Gregory R. Pierce

Professor of Psychology

Science Center 3037

Telephone: (315) 859-4721

gpierce@hamilton.edu

Education    
B.S. Psychology University of Washington Seattle, WA
M.S. Personality Psychology University of Washington Seattle, WA
Ph.D. Personality Psychology University of Washington Seattle, WA

Scholarly/Research Interests

As a personality psychologist, my research interests reflect a focus on the role that individual differences play in emotion, cognition and behavior across a broad range of situations.  In one line of research, I have been concerned with the nature and impact of cognitive interference—that is, the intrusive thoughts that individuals often experience when completing a task in an evaluative situation.  For example, we recently demonstrated (Pierce, Ptacek, Yee, Hanson, & Bourdeau, 2002) across a series of three studies that self-evaluative intrusive thoughts predicted (a) women athletes’ subjective appraisals of athletic performance across six games, (b) games long-distance runners’ finishing times across four meets, and (c) coaches’ behavior ratings of football players athletic performance in two scrimmage.  In addition, in the study involving football players, we found that those athletes who reported the highest levels of self-evaluative intrusive thoughts during the scrimmage games also reported the most self-evaluative intrusive thoughts during two course examinations, and earned lower grades on those examinations.  This finding is intriguing because it suggests that the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts is stable across situations, indicating that they may reflect a feature of personality.

A second line of investigation focuses on stress and coping processes.  For instance, in a recent study (Pierce, Ptacek, Yee, Schantz, & Grome, 2002) of men and women athletes on the Hamilton College hockey and swimming teams, we examined the degree to which athletes’ coping behavior is stable across time and situations (that is, whether coping, in part, reflects a personality characteristic).  The athletes reported their coping efforts during the week prior to each of two important athletic events during the sports season, and also during the week prior to each of two course examinations.  We found that athletes reported coping consistently with both athletic and academic stressors.  In addition, we observed considerable stability in athletes’ coping behavior across the two different performance domains (athletic events and course examinations).  In contrast to findings from a number of studies, we found no differences in the ways in which men and women athletes coped with the two types of stressors.

Selected Recent Publications and Presentations
Note: Hamilton Student co-authors listed in red print.

Ptacek, J.T., Pierce, G.R., & Thompson, E.L.  (2006).  Finding evidence of stability in coping processes.  Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 1137-1151.

Yee, P. L., Hsieh-Yee, I., Pierce, G. R., Grome, R. E., & Schantz, L. H. (2003),  Self-Evaluative Intrusive Thoughts Impede Successful Searching on the Internet.  Computers in Human Behavior, 20,85-101.

Yee, P.L., Pierce, G.R., Ptacek, J.T., & Modzelesky, K.L. (2003).  Learned helplessness attributional style and examination performance:  Enhancement effects are not necessarily moderated by prior failure.  Anxiety, Stress, & Coping: An International Journal, 16,359-373.

Ptacek, J. T., & Pierce, G. R. (2003).  Issues in the study of stress and coping in rehabilitation settings.  Journal of Rehabilitation Psychology, 48,113-124..

Ptacek, J.T., Pierce, G.R., & Ptacek, J.J. (2002).  The social context of coping with prostate cancer.  Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 20, 61-80.

Ptacek, J. T., Pierce, G.R., Eberhardt, T. L., & Dodge, K. L.  (1999). Parental relationships and coping with life stress. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping: An International Journal, 427-453.

Ptacek, J. T., Pierce, G. R., Ptacek, J. J., & Nogel, C. (1999).  Stress and coping processes in men with prostate cancer: The divergent views of husbands and wives.  Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 18, 299-324.

Pierce, G.R., Ptacek, J.T., Taylor, B., Yee, P.L., Henderson, C.A., Laurenti, H.J., & Boudreau, C.M. (1998). The role of dispositional and situational factors in cognitive interference. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 1016-1031.

Pierce, G.R., Lakey, B., Sarason, I.G., & Sarason, B.R. (Eds.) (1997). Sourcebook of social support and personality. New York: Plenum.

Pierce, G.R., Lakey, B., Sarason, I.G., Sarason, B.R., & Joseph, H.J. (1997).  Personality and social support processes:  A conceptual overview.  In G.R. Pierce, B. Lakey, I.G. Sarason, & B.R. Sarason (Eds.), Sourcebook of social support and personality (pp. 3-18).  New York:  Plenum.

Pierce, G.R., Sarason, I.G., Sarason, B.R., Solky-Butzel, J.A., & Nagle, L.C. (1997). Assessing the quality of personal relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 14, 337-353.

Ptacek, J. T, Pierce, G. R., Dodge, K.K., & Ptacek, J.J. (1997). Social support in spouses of cancer patients: What do they get and to what end? Personal Relationships, 4, 431-449.

Brock, D., Sarason, I.G., Sarason, B.R., & Pierce, G.R.  (1996).  Simultaneous assessment of perceived global and relationship-specific support. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 13, 143-152.

Pierce, G.R., Sarason, B.R., & Sarason, I.G. (Eds.) (1996).  The handbook of social support and the family.  New York:  Plenum.

Pierce, G.R., Sarason, B.R., Sarason, I.G., Joseph, H.J., & Henderson, C.A. (1996).  Conceptualizing and assessing social support in the context of the family.  In G.R. Pierce, B.R. Sarason, and I.G. Sarason (Eds.), The handbook of social support and the family (pp. 3-23).  New York:  Plenum.

Pierce, G.R., Sarason, I.G., Sarason, B.R. (1996).  Coping and social support.  In M. Zeidner and N. Endler (Eds.), Handbook of coping:  Theory, research, applications (pp. 434-451).  New York: Wiley.

Pierce, G.R., Yost, J., Henderson, C.A., & Loffredo, C. (1996).  Cognitive interference and personality:  Theoretical and methodological issues.  I.G. Sarason, G.R. Pierce, & B.R. Sarason (Eds.)  Cognitive interference:  Theories, methods, and findings (pp. 285-296).  Hillsdale, NJ:  Erlbaum.

Sarason, I.G., Pierce, G.R., & Sarason, B.R. (Eds.) (1996).  Cognitive interference:  Theories, methods, and findings.  Hillsdale, NJ:  Erlbaum.

Sarason, I.G., Pierce, G.R., & Sarason, B.R.  (1996).  Domains of cognitive interference.  I.G. Sarason, G.R. Pierce, & B.R. Sarason (Eds.)  Cognitive interference:  Theories, methods, and findings (pp. 139-152).  Hillsdale, NJ:  Erlbaum.

Sarason, I.G., Sarason, B.R., Brock, D.M., & Pierce, G.R. (1996).  Social support:  Current status, current issues.  In C.D. Spielberger & I.G. Sarason (Eds.), Stress and emotions: Anxiety, anger, and curiousity (pp. 3-27; Vol. 16).  Washington, D.C.:  Taylor & Francis.

Sarason, I.G., Sarason, B.R., & Pierce, G.R. (Guest Eds., Special Issue) (1996).  Research and theory on personality:  An agenda for the future.  Journal of Research in Personality, 30.

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