Dr. Gerard Gioia was honored by the Children’s Miracle Network with the Children’s Miracle Achievement Award last week at the charity’s annual celebration in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Gioia was named as one of three caregivers of the year for his work and research on concussions. Dr. Gioia is a pediatric neuropsychologist and chief of the division of pediatric neuropsychology at Children’s National Medical Center, the local Children’s Miracle Network hospital for the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Dr. Gioia’s work with the Safe Concussion Outcome, Recovery, and Education (SCORE) program centers on improving the way concussions in youth are treated as well as helping teachers, parents, coaches, and doctors to determine when it is safe for children to return to both school and play. Concussions make up between 80 and 90 percent of all brain injuries in the United States and account for more than 1,000,000 emergency room visits each year.

PAR congratulates Dr. Gioia on this achievement!

Dr. Gioia is coauthor of the Tasks of Executive Control™ (TEC™), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function® (BRIEF®), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function®–Preschool Version (BRIEF®-P), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function®–Adult Version (BRIEF®-A), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function®–Self-Report Version (BRIEF®-SR), and related software products.  
Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology? Initially, what I found most compelling about the field of psychology was psychopathology—its development and treatment. During my latter years in college, however, I became increasingly interested in society’s formal responses to persons with mental disorders. This, combined with a longstanding interest in the law, led me to enter Florida State University’s doctoral program in clinical psychology, since a number of faculty in the psychology department were interested in interactions between the legal and mental health systems. What made you decide to develop the Inventory of Legal Knowledge? I decided to develop the ILK because of my longstanding clinical and research interests in two areas—assessment of criminal competencies and assessment of response style. I also had the opportunity to work with a great colleague, Jeff Musick, who I had the pleasure of supervising when he completed his clinical psychology internship at the University of South Florida. Jeff had developed what could be considered an early ILK prototype. After some discussion, we concluded it would be a good project on which to collaborate. The rest, as they say, is history. What would you like to tell people about your product that they may not know? Two things. First, both Jeff and I regularly evaluate defendants whose competence to proceed with the legal process is raised as an issue. I like to think that, as a result, we are sensitive to the many realities facing forensic psychologists, and that we designed and developed a tool that is user-friendly as a result. I would also like to share that we first agreed that the name of the instrument would be the Competence Assessment Tool, or COMPASS, for short. We thought that the idea of a compass providing direction was particularly clever and would make for a great graphic on the test manual cover, to boot.  Unfortunately, an assessment instrument with a similar name was already in existence. Our second choice was the Inventory of Legal Knowledge, the ILK. How do you spend your free time? When not at work or with my family, I am most likely to be found on a motorcycle or in a game of No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em.
For the 15th consecutive year, PAR got the holidays started early with a little help from the Children’s Home. Every year, PAR sponsors a holiday card contest and invites residents from the Children’s Home to enter holiday-themed drawings. The winning piece of art is voted on by PAR staff and is printed on our holiday cards. To announce the winners and celebrate the season, PAR hosted a pizza party for all residents last week. Forty-five residents from the Children’s Home attended, 26 of whom had entered drawings into the contest. Cash prizes are also given to the first ($100), second ($50), and third place ($25) winners, with all participants earning a $5 prize for entering. Here’s a sneak peak at the official PAR holiday card for 2010.

What Do You Know About Psychology Organizations?

  31 The original total membership list of the American Psychological Association (APA) at its founding in 1892. 152,000 The number of APA members today. 25,245 The number of members of the National Association of School Psychologists, according to NASP’s 2009 membership statistics. 13 The number of specializations offered by the American Board of Professional Psychologists. 2,823 The number of applicants who successfully matched through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) in 2010. 846 applicants were not matched to an internship position. 1,090 The number of chapters of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology for undergraduate and graduate students. Psi Chi chapters are found in the USA, Canada, and Ireland. There are more than 500,000 lifetime members.
Send us a video showing how the SDS has benefited you or others to make the right career decision and you could win a $100 American Express gift card! Simply upload your video to YouTube and use Self-Directed Search or SDS in the title. Send the link to your video to specialoffers@parinc.com. Entries are due by November 1, 2010 and must be posted on YouTube.
PAR staff are on the way to Vancouver, British Columbia for the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) 30th Annual Conference. If you are attending NAN, please stop by our booth to meet some of our staff and take a look at some of the new products we recently released, including the Tasks of Executive Control™ (TEC™), the Memory for Intentions Test™ (MIST™), the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms, 2nd Edition (SIRS-2), the Mini-Mental® State Examination, 2nd Edition ( MMSE®-2™), the NEO™ Inventories 3, and more. NAN attendees receive 15% and free shipping and handling on all purchases made at the conference.
Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology? My father was a mechanical engineer and very early in my childhood I realized I had no manual aptitude or skills whatsoever. So that career option was closed by lack of talent. My mother always encouraged me to pursue helping professions. When I began taking psychology classes in college at Indiana University, I had a natural affinity for the subject matter. What made you decide initially to develop the ECAF™-2? As a practitioner, I realized that the discipline needs more standardization and objectivity and many practicing vocational experts shared my beliefs. In fact, there is a formal group in California that is attempting to develop practice standards. As I gained experience over the years, I learned that there is no other measure equivalent to the ECAF-2. What would you like to tell people about your product that they may not know? It has been under development for over a decade and it has been well-validated through a number of published reliability and validity studies. Also, it incorporates generally accepted methods in sync with mainstream theories. What would you like to tell people about yourself that they may not know? My first novel, Justice Indicted, will be published in February 2011. The book is a social commentary based on my experiences as an expert witness for over 25 years. How do you spend your free time? I spend my free time traveling with my wife. I have three children ages 16-22. I’ll be accompanying my oldest child on a trip to London later this month; he is enrolling in a master’s program at the London School of Economics.
Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology? This was the best way I could think of to participate in the evolution of our world. I was fascinated by the complex task of identifying patterns to thoughts, feelings, and behavior that could help us predict a person's behavior. I could not find any field more complex, and all other fields seemed boring compared to this intellectual frontier. What made you decide initially to develop the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2™ Child and Adolescent (STAXI-2™ C/A)? The amazing paucity of anger measures currently existing, especially for children and adolescents. I knew the state-trait theory already had been overwhelmingly accepted by the field of psychological assessment. As a developmental psychologist in training, I approached Charlie Spielberger and suggested we develop a measure for children. He and I knew there was such a need since parents, teachers, and mental health professionals were all very concerned about the high prevalence of anger, but researchers seemed to have been giving most of their attention to anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, etc., classical conditions. Meanwhile, the public health problem of anger “snuck up” on our world. We see this with the school shootings that have occurred that now have everyone's attention. What would you like to tell people about your product that they may not know? This is a measure that can truly help get at the nuances of anger. As a practicing developmental psychologist who works everyday in the trenches with parents, pediatricians, teachers, etc., I have a keen sense of whether a measure is worth our time and energy as a practitioner who is very busy. The STAXI-2 C/A passes this test admirably. Why? Most people do not want to know if there is anger or not, rather, they want to know if the child is possibly harboring anger, how much they are struggling to control their anger, and to what degree might they be controlling anger much more than any adult appreciates. They also want to know if the anger is more just a temporary state or more like a trait, and thus, more concerning. These are the most compelling question for our field, and for the adults working with children. And it is these questions that the STAXI-2 C/A provides answers to. Second, this is a necessary measure any time one is conducting a risk assessment, as again, this measure endeavors to assess covert anger that we have learned is “silent but deadly.” This anger measure provides a robust profile of a person's personality as it relates to anger. In this way, this measure is very practical. What would you like to tell people about yourself that they may not know? My experience with anger goes far beyond research and clinical settings, as I have a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, and am blessed with everyday appreciating the nuances of anger in my wonderful children. I learn from them every day. We, as parents, know there is nothing that can replace real-world experience with emotions like anger. I am also a competitive cyclist who most recently rode the Tour de Tucson, a 67 mile road race. My wife and I, with our two wonderful children, live in Tucson, Arizona, deep in the desert, my favorite place on earth. How do you spend your free time? Riding as fast as I can down the road, rain or shine. When not in the bike saddle, I am reading to my kids or we are outside enjoying the desert climate. I am currently learning about Transformers and He-Man from my son, and from my daughter, I am learning all about the importance of having tea parties for her dolls.

Top Psychology Schools in the U.S.

A number of online academic resources have come out with lists of the best U.S. colleges for psychology majors. We decided to take a look at College Crunch, Social Psychology Network, Schoolahh to see which undergraduate programs were highly ranked across the board. Stanford University in Palo Alto, California ranks number one on all three of the lists above. This isn’t surprising given that Stanford’s psychology department has been collecting kudos for more than fifty years. The philosophy of the department is that success results from the connection between teaching and scientific research. It’s organized into five areas of study within the field of psychology: Cognitive, Developmental, Neuroscience, Personality and Social Psychology. Research at Stanford includes (but is not limited to) topics like aggression, social behavior, competitiveness, dreaming, color perception, spatial relations, learning and memory. The University of Michigan Ann Arbor appears in the top five of each list. This Big Ten School offers three concentrations: 1) Psychology, 2) Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Science and 3) Neuroscience. The school has many research labs that provide undergraduates with the ability to participate in research studies. Active research studies include African-American racial identity, human brain electrophysiology, human performance and cognition, visual and verbal working memory, affective neuroscience and biopsychology, neuronal mechanisms of movement and reward, and many more. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign appears in the top ten on the lists above largely because of its laboratories for research in human learning, animal learning, physiological psychology, animal motivation, human perception, and social behavior, just to name a few. The school houses extensive computer facilities, a complete animal colony, a fully equipped video laboratory facility for observation and videotape production. The Urbana-Champaign psychology department also operates a psychological clinic and other research and training facilities housed outside of its main building. Because PAR, Inc. is based in Florida, we’re also familiar with high caliber programs in our Sunshine State.  Most notable is University of Florida’s graduate program, which was voted one of the best programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report in 2009. Programs at University of South Florida and University of Miami also earn high marks for their courses of study and resources.

The Standard Inventory Measure of the Five-Factor Model Is Now Applicable to Those as Young as 12 Years

The new NEO™ Inventories for the NEO™ Personality Inventory-3 (NEO™-PI-3), NEO™ Five-Factor Inventory-3 (NEO™-FFI-3), and NEO™ Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO PI-R™) by Robert R. McCrae, PhD and Paul T. Costa, PhD are now available. In  addition, several updated NEO software products are now available including the NEO™ Software System with NEO™-PI-3, NEO PI-R™, NEO™-FFI-3, and NEO™ PDR™ Modules; the NEO™ Software System with NEO™-PI-3, NEO PI-R™, and NEO™-FFI-3 Modules; the NEO™ Software System On-Site Scanning Module for the NEO™-PI-3 and NEO PI-R™; as well as all materials needed for the NEO PI-R™ and NEO™-PI-3 Professional Report Service. The NEO-PI-3 provides a comprehensive and detailed assessment of adult and adolescent personality. It is a concise measure of the five major domains of personality (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness). The NEO-FFI-3 is a 60-item version of the measure, ideal for situations where time is limited and global information on personality is sufficient. The NEO PI-R forms and norms have not changed with the update of the NEO Inventories Professional Manual. Both the NEO-PI-3 and NEO-FFI-3 include a downward extension to age 12. Items have been revised to make them easier to read and more appropriate for younger examinees. Separate adolescent and adult norms are available. NEO-PI-3 Profile Forms have been made larger and now more user-friendly; combined-sex Profile Forms are now available. New features such as the NEO Problems in Living Checklist and NEO Style Graph Booklet provide innovative ways to give clients feedback on their particular personality profile.

Try the NEO-3 and let us know what you think.