SAFE Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Andrew Smith
Dr. Andrew Smith, associate professor, Department of Psychology
Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient
Project: “Research Project for Honors Class”
Students from Smith’s Advanced Research methods course, which covers best practices in how to conduct psychological research, utilized the skills they learned to conduct two research projects. Funding from a SAFE grant allowed Smith to pay the student research participants.
In the first research project, Smith and students examined when people feel regret. They specifically focused on which people tend to regret more – action (making a choice) or inaction (sticking with the status quo). In the second project, they examined whether people’s mindsets influence how they evaluate situations. They contrasted situations where someone might be in a "calculation" mindset whether they are trying to think about things objectively or in a "feelings" mindset where they are trying to empathize with other individuals.
The previously conducted research on this topic sampled groups of college students, which limits the research’s conclusions. As a result, SAFE funds were used to recruit a larger sample of research participants from across the U.S. who participated online.
“Comparing differences across different types of participants allows us to evaluate whether the findings generalize or are specific to certain populations,” explained Smith.
Smith is currently writing a manuscript describing the study that will be submitted for publication.
Smith added “The funds not only allowed the students to gain experience in conducting high-quality research, but also helped to identify the generalizability of psychological findings.”
About The SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at: https://cas.appstate.edu/students/student-and-faculty-excellence-safe-fund.
About the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology
Appalachian’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology serves more than 1,000 undergraduate majors seeking the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, as well as 80 graduate students in three master’s programs (experimental psychology, school psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology and human resource management) and the clinical psychology (Psy.D.) doctoral program. Learn more at https://psych.appstate.edu.
Compiled and written by Sophia Woodall and Ellen Gwin Burnette
June 7, 2021