Office: Curtis Hall 202
Dr. Denise Emer is an Associate Professor in the Daemen College Psychology Department and current psychology department chairperson. Dr. Emer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Emer began her graduate study in the area of developmental and cognitive psychology, but became fascinated with clinical/forensic areas of the field in her final year of graduate school, and was fortunate to access mentors who were willing to provide the training she needed to reorient her study and reinvent herself professionally. During her final graduate year, and first 3 years of tenure-track teaching at St. Bonaventure University, Dr. Emer completed an externship at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center working with severe and persistent mentally ill clients. She also received training in forensic psychology under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph Davis, a California based forensic psychologist who teaches at California State University and has been a leader in the field for over 25 years.
Dr. Emer’s research has been eclectic, focusing on various areas of clinical, forensic, and health psychology, including, the efficacy of group therapy approaches for people with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder, the relationship between perfectionism and performance, Obsessive Relational Intrusion and Stalking behaviors in college populations, and jealousy and infidelity in college students. Dr. Emer has also previously conducted research on factors that impact potential jurors’ decisions about insanity pleas and related mental health factors that mitigate criminal responsibility.
Dr. Emer is enthusiastic about teaching undergraduates about her discipline and helping them to understand how the science of psychology can contribute to a better life for everyone regardless of an individual’s college major, interests, or career aspirations. Dr. Emer regularly teaches courses in Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, and the Psychology of Mental Illness (a.k.a., “Abnormal Psychology”), as well as courses in the required undergraduate research sequence for psychology majors (General Research Methods, Topics in Research Methodology: Personality and Health, Junior Seminar in Psychology: Crimes that Make You Go Hmm, and Senior Thesis in Psychology).
Dr. Emer has had the pleasure of mentoring several undergraduate student research projects, both as part of the required thesis for psychology majors at Daemen College, and also as Independent Study endeavors. Several of these projects have been submitted for publication and/or presentation at national research conferences.
In her spare time, Dr. Emer is an avid musician, whose passion is singing blues, funk, soul, and classic rock. She also enjoys Zumba fitness, dancing (esp. Latin, Hip Hop, and Swing), weight training, and movies. Her 3 children, Nick, Sam, and Zoe and her boyfriend John keep her very busy outside of the classroom, along with her dog Sylas, and her many cats.
Dr. Emer's Courses
- PSY 223, Forensic Psychology
- PSY 229, Health Psychology
- PSY 408, Psychology of Mental Illness
- PSY 353, Research Methods in Psychology
- PSY 354, Topics in Research, Health and Personality Psychology
- PSY 335, Junior Seminar in Psychology (Crimes That Make You Go Hmmm)
- PSY 444 Senior Thesis in Psychology
Current Research Projects
This year I will be continuing research in 3 topic areas of interest: Obsessive Relational Intrusion (a precursor to stalking that involves failure to respect personal boundaries in relationships), Jealousy and Infidelity in Romantic Relationships (specifically, gender differences and how those differences interact with the type of infidelity perpetrated and one ability to take the perspective of one’s partner), and interventions for test anxiety in college students.
If you are interested in registering for an Independent Study with regard to any of the above research projects please review the following requirements before submitting an application:
Getting involved with research as an undergraduate is a great way to learn more about psychology and get hands-on experience. The skills you learn doing research will assist you in the workplace and/or graduate school. Undergraduate research assistants will work closely with me and possibly other students on a research project. Your involvement may include the collection of data from human subjects, data entry and scoring, preparation of materials, completing literature searches, and statistical analysis (if you have experience with the statistical software and type of analyses being conducted).
- Minimum 2.5 GPA
- Juniors and Senior preferred, but well-prepared Sophomores will also be considered (Psychology major preferred but not required)
- Sufficient availability each week to perform required duties (amount of time required varies with number of credits you register for)
- Strong interest in the areas of research you are becoming involved in
Psychology in The News
Books I Recommend
Office: Curtis Hall 201
I am a psycholinguist with a background in cognitive science, cognitive psychology, and linguistics. After my graduate training, I was a postdoctoral fellow at SUNY Stony Brook,working on ways to study comprehension during conversational interaction using head-mounted eye tracking technology. During my career, I have set up two eye tracking laboratories, one for use in experiments that use computer-based displays and one for use in experiments where participants are in face-to-face,conversational settings.
I have taught a number of standard courses within the Psychology major, including Introduction to Psychological Science, Cognitive Psychology, and Methods in Cognitive Psychology. I have also developed an upper level Seminar in Psycholinguistics, as well an introductory level seminar called Psychological Mythbusters: What do we believe, why do we believe it, and is it true? The course I most love to teach is Introduction to Psychological Science; I find it particularly rewarding to introduce students to the science of psychology, whether they will end up a major or not, and to explore with them the theories and data that speak to how and why we think and behave the way we do.
My research focuses on the sources of information that contribute to moment-by-moment language comprehension, including linguistic factors (such as syntax and semantics), as well as factors that come from the context of being involved in a conversation(such as the common ground between interlocutors, their spatial perspectives,or their eye gaze). I have also conducted eyetracking reading experiments that looked at how prior discourse context affects within-sentence ambiguity resolution.
- Bachelor of Arts, Vassar College, 1991 (Cognitive Science)
- Master of Arts, University Rochester, 1999 (Brain and Cognitive Sciences)
- Doctor of Philosophy, University Rochester, 2001 (Brain and Cognitive Sciences)
- NIH National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow, SUNY Stony Brook, 2001-2004
- Hanna, J.E., Brennan, S.E., & Savietta, K.J. (Under revision). Costs and benefits of using a speaker's eye gaze in face-to-face communication.Accepted with revisions at Cognitive Science.
- Brown-Schmidt, S. & Hanna, J.E. (2011).Talking in another person's shoes: Incremental perspective-taking in language processing. Dialog and Discourse, 2, 11-33.
- Brennan, S.E. & Hanna, J.E. (2009).Partner-specific adaptation in dialogue. Topics in Cognitive Science(Special Issue on Joint Action), 1, 274-291.
- Hanna, J.E. & Brennan, S.E. (2007). Speakers' eye gaze disambiguates referring expressions early during face-to-face conversation.Journal of Memory and Language, 57, 596-616.
- Hanna, J.E. & Tanenhaus, M.K. (2004). Pragmatic effects on reference resolution in a collaborative task: evidence from eye movements. Cognitive Science, 28, 105-115.
- Hanna, J.E., Tanenhaus, M.K., & Trueswell, J.C. (2003). The effects of common ground and perspective on domains of referential interpretation. Journal Of Memory and Language, 49, 43-61.
- NSF HCC-Small:Establishing and breaking conceptual pacts with dialog partners. Co-PI on collaborative grant with D. Byron (joint review by Information and Intelligent Systems/Human Centered Computing and Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences/Perception, Action, and Cognition). 10/2007-9/2010; No cost extension through 9/2011; NSF approved extensions through 3/2013; Supplement Awarded to J.E. Hanna 6/2012.
- NIH National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow, SUNY Stony Brook, 2001-2004. Title: The use of perspective during referential communication. Sponsor: Dr. Susan E.Brennan.
Office: Curtis Hall 205
I am a social psychologist with areas of expertise in the psychology of the self, self-esteem and its various subcomponents, and factors that affect resilience vs. vulnerability. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Saint Michael’s College and my Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Much of my graduate research examined the dark side of high self-esteem, specifically fragile high self-esteem, which has been associated with a number of defensive responses. My research examined the psychological experience of self-doubt that is easily activated during situations particularly relevant for validating fragile self-views, which may be responsible for the defensiveness seen among those with fragile high self-esteem. At Daemen College, I look forward to the opportunity to expand upon my research, especially by collaborating with and incorporating the ideas of undergraduate mentees.
In addition to my research, I am passionate about teaching Psychology. It is a blessing to be able to interact with students and share my enjoyment of such a fascinating field of study. In my approach to teaching, I aim to inspire passion and excitement for learning as well as to foster mastery and critical thinking. The close-knit learning environment at Daemen promotes a more personalized student-teacher relationship, which helps to facilitate these goals and allows students to become well-rounded members of the community, capable of lifelong learning.
Outside of the classroom, I like spending time outdoors and being active, as well as enjoying the company of friends and family.
- PSY 103 – Introduction to Psychological Science
- PSY 247 – Cross Cultural Psychology
- PSY 310 – Social Psychology
- PSY 335 – Junior Seminar in Psychology (Self and Self-Esteem)
- PSY 353 – Research Methods in Psychology
- Seery, M. D., Leo, R. J., Lupien, S. P., Kondrak, C. L., & Almonte, J. L. (2013). An upside to adversity? Moderate cumulative lifetime adversity is associated with resilient responses in the face of controlled stressors. Psychological Science, 24, 1181-1189.
- Murray, S. L., Lupien, S. P., & Seery, M. D. (2012). Resilience in the face of romantic rejection: The automatic impulse to trust. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 845-854.
- Lupien, S. P., Seery, M. D., & Almonte, J. L. (2012). Unstable high self-esteem and the eliciting conditions of self-doubt. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 762-765.
- Shimizu, M., Seery, M. D., Weisbuch, M., Lupien, S. P. (2011). Trait social anxiety and physiological activation: Cardiovascular threat during social interaction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 94-106.
- Lupien, S. P., Seery, M. D., Almonte, J. L., (2010). Discrepant and congruent high self-esteem: Behavioral self-handicapping as a preemptive defensive strategy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 1105-1108.
Broadly speaking, my research is in developmental psychopathology, with a specific emphasis on sleep. I am also very interested in the family system and how family dynamics affect individuals' functioning within the family in addition to how individuals affect family functioning.
My current research combines these two areas and is focused on the role of sleep in individual and family functioning. In addition, I am very interested in the implicit attitudes and beliefs that individuals hold regarding their sleep and how these attitudes might influence their sleep-related behaviors. Finally, I am fascinated by quantitative methods (i.e., research methods and statistics) and enjoy learning about novel methodologies and statistical approaches to support my research.
Prior to coming to Daemen, I taught for four years as a visiting professor in the psychology department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. In addition, I have taught at the University of Rochester. I began my teaching career, however, as a professional snowboard instructor, but after a couple of years, I returned to an indoor classroom, and taught middle and high school Humanities, French, and (at one point) health for about 8 years.
Supported by a grant from the National Sleep Foundation, I am currently conducting a diary-based study of sleep in adolescents (9-11th graders) and their families. In addition, I received an award from the Society for Research in Child Development to fund my dissertation, which was a year-long study of family dynamics that examined families with toddler-aged children.
MANUSCRIPTS UNDER REVIEW:
Peltz, J. S., O’Connor, T. G., Rogge, R. D., Moynihan, J., Wang, H., Lofthus, G., & Caserta, M. (Under review). Longitudinal associations between sleep disturbance and behavioral and emotional symptoms in early adolescence: Moderation by sex and puberty. Journal of Research on Adolescence.
Peltz, J. S., Rogge, R. D, Pugach, C.**, & Strang, K.**. (In press). Bidirectional associations between sleep and anxiety symptoms in emerging adults in a residential college setting. Emerging Adulthood.
Peltz, J. S., Rogge, R. D., Sturge-Apple, M. L., O’Connor, T. G., Pigeon, W.R. (2016). Reciprocal influences among family processes and toddlers’ sleep problems. Journal of Family Psychology, 30(6), 720-731.
Peltz, J. S. & Rogge, R. D. (2016). The indirect effects of sleep hygiene and environmental factors on depressive symptoms in college students. Sleep Health, 2, 159-166.
Peltz, J. S., Rogge, R. D., Rogosch, F. A., Cicchetti, D, & Toth, S. L. (2015). The benefits of child-parent psychotherapy to marital satisfaction. Family, Systems, and Health, 33(4), 372-382. Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/fsh0000149
Sturge-Apple, M. L., Rogge, R. D. Peltz, J. S., Suor, J. H., & Skibo, M. (2015). Delving beyond conscious attitudes: Validation of an innovative tool for assessing parental implicit attitudes toward physical punishment. Infant and Child Development, 24(3), 240-255.
Sturge-Apple, M. L., Rogge, R. D., Skibo, M., Peltz, J. S., & Suor, J. H. (2015). A dual-process approach to the role of mothers’ implicit and explicit attitudes toward their children in parenting models. Developmental Psychology, 51(3), 289-300.
Toth, S. L., Peltz, J. S. (2009). Maternal depression. In R. E. Tremblay, R. G. Barr, R. Peters, & M. Boivin (Eds.). Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development [online]. Montreal, Quebec: Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (pp.1-8). Available at: http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/documents/Toth-PeltzANGxp.pdf.
** Denotes undergraduate student co-author.
Office: Curtis Hall 206
Dr. Dennis Poepsel is an Assistant Professor in the Daemen College Psychology Department. Dr. Poepsel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from William Jewell College, a Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Central Missouri, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Arkansas. During his graduate training at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Poepsel was under the mentorship of Dr. David A. Schroeder, a leader in the field of prosocial behavior for over 40 years. Before coming to Daemen, Dr. Poepsel held temporary, one-year Assistant Professor positions at Truman State University and Centenary College of Louisiana.
Dr. Poepsel’s research specialization is in Social Psychology. In particular, his greatest interests lie in studying prosocial/helping behavior. The form this research has taken over the years has varied while retaining a primary question: what can be done to motivate others to do what is best for everyone rather than what is best just for the self? In graduate school, Dr. Poepsel’s focus was set on understanding why it is difficult to get groups to cooperate with each other, and under what circumstances can cooperation be promoted. This led him to begin research on the influence of perceived justice during intergroup interactions and how perceiving that one’s group has been treated fairly by another group (or by a larger system) can lead to more cooperative behaviors. With this focus on fairness, Dr. Poepsel is currently interested in applying his findings to more real-world settings, particularly potential residents’ decisions regarding urban environments.
Dr. Poepsel’s primary interest lies in teaching undergraduates about psychology and introducing them to what this science has to offer. Whether it's as a student in one of his classes, or as a research assistant, Dr. Poepsel is committed to opening up students’ eyes to how they function (for good or bad!) within a complex, social world. Dr. Poepsel regularly teaches Introduction to Psychology and Social Psychology. He has also taught Experimental Psychology, Applied Social Psychology, and History and Systems of Psychology. Dr. Poepsel is excited to bring his enthusiasm to the classrooms at Daemen College when he teaches courses such as the Psychology of Prosocial Behavior.
Over the years, the most satisfying aspect of Dr. Poepsel’s career has been mentoring students in both his and their own research projects. Consistently these projects have been submitted for publication and/or presentation at national research conferences.
When Dr. Poepsel finds some free-time, he enjoys running, weight training, finding new restaurants to try out, enjoying a good movie, and spending time with his dog Priya.