Burkart awarded Psi Chi Summer Research Grant

July 13, 2011

Senior Kristen Burkart received a $5,000 grant from the Psychology National Honor Society (Psi Chi) to pursue summer research. She is collaborating with Assistant Professor Anthony Hermann on her project “Self-esteem and compensatory self-presentation: The moderating role of threat domain.”

“The primary goal of self-presentation is to present an image of oneself that is favorable. Based on extensive reviews of the literature, many have argued that those high in self-esteem exhibit a direct and self-enhancing self-presentation style, while those low in self-esteem are more self-protective and indirect,” Burkart said.

“The purpose of the study is to investigate when and how low self-esteem individuals engage in active and favorable self-presentation in response to a threat to their public image,” Burkart said.

The American Psychological Summer Research Grant is a highly selective award.

“It is one of six awards given to members of Psi Chi across the United States,” Dr. Hermann said.

Students applying for this grant had to complete an award application with detailed background information on their particular field of interest, information regarding the nature of the proposed study, and two letters of recommendation.

Burkart and Hermann are ecstatic about the possibilities the grant affords them.

“Kristen and I collaborated closely on developing her project idea and we’ll be working closely to collect the data in an online experiment this summer and then in a sample of Bradley students in our lab this fall,” Hermann said.

Their ultimate goal is publication.

“This grant will put me in a much more favorable position to write up my findings for publication during my senior year and make me a more competitive applicant for Ph.D. programs,” Burkart said.

On top of possibly publishing her research, Burkart has many other plans for her project.

“I intend to present my findings at my department’s annual research forum, Bradley University’s Honors Colloquium, and the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference. I also hope to use my experiences to mentor other students who are interested in psychological science and research,” Burkart said.