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Lander Psychology Students Awarded for Outstanding Undergraduate Research

Pictured (L-R) are Lander students Alondra Rodriguez, of Newberry; Kristin Thomas, of Piedmont; Dasia Rhodes, of Blythewood; Emily Ineson, of London, England; Jeremiah Rosenbrook, of Athens, Tennessee; and Sarah Beth Parker, of Belton. Photo by Jonathan Bassett.

Six Lander University psychology majors presented research findings at the 44th annual Convention of the Behavioral Sciences held at the University of Georgia on Monday, April 10. The convention was sponsored by UGA’s chapter of Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology.

The students were awarded for their poster presentation, titled “The Rock of Anxiety and the Hard-Place of Intolerance: Ideological Rigidity and Political Conservatism in Relation to Death Anxiety and Reactions to those with Different Worldviews.” Their presentation shared the results of survey research showing that the more dogmatic people were in their beliefs, the more hostility and animosity they harbored towards those with different opinions.

The research team included senior Emily Ineson, of London, England; senior Dasia Rhodes, of Blythewood; senior Sarah Beth Parker, of Belton; senior Alondra Rodriguez, of Newberry; senior Jeremiah Rosenbrook, of Athens, Tennessee; and junior Kristin Thomas, of Piedmont.

According to Dr. Jonathan Bassett, professor of psychology and project supervisor, the takeaway message from the students’ project is that “intellectual humility and open-mindedness are important in promoting civility in an increasingly divisive world,” said Bassett. “Undergraduate research is a great way to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills and presenting at external venues like this is an important experience that helps foster confidence and professionalism.”