Psychology majors complete either PY417 (Senior Seminar: Research in Psychology) or PY450 (Senior Seminar: Advanced Topics in Psychology) during their senior year. Upon completion of the course, each senior presents his/her research project to faculty and students at the Psychology Senior Conference.
In PY417 students actively explore their own interests by conducting a complex research project from start to finish, including forming a research question and hypothesis, designing an experiment or observational study, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting the findings orally and in written form. This demanding yet rewarding task is often the most valuable experience our majors have during their time at BSC.
Recent research papers from PY417:
Traits associated with the accurate perception of sexual orientation in male faces
Katie Sack, Sarah Carper, and Mohammed Jasser
Walk this way: Auditory priming effects on subsequent motor behavior
Cedric Evans, Haley Johnson, Richard Vance, J. D. Hulse
Close(r) friends?: Social motivations affect perceived distance to other people
Ashley Cook, KK Hultberg, Kace Franks, Katelyn Wilson
Caffeine: Wake up and smell the memory
Meghan Morales, Ameet Bosmia, and Mary Avant
In PY450 students gain an in-depth view of an advanced topic in psychology (e.g., violence, media psychology, psychotherapy). This class is quite comparable to a graduate level course in format (i.e., discussion-based) and content. The final project in this class is similar to that in PY417, but because so many research ideas are near impossible to pursue as an undergraduate student (e.g., conducting a randomized controlled trial investigating the efficacy of Zoloft in the treatment of severe depression), PY450 offers an opportunity for students to propose a research project – any project (the sky is the limit!) -- but not actually carry it out (well, at least not until later in life when they get a NIH multi-million dollar grant).
Recent research papers from PY450:
Examining the efficacy of Mirror Therapy in the treatment for phantom limb pain
A complete dismantling of Cognitive-behavioral Therapy as treatment for primary insomnia
A proposed randomized control study on Narrative Exposure Therapy as a treatment for African refuge children with posttraumatic stress disorder