Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DataCamp for Students

DataCamp for Students

We are happy to offer students in the applied statistics lab access to DataCamp!  DataCamp offers courses in R, Python, and Statistics.  Students can use DataCamp to strengthen their knowledge and expertise in these programs.

Contact Dr. Miller at to get more information!

Friday, November 11, 2016

The 14th Hawaii Psychology Student Research Dinner

The 14th Hawaii Psychology Student Research Dinner

On Monday, November 7, 2016, select students from BYU-Hawaii presented their personal research projects at the 14th Hawaii Psychology Student Research Dinner. The dinner included around 100 attendees, including faculty and students from Hawaii Pacific University, Chaminade University, and The University of Hawaii. Maxwell Brieden presented on the "Timing of Reward and Choice," followed by his colleagues Cassis Augustine and Leslie Arrunada who presented their research on "Effects of Caffeine on Dopamine Release" and "Victims of Bullying: What Makes Certain Individuals a Target?" This was a great event for students to be able to connect and network with other students and professors on the island. We want to thank Hawaii Pacific University for hosting this great event and for the opportunity to share our research with them.

Below is a list of the projects presented during the conference:

1. Kibler, R. (U.H.), "The Effects of Summer School on Academic Peer Norms." [Faculty Advisors: Elizabeth Brey and Kristin Pauker]

2. Brieden, M. (BYUH), "Timing of Reward and Choice" [Faculty Advisors: BYUH faculty]

3. Green, V., and Eagle, P. (HPU), "Possible Three Factor Stereotype Content Model." [Faculty Advisor: Katherine Aumer]

4. McClanahan, M. (Chaminade), "A Survey of Psychosocial and Environmental Variables Influencing Seizures for Those with Epilepsy." [Faculty Advisor: Tracy Trevorrow]

5. Garay, M. (U.H.), "How Prototypicality Influences Society's View on Legitimacy in Multiracials." [Faculty Advisor: Chanel Meyers]

6. Augustine, C. (BYUH), "Effects of Caffeine on Dopamine Release." [Faculty Advisors: BYUH faculty]

7. Britt, M., Wapenski, K., Quintua, J., Hsu, N., and Pierson, N. (HPU), "The Impact of Transitioning and Status on the Permeability of Race and Gender." [Faculty Advisor: Katherine Aumer]

8. Lum, S. & Blankman, J. (Chaminade), "The Relationship Between School Start Times and Academic Achievement for K-8 Grades in the US." [Faculty Advisor: Tracy Trevorrow]

9. Arrunada, L. (BYUH), "Victims of Bullying: What makes Certain Individuals a Target?" [Faculty Advisors: BYUH faculty]

10. Avila, G. (U.H.), "The Boy Next Door: How Availability Affects Racial Preferences in Dating." [Faculty Advisors: Chanel Meyers and Kristin Pauker]

11. Haskell, S., Hsu, N., Massa, A., Nafziger, T., Skinner, C., and Pierson, N. (HPU), "Classification of Hate: Emotion vs. Motivation." [Faculty Advisor: Katherine Aumer]

12. Uyeda, K. (U.H.), "Stripping Paradise: Social Status Among Major Racial Groups in Haawaii." [Faculty Advisors: Chanel Meyers and Kristen Pauker]

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Fall 2016 Psychology Graduates

Fall 2016 Psychology Graduates

Congratulations to our Fall 2016 Psychology Graduates! You have made a great impact in the field through your work and we wish you the best on your future endeavors.  Keep up the amazing work!


Augustine Cassis Obeng Boateng
Lindsey Ferrin
Jisun Kim
Chi Man Leung
Suet Mui Ma
Jared Peterson
Ryndan Riley
Jared Roberts
Logan Romrell
Alyxandra Stuehler
Rylan Tesimale
Cherry Melissa Valdez
Mikaeli Zito

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Student Research Spotlight: Working Memory in Spanish–English and Chinese–English Bilinguals

Suet Mui Ma 
Working Memory in Spanish–English and Chinese–English Bilinguals 

Speaking more than one language has its benefits.  For example, bilinguals have demonstrated greater working memory capacity when compared to monolinguals in numerous studies. But what is it about bilingualism that may lead to such an advantage? And are all bilinguals equally benefitted despite similarity or dissimilarity of the languages they speak?  

Suet Mui Ma (Debby), a senior at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, hypothesized that Chinese-English bilinguals would have a greater working memory on visual-spatial task than Spanish-English bilinguals, while controlling for language proficiency and gender differences.  Debby was inspired, as a bilingual student, to investigate this area as she has had personal experience in the perceived discrepancies between different language speakers.

Students from a diverse multicultural University were recruited for her study.  Participants were proficient in two languages, either Spanish-English or Chinese-English. Participants were given self-rated language proficiency questions from the American Council Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).  Participants then engaged in a paper folding task to measure working memory. This task involved mental rotation and serial operations.  The results supported the hypothesis that Chinese-English bilinguals have greater working memory than Spanish-English bilinguals.

What was most challenging and most exciting thing about your study?

"Finding Chinese-English bilinguals was the easy part because of my connections.  However, Spanish-English bilinguals are hard to come by.  It took a lot of face-to-face invitation and social media outreach to find participants for my study.  After running the statistics, my first results were not significant.  Then I decided to use an ANCOVA to control for gender and self-reported English level.  Then I got really excited; my results were significant! My hypothesis that Chinese-English bilinguals would have a greater working memory than Spanish-English bilinguals was supported!"

What were some interesting experiences you had while conducting your study?

"Observing the subjects while participating in the study was so interesting.  You could see the reaction differences between the two groups of bilinguals.  There was definitely a difference in the speed of Spanish-English bilinguals compared to Chinese-English bilinguals.  Both groups showed struggles in the task as they scratched their heads and mumbled to themselves."

What advice would you give other undergraduate students prior to conducting their own psychological research?

"I would recommend students to take some fundamental psych classes before they conduct their own psychological research.  The more classes they take, the more ideas they will have for their research.  From my own experience, I took most of the psych classes before conducting my research.  After taking multivariate statistics and biopsychology, it was a lot easier for me to find research on my topic as well as finding the best analyses for my experiment.  Attending psychology research labs (496R) is very valuable.  It helps students to know more about the processes of doing research.  PSYC 496R preveiews PSYC 305 and 490, as students get the hands-on experience in research."

Debby plans to graduate in the Fall of 2016 from Brigham Young University-Hawaii as a psychology major.  In the Spring of 2016, Debby presented her study in China at the Xi'an Conference where it then went on to get published in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences journal. Debby plans to continue her education onto graduate school in the clinical field.  She remarks learning applicable statistical analyses and having many great opportunities to participate in research and present that research to the public as an undergraduate psychology major at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

You can see Suet Mui Ma (Debby)'s article here.