College of Arts and Sciences


  • Psych Students Conduct Prime Research on Behavior

    March 28, 2011

    Psychology students reported on their own research examining psychological phenomena and behavioral correlates as part of the practical component to their academic studies in statistics and research methods. Working with Professors Michael Spinetta and Katherine Raichle, students examined social networking activity, time management, eating habits, video gaming, and other typical activities within a psychological construct.

    “It’s important for psychology students not only to be able to conduct research and analysis, but also to convey their results in a meaningful way and understand the limitations of their findings,” Spinetta said.

    Sixteen teams conducted prime research, mainly with Seattle University students, and tested their hypotheses. Some correlated demographic data, including gender, age, class year, and ethnicity, with self-esteem, academic achievement, resiliency, relationships, and social functioning.  Others looked at responses to genocide, attitudes towards breast-feeding, and coping styles.

    “The students looked at behaviors and psychological variables that can be measured quantitatively,” Raichle noted. “By examining eating habits and sleep deprivation, for example, they learned how research is done, how data is used, and what additional information is required for a comprehensive study.”     

    The 16 teams presented on the following topics:     

    • Public Perception of Treatment Efficacy for Psychosocial Disorders                        
    • Comparison of Gender and Age on Body Shape Perception and Preference
    • The Effects of Social Networking Sites on Real-Life Relationships
    • Financial Independence and Autonomy among Millennial College Students
    • Gender and Stress Coping Styles in College Student-Athletes                   
    • Video Gamer Characteristics and Academic Performance
    • The Impact of Demographic Characteristics on Forgiveness
    • How’s Your Sleep?; The Effects of Sleep on Academic Performance
    • Group-Identity Salience & Response to Genocide
    • The Effects of Virtual Social Activity on Offline Social Functioning                            
    • Individual Resiliency and Profession: Finding Resilient Groups
    • Perceptions of Time Management Among Different Academic Disciplines
    • Affiliation to Academic Major and Self-Esteem Among College Students
    • The Relationship Between Gender and Academic Major on Gender Role Conflict
    • The Perception of and Attitudes Towards Public Breastfeeding
    • Eating Habits and Living Situations Among College Students

    Statistics and Research Methods, a two-quarter course, is required of all psychology majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College also offers a master's degree in psychology.



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