Tuesday, November 15, 2016

URSP Student Jasmine Dang Studies Differences in Cognitive Flexibility and its Performance in SART

My name is Jasmine Dang. I am a senior, studying Psychology and Neuroscience. In Spring 2014, I took an introductory human factors psychology course and was delighted to learn about this unique subfield of psychology. I reached out to my course instructor and became her research assistant (RA) in Fall 2015, starting to help out with various projects involving creativity and cognitive flexibility. I learned about URSP towards the end of Spring 2016 and decided to apply under my instructor’s guidance as a mentor. I used my knowledge in cognitive flexibility, incorporated with vigilance, to present my proposal. My study aims to examine individual differences in cognitive flexibility and its relation in predicting performance in a sustained attention to response task (SART).

This URSP project plays a big role in my long-term goals, one of which is pursuing a graduate degree in Human Factors Psychology. Within the course of 2 months after the start of my project, I have been able to apply my skills from the classroom to a research setting on a professional level. I learn how to write an IRB application, to apply for SONA, and to write my own protocol. In addition with filing the paperwork, I meet with my mentor on a weekly basis to discuss the progress of the project including setting up programs and collecting pilot data. The biggest lesson I get from this whole process is that patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to research.

I would like to express my gratitude to all of those who have been patiently guiding me, regarding of their own busy schedule. I also would like to thank those who have made opportunities like this available for students to pursue their ambitions. During this term, I discovered that connecting and taking initiative are critical steps to pursuing any goals. Reach out, ask, and partake! Then, we will make a difference.