Simpson psychology students awarded for their research

by Peter KaspariStaff Writer

A number of Simpson psychology students were recently selected to give presentations at the annual Midwest Psychological Association conference.

The program, which will be held from April 30 to May 1 in Chicago, gives the students a chance to present research that they have done throughout the year.

“From my understanding, it’s a national conference where psychologists and students all come together and present the work that they’ve been doing in the area of psychology,” junior psychology major Miranda Knake said.

According to Knake, all participants must send their work to the conference for approval.

“I submitted work through a faculty member with a group of students,” Knake said. “You’re either accepted or not by the people in charge of the conference.”

Senior psychology major Kelsey Ubben, who previously attended the conference during her sophomore year, said the process begins early.

“We submitted our projects on the first of November, and we found out around the end of January if we were attending,” Ubben said.

Once there, participants will give a poster presentation about their research and their findings. Ubben’s project involved stereotypes among women.

“I wanted to see if stereotype threat effected women negatively when performing a math test,” Ubben said. “I also wanted to see if teaching them about stereotype threat increased their math performance.”

Knake’s experiment was about how students perceive different issues.

“In my experimental methodology class, we did a study on hooking up,” Knake said. “We asked students about their ideas on hooking up. We then had people vote again to see what people thought was central to hooking up. Then we counted the results and we will be presenting our results from that class.”

Knake, unlike Ubben, will be attending the conference for the first time this year.

“I’m really excited, especially as a junior,” Knake said. “I think this will give me an idea of what it will be like if I get to present my own study by myself, and I’m just really excited.”

Senior Rachel Jones is also attending for the first time and will be presenting a study based on opinions.

“I did an experiment on the spiral of science theory,” Jones said. “It says that people will be less likely to share their opinions on controversial issues if they think their opinion is not in the majority.”

Jones believes that attending the conference will be a helpful learning experience for her.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what people have done with their research and getting a chance to share research I’ve done,” Jones said.

Ubben said that she learned information that she felt could be advantageous to her while attending the conference during her sophomore year.

“It’s a good experience, especially to psychology majors who plan on attending grad school,” Ubben said. “It helps you get noticed.”

Ubben is planning on attending graduate school.

“I hope people will notice that I have experience involving research,” Ubben said. “And besides research, they’re presenting several seminars. I hope to go to some of them. It also helps meeting new people and new contacts.”

Knake said another way of getting noticed is by being accepted into the Psi Chi honor society.

“Being a part of this honor society is a big deal in the psychology world, so it’s kind of exciting and I don’t think many people know that we actually have a chapter here,” Knake said.

Simpson’s Psi Chi adviser is Professor of Psychology Sal Meyers, who will also be leading the students to the conference in Chicago.