After two year study, SLU psych students present results in Texas


Courtesy of Nele Gudermann

The three psychology students standing in front of their inforgraphic at the Southewestern Psychological Association Annual Convention.

Last month, Southeastern psychology students traveled to Frisco, Texas for the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) Convention to present their research on “Student Perceptions of Academic Dishonesty and Attitudes” and “Voting Behaviors of Neutral or No-Affiliation Voters” on Southeastern’s campus.

The group of research students that were able to attend the event included Jacey Fitzmorris, Nele Gudermanna and Claire Huston. The faculty supervisor is Dr. Varnado-Sullivan, who is the current psychology department head.

Hutson said,  “It was a very cool experience. We were all so excited to attend, learn and be able to represent Southeastern psychology.”

In preparation for this event, it took about two years of research and dedication to create the “cheating” study, since they had to design all the measurements on their own. They also met weekly with their faculty advisor and twice a week within their group to prepare the study, collect data and get the poster ready.

The group had several meetings with the Student Government Association and was approved for partial funding for the trip. This included the hotel stay, conference registration fees and a portion of their travel costs. They were also approved for reimbursement of the remaining costs from the psychology department fund.

Gudermann said, “I personally saw some really interesting research in the forensic psychology field and ended up talking to some of the people doing research. Other than that, we attended some other poster sessions and went to one of the keynote speakers who talked about the Bayesian Approach to Memory.”

The theme for the conference this year was “Psychology by the Numbers,” so several of the keynote speakers presented research about new ways to integrate mathematical analyses into psychological experimentation and study. The group also attended a student research discussion about social psychology, a presentation about “Educator Roles in Human Trafficking Intervention” and criminal risk factors among justice-involved veterans.

Hutson said, “We received positive feedback from a few faculty members from other universities who were attending the conference, especially regarding our research about academic dishonesty. They expressed that they had dealt with similar issues within their universities and it was interesting to see it presented as official research.”

Southeastern psych students present their poster that took them two years of research in Fresco Texas for the Psychology Convention. (Courtesy of Nele Gudermanna)

There were three full days of scheduled presentation events, including keynote speakers, student research talks and poster presentation sessions. SWPA offered an abstract submission for students to submit talks, posters, symposia and workshops. Students were also able to enter student research competitions. 

Gudermann said, “It was a very cool experience to present some of our own work that we have dedicated so much time to and to learn from all of the other presenters and speakers. It was also a great opportunity to represent Southeastern and to network with other graduate and professional programs in our region.”