined as a factor. She will conduct this project with her faculty mentor, Donald Saucier, associate professor of psychology, and Sara Smith, graduate student in psychology, in the area of social psychology.

Melissa Klein, Leawood, will conduct a study to examine how individual's perceptions of a woman's reactions to a sexist joke will affect an observer's discrimination tolerance. Klein predicts that people who witness sexist jokes told by and to a woman will be more likely to accept prejudice toward women in other forms, even when she exhibits common distancing behaviors, such as rolling her eyes, grimacing and showing other forms of disgust. She will conduct her project with her faculty mentor, Saucier, and Megan Strain, graduate student in psychology, in the area of social psychology.

Tannis Sears, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, will study whether scene gist perception in pigeons is the result of visual experience or evolutionary selection. Sears predicts that pigeons will show faster acquisition, stronger terminal performance and more robust generalization when given a bird's-eye perspective of scene gist images. She will conduct this comparative study with Kimberly Kirkpatrick and Lester Loschky, associate professors of psychology.