students with a chart

March 23, 2012 (Jackson) - An original study by four Belhaven Psychology students and their professor was picked out of 500 other submissions to be presented at the Annual Southeastern Psychological Association Convention in New Orleans on February 15.

The study was titled “Social Anxiety and Social Reticence: A Comparison between Previously Homeschooled and Traditionally Educated College Freshman”.

Senior psychology majors Andrew Gipson and Jessica Polson with graduates Frannie Ratcliff (‘11) and Rachel Henderson (’10) all co-authored the study with Professor of Psychology, Dr. Scott A. White.

Jessica Polson, the presenter at a poster session during the convention, said, “The benefit of team research can be found in how the ideas presented in the initial portion of experimental design undergo aprocess of being refined through discussion. Thus, what starts out as an ambiguous and undirected research question can become more focused and defined.”

Over eight years of research conducted by students in the Undergraduate Honors Research class has led to the publication of two studies in refereedjournals by Dr. White and his students. The studies conducted in this classhave also lead additional presentations at various conferences around the country.

Students are getting real world experience and learning how to conceptualize, design, conduct and present a study from the beginning to the end.

Dr. White said, “Students who have previously been in the class have attended Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology and neuroscience. A significant number of students have also gone on to enter masters degree programs in psychology & counseling, law school and medical school.”

Currently, students in the Undergraduate Honors Research are Jessica Polson, Grace Owens, Bethany Kenagy, Monica Armes & Michael Halford. They are completing a new study that they hope to submit and present at next fall Mississippi Psychological Association convention in Gulfport, MS.