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Castleton research team prepares for Oregon

Castleton State College’spsychology research team is headedto Portland, Ore. on March 7 to present research at this year’s annual American Psychology and Law of Society conference.

“This is THE conference to attending for psychology majors,” saidprofessor and research team leader Kathryn Sperry. “I ask for funding to attend one conference a year and this is it.”

Sperry, who has been teaching at Castleton for about four years, has taken four handpicked psychology students to the APLS conference each of the last two years. For the students, it’s a great learning experience and a chance to meet other professionals in their field.

“I’m excited about listening to the lectures,saidChelsea Sheehan, one of the students going to the conference this year. “It’s not something you can read about.

Other team members are equally thrilled.

“I’m really excited to get the opportunity to listen to the lectures and network with graduate schools,” said team member McKynze Works. “We are all excited to present the research we have found.”

The team will be presenting their research on the influence of perceived victim blame, such as intoxication versus sympathy of the victim statement on jurors’ evaluation of them inrape cases. 

“In the future we will try to reduce the level of blame to see if it affects sympathy,” Sperry said.

For some of the researchers, the APLS conference will not be their first.

“The Eastern Psychological Association conference last year changed my life,” member Cassie Pinaire stated “It confirmed my interests in the psychological world. At the conference I was able to see just how many people were interested and working in the career that I have chosen and it was inspiring to see so many people come together to share their knowledge and interests.

“The experience allowed me to confirm that I am working toward(s) goals that really are possible and that I am sure that I want to accomplish.”

As well as presenting, Sperry and her team members will also be running in an APLS sponsored 5k race as well as attending a networking dinner while in Portland.