Starting New & My Literature Review: Part One

Hello world, and welcome to my hypothetical, cyberspace crib! I’ve been back in Williamsburg for one week now, and my research has been flowing without a hitch so far. My main focuses have been establishing a daily routine for myself, generating momentum for my literature review, and learning how to manage, and ultimately analyze, the psychophysiological data I have collected in the past year.

I’ve been meeting with my advisor (Chris Conway) every few days to check in and receive guidance regarding my project. He has encouraged me to dive head first into the literature surrounding anxiety disorders, gender differences, and physiological responses to stressful life events. So, I packed some snacks and headed for the stacks of Swem to begin my project.

The pursuit to knowledge is paved with oatmeal in mason jars.

The pursuit to knowledge is paved with oatmeal in mason jars.

So far, I’ve accumulated notes from seven different books and two different “webinars.” My favorites have been Michelle Craske’s Origins of Phobias and Anxiety Disorders: Why more women than men? and Emmelkamp & Ehring’s Wiley Handbook of Anxiety Disorders. My research thus far has been centered around understanding the nuances that differentiate anxiety, stress, and fear, and those that mark the differences between Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder. Basically, I’ve just been examining the intersections between anxiety and gender from a birds-eye view. 

Don’t fret, loyal followers- I will be making my own discoveries soon! The next step in my research process will be to begin data analyzation. I plan on running the responses to the IDAS-II (Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms) through SPSS in order to gather some baseline descriptive statistics and correlations between risk for the development of an anxiety disorder and gender. My advisor and I will also begin experimenting with our EDA data (electrodermal activity) collected during the Trier Social Stress Test portion of our study.

Honestly, I am loving my work as a researcher. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to throw myself into something I love so much, and to hopefully further the knowledge in an area of study that is so important. If the past week has been any indication of how the rest of the summer is going to unfold, I know it’s going to be a fulfilling, life-changing experience!


  1. Very cool blog. I love the Oatmeal in Mason jars fueling the research. Great that you get to use SPSS (a popular analytics solution). Very interesting topics as well. Go Laila!