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Oglethorpe students at Georgia Psychological Association, 2010.

The Georgia Psychological Association held its annual meeting in Marietta on Saturday, May 15, 2010. Each year, conference organizers invite students at every college and university across the state to submit original research for a juried competition. This year, six OU students, accompanied by Professors Leah Zinner and John Carton, attended the conference.

This marks the third straight year OU students have won awards and cash prizes at this statewide competition and it is the second year in a row that OU students have taken home top honors. Psychology students from 9 colleges and universities from across the state were represented at the conference.


Rebecca McAlister and Nicholas Etherington: “The effects of rewards in intrinsic motivation”

The students presented their research in a three-hour poster session. Each student’s poster was reviewed by at least two jurors on a variety of criteria and every student had to orally defend their research to the jurors. Students also were questioned by psychologists attending the conference. This year, the committee awarded an undergraduate research prize to Oglethorpe University’s Alexandra Buonanotte for her study on the effects of different types of meditation on positive affect.


Alexandra Buonanotte and Ashleigh Grizzle at the GPA 2010.

Research experience is an important component of the OU Psychology Department curriculum. All majors complete a full year of research training and many complete additional research projects under the supervision of a faculty member. Students are routinely encouraged to submit their work for peer review at professional conferences. Research experience is widely considered to be a critical factor for admission to graduate programs in the sciences and for entering research-related careers.


Santina Makai Takori and Livia Balaban at the GPA 2010.

OU students who attended the GPA conference and the title of their projects include:

  • Alexandra Buonanotte: “The effects of different types of meditation on positive affect”
  • Livia Balaban: “The relationship between public self-awareness and compliance”
  • Ashleigh Grizzle: “Potential limitations of contact: An examination of contact and prejudice towards individuals with disabilities”
  • Santina Takori: “Product placement: How does viewing history affect brand attitudes and memory for products?”
  • Rebecca McAlister and Nicholas Etherington: “The effects of rewards in intrinsic motivation”
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