Psychological Science Students Engage in Research

Posted on October 16th, 2020 by







During the 2019-2020 academic year, the classrooms, labs, and study spaces in Beck Hall were filled with Psychological Science students conducting research, collaborating with professors, learning about professional organizations, attending conferences, and in some cases, publishing their research results.  We asked students to share their experiences and here is what some of them shared.

Kjorte Harra was one student who definitely took advantage of research opportunities as an undergrad. Kjorte explained that she participated in a research apprenticeship her junior year with Dr. Marie Walker, “We reanalyzed data from a previous student’s project. Ended up presenting that research at the SSEA conference in Toronto in October 2019, at the GAC research symposium, and at Scholars at the Capitol in March 2020”. Dr. Walker also recommended her as an intern to David Menk in Institutional Research, where she worked for him the summer before her senior year (2019) and did a career exploration during her last semester. Kjorte graduated this spring and eventually plans to pursue a PHD in quantitative psychology/research methods.  Her research experience at GAC will serve her well!

Lauren Casey also graduated last spring, but while studying at Gustvus said that she studied the Impact of incentives and loss aversion on task performance and the ability for children to produce the correct plural and singular forms of words. She also researched how self-compassion acts as a buffer to the connection between Instagram, body image, and eating disorders.

Yumiko Yoshida had the opportunity to work with Dr. Lauren Hecht in her Research Methods course where she worked on publishing research essays and sharing her information at a symposium.

Gillian Duncan worked with Dr. Jennifer Ackil.  She said of her research experience, “This fall, I got to work on a research project for my Memory course in the Psychology department. I worked with two other students, and we tested the influence of smartphone presence on memory performance. From start to finish, the project was entirely up to us to create and submit for approval as well as find participants and analyze all the data. It was a challenge but one that definitely helped me grow and feel more prepared for the future. Dr. Jennifer Ackil, my Memory course professor for the fall semester, helped my group get started on our research project and also was available for advice and guidance at any point during the course of the project.”.

The 2020-20201 academic year will look a little different but the research goes on! The students conducting research and those participating will do the majority of their work in online forums this year, but the learning remains rich and applicable. If you are considering a Psychological Science major at Gustavus or are currently a major, we encourage you to talk with professors and your adviser about research opportunities!


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