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Student Research

Faculty and Students Attend Eastern Psychological Association annual meeting

Psychological Science faculty and students attended the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association in Boston, MA, on March 13-16, 2014. Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) was founded in 1896 and is the oldest of the regional Psychological Associations in the United States. Its sole purpose is to advance the science and profession through the dissemination of professional information about the field of Psychology.

Those attending were (pictured L to R) Dr. Lonnie Yandell, Savannah Ladage, Antario Jones, Caroline Baumgartner, Breanna Wood, Monica Roufael, Savannah Johnson, Jasmine Jarupat, Jade Tucker, Stephanie Seeley, Shelby Wall, Melanie Chinsoon, Dr. Pete Giordano, and Dr. Linda Jones.

For the second year in a row, a Belmont student won a research award for research they presented at the conference. Jasmine Jarupat's psychology senior capstone study titled "Prosocial Behavior and Just World Belief Predicted by Mortality Salience and Religiosity" (supervised by Dr. Shen-Miller and Dr. Giordano) received a sixth place award, out of 100 competitors. This award was actually given in a graduate student competition -- Jasmine's poster was inadvertently considered for the graduate student competition even though she is an undergraduate! The award citation indicated to Jasmine that “you have been recognized for your excellence in presentation, research methodology, and research idea.”

Other research that was presented by the Belmont faculty and students included:

  • “The Construction and Validation of the Collegiate Trait Guilt Inventory”
    Kevin Dole, Jasmine Jarupat, Amanda Ellis, and Peter Giordano, PhD

  • "Rejecting Creativity: Why Uncertainty Hinders Novel Thinking"
    Monica Roufael, Jade Tucker, Jessica Kimber, Stephen Palmer, and Lonnie Yandell, PhD

  • "A Validation Study of a New Measure of Impulsivity"
    Breanna Wood, Matthew Wolf, Rebecca Gift, Jolinda Beck, & Peter Giordano, PhD

  • "Personal Distress and Socioeconomic Status as Predictors of Helping Behavior"
    Stephanie Seeley, Marleen Abdelnour, Antario Jones, Monica Roufael, Shelby Wall, Cassie Wyatt & Seraphine Shen-Miller, PhD

  • “The Relationships Between Materialistic Values and Prosocial Spending”
    Savannah Johnson, Caroline Baumgarten, Breanna Wood, Trey Haymond, Tanisha Williams, Eric Uplinger & Seraphine Shen-Miller, PhD


Psychology Faculty and Students at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association meeting in Salt Lake City

From left to right are Dr. Lynn Jones, Dr. Pete Giordano, Dr. Lonnie Yandell, Orlando Pisegna, Dawn Jiacoletti, Will Hobbs, Ken Parrish, Angie Melgar, Dr. Seraphine Shen-Miller


Ken Parrish (left) and Will Hobbs (right) present their poster at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association meeting. Dr. Yandell, is their faculty mentor.

Student Research

The faculty at Belmont University actively encourage undergraduate involvement in research.

Although Belmont is primarily a teaching institution rather than a research university, the skills required to conduct psychological research are at the core of what makes psychology a unique discipline.

Certain skills are necessary in order to perform any type of research. Skills such as organizing diverse information, critically evaluating evidence, developing convincing arguments, and presenting complicated information in an understandable way are required to conduct relevant research.

Many graduate schools require that students have had research experience at the undergraduate level. Even if you do not plan to go to graduate school, the critical thinking skills learned in research activities are invaluable for coping with our complex, information rich world.

There are many ways to become involved in research in your four years at Belmont University. By taking statistics and Research Methods I in your freshman and sophomore years, you will be prepared to develop your own research project in your junior and senior years. This can be done either in classes such as Research Methods II, Senior Seminar, and any upper level psychology course, or as an independent project with a professor. In any case, you can get more out of these experiences than just a grade. For example, Belmont students have won regional and national awards for their research. They have also published their research with their faculty mentors in professional peer-reviewed journals.

There are numerous opportunities to present your research at local, regional and national conferences. The Science Undergraduate Research Symposium in the fall and the annual university-wide Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium in the spring provide an excellent forum for sharing your ideas with others, and your participation in these events will look impressive on your graduate school application.

Students have also had the opportunity to travel and present their research at regional conferences outside the Southeastern region and at national conferences.

If you are interested in seeing what research some of our students have done, you can access the programs from the Belmont University Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS), the Middle Tennessee Psychology Association (MTPA), the Psychology Undergraduate Research Symposium (PURS), and the Science Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS).

See New Psychology Labs

Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium

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Middle Tennessee Psychological Association

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