News - Embracing God's Calling

Embracing God's Calling

Kayla with research poster

Greenville College’s vision is to inspire students to embrace God’s calling for their lives. Through her liberal arts education at GC, senior Kayla Hyde knows exactly what her career calling is: research. Majoring in psychology allowed Kayla to discover her passion for research. The psychology major provides students with many opportunities to gain valuable research experience.

Kayla Hyde’s interest in research began in her Experimental Psychology course with Dr. Rich Beans. The Experimental Psychology course is designed for students to gain exposure to research and learn how to design and implement experiments. Kayla’s individual experiment stemmed from her interest in gender issues and gender inequality research. Because of her positive experience in the Experimental Psychology course, Kayla expanded her research skills and knowledge of gender issues and gender inequality by taking the Psychology Research Lab course with Dr. Eric Watterson.

Psychology Research Lab enables students to pursue their own research interests under the guidance of experienced faculty, and ultimately make a presentation at a major psychology conference. In the past several years, students have presented at ILLOWA, MUAP and MPA. Kayla’s research project focused on the impact of clothing styles on perceptions competence in the work place. Contrary to expectations, Kayla found that, overall, male models were viewed as less competent than the female models. She also found that models wearing “provocative” clothing were viewed as less competent than models wearing “conservative” clothing.

Kayla presenting at MPATo culminate her research experience, Kayla presented her study at the Psi Chi poster symposium of the Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA) in Chicago, on May 6, 2016. “People came to my booth and had varying levels of engagement and interaction with my poster. Most people were intrigued by the clothing styles and wanted to hear more about my experiment,” Kayla explains.

As part of the experience at MPA, Kayla was also able to interact with other students and discuss their research findings. “Interacting with students from large schools at the conference showed that I am not only at the same academic level as these students, but I was able to academically critique and improve on others’ work.”

Because of the research experience GC offered, Kayla feels fully prepared to pursue a job in research.  “Dr. Watterson has done a great job preparing the students for this type of work.” Kayla offers the following advice to other students considering pursuing research: “A lot of people are afraid of the idea of research, and there’s no reason to be. The initial ideas and preliminary work is the hardest, but once you get into it, it is not as difficult. It is a lot of fun!”

This story was published on June 07, 2016

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