Jennifer McWilliams BSc Honours in Psychology, Research Assistant

I received my Bachelor of Science, with First Class Honours in Psychology, from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in May 2016. I worked under the supervision of Dr. Ryan Hamilton, whose main research interests include the application of psychology to sport and exercise performance, performance enhancing strategies in sport, hazing, and coping/skills development in cancer survivors. For my Honours project, we worked on a study entitled “The Effects of Facial Expressions on Cycling Performance: An Embodied Cognition Approach”. This study investigated whether the embodiment of specific facial expressions influenced participants’ Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE), actual exertion (heart rate), and performance (kilometers traveled) during a 20-minute cycling task on a stationary bicycle.

I became a part of Carmen and Lynne’s research team immediately after graduating, and have been a research assistant ever since! Being a part of the P-SEC team has given me the opportunity to assist them with their females in firefighting study, and with various other studies/tasks. Most notably, I was given the amazing opportunity to present a paper on the Othering of Full-time and Volunteer Female Firefighters in the Canadian Fire Services as part of a symposium given at the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Convention in June 2017 and to write two manuscripts based on the firefighting study.

In the Fall of 2017, I will be continuing my education at UNB in the Experimental Psychology MA/PhD program under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Voyer. For my Master’s thesis, we will be investigating whether the combination of obsessive checking behaviours and anxiety affect student’s testing performance and the implications this may have for how teachers and professors teach their students.