Conducting research during the COVID-19 pandemic posed plenty of obstacles — but it didn’t stop SJC Brooklyn Psychology Associate Chair and Professor Peter Lin, Ph.D., from helping his students Francesca Lauricella and Drishti Kalia present psychology research at a virtual convention in May.
The 2021 Association for Psychological Science (APS) Convention is an interactive online two-day event that combines program components from the APS Annual Convention and the International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS).
Kalia’s research, “Can I, or I Can: The Impact of Self-Efficacy on Online Learning Attitudes,” focused on the effects of self-efficacy on online learning during the pandemic. Lauricella’s study, “Masked Faces: The Relationship between the Health Belief Model and Face Mask Attitude” delved into health beliefs regarding mask wearing during COVID-19.
Lauricella and Kalia worked on their portions of the research during a two-part senior thesis class in their senior year at St. Joe’s. The first course (PSY 460) focuses on research planning, where students learn to write an NIH style grant proposal. In the second course (PSY 465), students execute their research proposal.
Traditionally, good mindfulness intervention research — which Dr. Lin has been studying for two decades — requires a timely, randomized clinical trial that usually involves graduate level training and clinical experience. Dr. Lin’s undergraduate students, Lauricella and Kalia among them, are encouraged to explore their own research interests and projects, instead of mirroring his mindfulness research.
“I am very proud that both Drishti and Francesca could complete the projects and participate in this conference,” Dr. Lin said. “It is not a requirement of the course, but both are eager to participate. Mindfulness trains one to appreciate the process, and I believe both my students and I have gained valuable experiences in the process of participating in a well-established international conference.”
Researching Psychology and Mindfulness with Dr. Lin
Lauricella, who graduated from SJC Brooklyn with a psychology major and a sociology minor, said her capstone thesis class sparked her interest in publishing research.
“Being the first author of my research, I was able to study and analyze what truly interested me the most at the time,” said Lauricella, who is continuing her education, with a goal of becoming a social worker. “It was truly an amazing experience and having Professor Lin guiding me through the process made it even better.
“Professor Lin helped me in a non-invasive way,” she added. “He definitely made sure I would reach my goal in completing and presenting my research by giving me the right amount of feedback, while allowing me to explore my research on my own.”
Kalia, who graduated from SJC Brooklyn with a psychology major and a double minor in criminal justice and mindfulness in clinical interventions, agreed that researching with Dr. Lin was an invaluable experience.
“I presented my senior year thesis in the conference as the first author with Dr. Lin being my mentor and the second author on the research,” said Kalia, who was president of the Psychology Club and led other student organizations during her time at St. Joseph’s. “It was an amazing learning experience to study with Dr. Lin because he really pushed me to stretch my limits and do my best in every possible way.”
She continued: “I am currently working at a non-profit for people with psychological problems, and because of my major I feel like I’m more equipped to work with this population and serve them in the best possible way.”