Psychology Students Travel to Chicago for APS
Roger Brown | University Relations | 6 July 2012
Eleven students from BYU–Hawaii’s psychology department were accompanied by professors to the prestigious Association for Psychological Science (APS) annual convention in Chicago, Il to present their findings on a variety of research projects.
APS, according to their website, is an “organization dedicated to the advancement of scientific psychology and its representation at the national and international level.” The APS holds an annual convention highlighting the best new ideas and findings in the psychological world, allowing professionals, professors, and students alike to come together to showcase their ideas, network, and learn from one another. Because of the number of entries and the caliber of people entering, it is very difficult to have research accepted for presentation at the convention. Most of the students who present are at the graduate level; BYU–Hawaii was one of the very few undergraduate schools in attendance. Our students have entered into the convention a number of times, and every project that has ever been submitted by our students has been accepted.
Eleven projects from BYU–Hawaii were accepted for presentation at the conference this year, some were senior projects of individual students, and some were group efforts by the various research groups sponsored by the psychology department. “Having the opportunity to attend the poster sessions and symposia held daily throughout the conference broadened my research creativity as I learned new ways in which to measure and analyze different concepts,” said senior Alexa Tuita, “in addition, I was exposed to new theories that could inspire several future studies that I would like to complete.”
The students were able to talk to experts in their fields of interest, garnering a broader understanding of what each discipline entails and giving them opportunities to refine their ideas. “One of the greatest benefits for me was to make connections with people in my field,” said Junior Jessica Selfaison, “professors from other universities expressed interest in our projects, and offered to collaborate.”
Psychology students at BYU–Hawaii are given excellent tutelage and training, and real world experience through the research projects that they are able to contribute to. In addition to a senior project that all psychology students are required to complete, a number of research groups on campus give opportunities for students to experience psychology as it is in the field. Dr. Ronald Miller, BYU–Hawaii professor of psychology, helps to organize the groups which are run by student volunteers. The students are benefitted by the experience they gain, and if their performance is up to par, they will receive a letter of recommendation that will ease their entrance to a job or graduate school. This kind of experience is not usually afforded undergraduate students, and the BYU–Hawaii psychology program offers a number of student research groups that do work in a variety of fields; social, behavioral, marketing, neuroscience, organizational behavior, sports, and clinical psychology to name a few.
Photos courtesy of Alexa Tuita.