Jacob Fiala, M.A.

BiographyJacob Fiala

Jacob Fiala graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Statistics. While at UTM he worked as Psychology Department Lab Assistant. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he attended the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs where he completed his M.A. in Psychology in 2018 with an emphasis in Clinical Psychology. From 2016-2018, at UCCS, he instructed an undergraduate lab in Psychological Research Statistics and Methods and worked as a statistics tutor for undergraduates in the departments of mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences. He also completed practicum rotations in individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, and neuropsychological assessment at the UCCS Aging Center from 2017-2018. After graduation, he worked from 2018-2020 as a full time psychometrist at the UCCS Aging Center, funded by a grant from the NextFifty Initiative titled “Next Steps: Identifying Barriers and Optimizing Independence of At-Risk Seniors.” In this position, he worked side by side with Colorado Springs Adult Protective Services and a staff neuropsychologist to deliver neuropsychological capacity and diagnostic evaluations to underprivileged at-risk community older adults. In 2020 he enrolled in the UF Clinical & Health Psychology program with a focus in neuropsychology. He is currently a second-year doctoral student in the Quantitative Aging and Neurocognitive Training Lab of Dr. Michael Marsiske. At UF, he works as a graduate research assistant with the 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Data Core, assisting with the delivery of data and offering study planning and statistical analysis consultation.

Research Focus

Prior to arriving at UF, Mr. Fiala’s interests focused on the biopsychosocial causes and effects of personality. His UCCS master’s thesis aimed to develop a novel neuropsychological assessment tool to investigate attention and memory biases hypothesized to underlie specific personality traits. Motivated by his experience as a psychometrist, his current research interests focus on improving clinical care and reducing health disparities by validating new and improved approaches to developing demographically adjusted clinical test norms. In his first-year project at UF, he utilized the ACTIVE sample to produce demographically adjusted norms for three tests of everyday cognition, to allow for rigorous, direct assessment of functional ability in diagnostic neuropsychological evaluations (where functional ability is usually assessed subjectively) and in evaluations where functional abilities are the key variable of interest (e.g., capacity assessments). In future research, he intends to make use of longitudinally collected, independently assessed outcomes relevant to cognitive status and functional ability in the ACTIVE sample to examine the predictive validity of these demographically adjusted everyday cognitive tasks.

Clinical Focus

At UCCS, Mr. Fiala’s clinical work focused on providing individual and group therapy to older adults (with a particular interest in the treatment of personality disorders) and to caregivers of those with neurodegenerative disorders, in addition to providing neuropsychological evaluations. At UF, he is training to be a clinical neuropsychologist. He also hopes to gain clinical experience in providing cognitive interventions.

Publications

Fiala, J. A., Mansour, S. A., Matlock, S. E., & Coolidge, F. L. (2020). Voter perceptions of president Donald Trump’s personality disorder traits: Implications of political affiliation. Clinical Psychological Science, 8(2), 343-350. doi: 10.1177/2167702619885399

Fiala, J. A., & Coolidge, F. L. (2018). Genetic predilections and predispositions for the development of shamanism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences41. e73. doi: 10.1017/s0140525x17002047

Presentations

Mantovani, J., Lockett, M., & Fiala, J. A., (2018). A world alone: Exploring themes of isolation in a forum on traumatic stress. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Convention. Atlanta, GA.

Fiala, J. A., Mansour, S., & Matlock, S. E. (2017). Political affiliation and campaign video effects on presidential personality ratings. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association (APA) Convention. Washington, DC.

Fiala, J. A. (2016). Examining consciousness using the placebo effect. Paper presented at Southern Regional Honors Council. Orlando, FL.

Murray, J., Fiala, J. A., (2016). Spatial performance and anxiety: A gender comparison. Poster presented at UTM Behavioral Sciences Research Symposium. Martin, TN.

Teaching Experience

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Psychology Department, Graduate Teaching Assistant

  • PSY 2110: Introduction to Psychological Research and Measurement Lab (2016 – 2018)
  • PSY 3280: Abnormal Psychology (2017)

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Math Excel Center, Statistics Tutor (2016 – 2018)

Awards and Memberships

  • Adult Development and Aging, APA Div. 20 (2020 – present)
  • Society of Clinical Neuropsychology, APA Div. 40 (2020 – present)
  • Association for Neuropsychology Students in Training (2020 – present)
  • 1Florida ADRC Graduate Fellowship (2020 – present)
  • International Neuropsychological Society (2019 – present)
  • American Psychological Science (2018 – 2020)
  • American Psychological Association (2015 – present)
  • UTM Outstanding Psychology Student Award (2015)
  • UTM Perry University Scholars Organization (2012–2016)