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:

  • Austin Meyer '19 and Anh Le '18: "The Complex Relationship Between Delay Discounting and Impulsivity Under the Moderation of Cultural Prime." 
  • Daniel Komar '18: "Psychopathy and Response to Emotional Faces."
  • Lindsey Gearhart '18: "Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Inhibition."
  • Elizabeth Swierczek '18 and Jared Evans '18: "Cultural Event Attendance and Engagement: A Longitudinal Examination of Openness to Experience." 
  • DaVon Mitchell '17: "Breaking the Silence: The Psychology of Collective Identity." 
  • 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, Asheville, 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, Asheville, 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.