Southern Utah University Blog

SUU Psychology Department Emphasizes Research

Posted: May 29, 2019 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 2 minutes

2019-05-rmpa-psychology-conference.jpgSouthern Utah University’s psychology department has been attending the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association’s (RMPA) annual student research conference for nearly 25 years. RMPA is a peer-reviewed conference that provides a platform for students to present their research.

“The conference has really helped us foster the culture of undergraduate research that is so strong in our department and gain recognition at a regional level,” said Psychology Professor Lynn White. This year, Professor White received a special recognition for serving 15 years on the RMPA Review Committee.

SUU students bring a variety of projects to the conference. Projects are usually completed to meet a course requirement or to satisfy a senior project. Most of the projects are overseen or co-authored by a faculty mentor from the psychology department. This year, research topics included the cephalic phase response, the moral licensing theory, and gain and loss frame messages.

“RMPA provided me with the reassurance that every hour put into my research project was worth it,” said SUU psychology senior Amanda Evans. “Talking with Graduate Schools and distinguished psychologists and lecturers made me excited to continue my education and put into perspective how important the hands-on education SUU emphasizes is for students.”

The conference is open to research projects from a variety of majors, not just psychology students. SUU senior McKayla Heaton, who is double majoring in nutrition and Spanish, presented a project on how high and low glycemic index foods affect cephalic phase responses in mice.

“I've learned so much doing research, even though (and perhaps especially since) it was a project that was a bit outside my normal educational focuses,” Heaton said. “I strongly advocate the idea that students be involved in undergraduate research, regardless of their major.”

2019-05-rmpa-psychology-conference-student-presenting.jpgResearch in SUU’s psychology department begins in Psychology 1010 and carries through Psychology 4930, where students complete their senior project.

“The psychology department has an extensive history of hands-on learning through undergraduate research,” said SUU Professor of Psychology Steve Barney. “Faculty guide students through projects built into the curriculum, in research groups outside of class, and in independent research experiences.”

“I think research experience is good for any major,” Professor White continued. “The topics differ but the skill set you develop can benefit you no matter what your career path is.”

SUU’s psychology program offers an academic major and minor. Psychology professors are deeply involved in helping students choose courses that support their career goals and form strong mentoring relationships with students in classes. Learn more about SUU’s Psychology program by visiting the website.

Tags: Student College of Humanities and Social Sciences Psychology

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