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Minnesota Academy of Science honors student's research

By Amelia Schoeneman '12
May 11, 2012

Caroline Groth '12 earned top honors for the research poster she recently presented at the Minnesota Academy of Science's Winchell Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Groth's research focused on the change in feelings of closeness that married couples experience during the course of a discussion on an issue in their relationship. Her research demonstrated that the length of a relationship positively influences feelings of closeness.

Of the 45 posters presented during the session she attended, Groth notes that very few were from the field of psychology. "I think this award helps show that psychology is a really important scientific discipline, and that psychology as a discipline will have a lot to contribute to science or medicine in the future," she says.

Groth previously presented her research at the highly selective Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference held earlier this year in San Diego.

The inspiration for Groth's investigation came from a Center for Interdisciplinary Research project. Ashley Petersen '11, Jon Aho '11, Associate Professor of Statistics Paul Roback, and Assistant Professor of Psychology Minda Orina studied Orina's data on married couples who were engaged in a discussion of a problem in the relationship. With the group's preliminary findings on relationship closeness, Groth continued to tackle the research in an independent study course under Orina's guidance this past fall. 

Groth hopes to publish her findings with Orina and contribute to research in the fields of medicine and psychology.

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or