Photo of Thalia Garcia
Photo of Thalia Garcia

Thalia Garcia


This past summer my FUTURE mentor Grant McPherson, Dr. Mattingly and I researched the association between self-expansion and preference for novelty. Our goal was to try and understand if self-expansion [growth in self-concept] exists through novel experiences, like traveling and visits to new locations to see if it causes a change in a person’s preference for novelty.

What was valuable about the experience

This experience was valuable because it was my first time researching in psychology and the first real opportunity to conduct research.  I was able to understand what research is like in a college setting as well as in the field of psychology. I also learned new concepts and how to use programs like Qualtrics with the help of my mentor and Dr. Mattingly.

The Coolest Part

The coolest part about research was creating the survey and executing the study. It was an exciting experience to be able to see the collection of data online as well as attain it out in the real world by going out and asking people to participate.

Who I Met that Made a Difference

Dr. Mattingly and my mentor Grant McPherson, made an impactful difference on my thoughts for continuing my education as a psychology major as well as giving me the opportunity to continue research throughout my Ursinus education.  They taught me many things that I had no idea about, such as self-expansion and how to interpret data as well as understanding how programs work.




Psychology Club, Southeast Asian Student Association, Big Brothers, Big Sisters