What kinds of projects have our SMP students done?

Katie Grein '13 presents her SMP

Check out the database of past PsycSMP abstracts

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Students can visit the College Archives (Calvert 009-ground floor) to read or view past St. Mary's Projects Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (appointments recommended).

Access to a full SMP can depend on how a student completed a release form, but most SMPs can be read or viewed in the College Archives without restriction.

Electronic copies of SMPs are usually provided to faculty and staff upon request, but students are provided electronic copies of SMPs only with the permission of a faculty member.

David Johnson

Johnson, David. (2011, May). Thinking without thinking? Stereotype use and unconscious thought theory. *Winner of the Departmental SMP Award for 2011.

Mentor: Dr. Anna Han


Unconscious thought theory (Dijksterhuis & Nordgren, 2006) asserts that complex decisions are better made after distraction than deliberation, and that decisions made after distraction (products of “unconscious” thought) are not influenced by stereotypes.  The present experiment attempted to replicate this effect in a hypothetical job hiring scenario.  I failed to support the claim that unconscious thought leads to better decision making and instead found evidence suggestive that conscious deliberation leads to better decision making.  Additionally, I did not observe that unconscious thought reduced stereotype application, but found some evidence that unconscious thinkers might be overcorrecting (acting in a socially desirable way) when racial stereotypes were activated.

Keywords: unconscious thought theory, deliberation-without attention, stereotyping 

Read the paper (download the pdf)