Three psychology undergraduates receive summer research grants

April 25, 2012

By Steven Johnson '13

Three students from the Department of Psychology were awarded each a $5,000 grant from the Psychology National Honor Society (Psi Chi) to support their summer research activities at Bradley. 

The juniors—Kristine Nichols, Abbey Reimer and Kimberly O’Leary—will use the funds to conduct summer research on a variety of topics.

“I am very happy and honored to have been selected as one of the Psi Chi grant recipients,” Nichols said. “I look forward to spending my summer at Bradley researching and working with children. I am pleased and excited to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Montgomery and other students throughout the summer.”

A total of 14 summertime grants are given each year and past winners include schools like Yale University, Swarthmore College, Georgetown University and others.

Nichols said her research study is titled “The role of goal neglect on inhibitory control among preschoolers” and will investigate the extent to which attentiveness is a component of memory and other cognitive processes.  

Reimer’s project, titled “Benevolent Sexism Really is BS: The Effect of Benevolent Sexism on Feelings of Power,” aims to examine the affect of experiencing benevolent sexism on women's feelings of power while O’Leary’s work, “An Affair of Beauty and Death: The Effect of Mortality Salience on Attraction,” looks to enhance an understanding of mortality salience and Terror Management Theory in the context of sexual attraction.

Dr. Derek Montgomery, a professor and chair of the psychology department, said he was excited for the honor bestowed upon the students.

“Receiving three awards is a strong testament to the academic quality of our students and of our entire faculty,” Montgomery said. “Our department values and emphasizes student involvement in research and we make sure students receive a lot of experience and mentoring.  This preparation is a useful and necessary foundation for the successful applicants.”

The three honored students are planning to apply to graduate school next year and involvement with summer research projects will be a significant benefit for them while applying. Sponsoring the students’ research are Dr. Montgomery, Dr. Stephenie Chaudoir and Dr. David Schmitt, all of the psychology department.

All undergraduate Psi Chi members are eligible to apply for these grants. The application procedure for the grant includes submitting a narrative describing the proposed project, the applicant's previous research experience and the anticipated impact of the summer research experience. Students also must include transcripts and letters of recommendation.