On Jan. 7, 2016 Roslyn High School hosted the 9th annual Long Island High School Psychology Fair, and four Roslyn students emerged victorious. Daniel Chai won Best in Category in Social Psychology, Kamyar Ghiam and Anuj Gupta took Best in Category in Educational Psychology, and Nicolas Furci received an Honorable Mention (second place) in the Interdisciplinary room.
Daniel’s experiment investigated whether Asian Americans are discriminated against in the college admissions process. He was interested in whether all Asian applicants are disadvantaged or whether biases might be directly against Asian applicants who conform to people’s stereotypes, in particular. He emailed college admissions officers a shortened version of a college application which varied the applicant’s race (Asian or Caucasian) and the type of activities in which the applicant participated (stereotypically Asian activities such as science and math clubs and playing a string instrument v. counter stereotypically Asian activities such as participating in student government, playing baseball, and being in a rock band). Daniel found that the Asian student who participated in stereotypically Asian activities was seen as significantly less likely to be admitted to selective colleges.
Kamyar and Anuj, currently juniors, entered their sophomore year study on how parental involvement in students’ academic lives is related to student performance. Based on surveys of Roslyn High School students, the boys found that a moderate level of parental involvement was associated with the best academic performance.
Nick’s study was focused on how to counter people’s optimism about driving under the influence of marijuana. Using an experimental method on a sample of over 300 people from throughout the United States, Nick found that emphasizing the potentially negative consequences of driving under the influence was helpful in decreasing women’s optimism but not men’s. “My study suggests that we need to find a different approach to counter men’s overly optimistic views about driving under the influence of marijuana,” said Nick.
In addition, this year’s Psychology Fair saw the introduction of the first Long Island High School Psychology Bowl. Organized by psychology-loving juniors Yena Kim and Abby Flyer, this event pitted entrants in the Psychology Fair against one another in a quiz bowl-style tournament. Roslyn senior Nicolas Furci emerged victorious, earning him bragging rights and a large trophy. “The Psych Bowl was a terrific addition to this year’s fair,” commented Dr. Allyson Weseley, Roslyn’s Coordinator of Research and one of the founders of the Psychology Fair. “Nick’s performance and Yena and Abby’s initiative and hard work were impressive.”