Another Successful National Research Project!

By Liza Veliz
SW Regional Vice-President of Psi Beta

Every year Psi Beta’s national research project provides students a professional development opportunity through engagement in research. Chapters are encouraged to utilize the data sets to test their hypothesis and present their research at local, regional, and national psychological conferences.

This year’s national research project focused on interpersonal communication and workplace skills self-efficacy. The project directors began the data gathering period sooner this year to help chapters obtain data earlier in the academic year. The earlier start time gave chapters a preliminary data set at the end of December, and a full set of data in March. Over 1,200 participants completed the online questionnaire, resulting in a large and rich data set. You can access the data sets on the Psi Beta website or by following this link.

Software tools like SPSS help analyze such large data files. Because SPSS is expensive, try using JASP. JASP is free and undergoing continual development.

It is never too early to gain research experience and sharpen those research skills.

What’s Next? We are now planning the 2020-21 National Research Project. Preliminary plans are to study the psychological construct of appreciation and how it differs from gratitude. Also, the 2020-21 study may incorporate a brief intervention, delivered online, designed to increase the participant’s appreciation. We aim to find out if this is possible through a randomized treatment assignment procedure. Finally, we have worked out a way to provide participants with direct feedback immediately after their participation as a way of a) thanking them for their help, b) providing comprehensive debriefing, and c) enhancing their learning experience.

Dr. Kari Tucker-McCorkhill and her Appreciation Lab students (Lidia McCarter, Nick Wolf, and Allie Amirault) will serve as the study’s research design experts. Dr. Tucker-McCorkhill is the primary Psi Beta advisor for the Irvine Valley College chapter. Kari earned her Ph.D. from UC Riverside where she studied under Sonja Lyubomirsky (Sonja is internationally famous for her happiness research.)

We are very grateful for the chapters who helped this year by successfully recruiting so many participants. Without your help, this study would not have been successful. We hope to continue the national research project for many years to come!

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