Faculty Research Interests
Bill Altermatt    Ellen Altermatt    Stephen Dine Young    John Krantz

 Bill Altermatt

In my research, I examine a cultural script that I have labeled "chivalry," characterized by themes of men protecting and providing for women.  The evidence I have collected so far indicates that chivalry is related to two gender stereotypes:  the belief that women are more morally virtuous than men and the belief that women are less agentic (competent and suited to positions of authority) than men.  Some of the questions I would like to explore in future research are: 1) what are people's reactions when gender roles are reversed in the chivalry script? and 2) what are the positive and negative consequences of being the recipient of chivalrous treatment?  My broader research interests include gender, stereotypes, emotion, and implicit (unconscious) processes. 

Ellen Altermatt

I am interested in children’s peer relationships and achievement motivation. Most recently, I’ve combined these interests to examine how children’s everyday interactions with peers help them cope with academic challenges (e.g., getting a bad grade on a test). I am currently working on two projects to address this issue. The first project is laboratory-based. Here, children are asked to work on very difficult puzzles, to discuss these puzzles with a friend, and to complete questionnaires assessing their attitudes toward the puzzles. The second project is a “daily diary” study. In this study, children are asked to keep a journal for two weeks in which they record whether they performed well or poorly in school that day, whether they talked with peers about their performance, why they did so, and how their peers reacted. My other research interests include parent-child relationships, social comparison, and gender.


Stephen Dine Young

My long term research interest is in the area of audience response to narrative fiction films. I am interested in the cognitive and symbolic processes that underlie viewers' emotional and behavioral reactions. I am particularly interested in those instances where viewers integrate some aspect of their movie viewing experience into the larger fabric of their lives; I call this phenomenon "movies as equipment for living."

My recent research has also considered the intersection between psychology and film, but I have been focused on the analysis of the content of movies, particularly on the portrayal of mental health professionals in movies. While these representations are often inaccurate and sometimes negative, some insights about the nature of mental health treatment can be gathered from considering Hollywood therapists.

In Fall '03, I intend to return to my focus on the audience. One future project will focus on audience response to representations of mental health professionals in film. Another future project will use open-ended questionnaire and interview data to begin to develop a typology of the ways that people use film as equipment for living.

John Krantz

I have several research projects going on at various levels of activity:

  1. My main project is developing a Sensation and Perception text.  While normally this would not count as research, I am developing an extensive web-based media much of which includes experiments.  Thus there will be work collecting data, evaluating media, as well as doing literature research and editing text.

  2. Development of a computer based model of the retinal ganglion cells.  Here, the work will include doing library research to identify they way these cells should behave as well as trying to incorporate these behaviors into the model.  A description of the model is here and if you look at Sarah Blythe's senior project from 2003 you will see how a student helped advance the model.

  3. Studying how the visual illusion that causes Greek Doric Columns look like they tilt when they are vertical.  I am trying to collect the data over the web at the moment.

Bill Altermatt    Ellen Altermatt    Stephen Dine Young    John Krantz


Last update on08/05/10