Senior Wins First Place for Psychological Research

Asbury University senior Austin Scott was recently awarded the first-place Ernest Myer Undergraduate Research Award by the Kentucky Psychological Foundation.

The award was presented at the Spring Academic Conference of the Kentucky Psychological Association, hosted this year at Asbury University.

Asbury University behavioral sciences
Senior Austin Scott answers questions about his research at the Spring Academic Conference of the Kentucky Psychological Association. Photos by Joylily Bogle.



Scott’s research focused on prejudicial attitudes toward gender. He says one of his biggest findings had to do with a variable called “right-wing authoritarianism.” The concept doesn’t have political connotations, Scott says. Rather, it refers to the human tendency to align with either an even distribution of power or a hierarchical authority structure.

According to Dr. Janet Dean, assistant professor of psychology, Scott’s research award reflects the quality of his work, as well as his ability to communicate his ideas in clearly and thoughtfully. Additionally, Dean says Scott’s research is unique in that he pursued his own research area rather than building off of established work.

“He conceptualized this project, researched the existing literature, developed his own research methodology, collected and analyzed his own data, and pulled it all together by himself, with little supervision on my part,” Dean said. “He is functioning at the graduate school level, and is ready for what comes next after his graduation this May. Austin epitomizes our hope for our psychology majors – that they leave Asbury prepared both academically and spiritually to step into graduate school, ministry, a career, or any other position ready to do good, quality work that makes a difference in this world.”

--by Joel Sams '15

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