Assistant Professor, Psychology Program
Phone: 814-871-5418
Office: PC 2238
caswell002@gannon.edu

  • Biography
  • Courses Taught
  • Educational History
  • Professional Experience
  • Publications
  • Scholarship/Research

Biography

I grew up in a small mill town in the northern panhandle of West Virginia (Go Mountaineers!!!). I received my Bachelor of Science degree in political science and psychology from Bethany College, a small liberal arts college in Bethany, WV. I took a year off to work before enrolling at Marshall University in Huntington, WV to complete my Master of Arts degree in psychology.

After graduating, I moved to Shanghai, China where I taught ESL, IB Psychology, and world history at Shanghai High School International Division for five years. It's been five years since I returned to the United States, but my time in China greatly influenced my teaching. My Mandarin has gotten pretty bad, but I'm still an excellent cook. Thai, Korean, and Japanese are my specialties!

I recently received my PhD in social psychology from the University of South Florida in Tampa. I am new to Gannon and to Erie and I look forward to becoming part of the community here. I was raised in the Christian faith, so I am very excited to learn more about the Catholic mission of Gannon University and participate in the religious life of the community. When I'm not teaching, I'm cooking, watching football, or running on Presque Isle. I love to run obstacle course races like the Tough Mudder and the Savage Race.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Psychological Statistics
  • Psychometrics

Educational History

  • Bethany College, B.S., Psychology and Political Science, Anti-gay Prejudice in the Criminal Justice System, 2000
  • Marshall University, M.A., Psychology, Fear of Femininity vs. Fear of Death and Prejudice Against Lesbians and Gay Men, 2003
  • University of South Florida, Ph.D., Social Psychology, The Harm of Influence: When Exposure to Homosexuality Elicits Anger and Punishment Tendencies, 2013

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Counseling, Gannon University, Eria, PA. (2013 to present)
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. (2008 to 2013)
  • Teacher/Foreign Liaison, Shanghai High School International Division, Shanghai, China. (2003 to 2008)
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Psychology Department, Marshall University, Huntington, WV. (2002 to 2003)
  • Graduate Assistant, Counseling Center, Marshall University, Huntington, WV. (2001 to 2002)

Publications

Prewitt-Freilino J. L., Caswell, T. A., & Laakso, E. (2012). The gendering of language: A comparison of gender equality in countries with gendered, natural gender, and genderless languages. Sex Roles, 66, 168-281.

Bosson, J. K., Weaver, J. R., Caswell, T. A., & Burnaford, R. M. (2012). Gender threats and men’s antigay behaviors: The harmful effects of asserting heterosexuality. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 15, 471-486.

Giner-Sorolla, R., Bosson, J. K., Caswell, T. A., & Hettinger, V. E. (2012). Emotions in sexual morality: Testing the separate elicitors of anger and disgust. Cognition and Emotion, 26, 1208-1222.

Caswell, T. A., Bosson, J. K., Sellers, J., & Vandello, J. A. (2013, February 18). Testosterone and men's stress responses to gender threats. Psychology of Men and Masculinities. Advance online publication.

Bosson, J. K., Vandello, J. A., & Caswell, T. A. (in press). Precarious manhood. In M. K. Ryan & N. R. Branscombe (Eds.), The Sage handbook of gender and psychology. London: Sage Publications.

Scholarship/Research

My primary research interests are in sexual prejudice, negative attitudes based on sexual orientation. Discussions about homosexuality and legal reforms for sexual minorities and same-sex families are often framed in moral terms, so understanding the emotions and cognitions which underlie moral judgments is key to understanding how individuals form judgments of and respond to homosexual behavior and persons. I am especially interested in understanding why people feel anger and disgust toward sexual minorities and how those emotions shape attitudes and behavior. In 2009, I received a $15,000 Wayne F. Placek grant from the American Psychological Foundation to investigate anti-gay disgust.

I am also interested in the social construction of masculinity. My research is inspired by the precarious manhood hypothesis (Vandello, Bosson, Cohen, Burnaford, & Weaver, 2008), that manhood is a tenuous and elusive social status that must be continually validated through public action and by avoiding femininity. I've conducted research on how the precarious nature of manhood shapes attitudes toward and behavioral responses to gay men. And I've also investigated hormonal and cardiovascular responses to threats to one's manhood status. I am also interested in how the precarious nature of manhood influences men's dietary and other health choices.