Announcing – in Partnership with Psi Chi – the Psi Beta National Research Project for 2012-2013

This year, Psi Beta invites individual chapters to contribute to the International Situations Project as participants, research collaborators, or both. This research project aims to explore the situations people experience and what they do in them. Currently researchers from many nations around the world are contributing samples, and we are being asked to provide samples from across the United States. The 30-minute internet task asks participants to describe a situation, and then complete two Q-Sorts measuring both situations (RSQ) and personality (RBQ). Contributing researchers will have access to the combined data sets and will be acknowledged as contributors on David Funder’s University of California, Riverside International Situations Project website.
This project is being conducted in partnership with Psi Chi.  Psi Chi will inform its members about this opportunity and invite its chapters to contribute to the project as well. Psi Beta chapters have a participation time window they must follow (see below). Psi Chi chapters are not time restricted – they may begin and end participation at any time.

1. AREA OF INVESTIGATION: The study is a clever way to assess the nature of everyday situations and their corresponding behaviors in the United States and cross-culturally. Until recently, the psychological properties of situations had not been studied. This study will help quantify the experience of real-life situations across cultures using the Riverside Situational Q-sort (RSQ; Wagerman & Funder, 2009).


  • What are typical, everyday situations in which people find themselves?
  • How do behaviors relate to the types of situations reported?
  • Are there differences in situations and/or behaviors based upon demographics (gender, ethnicity, social economic status, etc.)?


4. IRB SAFEGUARDS – The Institutional Review Boards at Irvine Valley College and UC Riverside have approved this study. The study satisfies the APA’s research ethical guidelines for proper and safe treatment of human participants.


  • Apply – Each Psi Beta chapter must apply to participate by emailing by November 28, 2012. Psi Chi chapters are not time restricted (see more details several bullets down).
  • Minimum desired number of cases – Each chapter must submit data from at least 80 participants.
  • Data collection time frame for Psi Beta – The data collection period will be November 30, 2012 to February 28, 2013 for Psi Beta Chapters.
  • Data collection time frame for Psi Chi Chapters – All data must be collected by December 31, 2013.
  • Psi Chi chapters should indicate their interest in participating by emailing Psi Chi’s Western Regional Vice President, Dr. Jon Grahe, at
  • Institutional Review Board clearance – IRB clearance is needed for a chapter’s “full participation” in this study. While the IRB at Irvine Valley College and UC Riverside have approved the study, participating chapters  may need to acquire local IRB approval. Here are chapter options regarding IRB clearance:
    • For full participation by your chapter (i.e., recruiting 80 or more participants, and the right to present the findings at a regional or national conference) – acquire the approval of your local IRB.
    • For partial participation by your chapter (i.e., only your Psi Beta or Psi Chi chapter members serve as participants and/or you have no plans to present the findings at a regional or national conference, or the chapter advisor agrees to use the ISP protocol as a classroom activity and there  are no plans to publish or present the findings at a conference) – you need not acquire local IRB approval.
    • A link to the IRB proposal submitted (and subsequently approved) by the University of California at Riverside is below. You have UC Riverside’s approval to adapt their IRB proposal language to your local IRB proposal. This study does not gather highly sensitive information, so hopefully your IRB will not need to conduct a full review.

6. RESEARCH CONSULTANTS – We are very grateful to the following individuals who have agreed to serve as research consultants for this project: Dr. Kari Tucker and professor Michael Cassens, Psi Beta faculty sponsors at Irvine Valley College; Esther Haynes, graduate student at University of California at Riverside; and Dr. Jon Grahe, professor of psychology at Pacific Lutheran University and Western Regional Vice President for Psi Chi. We are also indebted to Amanda Walker, chair of the Psi Beta Research Committee at Irvine Valley College, and the students serving on Amanda’s committee.

7. TAKE A “TEST RUN” – If you would like to see how this study is set up, you can log on as a “pretend participant” and look it over.

a. Request to participate – The Psi Beta chapter’s primary advisor should email Psi Beta’s Executive Director ( and request to participate by November 28th, 2012. Psi Chi chapters should contact Jon Grahe to indicate their interest in participating – there is no deadline for initiating participation, but Psi Chi chapters should complete their data collection by December 31, 2013. Psi Chi’s Western Regional Vice President, Dr. Jon Grahe, can be reached by email at .

b. Downloads

c. Search the literature – Use Sherman, Nave, and Funder (2010) as the “seed” article, and search for additional articles. To get started, see the reference citations in the article’s introductory and discussion section. Here is the reference:
Sherman, R. A., Nave, C. S., & Funder, D. C. (2010). Situational similarity and personality predicts behavioral consistency. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 330-34. Click for PDF.

d. Recruit participants – You should sample the population of students 18 and older at your college. The data collection period  for Psi Beta chapters will be November 30, 2012 to February 28, 2013. The data collection period for Psi Chi chapters must end by December 31, 2013.

e. Online data submission portal – Have your participants use this link to log on to the ISP site and to enter their responses. They should select the language (most will click on the English icon showing the United States flag). Participants then must enter the “Study ID” and the “Participant ID.” Psi beta will assign this information to your chapter after your chapter has been approved to participate.

f. Request the national data file – After March 1, 2013 the data file will be made available to participating Psi Beta chapters. Psi Chi chapters can request data as soon as they completed their participation.

g. Analyze the data – Local chapters are expected to conduct their own data analysis. Analyze your data using procedures covered in introductory level statistics courses. Use appropriate statistics to determine response frequencies, averages, and standard deviations. Basic inferential statistics (e.g, correlations, t-tests, and ANOVA) can be used to test your hypotheses. Many hypotheses can be explored.

h. Write and present your findings – Follow the reporting guidelines as in the textbook of your college’s research methods course. If your psychology department doesn’t offer research methods, obtain a copy of a textbook written for an introductory psychology research methods course (e.g., Cozby, 2004). Use your research findings to prepare a research poster for presenting at a local, regional, or national psychology conference.  Psi Beta members can enter their research poster into the annual Psi Beta student research paper competition, and Psi Chi members can submit to one of the six Psi Chi poster sessions at regional conferences. Your chapter can also host a research mini-conference – invite a keynote speaker on psychological research (from your own teaching staff or from a local university), then have a student poster session, followed by refreshments.