Published! “The Looking Glass Self: The Impact of Explicit Self-Awareness on Self-Esteem”

Recent months have been rewarding for Sierra Nevada College’s Psychology Department.  There has been a wave of research that has been published by our alums with the help of SNC’s Director of Undergraduate Research, Christina M. Frederick.  I will be covering some of their research in the upcoming weeks in blog posts.

Sarah A. Fricke graduated in 2015 and was published in Inquiries Journal December of 2017.  You can find the link to her paper here:

Sarah decided to study the impact of reflective surfaces on scores of a self-esteem assessment.  She tested an equal number of males and females to see if there was a difference in the gender variable between conditions.  In order to study the impact of reflective surfaces, Sarah had participants look in mirrored paper which was either reflective or non-reflective before taking self-esteem scores.

Sarah found no difference between genders or between conditions.  However, her research is still extremely important in the field.  The study of social sciences should not only focus on when significant differences are found, but also when those differences are not found.  Although every researcher in the world holds biases from their personal experiences, research is aimed at finding the truth through limiting those biases.  In this light, the publication of research that shows no significant difference between conditions, is just as valuable or applicable in our daily lives as research which shows no difference.

Sarah was inspired to study this idea, because she was curious as to whether or not using reflective surfaces could impact a person’s view of themselves either positively or negatively.  It took her 1.5 years of editing and working on it on and off, but it only took one submission to Inquiries Journal for it to be accepted.  This shows how much work our Psychology students at Sierra Nevada College dedicate into our research program.

Sarah told me that the opportunity of conducting research and getting it published has proven to her that hard work and dedication does pay off and that even if you don’t discover what you expected to find it is still valuable to the field of Psychology.

Not only is it valuable to the field of Psychology, but the publishing of research from our small institution reflects the dedication and passion of our Psychology department and is great for Sierra Nevada College as a whole.  More to come!


Author: Ryan Knuppenburg (Senior Intern)

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