Portland School Notebook: April 17

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Portland native to be part of summer research project

Portland native Jane Farrell, a junior at the Stonehill College, will work with another student and associate professor of psychology Christopher Poirier this summer on the effects of social categorization and motivation on the own-age bias in face recognition memory.

Farrell will be taking part in the Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience program, also known by its acronym SURE. The program involoves a total of 50 students working with 32 faculty members on a variety of research projects.

In his previous research and during past SURE programs, Poirier has found support for the hypothesis that people are better able to recognize faces of people their own age. This summer, the research group will test how other variables may affect recognition. Farrell and another psychology major will design experiments that will determine if social categorization and motivation affect people’s ability to recognize faces. They hope to prepare submissions for a conference.

The scholars and their faculty mentors are the 18th group to be part of the SURE program, where students get an opportunity to perform significant, publishable research under the guidance of an experienced faculty researcher. The research experience will help to provide students with a competitive advantage in graduate and professional school applications and in post-college employment opportunities, as well as to provide assistance to faculty in research activities.