Dr. Jill Shelton, assistant professor of psychology at Lee, led a research team of nine students to the 120th annual convention for the American Psychological Association (APA) in Orlando, Fla.
Psychology students Kristi Byrd and Eddie Christopher assisted Dr. Shelton in presenting their research findings to colleagues from the international community.
Their goal was to develop an experimental paradigm to investigate the cognitive processes that support prospective memory, remembering to execute future intentions.
A novel contribution of the research presented at the conference was the use of the Tobi eye tracker, which allowed Dr. Shelton’s research team to establish a precise measurement of how attention to certain factors in the environment can help trigger retrieval of future intentions.
"Remembering to carry out plans is an important part of daily life that is essential for success in one's career and personal life," said Dr. Shelton. "Our research has answered important questions about what kinds of information in our environment can be useful in reminding us to execute these future plans. For example, if you need to remember to pick up apples from the grocery store, then seeing an image of a related item, such as a banana, should help remind you of this goal.”
“Many adults worry about having more difficulty remembering to carry out their plans as they grow older,” added Dr. Shelton. “The next phase of our research will explore whether the same types of reminders will be helpful for older adults just as we saw in college students."
Dr. Shelton has begun recruiting research volunteers from Lee University and the surrounding community.
The convention afforded students the opportunity to attend sessions pertaining to their individual research interests. Their interests vary from the examination of health factors that influence the psychological and physical well-being of humans, to the investigation of human factors that can be assessed and modified to improve productivity in organizational settings.
The APA is the oldest and most distinguished organization within the field of psychology with a long-standing tradition of advocating psychological science and clinical practice.
Dr. Shelton worked as a post-doctoral fellow studying gerontology at Washington University in St. Louis. Additionally, she has been a research assistant at Louisiana State University where she earned her doctorate, and served as an adjunct faculty member and director of the research methods laboratories at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she earned her MS and BS degrees.
Dr. Shelton's research has been sponsored by grants from the National Institutes on Health and National Institute of Aging.
For more information about participation in this study, please contact Dr. Shelton at email@example.com or at 614-8319.
Dr. Shelton with all of the Lee student research team