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Psychology students earn top honors at IU research conference

December 12, 2014

KOKOMO, Ind. — Two Indiana University Kokomo seniors rank among the top IU undergraduates in research.

Senior psychology majors Alexius Babb and Alexandra Glenn were among those students honored for their research projects at the 19th annual Indiana University Undergraduate Research Conference, which included nearly 80 projects by students from all eight IU campuses.

Babb received the best oral presentation award in her competition group, while Glenn received the best poster presentation honor for her session. Both completed their projects in an experimental psychology class taught by Christina Downey, associate professor of psychology.

“These students’ honors are really a great endorsement of IU Kokomo’s commitment to research, and how we support students in research,” said Downey.

Babb, a native of Bessemer, Alabama, gave an oral presentation of her research on cross-cultural attitudes on illegal downloading of media versus physical theft. She published an online survey, which drew nearly 600 responses from people in South Asia and North America. She then analyzed the responses, comparing to see if respondents found illegal downloading to be a similar crime to physical theft.

Her final result supported her hypothesis, that people in South Asia would be more likely to view illegal downloading as a criminal act than those in North America.

She was one of 15 students who gave oral presentations at the conference, and found it to be a positive experience.

“I was well-prepared, and that really showed, especially with the question and answer period,” she said. “I was excited to win, but I think the other students from our campus were even more excited than I was.”

Babb said Downey gave her excellent guidance, and her experimental psychology classmates helped her write the survey.

Glenn, from Kokomo, did a poster presentation of her project, studying response of bystanders to cyber bullying versus traditional bullying. She presented bullying scenarios, some online and some in person, along with the victim’s response.

“I was surprised to see that people found both types of bullying to be equally impactful to the victim,” she said. “People tend to think we’re emotionally removed from online interactions, and we’re finding we are not.”

Both Glenn and Babb plan to attend graduate school to study psychology, and both said winning research awards would help them stand out from other candidates as they apply to their chosen programs.

Babb added that she enjoyed seeing what kind of research students on all IU campuses are performing. Glenn found the conference to be a good networking experience, and she was excited to meet other students with similar research interests.

Students had to submit applications to participate in the conference. Downey was pleased that 14 IU Kokomo students earned selection, and said it is a valuable learning experience.

“Presenting your research gives an opportunity to think about its strengths and weaknesses, to learn how facts are collected and interpreted, and how they are applied,” she said. “People there can critique your work, and make you think about it in a way writing a paper doesn’t. You meet other people with similar interests who are asking important questions, and have some networking opportunities.”

In addition to Babb and Glenn, other IU Kokomo representatives at the conference included Carolina Anaya-Pico, Jayson Cloud, William Hall, Reggie Henderson, Kimberly Lane, Holly Manns, Mandee Motsenbocker, Heather Ramey, Christina Russell, Christopher Santucci, Antonia Sawyer, and Victoria Shone.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 12/26/2014