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Psychology students, faculty present findings at Eastern Psychological Association

Shepherd psychology students and faculty members who presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association are (l. to r.) Kellen Healy, Caroline Shamberger, Dr. Lindsey Levitan, Rachel DiLima; back row, Lauren Duckworth, John Michaels, Aimee Streett, and Dr. Larry Daily.

Psychology students and two faculty members presented findings from their research at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association in Philadelphia March 1-3. Funding for the students to attend the conference came from the Samuel O. Legreid Student Research Presentation Fund.

Dr. Larry Daily, associate professor of psychology, and student Rachel DiLima, Kensington, Maryland, gave a talk titled “A Comparison of Model Builders and Visual Artists” that explored why people engage in hobbies and what characteristics hobbyists possess. Co-authors included students Kellen Healy, Silver Spring, Maryland, and Aimee Streett, Inwood.

DiLima presented a poster on her senior thesis, “Risky Behavior: The Roles of Depression, Openness to Experience, and Coping.” DiLima conducted a study that examined the roles of personality, depression, substance use, and coping in risky behaviors.

Student Caroline Shamberger, Morgantown, gave a poster presentation on her senior thesis, “Rape Myth Acceptance Differences Between LGBT+ and Heterosexual Students.” Shamberger examined the difference in rape myth acceptance levels based on gender, sexual orientation, and on- or off-campus residency.

Dr. Lindsey Levitan, associate professor of psychology, and student Lauren Duckworth, Kingwood, gave a presentation on a faculty-student collaborative research project titled “Network Heterogeneity: Social Influences on Media Exposure and Prejudice.” The study examined the relationship between prejudices of close others and exposure to media depicting LGBT+ primary characters.

Levitan and student John Michaels, Hedgesville, presented “The Role of Social Network Attitudinal Heterogeneity in Weakening Prejudice,” which assessed the degree to which those around us can influence our prejudices by making them weaker and less entrenched.