December 1, 2020

UMW Psychology Students Claim Top State Awards

Megan Jacobs '19 (right) and Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences Hilary Stebbins. Jacobs won one of the two Outstanding Undergraduate Papers awards given to UMW students by the Virginia Association for Psychological Science. Photo provided by Hilary Stebbins.

Megan Jacobs ’19 (right) and Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences Hilary Stebbins. Jacobs won one of the two Outstanding Undergraduate Papers awards given to UMW students by the Virginia Association for Psychological Science. Photo provided by Hilary Stebbins.

The Virginia Association for Psychological Science has recognized six University of Mary Washington students with awards for top research papers. The two top awards for Outstanding Undergraduate Papers were awarded to Megan Jacobs ’19 and the five-person team of seniors Kim Bui, Kara Hogue, Sidney McPhail and Corinne Rydgren, and junior Haley Turczynski.

The winning students competed among undergraduates representing 12 Virginia colleges, including James Madison, Virginia Commonwealth and Old Dominion universities. Some 24 undergraduate research papers were submitted.

Jacobs’ research paper “Physiological Differences in Stress Reactivity between Morning and Evening Chronotypes” examined the cardiac activity and cortisol level of people characterized as morning types versus those described as evening types when asked to perform a stressful task in the morning compared to the evening.

According to Associate Professor Hilary Stebbins who supervised the research, Jacobs’ findings suggest that the performance of evening types was impaired in the morning, which might be related to higher morning cortisol levels. “These findings have implications when we consider what we expect from our students, who are heavily skewed towards being evening types, in the morning,” said Stebbins.

The recognition is the second one for Jacobs, who received the outstanding undergraduate paper award last year for research on sleep deprivation as part of a four-member UMW team.

From L-R: Sidney McPhail, Kim Bui, Corinne Rydgren, Haley Turczynski and Kara Hogue at Psi Chi. The five-person team won an Outstanding Undergraduate Papers award from the Virginia Association for Psychological Science. Photo provided by Hilary Stebbins. 

From L-R: Sidney McPhail, Kim Bui, Corinne Rydgren, Haley Turczynski and Kara Hogue at Psi Chi. The five-person team won an Outstanding Undergraduate Papers award from the Virginia Association for Psychological Science. Photo provided by Hilary Stebbins.

The second top prize award went to UMW’s five-person team composed of Bui, Hogue, McPhail, Rydgren and Turczynski for the paper “Error Related Brain Activity and Mindfulness.”

This research team examined the brain activity of people who meditate and people who do not meditate. They studied brain activity while the participants made mistakes to see how strongly they reacted to their errors. The group found that the meditators had a smaller error-related brain component that has been related to the conscious awareness of mistakes. The team also looked at a few variables that might explain why the meditators were reacting differently to mistakes.

“They found that cognitive fusion, which is how much someone fights their own thoughts and inner experiences, explained why there was a relationship between meditator groups and the error-related brain activity,” said Assistant Professor Emily Stanley, who supervised the study.

The winning students also were among undergraduate presentations given at the University’s Psi Chi Symposium held last week in the Hurley Convergence Center’s Digital Auditorium. Jacobs also won the award for Best Presentation for 491/492 teams at the symposium.

 

 

UMW Psychology Students Claim Top State Award

The Virginia Association for Psychological Science has recognized a team of University of Mary Washington students for their research presentation about sleep deprivation. Katherine Hatton ’18, Erin Kaila ’18, Mollie Rhoades ’18 and Megan Jacobs ’19 received the Frederick B. Rowe Award for Best Undergraduate Paper for their presentation “The Relationship between Sleep Deprivation, Striatal Dopamine […]

Psychology Faculty and Students Present in Chicago

Psychology faculty members Mindy Erchull, Miriam Liss, Virginia Mackintosh, Christine McBride, David Rettinger, Holly Schiffrin and Hilary Stebbins will present research at the 2012 Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention from Thursday, May 24 through Sunday, May 27 in Chicago.

Liss and Schiffrin, along with 2012 graduate Kathryn Rizzo, will present “The Impact of Intensive Parenting on the Well-Being of Mothers.” Liss and Schiffrin are the faculty sponsors of “Mother, father, or parent? College students’ intensive parenting beliefs differ by referent,” presented by students Katherine Geary, Taryn Tashner, Haley Miles-McLean,  Kathryn Rizzo and Charlotte Hagerman.

Schiffrin, Liss, Mackintosh, Erchull and student Haley Miles McLean will present “Development and Validation of a Quantitative Measure of Intensive Parenting Attitudes.”

McBride will present “The Impact of Cognitive Stress, Social Stress, and Appraisals on Eating Behavior” with student Janet Greider. Students Erin Burdwood and Amy Newcomb also were part of the research team.

Rettinger will present “Guilt-Proneness and Fear of Being Caught Deter Cheating” with students Caitlin Brady, Megan Hess, Frank Knizner and Caroline Lupsha.

Stebbins will present “The Interaction Between Emotional Expressions of Face Targets in the Attentional Blink” with students Alyssa Dembrowski, David Levin and Chelsea Mageland.

Schiffrin and Stebbins Presenting at National Psychology Conference

Hilary Stebbins

Holly Schiffrin, associate professor of psychology, and Hilary Stebbins, assistant professor of psychology, are presenting at the 34th annual National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology conference from January 3 to January 6.

Holly Schiffrin

Stebbins is presenting “It’s Not That Boring! Active Learning Activities That Help Make Teaching Biopsychology More Fun and Effective” at a participant idea exchange on Tuesday, January 3.

Schiffrin is presenting “Predicting Student Success in Introductory Statistics for Psychology: You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but You Can’t Make Him Drink It” at a poster session on Thursday, January 5.