BYU-Idaho students are helping to shape the world of psychology. Eleven psychology students attended the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Convention in Denver, Colo. last month. Five of those students presented studies they had replicated in order to test the reproducibility of results published in previous studies. Accompanying the students were Department of Psychology faculty members Brady Wiggins and Scott Martin.
"There is a call for replication to see what findings in psychology hold up over multiple tests," said Wiggins, who has teamed up with Collaborative Replications and Education Project (CREP) to conduct these replication studies.
"A major multi-site project was recently published in Science that sought to replicate 100 recent major psychological studies and a majority of them failed to replicate," Wiggins said.
Because of this, Wiggins and his students in Psych 485, Experiencing Research, signed on with CREP last year to reproduce studies and test the accuracy of previous findings. Presenting those findings at the RMPA Convention is very important, Wiggins says.
"It is a launching point for the students to be able to publish their work," Wiggins said.
The convention is an annual gathering of colleges located within the Rocky Mountain region. During the conference, students, faculty, and notable psychologists present research. There are also several sessions for students on getting into grad school, surviving the stresses of student life, and various things that are of interest to students.
The research presented by these BYU-Idaho students was peer reviewed by CREP and judged to meet high standards of research quality.
"Their research is of a quality that is not typically reached by undergraduate students," Wiggins said.
The replication studies and the RMPA Convention give students a good taste of what the professional world is like.
"This conference is helping us to not only have an educational experience but it allows the students to do research that actually has an impact on something in the field," Wiggins said. "It takes them out of just being in the conversations here at our university and plugs them into the broader field."