Student Research and Awards

The department offers many opportunities for research experiences for students. The primary means for obtaining these experiences are two courses, PY 340-341 Research in Psychology and PY 450-451 Senior Research in Psychology. In Research in Psychology, students join a faculty member's laboratory and pick up a project within that member's area of study. Prior projects have included explorations into animal learning and behavior, human sexual attraction, how personality factors and decision making affect political attitudes, and groupthink in the government.

Which students get to perform research?

Research in Psychology is generally available to students in their sophomore, junior and senior years. Senior Research in Psychology offers students the opportunity to design and run their own research project. This year long course allows students to go to the faculty member teaching the course and propose research projects. They then design a methodology to test the specific questions within the area in which they are interested. Then, they run that design and present their results at the local research symposium.

What have students accomplished?

Since 2004, over 25 different students have been authors on over forty publications and conference presentations from the faculty and students in the department. Here are a few examples of recent topics:

  • Rachel Adams ’12, “Do False Cognates Activate the Bilingual Lexicon?”
  • Jordan Baney ’11, “Psychological Critical Thinking”
  • Rhiannon Bircher ’11, “Varenicline’s Cognitive Enhancing Effects in an Animal Model of ADHD”
  • Felicia Kaas ’09, “Media Violence and Aggression”
  • Viliyana Maleva ’11, “Color, Gender and Emotion” and “Optimism and Academic Achievement”
  • Erin McVicar ’11, “Interruption and Memory: In Pursuit of the Zeigarnik Effect Using a Word-Association Task”
  • Hiroshi Perera ’10, “The Relationship Between Basic Human Values, Authoritarianism and Social Dominance Orientation”
  • Kelsey Roman ’12, “Priming Buzz? Faster Lexical Decisions after Reading about Caffeinated Beverage”
  • Blair Saul ’11, “The Efficacy of Federal and State Policies on the Reduction of Childhood Obesity”
  • Joel Slaff ’14, “Happiness Is a Virtue: A Deeper Look Into the Happiness Index and Its Global Effect”
  • Sarah Spatz ’10, “The Effects of Summer Reading Intervention on Reading and Writing Skills”
  • Viliyana Maleva '11 (Sponsor: Kathy Wescott) "Color, Gender and Emotion" oral, competitive presentation at Liberal Arts Symposium
  • Hiroshi Perera '10 (Sponsor: Phil Dunwoody) conducted research on 'The Relationship Between Basic Human Values, Authoritarianism, and Social Dominance Orientation."
  • Sarah Spatz '10 (Sponsor: Kathy Wescott) "The Effects of Summer Reading Intervention on Reading and Writing Skills."
  • Felicia Kaas '09 (2009, Spring, Sponsor: David Widman) presented a competitive poster presentation at Juniata's Liberal Art's Symposium, 'Media Violence and Aggression"
  • Haley Rothrock '07 (2006, Sponsor: Phil Dunwoody) "Misperceptions Regarding the Iraq War, Right Wing Authoritarianism, and Social Dominance."
  • Callahan, S. (2006, April, Sponsor: Mark McKellop). "The effects of different mortality salience stimuli on attitudes towards outgroups." Poster presented at the First Annual Liberal Arts Symposium at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA and the 20th National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Ashville, NC.
  • Carpin, C. D. & Rinehart, A. (2006, April, Sponsor: Phil Dunwoody). "Groupthink in the Bush administration's decision for Operation Iraqui Freedom and the symptoms of groupthink." Poster presented at the First Annual Liberal Arts Symposium at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA and the 20th National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Ashville, NC.
  • Widman, D., Fiore, L., Frye, L., Galvin, S., Johnston, S., & Zettle, Z. (2006, March). "Menstrual cycle influences women's ratings of the attractiveness of men's vocal pitch and stature." Poster presented at the 77th annual meeting of the Eastern psychological Association. Baltimore, MD.
  • Christman, L. (2006, April, Sponsor: Phil Dunwoody). "The liberal academy: Examining the effects of a liberal faculty on a conservative student body." Poster presented at the First Annual Liberal Arts Symposium at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA and the 20th National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Ashville, NC.
  • Drews, D. & Davidson, A. H. (2006, March). "Gender and environmentalism:Attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge." Poster presented at the 77th annual meeting of the Eastern psychological Association. Baltimore, MD.
  • Dunwoody, P., Corl, K. N., Drews, D. R. & Widman, D. R. (2005). Personal information in searching for faces. Psychological Reports, 96, 259-265.
  • Dunwoody, P. T., Plane, D. L., Drews, D. R., Rice, D. W., & Rinehart, A. J. (2005, November). Judgements of potential threat to U.S. citizens or interests. Paper presented at the Twenty-first Annual International Meeting of The Brunswik Society, Toronto, ON, CA.
  • Furhman, S. & Holly, A. (2006, April, Sponsor: Mark McKellop). "Gender differences in the written disclosure procedure." Poster presented at the First Annual Liberal Arts Symposium at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA and the 20th National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Ashville, NC.
  • Rice, D., & Zentmyer, S. (2006, April sponsor Phil Dunwoody). "Judgements of potential threats to US citizens or interests." Poster presented at the CUR Posters on the Hill. Washington, D.C.
    Terrizzi, J. & Drews, D. R. (2005). Predicting attitudes toward operation Iraqi freedom. Psychological Reports, 96, 183-185.
  • Terrizzi Jr., J. and Drews, D. (2005, March). Predictors of attitudes toward the 2004 presidential election and Operation Iraqi Freedom: Authoritarianism, Nationalism, and International Insecurity. Poster presented at the 76th annual Eastern Psychological Association meeting, Boston, MA, March, 2005
  • Widman, D., Fiore, L., Frye, L., Galvin, S., Johnston, S., & Zettle, Z. (2006, March). "Menstrual cycle influences women's ratings of the attractiveness of men's vocal pitch and stature." Poster presented at the 77th annual meeting of the Eastern psychological Association. Baltimore, MD.
  • Widman, D. R., Sermania, C. M., & Genismore, K. E. (2004). Evidence for time-place learning in the Morris water maze without food restriction but with increased response cost. Behavioural Processes, 67, 183-193.
  • Yelnosky, R., Davidson, A., Eller, E., Zunkel, J. & Drews D. (2005, November). An assessment tool for culture change and sustainability: Measuring changes in attitudes and behavior. Symposium conducted at the meeting of Smart and Sustainable Campuses, University of Maryland, College Park.