Psychology Night Research Posters and Presentations

Faculty Sponsor, if applicable

Dr. Kathryn Grant

Project Abstract

This study will focus on 14-17-year-old adolescents with and without depression to understand how they emotionally process facial expressions (i.e. happy faces, scared faces, sad faces, etc.) after being made aware of their possibility to experience biases when evaluating the presented facial expressions. This will be done by 1) comparing the depression group’s multiple-choice responses of the facial expressions to those in the non-depression group, before and after priming the groups; 2) evaluating if the depression group changed their multiple-choice responses and response time after priming. This may give insight into whether or not the depression group eliminated their automatic thought processing because of the priming. We will have 40 adolescents in the age range of 14-17 years old from the High School division at North Shore Academy (NSA), a therapeutic day that serves students currently at risk for social, emotional and behavioral disorders (i.e. Depression, Bipolar, ADHD, Anxiety, etc.). The end goal is to have a better understanding of how adolescents with depression view facial expressions after priming them about their potential biases of expressions that are not clearly presented. This unawareness and inconsistent emotional processing can impact their adulthood, their success in careers and their involvement in the community. The future hope would be that priming the participants would transform that effort into identifying facial emotions more accurately after they are more aware of their possibility to have a predetermined answer.

Type of Research

Undergraduate Student - Independent Study


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