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Queen's University


In this issue:

Page 1:

  • A Message from the Department Head

People Report:

  • Staff and Faculty
  • Congratulations MA , MSc and PhD Grads

Researcher Profile:


  • Psyc 100 Redesign

Graduate Studies:

  • Focus on the
  • Clinical Program

A Final Word on...

  • The Annual Holiday Bonspiel

Stand UP! Don’t Stand By!

Wendy Craig has led a study of bullying in 40 countries.

“Bullying should be considered a public health problem and governments should adopt national strategies to deal with it.”


Wendy Craig

History provides many examples of people standing by and not standing up for what is right. Recently, there was a disturbing article reporting that many individuals stood around and did not help an elderly woman who was being mugged on the Toronto subway. By not intervening or sounding the alarm for help, the bystanders failed a fellow citizen and inadvertently reinforced the attackers. Why does this inaction to support an elderly adult who is being attacked surprise and shock us? About 10% of children and youth experience attacks and lack of support from bystanders everyday at school? About 30% of students are involved as witnesses or as fellow aggressors. Peers, teachers and other adults rarely intervene to help children and youth when they are being victimized by their peers. They turn a blind eye to the problem, making things worse.

Bullied children and youth experience the equivalent of being mugged at school everyday. The difference between the subway attack and school bullying is that for children who are bullied the abuse they endure is predictable and occurs all of the time. Despite these differences, the attack and bullying share in the silence and lack of response from the bystanders which feels like complicity to those being violated.

Bullying is a significant social problem. Over 1,100,000 Canadian school-aged children report being bullied at least once a week. And over 550,000 school-aged children report bullying others at least once a week. Bullying is not a right of passage. It is not a normal or expected part of childhood. It is a hurtful and aggressive act that we now know has lasting physical and mental health consequences. In extreme cases being bullied can lead to suicide.

Students who bully others often are more likely to engage in many forms of problem behaviour (e.g., delinquency, sexual harassment, dating aggression, substance use) compared to students who do not bully. There is an inter-generational link: parents who bullied in childhood are likely to have children who bully their peers.

Research suggests that people stand by rather than stand up for people being victimized for many reasons such as believing others will advocate for them (diffusion of responsibility). People are also afraid for their own safety and hence walk away.

Is this the type of society we want to live in – where apathy, fear, and disengagement allow others to be harmed? Is this the society we want to build for our children? Our children are also vulnerable. They need people to stand up and not stand by.

Although history is filled with examples of indifference, it is also filled with examples of how we have overcome apathy by acknowledging it, and collectively advocating on behalf of those without a voice, without power. There should be outrage about the experiences of children who are repeatedly victimized at school, with no one coming to their defense to uphold their right to be safe. The next step is to move from acknowledging the problem to taking social responsibility by actively intervening, supporting, and advocating for others. Finding solutions to bullying and creating a society where we stand up for one another is not easy but together we can make a difference by engaging to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. 

Brain Goggles experiment looks at the world from a different angle


Niko Troje

Dr. Troje's lab is interested in a number of different so-called “visual inversion effects”. Some objects and particularly human faces can be recognised much better if shown right-side up as compared to upside-down. The question which motivates their experiments is: Once the observer has adapted to a world which has the ‘wrong’ orientation on their retina, what happens to these inversion effects. Which face is being recognized better? The one that is oriented the same way as faces always were oriented on the retina until the goggles were put on? While still in the “correct” orientation on the retina, they are upside down in the visual world to which the observed has adapted. Or does she process better a face which appears right side up in her new world – but of course is inverted compared to how faces were oriented before?

From the Discovery Channel follow the experiment and find out how these inversion goggles go inside your brain...upside down!


To watch the Discovery video and view pictures, see these links:

Department Welcomes New Faculty

Christopher Bowie joined the Department of Psychology on July 1, 2008 as an Assistant Professor (BBCS/Clinical area)
Chivers.jpg Meredith Chivers joined the Department of Psychology on April 1, 2009 as a Queen’s National Scholar and Assistant Professor (Clinical)
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Retirees - where are they now?

Many retired Psychology faculty are still very active in research and international lecturing

John Berry
Since retiring in 1999, John has been engaged in international teaching and research. This has included delivering short courses in cross-cultural and intercultural psychology. His research in these areas has resulted in the publication with various colleagues of a number of books. In addition, John has been publishing a number of journal articles and book chapters on these topics. His current research is a project called Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies, being carried out in 23 countries. He have been awarded two Honorary Doctorates (Universities of Athens and Geneva), a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Academy of Intercultural Research, and the Hebb Award for contributions to psychology as a science by the Canadian Psychological Association.

Ron Weisman

It was a well-kept secret that had his finances permitted, Ron Weisman would have worked at Queen’s for free. He loved teaching and research and still does. He comes into the Department about three days a week to supervise research assistants and to edit Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews for the Comparative Cognition Society. Ron has published fifteen articles and book chapters over the past five years and he thanks the Department for providing office and research space for his gentle labours. Currently, ten of Ron’s former students and post-docs teach in Canadian and American Universities. 
Merlin Donald
Merlin recently returned from a meeting in Montreal, where he lectured at the meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. Merlin is still publishing and giving talks. Since January 2010 he has lectured in Groningen, Netherlands; New York City; Aarhus, Denmark; Berlin, and Warsaw, Poland. Merlin also has a few collaborations with younger colleagues. In 2009 he served as a visiting professor in Lund, Sweden, and Aarhus, Denmark. In Brussels, he sat on an Advanced Grant panel for the European Research Commission. He’s also lectured at Purdue and Georgetown
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