Noam Shpancer is a professor of psychology. He received his Ph.D. at Purdue University, with specialty areas in clinical and developmental psychology. Dr. Shpancer's research interests center on various dimensions of the home-daycare link, including parent-caregiver relations, people's childcare attitudes and perceptions, and children's adaptation across contexts. He is a licensed, practicing clinical psychologist, with a clinical specialty in the assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders. He teaches introductory psychology, child development, personality, abnormal psychology, human sexuality, assessment, advanced research, and health psychology. In 2001, he won the junior faculty teaching award.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Junior Faculty Teaching Award
Purdue University: Ph.D.
Selected Media Appearances (5)
Stereotype Accuracy: A Displeasing Truth
Stereotypes have a bad reputation and for good reasons. Decades of research have shown that stereotypes can facilitate intergroup hostility and give rise to toxic prejudices around sex, race, age and multiple other social distinctions. Stereotypes are often used to justify injustice and discrimination, validate oppression, enable exploitation, rationalize violence, and shield corrupt power structures. Stereotype-based expectations and interpretations routinely derail intimate relationships, contaminate laws (and their enforcement), poison social commerce, and stymie individual freedom and achievement.
For Sound Mental Health, Ask Good Questions (Like These)
Life often requires us to ask, and answer, tough questions — to make hard choices between two opposing options. Shakespeare’s "to be or not to be" is probably the most famous, and fundamental, example. But once we have chosen to be, the challenge remains of how to be. From a mental health perspective, one’s success in navigating life depends in part on which questions one chooses to engage. Some questions are more important than others. If you’re on the roof of your burning house, the question of what will happen to the flower garden underneath when you land in it is less important than the question of what will happen to you if you don’t jump. Here are a few of the useful, basic questions one might benefit from asking as one tries to figure out this dance of life...
The Client Rules: How to Benefit Most From Therapy
Psychotherapy is effective in treating many psychological difficulties and disorders. Since it is costly in time, energy, and money, though, the decision to enter therapy should not be taken lightly. Success will depend on many factors, some of which are outside the client’s control. But client variables do matter, and there are certain steps clients can take to improve their odds of benefiting from therapy.
7 Common Misconceptions About Anxiety
Anxiety is the most common problem people seek to address in psychotherapy. Anxiety problems are linked to both genetic and environmental factors, and they manifest in various forms. Some people suffer with chronic, free-floating worry; others fear certain specific objects or situations, or dread being evaluated negatively in social situations. For some, anxiety relates mainly to the recollections of past trauma, while others may suffer from debilitating panic attacks, marked by symptoms such as racing heart, breathing difficulties, sweating, trembling, and dizziness. Untreated or poorly managed, excess anxiety can hinder severely one’s quality of life. Fortunately, anxiety problems can often be treated well with a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
In Therapy As in Politics, Process Often Decides the Game
One thing you learn doing psychotherapy is that more often than not, process is more consequential than content. The ‘how’ matters more than the ‘what.’ How you deal with stress is more important than what specific stressor you are facing. The fact that you yelled at John yesterday and at Jane today matters less than the fact that you mostly communicate by yelling. In the realm of therapy, research has identified several processes that contribute to change across approaches and problem areas.
Selected Articles (3)
Noam Shpancer, Stefanie N. Schweitzer
Data were collected over a 15-year span from three comparable cohorts of students at a Midwestern university about their childcare histories and current attitudes towards non-parental childcare and maternal employment. Across cohorts, a history of non-parental childcare predicted adult attitudes towards non-parental childcare and maternal employment. Compared to participants who did not experience early non-parental care, participants who reported experiencing early non-parental care had more favourable attitudes towards non-parental care and towards maternal employment and were more open to placing their future children in non-parental care...
Noam Shpancer, Jessica M Bowden, Melanie A Ferrell, Stacy F Pavlik, Morgan N Robinson, Jennifer L Schwind, Erica K Volpe, Laurie M Williams, Jessica N Young
From a sample of 419 college students, 750 written recollections were obtained regarding their parental and nonparental childcare experiences. Vignettes were sorted and coded according to five emerging themes: emotional valence, play, TV, educational activities and holidays/birthdays. Several significant differences were found in remembered experience between parental and nonparental care. Emotionally positive recollections were significantly more prevalent in parental care. Emotionally negative recollections were significantly more prevalent in nonparental care. In addition, within context, emotional parental care memories were more often positive while emotional nonparental care memories were more often negative. Regarding the other four themes, memories of educational activities, play, and holiday/birthday celebrations were more often related to parental care. There were no between‐context differences in rates of recall for TV – related memories. Across contexts, play memories were most prevalent.
Noam Shpancer, Brandi Dunlap, Katherine M Melick, Kelly Coxe, Devon Kuntzman, Pamela S Sayre, Christine Toto, Aria T Spivey
Forty-nine caregivers in eight daycare centres were interviewed about their daycare experiences, their own childcare decisions and practices, and their views of how their profession is perceived by society. Results suggest that: caregivers comment positively on the process elements of their work, such as their enjoyment and love of children, and negatively on structural elements, such as salary and working conditions; caregivers’ “insider” view of daycare provides a seldom tapped but potentially useful source of information about both the workforce and the work; and caregivers strongly resent being viewed as mere babysitters. They increasingly see themselves—and demand to be treated—as professional educators, who contribute greatly to the successful development of the children in their care.