The Gustavian Weekly

Psychology department symposium presents research

By Stephanie Duley Staff Writer | May 14, 2010 | News

Psychology students will present research projects that they have created and conducted in the in the Seventh Annual Psychology Symposium. Karen West.

This Friday the psychology department at Gustavus will be holding its seventh annual spring semester research symposium to showcase the extensive research projects that psychology students have completed. At the end of Fall and Spring Semesters, psychology students enrolled in Statistics and Research Methods II, Research Apprenticeships, Directed Research and the Psychology Honors Program have the opportunity to show the Gustavus community the work that they’ve completed.

Eighteen different research projects will be showcased in the form of posters in the lower level of the Anderson Social Science Center from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 14. The psychology majors who have created these projects will present from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m so as to leave time to answer questions. Several of the senior honors psychology majors will be giving oral presentations of their research starting at 4:00 p.m. The projects cover a diverse range of topics from birth order and its effect on relationships of college students to pro-social behavior in emerging adults. Each presentation will last about 12 minutes, allowing two to three minutes afterward for answering questions from the audience.

Senior Honors Psychology Major Emma Iverson will be delivering her presentation entitled, “Helping Others Helps Me: Pro-social Behavior as a Function of Identity Development and Self-regulation in Emerging Adulthood.” “In my research, I am looking at different factors that affect pro-social [helping] behavior in emerging adults,” Iverson said. “Emerging adulthood is a developmental theory that looks at the period from ages 18 to 25 as a distinct stage involving extended identity exploration before committing to an adult status or role.”

Fellow Senior Honors Psychology Major Jenny Grundman also explored the topic of emerging adulthood in her research project entitled, “Does Parenting Style Predict Identity and Emotional Outcomes in Emerging Adulthood?” “My research project examined the role of parenting style and self-regulation [i.e., what motivates an individual’s behavior] in identity development, self-esteem and satisfaction with life,” Grundman said. “I came up with the idea after reading several pieces from the ‘emerging adulthood’ literature that talked about the ways in which the parent-child relationship changes when young adults are between the ages of 18 and 25. Since we know that parents influence children up to the age of 18, primarily because of the frequent and direct contact and the dependency, I thought it would be interesting to see if parenting style continues to influence children after that age.”

When asked about this event Psychology Department Administrative Assistant Lee Sande commented, “The Psychology symposium is a great way to learn about and celebrate all of the psychological science that goes on at Gustavus. Research is the cornerstone of our discipline and many Gustavus psychology students have spent considerable time designing and carrying out original research studies aimed at addressing some very interesting questions about behavior and the mind.”

Most of the research conducted by Gustavus psychology students is done using fellow Gusties as subjects.
“Most students on this campus have taken General Psychology at some point and had to participate in research studies, and this is the chance to see what those studies were actually about and what findings you contributed to by participating,” Iverson said.

For more information on the psychology department at Gustavus, check out the department’s website.

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