Veronica Calkins recently graduated from UCLA with her degree in Psychology and minor in Applied Developmental Psychology. She graduated with Latin Honors (Summa Cum Laude) in the top 5% of her class, completed college honors, and finished a Psychology Departmental Honors independent research thesis. During her senior year, she worked as the study coordinator for the Social Encounters and Health study in the UCLA Department of Psychology. Prior to her role as study coordinator, she worked on an alcohol intervention project in the Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. She has also received grants to participate in numerous research conferences, including the Stanford Undergraduate Psychology Conference, the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Research Conference, and the UCLA Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference.
What sparked your interest in psychology?
Since my mother had a hypoxic brain injury, I have been very interested in how the mind works. It was a traumatic experience for me. I have always wanted to make a difference and help other individuals who are struggling with hard times.
What led you to this topic?
After working with Dr. Bernard Weiner at UCLA, he sparked my interest in attribution theory (which he founded). After investigating research in this area, it was obvious that there were many holes in the fundamental attribution error area. I wondered whether a link existed between attribution, individual situations, and mood states. It was incredible to find linkage between these variables!
How long have you been working on this paper? What has the process been like for you?
I began writing this paper in October 2011. The process of publishing has been very interesting and much more thorough than I anticipated!
What was it like to be an undergraduate student completing your own research project?
It was definitely challenging to learn new research skills! I enjoyed reading books that described writing results, introductions, and discussions. Learning to write the statistical results was definitely my greatest challenge.