Students have the opportunity to learn about the research process in an engaging way; they all complete their own original research project during a sequence of three courses (PSY 270, 271, and 370). Some students choose to follow up this experience by completing an independent study in their own area of interest, under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Several of these research projects have been presented at national conferences and been published in professional peer-reviewed journals in psychology. Upperclassmen students in the Psychology major must complete independent research.
Seven students and their sponsor, Mary K. Reed, Ph.D., attended the Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting in New York City March 1-4, 2013. The students who attended were Amanda Bucher, Grant Glatfelter, Chynna Noll, Rafael Perez, Katelyn Romm, Colleen Russo and Jackie Savino. Colleen Russo's poster titled, Attitudes Towards Aging: The Influence of Positive Versus Negative Images and Color was awarded 4th place (out of 500 entries) in the poster competition. Colleen conducted her research under the direction of Joshua Landau and Perri Druen. Colleen's research examined how the types of images people see of older adults influence their attitudes toward older adults and their own aging. Participants were presented with a slideshow of 10 images of older adults that were either positive or negative and either in color or in black and white. Participants then indicated their estimated age of the individuals in the images and completed an aging opinion survey. As hypothesized participants who saw negative images had survey scores indicating more negative attitudes. Additionally estimations of the age of the individuals in the images were lower for both positive images and color images. This has implications for the types of images of older adults in the media, as they have been found to influence people's attitudes toward older adults and their own aging.
Students in General Psychology may earn experiential learning credits by volunteering to participate in independent research studies. All studies are reviewed by the College’s Internal Review Board and deemed suitable and ethical for student participation. Find out more about the opportunities for you to volunteer by contacting your General Psychology instructor or consulting your syllabus.