McGahan, Joseph R., Ph.D.

Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

College of Business and Social Sciences
Psychology
Strauss Hall 335
(318) 342-1338
(318) 396-4238
mcgahan@ulm.edu
Media Topics: 

Attitudes towards education and learning as a function of gender: in the field of psychology, undergraduate females appear more committed to their education than males; prevalence of female educators in elementary and secondary education affects development of attitudes towards education and learning

Absence of ideals as a solution for cognitive dissonance

Speaker Topics: 

Eye Contact in Social Interaction: The eyes often are considered "windows to the soul." However, aside from the question of whether there is "a soul," it's debatable whether such claims should be considered a misattribution. Furthermore, even if the eyes are important in social interaction, it's not clear which measures of eye contact are the most valid when it comes to addressing these questions. Our research over the past three to four years has attempted to empirically address these concerns.
Attitudes Towards Education and, perhaps, Learning as a Function of Gender: At least in the field of psychology, undergraduate females appear more committed to their education than males. If this is true, and actually part of a more general phenomenon, it leads one to wonder what role the prevalence of female educators in elementary and secondary education has on the development of attitudes towards education and, perhaps, learning. Along these lines, I contend that the prevalence of female educators in elementary and secondary education leads males (and, perhaps, females) to regard education as a feminine exercise and, as such, to be rejected by males that are uncertain about their gender identity.
The Absence of Ideals as a Solution for Cognitive Dissonance: Cognitive dissonance, in its simplest terms, is a negative state of arousal that results from inconsistency between cognition and behavior when the inconsistency is not the result of external force. There are a number of ways to escape and, when possible, to avoid this condition, and one of these is "Not to have ideals." However, one could argue that cognitive dissonance has adaptive value, and the absence of ideals is a serious threat to this adaptive function.