OU students, faculty present research at professional psychology conference

Over spring break, 12 Oglethorpe students accompanied four faculty to the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) in Hilton Head, South Carolina. This continued a longstanding tradition of the Oglethorpe psychology department preparing students to submit their own research to peer-reviewed professional conferences.

This year’s students participants were Rebecca Castro, Alexa Tringali, Kharynton Beggs, Sydney Hamming, Bella Lee-Swartz, Connor Baldwin, Karen Becerra, Lamia Bhuiyan, Rachel Lester, Tulani Leeks, Alessandra Nash, and Rafael Aragón. Most were awarded Oglethorpe research funding to assist with the costs of attending the conference.

Three student with their poster explaining psychology research on "The Effects of Race and Mental Illness Diagnosis on Homelessness"Each student presented their original research with the support and encouragement of faculty mentors Drs. Leah Zinner, Justin Wise, Lisa Hayes and Melanie Covert.

A range of research subjects were explored in the poster presentations:

  • Determining Predictors of COVID Related Fear — Rebecca Castro, Alexa Tringali, Isabel Berlin, Kharynton Beggs, Justin Wise, Brooke Bays
  • Does Manipulating Signature Location Really Increase Honesty? — Leah Zinner, Emily Schultz, Mikayla Ries
  • Extraverts and the Difficulty of Transportation — Sydney Hamming, Leah Zinner
  • Consumer Assessment of Thin, Plus-Size, and No Model Advertisements — Bella Lee-Swartz, Leah Zinner
  • Investigating Outgroup Dehumanization Using Human-Computer Morphs — Connor Baldwin, Leah Zinner
  • The Effects of Race and Mental Illness Diagnosis on Homelessness Stigmatization — Karen Becerra, Lamia Bhuiyan, Rachel Lester, Lisa Hayes
  • Perceptions of Children and Parents Based on Family Structure and Income — Tulani Leeks, Brooke Bays
  • Preferences for Different Types of Therapeutic Interventions — Alessandra Nash, Brooke Bays
  • Variable Playback Speeds Versus Multiple Exposures: Effects on Recognition — Rafael Aragón, Brooke Bays

In addition, Dr. Hayes, Dr. Wise and Dr. Zinner co-presented a talk on “Incorporating Independent Human Subjects Research into an Undergraduate Course.”

Three students and a professor stand with a presentation poster depicting their research on "Determining the Predictors of COVID-Related Fear".“These psychology and biopsychology majors have conducted rigorous original research worthy of presentation at a professional conference — a major accomplishment for undergraduates students,” said Dr. Zinner. “The faculty are very proud that 12 students attended and presented 9 different research projects.”

The projects were completed as part of PSY 320, PSY 321 and PSY 322 (Psychological Statistics and Research Methods I and II, and Advanced Experimental Psychology).

“Presenting at a professional conference is an exciting opportunity for our students,” continued Dr. Zinner. “Attending SEPA is a wonderful chance to learn about new research in psychology, share the original research that these students have conducted, and network with students and faculty at other institutions.”

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