Abstract: Smoking and Alcohol Response Study

My name is Sarah, and I am a freshman here at W&M. This past year, I was extremely fortunate and was able to work in Professors Forestell and Dicker’s lab. The three year study we’re working on is looking at responses in children and adults to smoking and alcohol pictures. We use questionnaires, an EEG study, and a variety of computer tasks to assess their reactions.

My first week of school at W&M (as the stereotypical, overeager freshman) I decided that I wanted to try to get into a psychology lab as soon as possible. I e-mailed my freshman advisor to see if she had any positions open for research assistants in her lab, and I looked up online what the different professors in the Psychology and Neuroscience programs were researching. Although my freshman advisor didn’t have any positions open in her lab, she asked me what I was interested in so she could help direct me to a lab. I told her that I would be interested in any research involving children or teenagers and looking at how they behave, why they do certain things, and what might influence or shape their behaviors. She suggested that I contact Professor Forestell, so I e-mailed Professor Forestell and set up a meeting. She was kind enough to offer me a spot in her lab looking at responses in children and adults to smoking and alcohol related stimuli. Naturally, I accepted, and I have been working in this lab ever since.

Professor Forestell and Dickter were also generous enough to invite me to continue working in this lab over the summer. I jumped at the opportunity to stay here and continue researching. I have had really amazing experiences this past year in our lab, and I look forward to learning a lot this summer!