Students Present Psychological Research

Asbury University students will present research on topics ranging from the effect of color on mood to the impact of trauma during cross-cultural experiences, at the Academic Conference of the Kentucky Psychological Association (KPA) in Louisville on March 30.

The students are members of a research practicum class in which they learn the ins and outs of psychological research — what makes a good research topic, how to design a study, collecting data, analyzing the results — in a hands-on way.

“One of my favorite things to see happens when students start asking research-oriented questions in other disciplines or areas of their lives,” said Dr. Janet Dean, assistant professor and faculty sponsor for much of the students’ research. “They’ll come and tell me, ‘We were talking about a topic in English, and all of a sudden I was thinking of different ways that could be studied.’”

One student, Ian Mudge ’13, has already received “Most Outstanding Presentation” honors at a research symposium earlier this month for his poster titled “Cross-cultural experience and trauma: The impact on the individual.”

“The inspiration for my research is really my own life,” Mudge said. “I lived as a missionary kid in South Africa for three years and know just how impactful that time was on my life. Even though I know that those experiences profoundly changed me, it is hard to determine exactly how I changed, which is why I originally became interested in researching cross-cultural experiences. Asbury is the perfect location for this type of research because cross-cultural experiences are required for graduation.”

Mudge will present again at the KPA conference, and the University’s first Psych Quiz Bowl team will compete, as well. Other student presentations include the following:

  • “The relationship of the self to one’s gaming avatar” — Justyn Bigam ’15, Matthew Engler ’13, Darrin Greene ’14, Adrienne Coffey ’15
  • “Exploring contributing factors of spiritual maturity in undergraduate students” — Sarah Bauer ’13, Devon Gruver ’15
  • “Survey of meditational beliefs and practices among undergraduate students in Christian higher education” — Nina Connolly ’14, Nicole Herzig ’13, Megan Kuhl ’14, Andrew Shoemaker ’13
  • “The effect of interaction with horses on psychological well-being” — Sarah Ritter ’13, Megan Kuhl ’14, Johanna Rodig ’14
  • “The psychological and physiological effects of environmental color” — Sarah Bauer ’13, Susan Burnett ’13, Laurie Ball ’14

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