During Summer Fellows, I had the opportunity to study the relationship between extraversion/introversion and suggestibility. As a junior, I participated in a research project which demonstrated that one’s “implicit personality”, or unconscious interpretation of oneself, is malleable; with the right manipulation, an extravert can be made to act as an introvert, and vice-versa. My Summer Fellows research further examined this relationship using EEG to tackle three primary questions. First, can you tell someone’s personality based solely on their EEG? Second, are extroverts more or less suggestible than introverts? Finally, will someone’s EEG change if their implicit personality changes?
What was valuable about the experience?
The most valuable part of the experience was just the amount of research experience I was able to gain in such a short period of time. It’s rare that undergraduates get to even participate in research, let alone develop their own projects; at Ursinus, it’s the norm. I got to explore one of my passions in-depth and how I wanted to, and it’s been life-changing. Although I am still pursuing a career in clinical medicine, I also want to conduct clinical research thanks to my experiences during Summer Fellows.
The Coolest Part of the Experience
The coolest part of the experience was the moment I saw my data point towards definitive answers to all of my questions. There’s very little literature concerning extraversion/introversion, suggestibility and EEG all at once, and the majority of it has inconclusive or conflicting data with weak trending at best. This pilot study already showed strong trends with a very small number of participants; with the larger sample I’ll be testing this year, there’s a good chance I can get statistically significant results which confirm my hypotheses and finally answer questions that people have been asking for years. It’s just really cool to see everything fall into place.
Who I Met that Made a Difference
The person I met who made the most significant difference was my mentor, Dr. Joel Bish. I had already been in several of Dr. Bish’s classes in the past, but the one-on-one interactions between a mentor and mentee make independent research an entirely different ballgame. Dr. Bish allowed me to run my project the way I wanted it run, while still giving me all the help I needed when necessary. The result was that I didn’t just participate in research – I ran a lab.
President of Phi Kappa Sigma (Delta Rho Chapter), Chief of Ursinus College Emergency Medical Services, Student Tech Support Technician, Senior Admission Fellow, Spanish Tutor