Student Notebook

2009 Student Research Award Winners

Please join APSSC in congratulating the winners of this year’s research award competition, who will be speaking at the upcoming APS 21st Annual Convention in San Francisco. We would like to thank all of the students who submitted entries, and those who volunteered their time as reviewers.

Erin Maloney
Erin Maloney is a graduate student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Her study, entitled, “Math Anxiety Affects Counting but Not Subitizing on an Enumeration Task,” examined numerical processing in math anxious students. Study participants performed an enumeration task. Although math anxiety did not have an effect on subitizing (quickly determining the amount when shown 1-4 items), math anxious individuals performed worse in the counting range (determining the amount when shown 5-9 items). The findings reveal deficient counting performance in individuals with mathematics anxiety.

Michael Russell
Michael Russell is currently a psychology and social behavior doctoral student at the University of California, Irvine. He won the 2009 Student Research Award for his research entitled, “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Adolescent Females Sentenced to Custody: Prevalence and Young-Adult Outcomes.” Little is known about the developmental outcomes of ADHD among adolescent girls at the “deep end” of the juvenile justice system. Mike’s research suggests an association between ADHD in adolescence and high levels of psychopathology, rule-breaking behavior, and continued offending in young adulthood among an already high-risk female population.

Jamil Zaki
Jamil Zaki is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. His study,  “The Neuroscience of Interpersonal Understanding,” is concerned with the ways human understand the minds of other people. Neuroscientific theories suggest that accurate interpersonal understanding should depend upon affective, motor and/or higher cognitive brain regions, but until now no experimental method has been available to directly test these possibilities. In this study, Jamil presented a novel functional imaging paradigm that allowed him to address this issue. He found that accurate social cognitive judgments depended on 1) structures within the human mirror neuron system and 2) brain regions implicated in explicit mental state attribution. Furthermore, judging the feelings of emotionally expressive, as opposed to inexpressive, others increased recruitment of activity in both of these sets of brain regions. Taken together, these results provide a new methodological and theoretical framework for studying the neural bases of interpersonal understanding.

Teresa Madruga
Teresa Madruga is an undergraduate student at California State University, Stanislaus. In her project entitled, “The Effect of Brand Name Clothing on Person Perception,” undergraduate participants were asked to rate the characteristics of a model under three conditions: wearing high status clothing, low status clothing, and clothing of no discernable status. Results showed participants evaluated the model in a similar fashion regardless of brand status.

Observer Vol.22, No.5 May/June, 2009

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