Wednesday, May 4, 2016

URSP Student John West Works with the Looming Vulnerability Model of Anxiety Processing

Because I have been working with Dr. Riskind for quite some time, his Looming Vulnerability Model (LVM) of anxiety processing was a given for my research project. Integrating false memory with the model was suggested by him and though I was by no means an expert to begin with in memory research, I have since learned a lot about it. I see this project as a step towards my future goals because I am interested in pursuing clinical psychology and research after I attend graduate school, so conducting research on anxiety and cognition is a good step towards both of those goals. Being expected to design my own study and implement it in a fairly independent manner has pushed me to the limits of what I thought myself capable of in the beginning of the process, and if nothing else, I have gained a lot of self-efficacy and independence.

Most weeks I am busy running participants through my study, though I am also preoccupied with writing the paper that I ultimately hope to publish on the results. Before this past month, I was still occupying my time by creating the materials for the experiment, ranging from questionnaire batteries to randomized/counterbalanced presentations for the study. I am also spending time meeting with my mentor in our lab meetings, discussing different but related projects that I am involved with.

This week I learned an important lesson: no matter how hard you prepare, at some point, chance may complicate your research in ways you weren't expecting. Without going in to too much detail, a problem arose during a session of my experiment that I did not anticipate and I had to cope on the spot. It was a learning experience that I have tried to grow from and add to my expertise moving forward.