Student-faculty research projects explore schizophrenia, public perceptions of science and the relationship between mental health and sleep.

HWS research was on display at the Eastern Psychology Association conference with student-faculty projects that explore the public image of scientific research, the nature of structural brain differences in schizophrenia, and the facets of dispositional mindfulness for anxiety, depression and sleep.

Randy Hong ’26, Hannah Lax ’24 and Bethany Poirier ’25 joined Assistant Professor of Psychological Science Stephanie Anglin at the conference in Philadelphia.

Hannah Lax '24 presents research designed to illuminate the nature of structural brain differences in schizophrenia.

Anglin — whose research examines beliefs and attitudes as well as scientific reasoning and decision-making, among other areas — delivered a talk investigating perceptions of scientists and non-scientists on issues in psychology, medicine, computer science and overall science research practice.

Anglin, Hong and Poirier also presented a poster they coauthored that used a “perceptions of scientific uncertainty scale” to examine the study participants’ understanding of and support for science.

“Greater perceived certainty of studies was associated with discriminating less between strong and weak evidence and lower scientific reasoning ability, but greater support for science,” as they explained. “Greater perceived uncertainty of science correlated with believing replications do not advance knowledge. These findings suggest that people who view science as certain support science more but understand it less.”

Lax presented a poster based on her research with Associate Professor of Psychological Science Dan Graham and Assistant Professor of Mathematics Yan Hao, which was designed to illuminate the nature of structural brain differences in schizophrenia (SZ). Their study modeled dynamic neuronal message-passing and found “that SZ pathology could be related to altered message flow across SZ brain networks with reduced connectivity.”

The conference also featured a poster, coauthored by Professors Julie Kingery and Jamie Bodenlos, Kevin Lassman ’24 and former HWS faculty member Jack Peltz, examining “the relative importance of facets of dispositional mindfulness for anxiety, depression and sleep.… [which] have implications for college students’ mental health.”

Founded in 1896 to advance the science and profession of psychology, the Eastern Psychological Association hosts an annual conference that allows members to present the latest advances in the field to their colleagues. For undergraduate students, a professional conference is an experiential learning opportunity that offers the chance to network, engage with new research and get a taste for the field.

Pictured above, Bethany Poirier '25 and Randy Hong '26 present research they conducted with Assistant Professor of Psychological Science Stephanie Anglin.