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Cumberlands host discussion on upcoming elections


WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — On Tuesday, October 16, University of the Cumberlands (UC) Psychology Department held a debate based on the 2012 election called “Where Psychology and Politics Collide.” Students filled the Bennett Building Auditorium to hear Dr. Eric Stephens, psychology professor, and Dr. Christopher Leskiw, professor of political science, discuss the psychological and political aspects of the political decision-making process.

The major points of the discussion were little-known aspects of the political process that affect voting, like the appearance test, confirmation bias, self-fulfilling prophecy, cognitive dissonance, and group think. Student’s interests were sparked as they learned valuable points of elections that are generally overlooked.

“The appearance tests that were brought up by Dr. Stephens stood out the most to me,” said student Kimberly Farr (Kennesaw, GA). “It went through a number of politicians and asked students to determine who looked more or less feminine, more democratic, and even more trustworthy. Surprisingly, I guessed all the right answers!”

Many students found the appearance test interesting as the presidential candidates were analyzed psychologically and politically based only on their appearance.

First time voters were provided with information to use as they decide who to vote for in November. Both Stephens and Leskiw expressed their satisfaction for having a lot of students present sharing that it was a larger group of students than they had anticipated.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; twelve graduate degrees, including two doctorate, two specialist and eight master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article provided by Tiera Ball, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia & Athletic Services Student Assistant