Psychology students, professor attend conference in Cancun

Linfield students presented their work at the Northwest Psychological Association’s regional conference in Cancun, Mexico.
Seniors Nadia Abraibesh, Ashley Hockett and Lauren Leopp joined Associate professors of Psychology Tanya Tompkins and Jennifer Linder at the four-day conference, starting April 21, to present the results of their research.
Abraibesh, Hockett and Tompkins were the authors of a research project, “A Cross-Cultural Look at Co-rumination in American and Ecuadorian College Students.”
Tompkins said that she and Abraibesh worked on the project for two years with funding from a faculty-student collaborative grant they acquired in 2008.
Abraibesh’s research was helped by a semester abroad in Ecuador, where she compared the students to those in the Unite States.
Part of her research involved cultural values, she said, but the work is unfinished.
“I’m also interested in how cultural values, like individuals and collectivism in Ecuador and the United States, affect co-rumination,” Abraibesh said.
Tompkins said that she was impressed by Abraibesh’s performance.
“They blew [the previous speaker] away, and he was a graduate student a month away from getting his masters,” she said.
Abraibesh was also positive about her presentation.
“Surprisingly, no one asked us any questions,” Abraibesh said. “It went really well.”
Abraibesh also worked on a second project with Loepp and Linder and presented it at the conference.
The students brought home no awards but said that was not the point of attending the conference.
“It was a valuable learning experience,” Abraibesh said. “It was nice to attend this at the end of my senior year and present work that I’d been working on for the past two years.”
Leopp agreed with Abraibesh about the trip.
“Attending the Western Psychological Association’s conference is not only important for us to share our research,” Leopp said in an e-mail. “It also gives us the opportunity to learn about other research being conducted by other professors.”
Tompkins concurred, adding that bringing a project to a conference was usually the first step when turning a research project into a paper on the subject.
Leopp’s project began last summer under Linder and involved collaboration from students and faculty in Bringham Young and Iowa State universities.
Hockett presented her project, “Co-Rumination and Negative Inferential Style are a Vicious Combination.”
Tompkins said that co-rumination, the subject of both Hockett’s and Abraibesh’s projects, is an under-studied subject.
“Co-rumination is a problem-focused talk with negative effects,” she said. “It’s basically rehashing and regurgitating and going over a problem with a friend.”
She added that people who engage in the behavior are more likely to become depressed under stress.
Tompkins said that Hockett’s project was about the moderating effects of co-rumintation and what slowed or accelerated people into depression.
“[Hockett] discovered that co-rumination tended to worsen the effects of depression,” Tompkins said.
Abraibesh said the lack of information about co-rumination is what attracted her to the subject.
“I wanted to add to the literature,” she said. “No one has really looked at co-rumination outside of the United States.”
Joshua Ensler
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