Getting "Psych"ed for research on campus
Cedar Crest College offers students the opportunity to enroll into a research-based course, providing them with experience in gathering real data. Thesis 365 and Thesis 366 run during the fall and spring semesters.
According to the course curriculum, during Thesis 365, students are able to conduct research (under faculty supervision) using empirical investigation based on work being done in the faculty mentor’s lab/areas of research interest. During Thesis 366, students carry out their investigation, collecting and analyzing their data. Currently Avery Wannamaker, Stephanie Guildin, and Sohinaz Lozano are students enrolled in the second part of the course. Dr. Baker is the advisor of these three students.
“The benefit of this course is that it allows students to gain experience,” Baker says.
While this course is not a requirement for the Psychology major, it makes Cedar Crest students stand out when applying for jobs. When first starting the course, students do some homework over the summer to find a topic in which they are interested in studying.
“The hope is that when they return they have selected a topic they are interested in,” Baker says.
Wannamaker, a senior, is currently a student enrolled in the course. Wannamaker’s research focuses on “The Effect of Presentation and Medium on Recall and Recognition”, where she is collecting data based on whether or not the presentation of items has an effect on the number of items recognized and recalled.
“I’ve always been interested in different learning styles,” Wannamaker says. “I wanted to see the impact of different mediums and presentations on learning.”
Guildin, a senior, is conducting research on “The Influence of Colors and Valence of Words on Affect and Memory”.
“This course is a great way to test your knowledge,” Guildin says, ''I thought I wasn’t capable of doing such intense work, it has made me step out of my comfort zone.” Lozano, a senior, is basing her research on “The Influence of Reading Words and Passages on Performance and Affect”.
“I’m a double major in English and Psychology, so it’s been interesting seeing where the two intersect,” Lonzano says.
All three students will be conducting their research until late February. After this they will be presenting their research on April 25, at the LVAIC Undergraduate Psychology Conference held at Lehigh University. The students will also be presenting at Cedar Crest College on April 28, for Capstone Research Day.