Study Tips: "The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard"

A common question that I get in the first week of class is whether I allow laptops in the classroom. While my policy is that students can feel free to use laptops if that is their preferred method of note taking, I tell them that research has shown that they'll remember more if they take notes by hand. 

A study published in Psychological Science by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer in 2014 entitled "The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking" found that taking notes on a laptop led to worse learning than taking notes by hand. Specifically, students who took notes on a laptop performed worse on conceptual questions over the material even though they wrote more. When you take notes on a laptop you have a tendency to try to write everything down verbatim, as if your job is to provide a transcript of the lecture. Taking notes by hand, however, forces you to rephrase the information. It may be slower and you'll write less, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. By rephrasing the lecture into your own words you're processing the information more deeply than if you had simply tried to transcribe it word for word. 

So when deciding whether to lug the laptop to class or leave it at home - leave it. Less is more when it comes to note taking!

Sensation and perception - a study of Freddy Mercury

I'm not usually a consumer of S&P research nor am I a HUGE Queen fan but this article about a study looking at Mercury's voice was very interesting.  Say what you will about the man and/or his music - he was talented!  I believe Cindy Lauper and Mariah Carrey also have voices that span multiple octaves.  I wonder if they've done this kind of research on them?

Why aren't there a lot of large stadiums for swimming?

I recently heard that the research I submitted to the Canadian Positive Psychology Association conference has been accepted for presentation.  The title of the presentation is "Experiencing Flow Vicariously:  Is Watching Social Flow Better Than Watching Solitary Flow?"   My results support the hypothesis that highly social sports like soccer, basketball, or hockey are more attractive to fans than swimming, cross country, or golf because of the opportunities fans have to vicariously experience flow.  In previous research my students and I have shown that, while solitary flow is enjoyable, it is not as enjoyable as social flow..  I hypothesized that this difference would also be found with people watching others who are trying to achieve flow states alone or within a group.  So, social flow appears to be a superior experience to have actually or vicariously.  And this finding may partially explain why there are many more stadiums for soccer than swimming.

EPA Spotlight: Zombies and Memory

Michael Conley, Junior and Quentin King-Shepard, Senior with Dr. Althea Bauernschmidt

What is the title of your presentation? 

Animacy in Survival Processing

What is your research about? 

In our study we tested the relationship between two separate, but related, topics of research: animacy and survival processing. More specifically, we observed how these two mechanisms improve memory. 

Why is your research interesting/relevant/important? 

First, Zombies... that's pretty cool. More seriously, our research is Interesting in that it allows us to understand how our brain is designed and explains how the failures of our memory are simply a result of us asking the wrong questions. With research like this we can identify why our memory is better in one task as compared to another. For example, we understand memory to be at an advantage when one is faced with an animate predator versus an inanimate predator because it is more advantageous to survival. 

What are you looking forward to most about the conference? 

 I'm most excited to meet my peers who share a similar passion for psychology as well as discovering all the different research opportunities I may have in the future. 

EPA Spotlight: Curation and Content Learning

Gregg Byrne, Senior with Dr. Althea Bauernschmidt 

What is the title of your presentation?

Effects of Curation on Content Learning 

What is your research about?

Our research is geared towards trying to see if manipulating what specific resources people are told to study from affects their general knowledge of a subject. 

Why is your research interesting/relevant/important?

E-learning is a popular and increasingly validated method of learning. One of the primary features of e-learning is the curation of digital content, however the learning benefits of curated content have not been thoroughly examined. 

What are you looking forward to most about the conference?

I enjoy being able to talk to other students, professors, etc. about our research and try to see where new research could possibly lead us. 

EPA Spotlight: Awareness of Exercise and Cognition

Chris Russo, Senior with Dr. Althea Bauernschmidt

What is the title of your presentation? 

Student's Metacognitive Awareness of Exercise and Cognition

What is your research about? 

I wanted to do a study to examine college aged adults in the factors of exercise and nutrition and if they understood that these factors impact cognition

Why is your research interesting/relevant/important? 

I found that college aged adults were aware that these factors impacted cognition but actively choose the unhealthy lifestyle, limiting their potential. My research will help to improve learning, especially on college campuses. 

What are you looking forward to most about the conference? 

I am looking forward to networking with experts in the field and surrounding myself with the most cutting edge research. I am also looking forward to drinking a mimosa immediately after presenting.

EPA Spotlight: Depression and BMI Following a Buffet

Kayla Cuifolo, Senior and Quentin King-Shepard, Senior with Dr. Gregory Privitera

What is the title of your presentation?

Differential Food Intake and Food Choice by Depression and BMI Levels Following a Mood Manipulation in a Buffet-Style Setting 

What is your research about? 

Our research is about whether food intake following a manipulation inducing sadness would be moderated by depression and BMI, with greater intake and food choice for energy-dense foods evident for obese individuals with diagnostic symptoms of depression 

Why is your research interesting/relevant/important?

Our research is relevant and important because we are trying to show that obese individuals that are depressed have greater intake of food and the food they eat is energy dense compared to non-depressed individuals. 

What are you looking forward to most about the conference?

I am looking forward to presenting our research and showing people what we have found. Also I am excited to see other posters and talk to many colleagues at the conference.