By Maggie Dunning
Mysterious, scientific, and mythical, are three words that describe the human mind. Most people think that only people with Ph.D.’s or extensive academic knowledge and training on the brain can make any discoveries or theories about how it works. That is not the truth of the matter.
Students in the fields of psychology are able to work on, assist, create, and present their own theories and projects on the mind.
The psychology research projects, being conducted by Carmen Brammer and Frank Adelman, psychology seniors, are examples of why students conduct research.
Carrie Lane, associate professor of psychology, said “You are going to get an invaluable experience that will make you a better candidate for graduate school. By doing the research project as a senior, you make yourself stand out. Everybody usually has good grades and good test scores, so this gives you something that makes you special.”
Each project is different. Both projects are done by psychology seniors and each one is assigned one research assistant.
The hypotheses are based on research that has been published said Lane. Although Hill is quick to point out that even though the studies may be based on research already published, the seniors have added their own twists to what their research is covering.
Jordan Hill, psychology junior and Adelman’s assistant said that Adelman’s project is over how athletes’ schedules affect their performance in the classroom. Brammer’s research is over the attraction to the female form.
Brammer said, “We are hoping to find out what men’s and women’s preferences of the female form are. To kind of narrow down if there is one specific body shape that’s preferred.”
Brammer said that her inspiration for her project came from personal experiences.
“Just like any other person that’s female I’ve been told, your pretty, but then you’re not my type. It’s like ‘okay, that doesn’t make sense.’ Then you find out what their type really is and it looks nothing like you,” said Brammer.
Adelman’s project came about from being a cross country runner.
Hill said, “I believe his hypothesis is that athletes who have busier schedules, that stay up later, and procrastinate more will perform less well in the classroom environment compared to athletes who have a safer schedule and make sure they get their work done early or on time.”
Research projects have their benefits.
Brammer said, “On a small scale it will affect SC because, at least in the psychology department I’m sure women’s psychology is going to have a discussion over it. It’ll help bring psychology out, of Southwestern, because if we get enough participants we take it to a convention in Denver, Co. We get to present our knowledge to an array of different schools.”
Hill said, “I learned that it is very important to have everything prepared and ready and to know your stuff going into the data collection process. Before you go out there and sharing your experiment with other people and having them do this project you have to know it inside and out, like the back of your hand.”
Right now the psychology research is in a rebuilding phase. Lane said that there has been more research activity in the past, but that she is working on getting more done.
Maggie Dunning is a communication freshman. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.