Student Research

DarkroomIn addition to the Senior Project, students can also engage in original research directed by faculty. Principal opportunities are the internship in psychological research and independent studies. Moreover, summer projects may be conducted either on or off campus. Some recent examples:

  • “Social support and post-operative recovery” (study at a local pain-management clinic)
  • “Personal stressors and facial EMG in headache sufferers” (independent study)
  • “Effects of separate amygdala and anterior rhinal lesions on memory in rhesus monkeys” (summer project at National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C., supervised by an Allegheny alumnus)
  • “Service-learning involvement for at-risk youth: Pilot implementation and curriculum development” (independent study)

Student Publications/Presentations

Allegheny students regularly present their research findings at local, regional, and national professional meetings, and their work is often published in professional journals. Such achievements are unusual for undergraduates and are viewed especially favorably by graduate schools. Recent examples include:

  • “Heart rate reactivity during the Stroop test better predicted by previous night’s sleep than pulse reactivity,” published in Psychophysiology
  • “The immediate effects of media violence on behavior,” published in the Journal of Social Issues
  • “Attributions of responsibility in date rape: Effects of assailant size and victim resistance strategy” (paper presented to the Eastern Psychological Association)
  • “Religious beliefs and experience of volunteer service in college students” (presented at the International Congress of Psychology)
  • “Women’s use of symbolic objects in prayer” (paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association)
  • “No respite during sleep: Heart-rate hyperreactivity to rapid eye movement sleep in angry men classified as type A,” published in Perceptual and Motor Skills
  • “The Effects of Oxytocin and Vasopressin in the Valproic Acid Model of Autism in Sprague-Dawley Rats” (presented to the Society for Neuroscience)
  • “Kianic acid lesions and reinnervation of the stratium by substantia nigra grafts” (paper presented at International Symposium on Brain Graft Research)
  • “The effects of gender, activity level and reasoning ability on body perception in older adults” (paper received the annual American Psychological Association’s Student Research Award in the field of adult development and aging)
  • “Some motivative properties of NMDA in the rat” (poster presented to the Association for Behavioral Analysis)