Psychology students celebrate the chance to present their research at UCLA
The 9 senior psychology students in the experimental design course presented their research at UCLA's Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference.

SNC Psychology at UCLA

All 9 students in Christina Frederick’s senior-level psychology course in experimental design presented their research at UCLA’s Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC) on May 5, 2017. Students are accepted to these conferences based on blind reviews of their research abstracts – Sierra Nevada College’s acceptance rate of 100% over four years (to conferences at UCLA, Stanford, and UC Berkeley) demonstrates the accomplishments of our psychology majors.

Participants at the conference present their research in either talks or poster sessions. Sybile Moser’s talk on her research, which examined the influence of awareness of gender bias on hiring decisions, generated a lively Q & A session. Kelsey Brodie, Morgan Burke, Landon Chau, Angel Gonzalez, Callie Grady, Carrie Littlewood, Claire Riordan, and Arno Ruymaekers all presented their work in poster sessions.

Drs Elizabeth and Bob Bjork of the UCLA Psychology department, the founders of PURC, commented “We were so impressed that your small Psychology program could send that many students and their posters to PURC. Please pass on our congratulations to your students.”

The Student Research

Kelsey Brodie: Effecting Mental Health: The Impact of Eating Disorder Education on Self-Reported Stigmas
I tested the differing effects of 3 types of educational materials – statistics, causal analysis, and personal memoir – on the reader’s perception of stigma around eating disorders.

Morgan Burke: I Don’t Mean to be Rude, but Your Words are Hurting You: Sexist Disclaimers and Ambivalent Sexism
I tested if and how using a sexist disclaimer affects the hearer’s perception of the speaker. I found that using a sexist disclaimer, regardless of what phrase follows, actually makes people perceive you as more sexist and less likable—even if what you said isn’t sexist.

Landon Chau: Water as a Co-Therapist: Effects of Water on Stress and Mood
I had participants look into bins filled with rocks, with pictures underneath, and one also had water in it. Afterwards they took surveys on mood and stress. I found that the bin with the water did improve their mood.

Angel Gonzalez: The Impact of Cologne Advertisements on the Male Body Image
I wanted to look at male perceptions of body image, since most research in this area is on women. My study, which exposed men to cologne ads containing a still image of a guy, a video, or just an image of the product, found that none of the advertising had much effect on the viewer’s body image.

Callie Grady: Applied Generosity: The Impact of Philanthropic Behavior on Others’ Giving
I looked at how interest and donations to a “Go Fund Me” page were affected by what the previous donation levels appeared to be.

Carrie Littlewood: Impact of the Environment on Divergent Thinking
I had my subjects play with Play-Doh for a specified time in an indoor room without windows, one with windows, or in an outdoor environment, then tested their creativity with a paperclip. I thought I would find that the outdoors would stimulate more creativity, but there was no significant difference.

Sybile Moser: Seeking Applications: The Impact of Gender Bias Awareness on Hireability
My research examined the influence of gender bias information on subjects’ ratings of a recorded job interview with a female candidate. I found that females rated the female candidate much more highly when gender bias awareness was a factor, while males actually lowered their rating in the same situation.

Claire Riordan: Cognitive Coloring: The Impact of Time on False Memory
Participants were tested for recall at either a one minute or five minute interval after hearing a word list which used themed words to stimulate false memories of related words. The group that recalled immediately had more false memory than the group who waited five minutes.

Arno Ruymaekers: Time is Ticking: Feeling Stressed or Motivated
Participants played the kid’s game “Memory” twice, once with a countdown timer and again with a count-up timer, to test the differences in stress and motivation. I found that there was no difference in stress, but people were more motivated when the clock counted down than when it counted up.

More information about the students’ research projects in THE EAGLES EYE >


The Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference was created in 1992 by Dr. Elizabeth Bjork with the objective of creating opportunities for undergraduate research assistants to develop their presentation skills and share their research efforts with their peers and colleagues.