Psychology internships give high-achieving students a head-start in research

An elite group of undergraduate students from the University of Western Sydney have been given the opportunity to take a five week foray into psychology research.

Positions in the competitive ‘Summer Vacation Research Internship’ have been offered to four high-achieving students who have an interest in pursuing research as a career, and who have maintained a distinction average in the Bachelor of Psychology program.

Dr Tamara Watson from the School of Social Sciences and Psychology says each student has been assigned a research task as well as a UWS researcher that will act as their supervisor and mentor.

“The internship is designed to provide a clear insight into what psychology research is all about, and give students the opportunity to find out early on if a career in the field is right for them,” says Dr Watson.

“Through a series of information sessions and tutorials, they will learn all of the skills that are necessary to run a research project from beginning to end – including research design, experiment creation, data collection and data analysis.”

  • Cassandra Masters, 30, from North Parramatta, will be supervised by Dr Watson on a project that tests Charles Darwin’s theory that opposite emotions are communicated by opposite bodily expressions – such as smiles for happiness and frowns for sadness.
  • Lauren Carter, 30, from Dulwich Hill, will be supervised by Dr Jo Milne-Home on a project that explores how forms of addiction can flourish in an anonymous, online environment, by investigating the correlation between internet use and personality trait predictors.
  • Kristy Dawson, 24, also from Dulwich Hill, will be supervised by Dr Gabrielle Weidemann on a project that relates to the theory that it is easier for your brain to quickly and accurately identify a person or object if it is seen in the right context.
  • Jasper Duineveld, a 21-year-old student International student from the Netherlands, living in Bankstown, will be supervised by Dr Rachel Robbins on a project that explores how changes in view can affect our ability to recognise people’s faces.

The UWS Summer Vacation Research Internship commenced at the Bankstown campus on Monday 16 January 2012 and will run for five weeks.

For interview and photo opportunities with the participating UWS academics and students, contact the Media Unit.


17 January 2012

Contact: Danielle Roddick, Senior Media Officer