Wesley College psychology major and art minor Courtney Gross, class of 2017, and Assistant Professor of Psychology Albee Mendoza co-authored a peer-reviewed article published in a special issue of the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research.

Articles in this issue qualified for Open Science Badges, acknowledging the growing trend in the field of psychology to make research more transparent and reproducible.

The article, “Exposure to Media on Perceptions of Violence as a Function of Trait Aggression and Athletic Status,” provides a background on the main variables, states details on the study’s procedures, and presents surprising findings. It appears that participants who viewed violent media versus participants who viewed non-violent media did not have higher perceptions of violence. However, participants with high trait aggression versus those with low trait aggression and participants who identified as former athletes versus current athletes versus non-athletes were more likely to have higher perceptions of violence.

The idea for the project happened after attending the Eastern Psychological Association Conference and came to fruition as the subject of Gross’ senior seminar and honors thesis courses. After graduation, she pursued publication and worked with her faculty mentor, Mendoza, for more than 12 months to read, modify, rework, discuss, revise and resubmit her manuscript.

“I am so proud of the persistence, work ethic, positive attitude, and emotional maturity that Courtney demonstrated in this process. To be a first author of a paper, published in a national journal, is a huge accomplishment,” said Mendoza. “Despite moments of professional and personal hardship, Courtney endured with grace and optimism. This demonstrates the level of excellence we have here at Wesley College.”