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2014 - 2015 Psychology Speakers Series

All presentations are free and held in room 168 of the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center.  

For more information, contact Dr. Frank Conner (ph: 616-234-3612)

*Streaming video of each presentation will be available here after each lecture.

Modern Application of Darwinian Theory to Psychology
Todd Shackelford, Ph.D.
Monday, October 20, 1:00 – 2:30

Dr. Todd Shackelford is Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department at Oakland University. In this presentation, he will introduce evidence on how Darwinian selection has become the centerpiece of biology, and in the last few decades how many psychologists and anthropologists have recognized the value of using an evolutionary perspective to guide their work. Dr. Shackelford will review the instrument of evolution: natural selection, the products of evolution, and the impact of evolutionary thinking on modern psychological science. In his conclusion he will introduce how evolutionary psychology will emerge as a guiding theory for all of psychology.

I’m Dying to Talk with You
Dave Kampfschulte, M.Ed.
Thursday, November 20, 2014, 1:00 – 2:30

Dave Kampfschulte is Director of Amazing Circles Workshops, national speaker, facilitator, and author of I’m Dying to Talk with You: Twenty Five Years of Conversations on End of Life Decisions. In this presentation, he will draw upon 27 years of experiences as a hospice volunteer to discuss advanced care planning, initiating end of life conversations with others, and helping people to think about and discuss death in a positive way. Mr. Kampfschulte will also explore some of the roadblocks we often put in the way of discussing death. While a difficult subject, this session will be interactive, informative, and delivered with energy, empathy, and humor.

Art Therapy and the Expressive Arts: Knowing Yourself Through Your Creative Side
Andrea Baier-Petiet, BS, MA, LMSW
Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 1:00 – 2:30

Andrea Baier Petiet is a Licensed Master Social Worker at Psychology Associates of Grand Rapids. She has provided ethical assessment and counseling services for over 25 years. In this presentation she will begin with a history of Art Therapy/Expressive Art. From this foundation, participants will be introduced to the benefits of using Art Therapy/Expressive Arts with clients that have depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other forms of mental illness. Ms. Baier Petiet will provide extensive examples of actual art work done by her clients along with the function of this experience and product in their therapy.

Self-Justification in Everyday Life: What cognitive dissonance theory reveals about cheating, justice, love, war, memory, and the decisions we make
Carol Tavris, Ph.D.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 1:00 - 2:30

Dr. Carol Tavris is a social psychologist, writer, and lecturer. Her most recent book with Dr. Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts, will provide the foundation for this presentation. She will explore why is it hard for so many people to admit their mistakes, give up a wrong belief, and accept responsibility for their actions. What blocks us from even being aware that we are wrong and might need to change?  Dr. Tavris will describe the cognitive biases that lead most people to justify beliefs that are outdated, decisions that have proved to be misguided, and the harms we inflict on others. She will discuss the psychological benefits of these biases and how understanding their dangers can help us improve our lives.