Jessica LaBuda, a doctoral student in psychology, was one of 13 advanced doctoral students awarded the University Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year. Read further to learn more about her research, future goals and Kent State experience.
- Please give a short overview of your research.
My research focuses on accuracy and bias in romantic partners’ perceptions of motivations, emotions and behaviors. People naturally try to understand and interpret each other, and people’s interactions with each other are based on their own unique perceptual realities (whether accurate, biased or both). Thus, my research objectives are centered not only around investigating whether people’s perceptions of a romantic partner’s state and experiences are accurate or biased, but also how people’s unique perceptual realities can be critical to understanding how couples communicate effectively or ineffectively, provide support and maintain a successful relationship.
- What made you choose to pursue your graduate degree here at Kent State?
After interviewing at Kent State, I knew that Kent’s Psychological Sciences Ph.D. program, and specifically my advisor, Judith Gere, would best prepare me for my future career. By choosing Kent State, I have been welcomed into a close community that values quality science in a learning environment filled with many opportunities to succeed.
- What do you enjoy most about attending Kent State for graduate school?
The proximity of Starbucks to Kent Hall… just kidding… a little bit. I enjoy the professional and personal relationships that I have built throughout my time at Kent State. I especially enjoy the support and guidance and the countless opportunities to learn and grow as a researcher.
- What are your future goals?
My future goals are to continue to develop and expand my line of research, to secure a career in academia and maybe get a dog one day.
- What does this award mean to you and how will it aid you?
This award enables me to concentrate and dedicate more of my time to my dissertation so I can collect a very valuable and thorough data set for my dissertation project, which includes in-lab questionnaires, video-recorded discussions and daily diaries. It also allows me to have more time to conduct the complex statistical analyses that such data require and write the dissertation paper in a timely manner. Ultimately, this award allows me the time to collect valuable data that would contribute to better understanding how romantic partners perceive each other’s stress and how such perceptions affect relationship maintenance.