Published: April 27, 2009
UT senior Tim Harter wanted to see what he could do to expand the
boundaries of virtual reality technology. So, he built his own virtual
reality simulation using video game technology to compare data with
users of a computer-based simulation.
Harter, a recipient of a UT Honors Research Fellowship, will be among
29 other UT student teams April 29 presenting the results of their
research at UT’s 4th annual Psychology Student Research Conference from 4-6 p.m. in UT’s Fletcher Lounge.
A crowning event for UT’s undergraduate psychology majors, the
conference has, in the past, served as a stepping stone for student
research that has gone on to make an impact at various regional and
national psychology conferences.
“It’s a chance for psychology students to present the research
they’ve done, whether it’s in cognitive psychology, social psychology,
personality types, or biopsychology,” said Dr. Stephen Blessing,
associate professor and one of the organizers of the conference.
UT junior Lorian Knapp, who is also a recipient of an Honors Research
Fellowship, along with Dr. Jeff Klepfer, associate professor of
psychology, wanted to see if investment decisions achieved more positive
results if they were made logically rather than emotionally. So, they
designed and administered their own “investment game,” offering extra
credit points to students in UT psychology classes.
Students who participated in Knapp’s project were offered three extra
credit points toward their final grade for the year. They had the
option of keeping the points and walking away, or investing the points
to either gain two – for a total of five points – or lose two – for a
total of one point.
“Dr. Klepfer and I are asserting that in investment and other
decisions that have a success-failure element, it’s better to approach
it rationally and logically,” Knapp said. “We found that those who were
emotional in their decision won less points overall.”
The conference includes psychology students ranging from those
completing empirical research for general psychology classes to those
doing independent studies with UT faculty members.
Past projects that have been presented at the conference have gone on
to various regional and national scholarly conferences, such as the
International Conference of Cognitive Science and the conferences of the
Southeast Psychological Association.
For more information on the conference, contact Dr. Stephen Blessing at (813) 257-3461 or firstname.lastname@example.org.