Summary of Summer Research

This summer I spent seven weeks conducting background research, combing through psychology measures, and building two psychology studies to prepare for data collection and analysis this coming school year for my honors thesis. All of this work will allow me to confidently implement my studies at the start of the fall semester rather than having to rush to build my studies and collect data by the end of the semester. I feel that my studies are much more well-developed than they would have been had I not had the opportunity to begin working on it this summer.

At the start of my research period I conducted background research on the topics of nostalgia, imagination, inspiration, creativity, and memory. This research helped me strengthen my theses by building upon previous work on the topics. Once my ideas were better refined and I had a better grasp on the topic I proceeded to research the methods of, first, priming nostalgia and a comparable control group. Next, with the help of Professor Thrash in the psychology department, I studied the different ways in which nostalgia proneness, imagination, and creativity have been measured in the past. Confident in the measures I had found, I then started the process of creating my studies on Qualtrics. The first study consisted of a series of questionnaires mostly answered on an agree/disagree format or a yes/no format. The second study included the nostalgia and control priming conditions, followed by questionnaires related to different possible mediating variables (nostalgia proneness, positive affect, self-esteem, social connectedness). Finally, I recorded audio for my imaginative suggestibility measure (Creative-Imagination Questionnaire) and uploaded my alternate uses measure for cognitive flexibility/creativity. The studies are now in the process of IRB submission, revision, and approval. I am hoping to implement the first study by the start of September and the second study by mid-October.


  1. sethgreenspan says:

    Wow, as a chemistry major it’s rare I hear people talk about studying phenomenon like nostalgia, but I find the potential knowledge your studies can generate to be fascinating. I feel like nostalgia is a feeling that is difficult to explain or characterize, but one that most people understand. I would be curious to read your results and get a better understanding of the circumstances that affect this feeling.