2016 Psyclone Newsletter

Read the 2016 Psyclone below, download a copy, or view prior issues.

The Psyclone is the longest running departmental newsletter at Goshen College. It is published annually by the Psychology Department.


The Psychology department extends a hearty “Hello!” to all of its readers, both those who eagerly await its news as well as those joining us for the first time. This year’s issues are being assembled under the eyes of Hannah Friesen, a second-year Psychology student from Fresno, CA. A year ago she felt the magnetic draw of the department and is happy to be more heavily involved this year as one of the department assistants. In this issue you will find an update on program’s goings-on as well as hearing about the work of some recent grads and a few other interesting tidbits.

Psychology Happenings:

The Psychology department has settled into a comfortable rhythm with Professor Amanda Sensenig now starting her second full year of teaching at the college and Professor Julie Reese in her sixteenth year. The College is offering two courses taught by Sensenig this fall: General Psychology and the Senior Internship, which involves touring off-campus psychology-related sites and giving students a sense of what it will be like to hold a job in this field after completing schooling. Reese is teaching a variety of classes including Clinical Psychology, Personality Theory, Multicultural Psychology, and Statistics in Research. This semester we additionally look forward to an interesting and diverse lineup of speakers at the monthly Psychology Forums. Jessica Koscher will start off the season on September 30 by telling us about ADEC, Gaining Grounds coffeehouse, and their work with people of cognitive and developmental disabilities. Next on the agenda on October 28, MDC Goldenrod representatives will be speaking on their program and job opportunities at their facilities, working with people with a variety of disabilities. This will be followed by Goshen Psychology graduate Prashansa Dickson, explaining her current work in the field with juvenile delinquents on November 18. These forums provide an outlet for GC students to connect with professionals, learn from them, ask questions and be inspired by their work and stories. As you can see we have quite an exciting fall lineup!

News of Grads:

Jessica Davilla, a 2016 grad, writes about her recent experiences in the workforce:

Close to graduation, I obtained a position at the Behavior Analysis Center for Autism (BACA) in Elkhart. I got connected with them through a visit with my Psychology Senior Internship Class. BACA works on providing the most efficacious applied behavior analysis services to children and young adults with autism. They work really hard to improve the quality of life of all the children who attend the center and they are really good at achieving that goal because behavioral therapists receive and apply intensive, on-going training. Part of the training includes teaching ABA therapy techniques. ABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis therapy revolves around taking data for baseline and continuing behaviors while applying behavior modification techniques to make sure that communication skills and social skills are improving.

In the Research:

Cognitive psychologists focus on understanding how we think, learn, remember, and make decisions about the world around us. They use empirical methods to investigate claims about how the mind works and support assumptions with research-based evidence. For example, although intuition can be helpful in decision-making, our intuition can also lead us astray. In the case of college students, although students may think that spending time studying and restudying material is the best way to prepare for a test, cognitive psychology research indicates that after an initial period of time spent studying the best use of time is to test oneself on the material. This could be accomplished by using flashcards, taking practice tests, or simply attempting to recollect details. This phenomenon, known as the testing effect, has shown over and over again that testing leads to better learning and longer-lasting memory than simply restudying the material (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006).

Roediger, H.L., & Karpicke, J.D. (2006). Test-enhanced learning: Taking memory tests improves long-term retention. Psychological Science, 17, 249-255.