NVC Psychology Students Present at Prestigious Research Conference

The Northwest Vista College Psychology Department was well-represented at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) early this month in Frisco, Texas.

SWPA is the American Psychological Association’s affiliate for the Southwestern region of the United States.

NVC Professor of Psychology Dr. Don Lucas along with seven NVC Psychology students: Michael DeLeon, Joseph Gorena, Julia Martinez, Aurora Riojas, Mark Sanchez, JoAnna Secor, and Ginger Smith attended the meeting.

In addition to attending workshops, invited talks, research symposia, poster sessions, and research paper sessions—some students, with Dr. Lucas, presented their original research to standing-room-only audiences.

Ginger Smith and Sember Lucas—a senior psychology major at Texas Tech University (and Dr. Don’s daughter), presented a talk titled, Can the Words People Use to Answer “Ordinary” Questions Reveal Childhood Sexual Abuse? 

Ginger and Sember analyzed the psychological values of words people use.  They found this analysis can reveal childhood sexual abuse, and thereby may be used as a tool to increase the number of people reporting their abuse.

JoAnna Secor and Michael DeLeon presented a talk titled, San Antonians’ Behavioral and Attitudinal Happiness Relative to Social Economic Status. 

JoAnna and Michael created a scientifically robust and novel method for measuring a city’s happiness.  Their study revealed San Antonio to be relatively happy, but this happiness is affected by social economic status and cognitive dissonance.    

Ginger and Sember, and JoAnna and Michael, will be presenting their research later this spring at the prestigious annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in Washington, D.C. 

NVC students have been attending and presenting at the annual meetings of the Southwestern Psychological Association since 2005. Next year’s meeting is in San Antonio.

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