Psychology Major and Adviser Presented at Regional Meeting

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Westminster College junior psychology major Devon Struthers and Dr. Jamie McMinn, associate professor of psychology, presented "Stolen Thunder in Dating Relationships" at the Midwestern Psychological Association meeting May 6-8 in Chicago.

McMinn explained that stolen thunder occurs when one reveals incriminating information about oneself before someone else can.  For example, mock jurors are more lenient on defendants who reveal negative information about themselves as opposed to hearing the same information from opposing counsel.

The research for the paper involved 88 participants who read about two dating partners who attended a party and one partner kissed another partygoer.  The partner or a witness revealed the misbehavior to the other partner.  Stealing thunder enhanced evaluations of the male, but not the female, partner.

Struthers is a son of Lisa Schreck of Carlisle and Donald Struthers of Newville and a graduate of Big Spring High School.

Struthers received a travel/presentation grant from Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to attend the meeting.

The Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education.  The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences.  Visit for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.

McMinn, who has been with Westminster since 2003, earned an undergraduate degree from Emory & Henry College and a master's and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Contact McMinn at (724) 946-7121 or email for additional information. 

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Westminster is a top tier liberal arts college, a national leader in graduation rate performance, and a "Great School, Great Price," according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 38th among liberal arts colleges, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 373 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Drinko Center Information