Touro College Undergraduate Psychology Students Present at Leading Conference on Psychological Research

Date: July 13, 2011
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Five Touro College Students from the Lander College for Men Present Research Findings at Association for Psychological Science Conference in Washington, D.C.

New York, N.Y. - Five students from Touro’s Lander College for Men (LCM) presented research findings at the Association for Psychological Science (APS) conference in Washington, D.C. recently on topics ranging from Talmud to Mozart.

The 25-year-old APS conference is a leading world conference for psychological research. Conferees gathered at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. from May 26 to May 29, 2011. The students prepared their research under the guidance of Dr. Leib Litman, assistant professor of psychology at LCM.

“We are extremely proud of the research accomplishments of our students,” said LCM Dean Dr. Moshe Sokol. “It is an honor for just one student to present at this prestigious gathering. This year, we were privileged to have five presenters, each of whom undertook impressive initiatives that made valuable contributions to research in psychological science.”

LCM student Yosef Sokol studied the powerful predictive powers of human intuition compared with computers. Previous studies have shown that computer algorithms can correctly identify whether a text, such as a newspaper article or a fictional story, was written by a man or woman with up to 80 percent accuracy.

“The students’ research showed that when judgments were based on intuition, many people’s judgments matched the computer’s performance,” Professor Litman said. “However, when the subjects in the study made their judgments based on stereotypes, rather than intuition, virtually no correct identifications could be made.”

Michael Wiseman studied the “Mozart effect,” a theory that suggests that listening to Mozart can improve cognitive performance. Wiseman researched the impact of listening to music on surgical skills. Psychologists have previously believed this effect was limited to classical music but Wiseman found the enhancing effects are in fact a result of listening to any type of music. The other students presenting at the conference were Moshe Leib Miller, Joseph Reich and Ezra Cowan. The students discovered a common personality trait connecting intrinsic views toward religion and inherent views toward other aspects of life such as marriage; found evidence that the study of Talmud affects one’s moral outlook; and developed an empirical scale for measuring religious devotion.

Lander College for Men/Beis Medrash L’Talmud, located in Queens, N.Y., is committed to the pursuit of excellence in Jewish and academic studies in a personalized environment. Established in the fall of 2000, the purpose of LCM is to provide a superior college education for students committed to serious Beis Medrash learning in an atmosphere of Torah.