Washington College’s psych stars shine again at the annual Eastern Psychological Association gathering.
In a show of force and enthusiasm that is becoming a trademark of Washington College’s psychology department, 35 students accompanied six professors to the 85th annual Eastern Psychological Association’s meeting this spring, presenting a record number of senior capstone projects and coming home with numerous awards.
Among the 23 projects that students presented at the conference, two teams won regional awards from Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. On the first project, Hannah Weiss ’15, Andi Folker ’15, Lindsay Robeson ’14, Kelley Freeman ’15, and Lauren Littlefield, department chair and associate professor of psychology, teamed up on “Why Can’t I Decide? Factors Influencing Decisiveness.”
“Our study examined the influence of personality traits on the decisiveness of college undergraduates,” Robeson says. “Results indicated that individuals high in conscientiousness and neuroticism displayed lower levels of decisiveness. Results also showed that levels of decisiveness increase in relation to choices throughout college, but near graduation, decisiveness decreases due to uncertainty about the future.”
Littlefield also oversaw the research of the second Psi Chi-winning project, Chris Moylan ’14, Cara Murray ’14, Dean Marro ’14, and Elizabeth Miskiel ’14, on “Be a Leader, Know Thyself: Leadership Emergence and Emotional Quotient.”
“The focus of our research was on determining what type of people emerge as leaders when placed in a novel setting with their peers,” Murray says. “It turns out that people with high intrapersonal skills, that is those who know themselves well, are people who not only emerge as leaders but are recognized as leaders by their peers.”
Both projects were part of Littlefield’s Psychological Testing Lab. “These awards come with a great honor, because the papers were reviewed by a panel of Psi Chi regional officers, and the students won monetary awards, too,” Littlefield says.
Rebecca Wozniak ’14 earned ninth place out of more than 100 entries in the fourth annual EPAGS (Eastern Psychological Association of Graduate Students) poster competition. Wozniak was the lead author on the poster “How Athletes and Non-Athletes View Attractiveness;” her team members on the project, conducted in Professor Jim Siemen’s Health Psychology Lab, were Kristin Hester ’13, Val DiLisi ’14, Alicia Philip ’14, and Martianee Holland ’14.
Several students worked on more than one project presented. For instance, Lindsay Robeson ’14 participated in three of the projects presented, including one of the Psi Chi winners. In all, Littlefield says, 65 student authors presented on the College’s 23 poster projects.
“It is fantastic how our students take foundational content knowledge and combine it with their own creative ideas to generate exceptional applied research projects,” Littlefield says. “I am pleased that their talents are consistently being recognized.”