Psychology students present award-winning research

Psychology students present award-winning research at MISTOP Conference

Published: March 2, 2013.


(L to R) Lewis University undergraduate student Stephanie
Tribo, Dr. Susan Sheffer, professor of psychology, and
Lewis University 2011 alumna Jillian Reiher present
research at the 20th Annual Midwestern Institute for
Students and Teachers of Psychology.

Lewis University undergraduate student Stephanie Tribo of Manhattan and Lewis University 2011 alumna Jillian Reiher of Joliet received the Outstanding Student Research Award for their poster presentation at the 20th Annual Midwestern Institute for Students and Teachers of Psychology held Feb.22-23 in Glen Ellyn.

Their research study is titled “College Students Intentionally Engage in Harmful Cancer-Risk Behavior: Gender Differences and Effects of Attractiveness Norms on UVB Exposure Behavior and Attitudes.” Tribo and Reiher’s study examined the affective components of skin cancer-risk behavior in college students. Student researchers specifically looked at college students’ UVB exposure from indoor and outdoor tanning behavior. Consistent with the Health Belief Model, significant differences in perceived susceptibility and perceived seriousness of illness between two attractiveness norm (pale/tan) conditions were found. Significant gender differences were found in UVB exposure and preventative behaviors. Overall, females reported higher risk behavior and higher protective behavior than males.

“This award reflects the considerable time and hard work that both of these students have invested in studying psychological science. This multi-phase study was conducted independent of their coursework over a period of approximately three years. I am immensely proud of their accomplishments,” added Dr. Susan Sheffer, professor of psychology and faculty mentor.

Both student researchers were participants in Lewis University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program and are active members of Psi Chi, the International Psychology Student Honors Society. Reiher also received the Senior Psychology Department Award in 2011.

MISTOP brings together more than 200 teachers and students from high school through graduate school gather to share their knowledge and experience of the science of psychology. The program also offers a variety of sessions presented by leaders in psychology education as well as ample time for informal sharing and networking among participants.

Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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