Lauren’s Honors Thesis Defense Prep Presentation

lauren-photo.jpgLauren recently gave her Honors Thesis Defense Prep Presentation entitled “Posttraumatic Growth and Illusory Growth: Attitudes Toward Growth Types and the Impact of Individual Differences.” Lauren’s presentation outlined the purposes, hypotheses, and results of her three studies. Study 1 was meant to assess if participants could distinguish between posttraumatic growth and illusory growth and to identify attitudes toward each of the growth types. Lauren clarified the differences and similarities between posttraumatic growth (PTG) and illusory growth. For example, she explained that PTG requires shaken core beliefs and the social support of others to make meaning from stressful life experiences. Lauren contrasted this by explaining that illusory growth occurs without these variables and that the motive of reporting growth is to reinforce the ego. These differences were illustrated, but not identified, in short fictional stories called vignettes that were read aloud to the participants. Study 2 involved determining how the presentation order of the two vignettes affected attitudes toward the respective growth types. She answered this question by administering a survey condition that introduced the PTG vignette first, and one that introduced the illusory growth vignette first. Study 3 investigated the influence that narcissism has on attitudes toward PTG and illusory growth. Specifically, Lauren found that narcissism made an impact on attitudes toward PTG. She recommends that future directions should further assess other narcissistic traits in terms of attitudes toward growth types. She will be incorporating feedback to further improve her outstanding presentation for her Honors Thesis Defense. Good luck Lauren!

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