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ARTS Courses

Explore different disciplines of an Arts Degree in one of our Arts Courses. Through courses that explore a different topic each semester from a multidiscipline perspective (ARTS 1100), an intensive interdisciplinary field school in the Amazon rain forest (ARTS 3000) or a research project that pairs a student with a faculty member (ARTS 3991, 3992, 3993) students gain knowledge that spans multiple areas of study. For more information about how these exciting courses fit within your degree, please make an appointment to see an Arts Degree Advisor on Advisor Connect.

ARTS 1100: Experiencing the Arts

Students will be introduced to a broad range of liberal arts-related fields of study within the academic world. They will explore various disciplined-based and interdisciplinary approaches to a specific, current and compelling unifying theme, which will change periodically. Students will learn a number of key concepts and methods that shape and inform the perspectives developed in these fields, and how they articulate and inform one another. They will learn to view their world through multiple, and sometimes contrasting, perspectives and develop intellectual skills which are essential for learning in various disciplines and for continued learning in life beyond the University.

  • Summer 2017, Jan Thompson: Food
  • Fall 2017, Arleigh Reichl: Terrorism and Extremism
  • Spring 2018, Aislinn Hunter: Maps and Mapping or Bearing Witness

ARTS 3000: Interdisciplinary Amazon Field School

Learners will engage in an intensive interdisciplinary field school in the Amazon rain forest. They will take part in cultural and creative immersion activities, participate in community engagement projects, and contextualize their field learning by classroom-based analysis and critical reflection before and after their field experiences. They will develop interdisciplinary skills in creativity, academic inquiry, ecology and conservation, cultural awareness, environmental design, design thinking, and community development. Learners will become familiar with various expressive modalities of the Amazon region (e.g. design, writing, music, movement, expressive arts, materiality, storytelling, etc.) and will explore the application of those modalities in an integrative learning environment. Note: Students will spend two weeks at the Field School site in addition to class sessions on campus before and after travel. Students must be nineteen years or older at the start of the course

ARTS 3991, 3992, 3993: Undergraduate Research and Scholarship

Students will conduct research and scholarship in collaboration with a faculty mentor. This course will offer experiential learning in an academic setting by partnering students with faculty who have, or are initiating, research projects. Students will advance their research and professional skills, integrating these skills within a faculty-led project, through such activities as conducting a literature review, applying for Research Ethics Board approval, conducting research, applying research methods, drafting and revising reviews and/or articles, researching and compiling materials for conference presentations, and performing data analysis.

For program-specific information please contact: arts@kpu.ca

For administrative questions please contact: Anne Lin


Research Projects

Contact the Mentor Faculty Member listed with each project for more information or to declare interest in working with them on their research project.

Fall 2018 Research Projects

The Political Ecology of the Gig Economy (T-PEGE) with David Sadoway (Geography)

Project Description:

Learning outcomes will meet a 3-credit option (additional 1 or 2 credit options may be considered). Work on this project can be a home and library centred research credit option conducted over the semester. The T-PEGE project is interested in critically studying the impacts of digital-technology driven gig and sharing economy activities in city-regions, particularly Metro Vancouver. Examples of gig/sharing economy firms include AirBnB, MisterB&B, Uber and Lyft. The T-PEGE project also aims to comparatively analyze government policies and online media messages related to the gig economy. In particular, we are interested in studying public policy debates and opinions related to gig economy firm behaviours and their impacts (social, economic and environmental). Our initial focus will be on Metro Vancouver, however, there is also potential interest in comparing other Canadian, American and Asian cities. The research will not involve any travel. Three learning outcomes are expected: 1) Working on a literature review of publications related to the gig economy; 2) Assisting with a content analysis of gig economy-related policies and political debates; 3) Assisting with a content analysis of news pieces related to the gig economy (using library, news sources and archives).

Minimum Qualifications Required:

Students should have strong writing and research skills; and have completed at least one university-level qualitative research methods course at KPU or elsewhere. Ideally you will have experience (or interest) in completing a literature review and/or a content/media analysis. Prospective candidates will be asked to submit two examples of your writing such as: academic papers, book reviews or project case studies.

Contact: david.sadoway@kpu.ca

Implementation of Virtual Reality system for small flying animals with Levente Orbán (Psychology)

Project Description:

The project entails the acquisition of VR components, the assembly of the VR system, and initial testing of the system during the 2018-30 semester. VR components include a custom-built server, several high-throughput tracking cameras, projection displays using either computer screens or projectors, and a tunnel hardware. This project has only a 3-credit option.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

Course pre-requisites: PSYC 2300 and PSYC 2400

Contact: levente.orban@kpu.ca

Summer 2018 Research Projects

An Analysis of Judicial Decisions from Criminal Law Court Cases Where Jailhouse Informants Testify with Carroll Boydell (Criminology)

Project Description:

The workload for this research project is commensurate with a 3 credit course. The purpose of this study is to examine the features of criminal court cases in which jailhouse informants testify, as gleaned from judicial decisions. The student’s duties may include: conducting searches of legal databases, finding relevant judicial decisions, conducting content analysis of judicial decisions, entering data, conducting statistical analyses, and assisting in preparation of conference presentations and scholarly publications.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

Those who apply for this position should have a strong interest in research about criminal law and/or criminal investigations and evidence. Completion of research methods and statistics courses in the social sciences, as well as previous research experience are all considered assets.

Contact: carroll.boydell@kpu.ca

The Political Ecology of the Gig Economy (T-PEGE) with David Sadoway (Geography)

Project Description:

Learning outcomes will meet a 3-credit option (additional 1 or 2 credit options may be considered). The T-PEGE project aims to comparatively analyze urban government policies and media discourse related to the gig or sharing economy. Examples of gig/sharing economy firms include AirBnB and Uber. We are interested in studying public policy debates and opinions related to gig or sharing economy firm behaviours and possible local impacts (social, economic and environmental) on or in existing urban economies.  Our initial focus will be on Metro Vancouver, however, we also consider comparisons in other Canadian, American and South Asian cities. The research will not involve travel.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Working on a literature review of academic publications;
  • Assisting with a content analysis of urban policies and debates (based on online public documentation);
  • Assisting with a content analysis of news media (using search engines and online news archives).

Minimum Qualifications Required:

Students should have strong writing and desktop research skills; and have completed at least one qualitative research methods course. Ideally you will have experience (or interest) in completing a literature review and/or a content/media analysis. Prospective candidates will be asked to submit two examples of your writing such as: academic papers, book reviews or project case studies.

Contact: david.sadoway@kpu.ca

Public History: Global and Local Approaches with Kyle Jackson (History)

Project Description:

This research program seeks to make two separate, but substantial interventions in the field of public history: one global, focusing on India's northeast, and one local, focusing on Surrey. It is worth three-credits.

The project's global element emphasizes palaeography, transcription, and annotation. The student will work with a nineteenth-century British missionary's "logbook", an archival record now held the University of Oxford's Regent Park College and recently digitized by the instructor. The handwritten logbook is one of the earliest available chronicles concerning the people of Mizoram in Northeast India. The student researcher will transcribe this important record, making decisions on key formatting issues, particularly given the logbook's messiness (both physically and in its loose approach towards chronology). The research assistant will add value to their transcription in the form of annotations, clarifications, and other footnotes—all of which will require contextual research. As an intentional act in support of public history in Northeast India, this project's end goal is to open up public access to a critical document otherwise locked away in a distant colonial archive.

The project's second and separate element turns to local history, and emphasizes archival work, digital history, and technical skills. Making approximately six visits to the City of Surrey Archives, the student will research and complete two local history tours emphasizing the global past of Surrey. One tour will complete an "Animal History of Surrey" tour already underway. The other tour will be up to the student researcher, who will use the MyTours platform licensed under a KPU FAEAF grant, and the "History Go!" model currently under experimentation at KPU History. The end goal of this second intervention in public history is to vary and strengthen the research content of the "History Go!" app.

These two projects in this research program—one global, one local—will allow the student researcher a unique opportunity to experience and compare the process of doing meaningful public history for two publics.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

45 credits at the 1100 level or higher, including 9 credits of HIST.

Contact: kyle.jackson1@kpu.ca

Becoming online: Reading the cut as a digital self-imaging methodology on social media with Katie Warfield (Journalism)

Project Description:

Students will work on a research project that explores the research questions: 1. What sort of data is produced in Reading the Cut, a posthumanist visual method?, and 2. What forces are at play in the production of digital images of bodies shared on social media when we take a posthuman framework for our methods? This research will involve working with a community group to gather data. Students will complete their TCPS-2 certification. Students will work with the PI to do a scholarly literature review for the project.  Students will transcribe the data collected from the videos of the community gatherings and learn to conduct data analysis via NVIVO.  The PI will invite students to join her at international conferences and likely co-author publications so that students can gain scholarly experience for grad school applications.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will learn fundamentals of TCPS-2 research ethics
  • Students will gain experience transcribing research material
  • Students will learn how to use NVIVO for data transcription and coding
  • Students will learn how to conduct a scholarly literature review
  • Students will learn how to write a peer-reviewed journal article
  • Students may have the opportunity to present their work at international conferences

Minimum Qualifications Required:

  • Preferably upper-level students with experience doing scholarly literature reviews
  • Preferably students with experience conducting, recording and transcribing interviews
  • Preferably students with either experience in qualitative research or who have taken an upper level course in qualitative research
  • Preferably students who are self-motivated with exceptional communication skills and organizational skills and who work well in groups (we will be doing a lot of group work in the data analysis phase)
  • Students with an interest in social media, visual culture, and internet studies
  • Preferably students who hope to pursue MA and PhDs.

Contact: katie.warfield@kpu.ca

Cheating, Self-Deception & Metacognition: The Trivia Study with Daniel Bernstein (Psychology)

Project Description:

People can have accurate or inaccurate beliefs about their own thought processes and abilities.  Accuracy in judging one’s own cognition is called metacognition.  People can be high or low in metacognitive ability, and there are several factors that can influence this ability.  It has been found that cheating (i.e., on a test) can lead to poorer metacognition.  Prior research has found that after cheating on a test, people are unjustifiably overconfident about their test-taking performance.  The proposed explanation?  People do not want to see themselves as cheaters, so after cheating they unconsciously attribute their good performance to personal ability.  Then, when they are asked to predict performance on a subsequent test where cheating is impossible, they overestimate their abilities and show overconfidence.  Our current research program involves a paper-and-pencil study using trivia tests, and aims to explore whether overconfidence is general (e.g., overconfidence in global predictions), specific (e.g., overconfidence on individual questions), or both.  Future work will involve designing and running a computerized version of this experiment.   Students working on this research project may be involved in study design (including learning basic programming) data collection, data entry, coding and analysing data using SPSS, and preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 1-, 2-, or 3-credit options.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

PSYC 1100/1200/2300/2400.  Preferably PSYC 3300/3400.  Experience with: Data collection and analysis; Statistical analysis; Writing reports and preparing presentations.  Excellent written and oral communication skills.  Experience with programming recommended but not required.  TCPS 2 Ethics certificate to be completed before commencing work.

Contact: daniel.bernstein@kpu.ca

The Lifespan Cognition Study with Daniel Bernstein (Psychology)

Project Description:

Social cognition research explores how we process, store, and apply information about other people and social situations.  Research in social cognition reveals the processes that underlie everyday social interactions.  Social cognitive research also outlines a number of biases that limit our ability to effectively communicate, empathize and take the perspective of others.  Though many studies have examined social cognition and social cognitive biases cross-sectionally, there is a lack of longitudinal research.  The aim of the Lifespan Cognition Study is to examine social cognition from preschool to old age while tracking developmental changes.  This longitudinal study is one of the first of its kind and examines a wide variety of social cognitive biases and cognitive phenomena across the lifespan including: Theory of Mind & False Belief Bias, Hindsight Bias, Risky Decision-Making, Executive Function, Working Memory, Inhibitory Control, Emotional Intelligence, the Sunk-Cost Fallacy, and the Peak-End Rule.  Fusing developmental, cognitive, and learning sciences, the proposed work can benefit researchers, teachers, and policy makers. For example, this work has implications for public policy surrounding education, where teachers' beliefs that students "already know" the material and students' beliefs that they "knew it all along" may lead to ineffective pedagogy and learning.  Students working on this research project will have the opportunity to be involved in a number of areas including: data collection with a variety of age groups, coding and analysing data using SPSS, and preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 2-, or 3-credit options.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

PSYC 1100/1200/2300/2400.  Preferably PSYC 3300/3400.  Experience with: Data collection and analysis; Statistical analysis; Writing reports and preparing presentations.  Excellent written and oral communication skills.  Ability and willingness to work with individuals of all ages (3-99).  TCPS 2 Ethics certificate to be completed before commencing work.

Contact: daniel.bernstein@kpu.ca

Perception of social interactions: How affect traits and visual attention influence theory of mind with Daniel Bernstein (Psychology)

Project Description:

The ability to understand that others may have thoughts, beliefs, knowledge, desires, and emotions that differ from one’s own is crucial for perspective-taking and social interaction.  This ability has been dubbed “Theory of Mind” (ToM).  Much research has been done on ToM, but a less-investigated area is the potential interaction between anxiety/depression and ToM.  For example: Do individuals with trait anxiety or depression differ in their ToM abilities?  Do anxious or depressed individuals differ in how they perceive and interpret social situation?  The present research aims to answer these questions by investigating how individuals with and without anxiety/depression perform on standard ToM tasks.  This research also makes a novel contribution by utilizing eye-tracking technology to track whether anxious/depressed individuals attend differently to social situations.  By combining standardized ToM measures and eye-tracking, this study has the potential to provide a comprehensive picture of ToM in anxiety and depression.Students working on this research project will be involved learning how to use eye-tracking instruments and software, data collection, coding and analysing data using eye-tracking software and SPSS, and preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 1-, 2- or 3-credit options.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

PSYC 1100/1200/2300/2400.  Preferably PSYC 3300/3400.  Experience with: Data collection and analysis; Statistical analysis; Writing reports and preparing presentations.  Excellent written and oral communication skills.  Skill and familiarity with technology (e.g., programming) also valuable.  TCPS 2 Ethics certificate to be completed before commencing work.

Contact: daniel.bernstein@kpu.ca

Theory of Mind and False Beliefs: Sandbox Studies with Daniel Bernstein (Psychology)

Project Description:

The ability to understand that others may have thoughts, beliefs, knowledge, desires, and emotions that differ from one’s own is crucial for perspective-taking and social interaction.  This ability has been dubbed “Theory of Mind” (ToM).  One task used to measure ToM is the Sandbox Task.  In this task, participants view a “Sandbox” and are told stories about two individuals interacting with the box.  One individual places an object in the box in a certain location and then leaves.  The other individual then takes the object and, unbeknownst to the absent individual, moves the object to another location.  When the absent individual returns, we ask participants where they originally hid the object and where they will look for the object.  In order to successfully answer these questions, participants must recognize that the individual in the story has a belief that is both false and differs from the participants’ belief about where the object is.  Participants who fail to recognize this are said to have a “False Belief Bias” and poorer ToM abilities.  The current research is composed of two separate studies that explore the psychometric properties of the Sandbox task and examine how False Belief Bias and ToM are affected by contextual factors.  The first study involves a physical Sandbox and real objects; the aim of this study is to test a stronger within-subjects implementation of the task.  Students working on this research project will be involved in data collection, coding and analysing data using SPSS, and preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 1-, 2-, or 3-credit options.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

PSYC 1100/1200/2300/2400.  Preferably PSYC 3300/3400.  Experience with: Data collection and analysis; Statistical analysis; Writing reports and preparing presentations.  Excellent written and oral communication skills.  TCPS 2 Ethics certificate to be completed before commencing work.

Contact: daniel.bernstein@kpu.ca

Social Cognition in Children and Youth with Daniel Bernstein (Psychology)

Project Description:

The aim of the Social Cognition in Children and Youth project is to understand how children with and without developmental disabilities understand the thoughts and feelings of others, and how this influences their ability to interact with and relate to the people in their lives.  This project examines various cognitive phenomena (e.g., Theory of Mind, Hindsight Bias, Judgment/Decision-Making) in children ages 3-17 with and without developmental disabilities (i.e., Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders [FASD] and Autism Spectrum Disorders [ASD]). This project builds upon and enhances collaboration between Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and The Centre for Child Development (CCD), a local organization that provides services to children with special needs and their families. Through this collaboration, we aim to: (1) explore differences in perspective-taking abilities in children with and without developmental disabilities (FASD, ASD); (2) investigate the mechanisms that underlie difficulties in perspective-taking abilities in these groups of children; and (3) use this information to modify and enhance current practices and programs at the CCD to assist CCD professionals to work more effectively with these children.  Students working on this project will be involved in an engaging 1-on-1 study with children and youth with and without developmental disabilities.  Students may also gain experience interacting with participants in the community (i.e., off-site testing at participants’ homes).  Finally, students will gain experience with data collection, coding and analysing data using SPSS, and potentially preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 2- or 3-credit options.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

PSYC 1100/1200/2300/2400.  Preferably PSYC 3300/3400.  Experience with: Data collection—particularly testing participants—and analysis; Statistical analysis; Writing reports and preparing presentations.  Excellent written and oral communication skills.  Willingness to work with children and youth ages 3-17 with and without development disabilities.  Experience working with children (especially those with developmental disabilities) recommended but not required.  Skill and familiarity with technology (e.g., programming) also valuable.  TCPS 2 Ethics certificate to be completed before commencing work.

Contact: daniel.bernstein@kpu.ca

Theory of Mind, Hindsight Bias and Social Motivation with Daniel Bernstein (Psychology)

Project Description:

The ability to understand that others may have thoughts, beliefs, knowledge, desires, and emotions that differ from one’s own is crucial for perspective-taking and social interaction.  This ability has been dubbed “Theory of Mind” (ToM).  Research suggests that older adults show deficits in ToM when compared to younger adults.  However, recent findings also suggest that these deficits can be overcome if older adults’ motivation is increased.  Specifically, instilling a sense of familiarity and closeness with an experimenter may improve older adults’ performance on a variety of ToM tasks.  Hindsight bias, on the other hand, is the inability to ignore our own knowledge (e.g., outcome knowledge) and take the perspective of a naïve other—sometimes called the “knew-it-all-along” effect.  Hindsight Bias is similar to ToM in that they both involve perspective-taking.  Thus, increasing social motivation may also affect (i.e., reduce) hindsight bias.  Our goal with the Theory of Mind, Hindsight Bias and Social Motivation project is to test the effects of a social closeness manipulation on various ToM and Hindsight Bias tasks in both younger and older adults. Students working on this project will not only learn how to conduct social cognition research, but will also have the opportunity to socially interact and develop rapport with adult participants of various ages.  Students may also gain experience interacting with participants in the community (i.e., off-site testing at Seniors’ Centres or Seniors’ Homes).  Finally, students gain experience with data collection, coding and analysing data using SPSS, and preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 1-, 2- or 3-credit options.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

PSYC 1100/1200/2300/2400.  Preferably PSYC 3300/3400.  Experience with: Data collection—particularly testing participants—and analysis; Statistical analysis; Writing reports and preparing presentations.  Excellent written and oral communication skills.  Skill and familiarity with technology (e.g., programming) also valuable.  TCPS 2 Ethics certificate to be completed before commencing work.

Contact: daniel.bernstein@kpu.ca

Spring 2018 Research Projects

The Surrey Portfolio Pathway Partnership [S3P] with Dr. David P. Burns (Educational Studies)

Project Description:

This research project meets the standard of a three credit course. Two students are being sought. The S3P is a partnership between KPU and Surrey Schools intended to develop policy options for a future in which the K-12 curriculum is oriented much more strongly to competency than to grades. Run by the Kwantlen Educational Policy Incubator [KEPI], the project is now in its second stage. Between January 2018 and April 2018 the KEPI team will be partnering with a set of students from Surrey Schools to develop exemplar portfolios, and to co-author policy and research papers on the ways in which universities can prepare themselves for the changes moving up through the K-12 system. We are focused, in particular, on the development of portfolio-based admissions systems. The students taking this course may conduct literature and public document reviews, produce research summaries, participate in the development and delivery of academic or policy presentations, as well as possibly working directly with Surrey Schools partners.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

We are looking for students with a background in education and policy research.

Contact: david.burns@kpu.ca

Buddhist Temple Virtual Tour Open Ed Resource with Robert Menzies (History and Asian Studies)

Project Description:

This project is archival and would fit the 3-credit option. I have received a .06% grant to go to Thailand to take photos with a specialized camera. This is in connection with the ongoing project in Asian Studies and History to develop Open Education resources. This course would be an archival studies project to take the raw data and construct virtual tours through the Buddhist sites I visit. The finished product would be a collection of virtual tours, but the student would also be expected to produce a researched essay on the methodology of archiving, best practices in digital archiving, and how this project would fit within a modern library system.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

History major in good standing, with a focus on archival studies

Contact: robert.menzies@kpu.ca

South Asian Open Education Resources with Robert Menzies (History and Asian Studies)

Project Description:

This project is writing intensive and would fit the 3-credit option. This is a project to edit student generated content (biographies and wikis) from several iterations of my South Asian History courses. The intent is to develop open education resources to be used as a replacement for a textbook. The student researchers are expected to develop the resources by editing a number of previous student submissions to develop one, much more complete and nuanced resource that is appropriate for a 1000-level course. In doing this, students will be expected to justify their work with respect to appropriate historical methodology, as well as with respect to the level of the course. A final piece to the coursework is a critical thinking essay on the methodology used, an assessment of their learning through the project, and the applicability of this learning in future educational and employment situations.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

Prerequisites: HIST-1100; HIST-1160; HIST-3360

Contact: robert.menzies@kpu.ca

Social and Emotional Learning and Inclusion Lab with Dr. Nancy Norman (Education Assistant Program)

Project Description:

Students who register to work with me in the Social and Emotional Learning and Inclusion Lab (SELI Lab) will have the opportunity to work on a variety of current projects. Students will sign up for one project of interest, but will also have the opportunity to gain research and scholarship experience through involvement in other projects within my lab. Current projects can accommodate 1, 2, or 3 credit involvement/mentorship and include the following:

  1. Practices of Inclusion in Schools (kindergarten to grade 12): This is a 3-year project that investigates various aspects of inclusion for students with special needs within the BC school system;
  2. Managing Challenging Behaviours in Inclusive Classrooms: This is a 1-year project that investigates how Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is used by Education Assistants;
  3. Social and Emotional Health and Wellness of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children and Youth: This is an ongoing project that investigates factors related to the emotional well-being and resiliency of DHH children and youth.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

  • Experience with data collection and/or analysis; data entry (SPSS and/or excel); transcription of digital data; reading and critiquing research (literature reviews) in an applied social science field (e.g., psychology, education, sociology).
  • Good written and oral communication skills; enjoy working as part of a team and also able to work independently.
  • TCPS 2 Ethics certificate to be completed before commencing work.

Contact: nancy.norman@kpu.ca

Methods and Ethics in Socially Mediated Images of the Body with Katie Warfield (Journalism)

Project Description:

The rise of mobile phones through the 1990's and 2000's, the launch of the first front facing in 2010, and the mass growth of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram from 2009 onward are the trio of technological apparatus that have contributed to the rise in the everyday and vernacular sharing of images of the body online. Since the mid 2000's academics, mainly in the humanities and social sciences, have begun examining the uses, meanings, misuses, and miscommunication regarding everyday sharing of images of the body online and particularly via social media. Theorists have becomes particularly interested in studying the various uses and meanings, regulations and discourses around socially mediate images of the body like selfies (Senft & Baym 2015; Lasen 2010;2012) and sexting (Albury 2014;2015; Tiidenberg 2015;2016). Although a huge amount of research has been researched, written and published on these artifacts, there has yet to be a study that summarizes the methods and research ethics concerning studying these phenomena. This paper proposes to fill this gap and provide future researchers of selfies a summary of the methodologies and research ethics concerns that published researchers have experienced in conducting empirical studies on selfies. The research will comprise two stages of research. A literature review of major studies on socially mediated images of the body to determine and collect the major methods used to study this phenomenon (e.g. discourse analysis, qualitative interviews, surveys, ethnographies, phenomenological interviews). The research will also involve 10-20 interviews with academics who have researched, written and published on this phenomenon to ask them about their experiences in the research ethics review process. It is the aim of the researchers to interview 2-3 researchers from each of the different methodologies listed to explore the detailed experiences and hurdles associated with ethics applications for each different method. The principal investigator will use an interview guide during the interview which is attached to this application. The interviews will take place on Skype and the principal investigator will use a screen capture program to record the interviews directly onto her desktop computer. The video files will be kept in a password protected folder on the PI's work computer. The recorded interviews will then be transcribed, by the PI and honour's student, into a word documents and stored also in password protected files on the PI's desktop computer. It is the aim of the researcher and the honour's student to summarize and write up the findings of this research and to present and conferences in the field of social media studies and research ethics 3. Risk Assessment in order to inform other researchers and research ethics boards on varying protocols for studies of the socially mediate body. It is also the aim of the researcher and honour's student to publish the findings in an academic journal to help other researchers interested in studying the socially mediated body.

Student Learning outcomes:

  • student will work with me to complete an addendum to the approved research ethics to recruit REB chairs to the study
  • student will recruit research participants -student will conduct some interviews
  • student will be involved in data analysis using NVIVO -student will present findings at conferences
  • student will be involved in literature review and writing up of findings

Minimum Qualifications Required:

Significant interview experience; qualitative research experience; second and third year COMM classes completed.

Contact: katie.warfield@kpu.ca

A study of comparative experience of countries with Proportional Representation electoral system: Lessons for British Columbia with Shinder Purewal (Political Science)

Problematic:

In view of the proposed legislation to introduce a referendum to change the electoral system from first-past-the-post to a Proportional Representation (PR) system, the people of British Columbia would require more information to make informed choices. As a result, we are interested in gathering as much information from countries that have had experience with PR system in twentieth and twenty-first centuries and apply this model to past elections held in British Columbia to draw warranted conclusions.

Research Methodology:

Researcher will apply the comparative method of inquiry as a tool to understand similarities and contrasts among successes and failures of the PR electoral systems. The PR models' application to BC's past election results will involve statistical analysis and historical methodology to understand the implications of this alternate electoral model for our province. Student will focus on the following questions: What different models of PR system exist? Which PR model is widely used and why? What were the reasons for countries to adopt this particular electoral system? What have been the major successes and failures of each country with PR system? What reasons are there to change the existing electoral system of British Columbia? What are the arguments of the proponents of the PR system? Based on the comparative experience of other countries, what are the advantages and disadvantages of PR system for British Columbia?

Contact: shinder.purewal@kpu.ca

Fall 2017 Research Projects

Research in Support of Mise-en-scene: The Journal of Film and Visual Narration and the KDocs Community Outreach Program with Greg Chan (English)

Project Description:

This three-credit project involves two students, one apprenticing for Mise-en-scene, KPU's official film studies journal, and the other for the KDocs Community Outreach Program. Working for the journal, the student will learn about the academic publication process by serving as a junior copyeditor, layout specialist, proofreader, and social media assistant. The student appointed to the KDocs Community Outreach project will be charged with conducting research on the films and keynote speakers for KDocs 2018 in preparation for live podcasts during the film festival in February. This student will also be preparing annotated bibliographies for the eighteen KDocs 2018 films that all festival-goers will receive.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

Both students are expected to have strong academic writing and research skills; the ability to work independently and as part of a team; familiarity with MLA style (8th edition); and interest in film. Those with Adobe Acrobat DC, In Design or Photoshop experience are preferred for the journal project, while those who have volunteered for a community organization and are interested in social justice issues are ideal for the outreach program.

Contact: greg.chan@kpu.ca

University Policy Systems with Dr. David Burns (Educational Studies)

Project Description:

This project can accommodate 1, 2 or 3 credit involvement. I am looking, ideally, for 3 students at 3 credits each. The Kwantlen Educational Policy Incubator provides applied educational policy research to both community partners and KPU's governance system. For the Fall 2017 semester we will be focusing our efforts on a partnership with the Surrey School District. This partnership seeks to develop a body of knowledge that can be used in reforming K-12 to post-secondary transitions systems.  The research will involve extensive literature review, policy analysis, and policy writing opportunities. It will also, potentially, involve mentorship of secondary students conducting their own education research. As the semester progresses, we will also be developing audio visual materials to communicate research findings and policy ideas to the public. The successful students would take part in this research dissemination.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

Students should either have previous experience working with the KEPI research team, or coursework in political science, educational studies, policy studies or philosophy.

Contact: david.burns@kpu.ca

Context Effects and Identification Accuracy with Dr. Carla MacLean (Psychology)

Project Description:

Eyewitness testimony is often vital to unearthing what happened in a criminal event. Recent research has demonstrated the profound effect contextual information can have in the applied forensic domains such as forensic assessment, fingerprint identification, polygraph, investigative interviewing, and forensic anthropology. Contextual information is by definition information that is related to the situation but is irrelevant to the judgement being made (e.g., if you were hired by the prosecution or defence, the colour of a person's skin, gruesome details of the criminal case). However, much research has demonstrated the power of this irrelevant information to bias perceptions and opinions (MacLean & Dror, 2016).

The present research shines a spotlight on the effect of context in another area of forensic judgement, witness memory. This research explores how clothing informs our perceptions of gender and subsequent impressions of physical characteristics. The objectives of this research are to: (1) examine the effect of clothing on perceptions of gender, and then height and weight evaluations, (ii) explore participants metacognitive understanding of their performance, and (iii) test the reliability of participants' impressions using a repeated measures design. 

The project is appropriate for the 2-credit option. Under my direct supervision, the student researcher will be tasked with developing study materials; coding and analyzing data using SPSS; conducting a relevant literature review; writing the paper for publication in APA format.

In sum, the present research project is an initial foray into an interesting domain in social cognition. One which sits at the cross roads of the areas of schematic processing, meta cognition and witness reliability. The student researcher will gain valuable research skills and be involved in a project that has applicability outside of the lab.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

  • PSYC 1100/1200
  • Preferably PSYC 3300/3400
  • Experience with: Data collection and analysis; Statistical analysis; Writing reports and preparing conference presentations
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • TCPS 2 Ethics certificate to be completed before commencing work

Contact: Carla.maclean@kpu.ca

Lifespan Cognition Lab Research Projects with Dr. Daniel Bernstein (Psychology)

Please note that students who sign up for the Arts Research Course with me will have the opportunity to work on one or more of the following projects. Most Arts Research Course students will work primarily on one project, but they will have the opportunity to gain more research experience by working on one or more research projects in my lab.

Project Descriptions:

The Lifespan Cognition Study

Social cognition research explores how we process, store, and apply information about other people and social situations.  Research in social cognition reveals the processes that underlie everyday social interactions.  Social cognitive research also outlines several biases that limit our ability to communicate effectively, empathize and take the perspective of others.  Though many studies have examined social cognition and social cognitive biases cross-sectionally (testing people at different ages), there is a lack of longitudinal research.  The aim of the Lifespan Cognition Study is to examine social cognition from preschool to old age while tracking developmental changes.  This longitudinal study is one of the first of its kind to examine a wide variety of social cognitive biases and cognitive phenomena across the lifespan including: Theory of Mind & False Belief Bias, Hindsight Bias, Risky Decision-Making, Executive Function, Working Memory, Inhibitory Control, Emotional Intelligence, the Sunk-Cost Fallacy, and the Peak-End Rule.  Fusing developmental, cognitive, and learning sciences, the proposed work can benefit researchers, teachers, and policy makers. For example, this work has implications for public policy surrounding education, where teachers' beliefs that students "already know" the material and students' beliefs that they "knew it all along" may lead to ineffective pedagogy and learning.   

Students working on this research project will have the opportunity to be involved in several areas including: data collection with a variety of age groups, coding and analysing data using SPSS, and preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 2-, or 3-credit options.

Prospective False Memory: The Taboo Study

Planning to do something may increase the chances of falsely remembering doing that thing: false prospective memory.  For example, creating a plan to take medicine at 4pm may lead to the creation of a false memory of actually taking the medicine (even if one didn't end up following through with the plan).  Although there is a rich literature examining false retrospective memory, only recently have researchers begun to examine false prospective memory.  Of the work that has been done, researchers have found that planning to do something may increase the chances of falsely remembering doing that thing—even if that thing was never done (Cohen, Silverstein, & Weissman, 2015).  These researchers utilized a unique paradigm involving the Taboo board game.  They had participants plan to use certain remembered cue words when a target word appeared during the game (e.g., Target = "Ice Cream", Cue = "Chocolate"), and then later assessed participants' memories for using cue words versus non-related words.  They found that participants had better memories of using relevant cue words even if they didn't actually use the cue word, suggesting that simply planning an action may lead to false memories of performing that action later down the road. The present research is an attempt to replicate these prior findings and pave the way for more work in the developing area of false prospective memory.

Students working on this research project will be involved in data collection, coding and analysing data using SPSS, and preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 1- or 2-credit option.

Theory of Mind and False Beliefs: Sandbox Studies

The ability to understand that others may have thoughts, beliefs, knowledge, desires, and emotions that differ from one's own is crucial for perspective-taking and social interaction.  This ability has been dubbed "Theory of Mind" (ToM).  One task used to measure ToM is the Sandbox Task.  In this task, participants view a real or virtual "Sandbox" and are told stories about two individuals interacting with the box.  One individual places an object in the box in a certain location and then leaves.  The other individual then takes the object and, unbeknownst to the absent individual, moves the object to another location.  When the absent individual returns, we ask participants where that individual originally hid the object and where s/he will look for the object. To successfully answer these questions, participants must recognize that the individual in the story has a belief that is both false and differs from the participants' belief about where the object is.  Participants who fail to recognize this are said to have a "False Belief Bias" and poorer ToM abilities.

The current research is composed of two separate studies that explore (1) the psychometric properties of the Sandbox task and (2) examine how contextual factors affect False Belief Bias and ToM.  The first study involves a physical Sandbox and real objects; the aim of this study is to test a stronger within-subjects implementation of the task.  The second study involves the first computerized version of the Sandbox task; the aims of this study are (a) to test the viability of a computerized Sandbox, (b) to examine how modifying the task difficulty affects False Belief Bias, and (c) to investigate the links between False Belief Bias and other cognitive abilities such as working memory and inhibitory control.

Students working on this research project will be involved in data collection, coding and analysing data using SPSS, and preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 1-, 2-, or 3-credit options.

Hindsight Bias and Confirmation Bias

Two biases that can distort our interpretation of stimuli are hindsight bias and confirmation bias.  Hindsight bias involves overestimating one's own or others' prior knowledge when an outcome is known.  Confirmation bias involves interpreting new evidence as confirmation of one's pre-existing beliefs.  Prior research shows that these biases can influence the interpretation of evidence in legal and forensic contexts (Lange, Thomas, Dana, & Dawes, 2011; Kassin, Dror, & Kukucka, 2013).  For example, if an investigator must decipher a degraded audio recording related to a case and another investigator tells them what they think they heard, will this influence how the recording is interpreted?  If an investigator learns the identity of a muffled word in a recording, will that influence their beliefs about what they or a naive other heard the word as?  Understanding how and when these and other cognitive biases affect individuals' judgments in forensic settings is of great theoretical and practical importance.  The present research involves a number of computerized studies that investigate how biases affect interpretation of degraded audio stimuli.

Students working on this research project will be involved in data collection, coding and analysing data using E-Prime psychology experiment software and SPSS, and preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 1- or 2-credit options.

Perception of social interactions: How affect traits and visual attention influence theory of mind

The ability to understand that others may have thoughts, beliefs, knowledge, desires, and emotions that differ from one's own is crucial for perspective-taking and social interaction.  This ability has been dubbed "Theory of Mind" (ToM).  Much research has been done on ToM, but a less-investigated area is the potential interaction between anxiety/depression and ToM.  For example: Do individuals with trait anxiety or depression differ in their ToM abilities?  Do anxious or depressed individuals differ in how they perceive and interpret social situation?  The present research aims to answer these questions by investigating how individuals with and without anxiety/depression perform on standard ToM tasks.  This research also makes a novel contribution by utilizing eye-tracking technology to track whether anxious/depressed individuals attend differently to social situations.  By combining standardized ToM measures and eye-tracking, this study has the potential to provide a comprehensive picture of ToM in anxiety and depression.

Students working on this research project will be involved learning how to use eye-tracking instruments and software, data collection, coding and analysing data using eye-tracking software and SPSS, and preparation of results for presentation at conference(s) and/or publication.  This project is appropriate for the 1-, 2- or 3-credit options.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

  • PSYC 1100/1200 (negotiable, if student has no prior Psychology experience)
  • Experience with: Data collection and analysis; Statistical analysis; Writing reports and preparing conference presentations
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • TCPS 2 Ethics certificate to be completed before commencing work

Contact: daniel.bernstein@kpu.ca

Literature review - Ideology and Psychology with Dr. Greg Millard (Political Science)

This is background research for a possible textbook in political ideologies. The RA would be asked to produce a literature review on psychological approaches to political ideology. Appropriate for a 2-credit option.

In addition to the standard prerequisites, the student should be in a POLI degree program with a B+ average and have taken POLI 1110

Contact: greg.millard@kpu.ca

Canadian Literary Fare with Dr. Shelley Boyd (English)

Project Description:

This early-stage project can accommodate 1 or 2 credits for one student. The Canadian Literary Fare project involves researchers at other Canadian universities. This Research Project will give the student experience in the early stages of a book proposal and ongoing project. Research tasks will likely include assisting with the conceptualization of the project through a literature review of food-related research in Canadian literature, targeted research on particular topics and literary genres.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

The student is expected to have strong research and writing skills and is preferably an English Major or Minor with an interest in food studies. The student should be able to work independently.

Contact: shelley.boyd@kpu.ca

A Green Criminological Analysis of Salmon Farming in British Columbia with Dr. Greg Simmons (Criminology)

Project Description:

This 3-credit project involves providing assistance with the preparation of articles in the area of green criminology and salmon aquaculture. Activities include reviewing relevant literature, helping with preparation of manuscripts, and aiding with the management of an NVivo database. The project also will include support with communications and public outreach efforts, including the drafting of media pieces and preparation of material aimed at a general audience to be disseminated through the KPU Social Justice Centre and other organizations/media outlets.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

The student should have strong academic research and wring skills as well as an interest in issues surrounding green criminology and/or environmental sociology. Experience using research databases and completion of Crim 3104 or other qualitative research methods class are desirable.

Contact: greg.simmons@kpu.ca

CANAM with Dr. Laura Klubben (Educational Studies)

Project Description:

Confronted with a gap in empirical research and acknowledging the importance of having a clear, accessible, and consolidated resource for prospective students, the present study aims to compare and contrast specific qualities of PhD Counselling Psychology (CoPhD) programs across the United States and Canada that are accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) or the American Psychological Association (APA). By doing so, students will be better equipped with the background necessary to make informed decisions about CoPhD programs.

Indeed, to satisfy their aspirations of becoming a competitive PhD applicant, some students resolve to apply at post-secondary institutions outside of their country of residence. A fair proportion of students decide to do so recognizing that graduate study can be especially costly and often requires years of intensive academic and practical coursework before licensure becomes a possibility. Therefore, having access to this information can be advantageous for the decision-making process of prospective applicants.

In addition, potential applicants could benefit from planning beyond doctoral studies and consider future employment opportunities. For instance, while the CPA and APA signed the First Street Accord in an effort to mutually recognize an agreement on accreditation, we do not yet fully understand the level of equivalency between an APA versus a CPA-accredited program. In addition, bearing in mind that different States, Provinces, and Territories have distinct licensure requirements, one would have to put careful thought and consideration towards where they would choose to practice.

The proposed research project will be conducted by Dr. Klubben and Dr. Bedi (UBC), alongside a team of student researchers from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. By employing a coding instrument that was developed and subsequently revised by Dr. Bedi and Dr. Klubben (2012), the researchers will take note of several common variables across APA and CPA accredited PhD Counselling Psychology programs within Canada and the United States. Throughout the data collection stage, the researchers will utilize information that is publicly available on university websites and supplemental materials (e.g. student handbooks and brochures). The variables to be observed include but are not limited to program characteristics (the average completion time, length, etc.), faculty characteristics (number of faculty, % registered as psychologists, etc.), and funding characteristics (types of funding available to students, who gets funding, etc.). Data analysis will be completed based on parameter and inferential tests of difference and their magnitudes of effect.

With respects to the anticipated timeline for this study, the team has been engaging in training on the coding scale for the past couple of months. Data collection is anticipated to commence in the summer of 2017 through fall of 2017 with data analysis scheduled for late fall of 2017 and early spring of 2018.

Overall, this study will provide important insight for prospective students, by facilitating the opportunity to objectively compare their graduate school options. Furthermore, this study will enable potential CoPhD applicants to make these decisions without having to rely exclusively on the anecdotal experiences of faculty or peers, but on the objective similarities and differences found between these programs. This research may also allow these individuals to better understand the criteria required of them to pursue their CoPhD. To conclude, it is important and timely to establish a clear understanding of the similarities and differences between various PhD Counselling Psychology programs. In fact, it can be extremely valuable for the decision-making process of those who have expressed a specific interest in the field. As such, acquiring funding for this research study will provide these various entities including KPU faculty and students with practical and comparable information about graduate schools and their respective Counselling Psychology PhD programs. Ms. Palfreyman has already completed a number of hours of data collection and has committed to continuing on to engage in data collection procedures through the end of December 2017. Given the number of hours Ms. Palfreyman puts into the project gathering data, coding data, and attending research meetings, this project has learning outcomes to meet 3 credits of coursework.

Barker, G., Bedi, R., and Klubben, L. (2012). Counselling vs. Clinical: A comparison of psychology doctoral programs in Canada. Canadian Psychology, Vol. 53(3), 238-253. DOI: 10.1037/a0028558

Minimum Qualifications Required:

30 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, and approval of the Dean

Contact: laura.klubben@kpu.ca