Several Psi Chi members received the Regionals Research Award from Psi Chi: The National Honor Society in Psychology on April 7th at the Southwestern Psychological Association convention.

The convention and presentation took place at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth. The Psi Chi members involved were Felipe Alvarado, Axel Leos and Serena Gutierrez.

Felipe Alvarado, senior psychology major, said the presentation took much preparation throughout the year. The presentation was titled “Demonstration of Probability Leads to Increased Levels of Self-Control.” The study looked at how someone can raise levels of self-control, which is important for success, when someone has an understanding of how probability works.

“We ran the experiment for most of Fall 2012, with the assistance of Dr. Jay Brown, our research adviser,” Alvarado said. “We prepared the PowerPoint presentation to be presented in the Biology Symposium that same semester. We had the data for a fair amount of time and we were able to have a full understanding of our study.”

Dr. Jay Brown, Associate Professor of Psychology and Faculty Liaison for the Minor in International Studies, said he is proud of his students receiving the award. He said he is also proud of the Psi Chi members because they received an award at the Psi Chi conference during the  SWPA conference. Through the Psychology Department Undergraduate Research fund, he was able to fund 10 students to attend the conference to give support to the the three presenters.

“Our Psi Chi has been very active in the last few years,” Brown said. “We’ve really been involved as an organization. They’ve been doing a lot of service work.”

Serena Gutierrez, senior psychology major, said she was proud of the awards and that the presentation has enhanced her experience for her major.

“It has helped strengthen my choice to study psychology,” Gutierrez said. “Learning ideas and theories in class is great and we have really great teachers in the psychology department.”

She said seeing results from their own work makes the experience more realistic.

“It’s exciting to have a theory, conduct an experiment, and have the results support your ideas,” Gutierrez said. “The SWPA conference was amazing too, not only did we conduct an experiment and get results but people were interested in our results and what future implications it could have.”

Alvarado was also excited about the awards they earned.

“There is a sense of pride, but it is more of a group pride,” Alvarado said. “This was team work, and I feel happy that we also made Dr. Brown proud as he trusted us to be part of his research team. It is exciting to walk into the Psychology office and see our certificates. It keeps me motivated.”