Students Discuss Their Summer of Psychology Research

Two students sit at picnic tables in the academic quad.
October 3, 2019

Each year, Wellesley’s Summer Research Program gives a select group of students the opportunity to do high-level research in a variety of fields across the social and natural sciences. Shruti Samala ’21 (left) and Melisa Campos ’22 (right), two psychology majors who conducted psychological research over the summer, recently sat down together in the Academic Quad to discuss their work.

Samala, a native of Hyderabad, India, focused on why children create imaginary companions and what role they might play in childhood development, guided by Tracy Gleason, professor of psychology. Campos, a native of Houston, Texas, interviewed a group of Wellesley undergraduates about their childhood memories, hoping to better understand memory formation in adolescent minds, under the guidance of Margaret Keane, Denise Kellen ’68 Professor in the Health Sciences and chair of the psychology department.

Here, Samala and Campos discuss some of the difficulties and surprises that arise during long-term research projects, the differences between quantitative and qualitative work, and the challenges of presenting their findings to people who aren’t familiar with the field of psychology.