Kateryna Sylaska

  • Chair, Psychological Science Department; Associate Professor of Psychological Science
    Email Address:
    Office location:
    Lentz Hall 224F

    Professor Kateryna Sylaska earned her B.S. in psychology from Northern Arizona University. She took a year off from studies working at a non-profit teen suicide crisis hotline in Phoenix, Arizona (Teen Lifeline) before returning to Northern Arizona University for an M.A. in psychology. She was drawn to research and teaching in psychology, but also interested in how psychological research works in the “real world” and how understanding these principles can improve interpersonal interactions outside of the experimental laboratory. This led her to the University of New Hampshire where she earned her Ph.D. focusing on social and personality psychology.

    Prior to joining the Carthage faculty, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and an Assistant Professor at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.

    As a passionate applied psychologist, in both her research and classes, Prof. Sylaska focuses on the application of social and personality psychological concepts to understand and solve problems in everyday life. This has taken different forms over the years, but her recent focus has been on how students identify their college major, and how individuals provide, seek, and receive help from their peers (one recent research project explores help receipt among young adults with chronic illness).

    Her non-academic time is spent devouring novels and memoirs and taking long walks along the coast with her very spoiled dog, Fitz.

    • B.S. — Psychology, Northern Arizona University
    • M.A. — Psychology, Northern Arizona University
    • M.A. — Social psychology, University of New Hampshire
    • Ph.D. — Social and personality psychology, University of New Hampshire
    • PYC 1500 Introduction to Psychology
    • PYC 2200 Social Psychology
    • PYC 3460 Psychology of Women and Gender
    • PYC 3750 Psychology of Personality

    My research interests primarily fall into the field of applied social psychology — examining certain social issues and how we can use research to solve (or at least improve the status of) these problems. Most of my research explores how to increase positive forms of informal social support for individuals in need of long-term support systems (e.g., sexual and gender minority individuals, victim-survivors or interpersonal violence, individuals diagnosed with chronic or terminal illness). Specifically, I am interested in understanding the specific dynamics of help provision over the long term and how these dynamics influence the existing relationship between the help provider and receiver. I employ experimental, quasi-experimental, self-report, qualitative, and mixed-methodological methods in this research. I have also been working on some applied personality research surrounding “personal intelligence” — our ability to correctly assess information about our own and others’ personality and use this information to guide our behavior. My current personality research examines how young adults are able to use personal intelligence to select a college major.