Six Simpson students present posters at the Midwestern Psychological Association (MSA) Conference

In early May, six Simpson students presented posters at the Midwestern Psychological Association (MSA) Conference in Chicago, led by Psychology Professor Sal Meyers.

Three of the students – Matt Stewart, Nicole Pridemore, and Cheyanne Godwin – had this to say about their experience there:

Matt Stewart: For the 5th and 6th of May, six of us presented our research at the Midwestern Psychological Association Regional Conference in Chicago. My particular research was on coaching style in athletics, and how that influenced concussion symptom reporting in student athletes at Simpson. I also examined the influence of concussion knowledge on symptom reporting. At this conference, I had the opportunity to converse with people from all across the Midwest about my research, as well as learn about the research others are doing. For example, I learned about how athletes respond to injury, and good coping techniques athletes should use during rehabilitation to maintain well-being and a positive outlook on life. This experience not only benefitted me professionally, but it was genuinely fun. Those who approached me to discuss my poster provided good feedback, and challenged me with additional questions. I made new friends, and surprisingly ran into some old ones. Finally, I got to experience a wonderful city and major civilization, the likes of which are not seen in Iowa. More Simpson students should consider attending this conference for the aforementioned benefits and experiences. It would serve to strengthen the reputation of Simpson, locally, regionally, and nationally.

Nicole Pridemore: Our research looked at the perception of instructor feedback on students who have fixed mindsets. In other words, these students do not believe they can improve on tasks like writing or revising papers, and we wanted to know how positive or negative feedback from instructors would further impact their motivation to write or revise their papers. Getting to present this research in such an elite environment was a new experience. We had the opportunity to learn about other research from undergrads like ourselves and the research of invited speakers and other professors. I loved having the chance to explain our research to those who were curious and even had further knowledge in the fields we were researching. They were able to add onto our own research with their knowledge and gave us pointers on how we could expand our research even further in the future. I think it’s fair to say everyone with a psychology major should look into submitting their own proposals to attend MPA. There is no experience that is more motivating than getting to share your research with other curious minds and getting the chance to interact with people who have shared interests in your field. It’s one thing getting to present your research, but it’s an entirely new experience getting to present your research to those who are actually curious and want to know more about your own findings.

Cheyanne Godwin: Attending MPA 2016 was a wonderful experience. Not only was I able to present my research project during the poster session, I was also able to collaborate with other attendees and get ideas for how to improve my project and I was able to listen to talks about research projects I had no idea were going on over topics I had never even considered. I presented a poster over my project investigating predictors of procrastination. Presenting this was a great experience. MPA gave me the opportunity to gain experience talking in front of people, allowed me to inform others of what I found, and to gain input on what I could do to improve my research or presentation. Listening to the talks was also extremely informative. One talk that sticks out was a presentation on memory, specifically eyewitness testimonies and what increases or decreases people’s perception of the believability of eyewitness testimonies. The findings suggest that if a witness says “I’m pretty certain” people are likely to believe them, however if witnesses qualify this statement with why they are certain by saying something such as “I recognize him” or “his chin is familiar” then people are less likely to believe the witness. The believability of witnesses also decreases when the witness and subject are not of the same race.

Congratulations to all those who presented and a big thank you to Professor Meyers for encouraging students to participate in these professional activities!