Psychology Speaker Series looks at grief, technology, the media

Oct. 20, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grief, technology, poor decision making, and the media are among the topics that will be tackled by presenters in Grand Rapids Community College's Psychology Speaker Series.

Frank Conner, chair of GRCC's Psychology Department, said topics for the free lecture series, which has run annually since 2009, are intended to enhance the psychology department curriculum. 

"While all of the topics have an evidence-based foundation, some are designed to be more practical, while others are more theoretical," he said. "The application of technology in our personal lives has been an emerging theme over the last few years and is again manifest in this year's presentations."

All the presentations run from 1-2:30 p.m. in the auditorium (room 168) of the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE. The public is welcome to attend.

The 2017-18 lecture topics are:

  • "Coping with Grief and Loss" on Oct. 25 -- Sheila Schindler, a GRCC adjunct instructor and a social worker on the pediatric team at Hospice of Michigan, will look at the biological, psychological and social dynamics of grief and healthy ways of coping with loss. 
  • "Child Development in the Digital Age: How, and for Whom, Does Mobile Media Use Become Problematic?" on Nov. 30 -- Sarah Domoff, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Central Michigan University, will present two of her studies  of how media use impacts children's health and development.
  • "Unmasking the Automatic Mind: Toward a New Understanding of Unconscious Cognition" on Feb. 14 -- Professor Jeff Nevid, director of clinical psychology at St. John's University in New York, will present research on whether we have a sunnier disposition on sunnier days, whether infusing the air in a hospital with a clean scent prompts visitors to use a hand gel dispenser, and whether there are personality differences between Mac and PC owners -- all in an effort to better understand the "automatic mind."
  • "Media Effects: Can Watching TV or Playing Video Games Really Change How You Think and What You Do?" on March 22 -- Professor Bryan Gibson, director of experimental programs at CMU, will consider how media can shape our thoughts, feelings and actions.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.

Media Contact