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Psychology professor receives award at regional conference

ShelleyAikman
Dr. Shelley Aikman, professor of psychological science at UNG.

Dr. Shelley Aikman, professor of psychological science at the University of North Georgia (UNG), won the Best Professional Paper Award at the Southeastern Psychological Association annual meeting held in Atlanta.

The paper was funded by a UNG Faculty Scholar Award — a university-based grant that funds academic research — and is titled "Thinking While Hungry: The Influence of Hunger on Relatedness Judgments." Aikman's work focuses on how hunger influences decisions and judgment on stereotypes. Her research studied 60 participants who were exposed to pairs of associated stimuli in order to measure social attitudes either after a 12-hour fast or after breaking a 12-hour fast.

As hunger increased within the fasting group, participants exhibited more motivation to control prejudiced reactions, which resulted in a classification process for racial stereotypes. Aikman's study suggests that as hunger increases, participants became more motivated to control their prejudiced reactions, which resulted in a classification process for racist images.

Aikman has authored 14 publications and received her bachelor's degree in psychology, English and American literature from the University of Texas at El Paso. She also earned her doctorate in applied research psychology with an emphasis in health from University of Texas at El Paso in 2003.

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