CCSU Participates in Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting

Shwar Zaidi, Staff Writer

Central Connecticut State University’s Psychology Club participated in an Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting (EPA) on March 5 and 6 where students and teachers presented their psychological research.

Dr. Silvia Corbera Lopez, an assistant professor at the department of psychological science at CCSU, said she presented research titled “Validation and Developmental Trajectories of the Bell-Lysaker Emotion Recognition Task for Kids (BLERT-K),” a study in which Corbera Lopez collaborated with colleagues from the Yale Department of Psychiatry.

“We collected data on the fall 2019 to validate a new task in emotion recognition in children,” Corbera Lopez said, “to do this study, we collected data in children from 3 to 17 years old at the Connecticut Science Center, and we presented these preliminary data on EPA this year.”

Corbera Lopez mentioned she was happy that she was able to make the presentation, which was a 10-minute talk plus question and answer at the end. She also said that she believed there were a good amount of audience members and that she felt listened to and heard as she was very active, focused and excited when presenting her results.

“This study also provided the wonderful opportunity to work with CCSU students who worked very hard to collect data and help work on the study,” Corbera Lopez said, “I felt very proud after presenting these results and showed the work we have done.”

Megyn Jasman, a student in CCSU and president of Psychology Club, said she was satisfied with how the EPA meeting went as it was in a virtual format. Jasman said it was easy to follow and understand what to do and mentioned that students could benefit greatly from EPA. It allows space for psychology students to learn about the newest research from other students as well as professionals in the field where they could network and learn about graduate schools they could apply to.

“I enjoyed attending EPA a lot. It was different from past years considering the virtual format, as I have been to the conference in person as well back in 2019,” Jasman said. “I attended mostly undergraduate psychology student’s research poster presentations. I enjoy learning what other students are researching. I learned about a variety of topics, such as masculinity/male sexuality, post-traumatic stress, and various other topics in psychology!”

Julianna Vass, a senior psychology major at CCSU, presented her independent study in EPA “The Effect of Enthusiasm vs. Expertise on Working Memory,” with Dr. Julia J.C. Blau.

“It was a great experience and for some tips I would give to students is to find an area in psychology that you enjoy. Learn about the topics in those areas and if there are some unanswered questions that you would like to analyze,” Vass said. “Also do not feel discouraged because research can be challenging but it is such an awarding feeling to conduct your own study and learn from your results.”

Overall, EPA is a great opportunity for psychology students to find their interest and put themselves out there to learn and experience.

If you are interested, Jasman said that even though she does not know how the format will be on 2022 EPA conference, students could join CCSU Psychology Club by attending meetings and if they become interested in attending an EPA meeting next year, they can talk to the Psychology Club’s President in fall 2021 regarding the club’s plan.