Acknowledgement to Mentor:
"Andrew would like to thank and express his gratitude for the mentorship of Dr. Philip Watkins, with whom he has worked for the last three years on several important research projects and learned a great deal. He would also like to thank Dr. Jane Simoni, who spent the summer of 2012 guiding Andrew on an intensive research internship at University of Washington. With their expert guidance and wisdom, he has grown into an inquisitive and capable scholar who will never stop reaching for knowledge.."
Andrew Pereira is a psychology major and looks forward to achieving his goal of obtaining a PhD in Clinical Psychology. He has authored presentations that have appeared at Stanford University Undergraduate Research Convention, EWU's Graduate and Undergraduate Research and Creative Works Symposium, the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, the Western Psychological Association Annual convention, and the National Council on Undergraduate Research. He has also maintained a 4.0 GPA in major course work as well as a 3.9 cumulative GPA. He was awarded the Frances B. Houston Award by the Department of Psychology.
Andrew's current research interests lay with issues surrounding the well-being of minority and underserved populations. He would like to explore issues of stigma and discrimination that many people face on a daily basis and how to best thrive in the face of such adversity using positive psychological frameworks. He is also interested in understanding factors that either promote or antagonize safe sex behaviors, especially amongst populations at high risk for sexually transmitted infections.
Dr. Philip Watkins, Professor, Department of Psychology, EWU
Dr. Jane Simoni, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Washington
2011 TRiO McNair Research Internship- Gratitude Toward God: An Exploration of Religiosity, Gratitude and Happiness
His McNair summer research internship examines the hypothesis that individuals with a strong God concept as expressed by their gratefulness to God find it easier to maintain positive affect in their life's events. This prediction stems from the theory that someone's belief in and gratitude towards God increases the amount of events a person could feel grateful about as well as an increased availability of grateful expression.
2012 TRiO McNair Research Internship- Brief Literature Review on Sexual Norm Formation in Men Who Have Sex with Men
Background: Young men are likely learn about sex through sexually explicit media, mimicking what they see. Over the past two decades, men who have sex with men (MSM) have engaged in increasingly more online sex-seeking behaviors, including consumption of MSM-specific sexually explicit online media (SEOM). At the same time, the amount of MSM-specific SEOM showing unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) has increased, raising concerns about HIV transmission among the actors and encouragement of risky sex among SEOM consumers. More information about the potential influence of SEOM consumption on MSMʼs sexual behaviors is needed.
Methods: In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 online partner-seeking MSM. Participants were asked about how they felt SEOM influenced their sexual behaviors and the sexual behaviors of other MSM. Themes were established using content analysis.
Results: Participants reported that SEOM normalized their sexual behaviors, inspired them to try new sex acts, and influenced their standards of physical attraction for sexual partners, as well as the sex acts they thought they should engage in. Participants also reported that seeing UAI in SEOM increased their desire for UAI, normalized UAI, and set the expectation that their partners will desire UAI. While participants reported feeling influenced by SEOM, they claimed it had a much stronger influence on other MSM in the community.
Conclusions: As SEOM continues to display UAI, the expectation that UAI is preferred among MSM may increase, resulting in an increased acceptance of irregular condom use and a reduced desire to use condoms among MSM. Consistent with the fundamental attribution error, MSM felt that SEOM had a greater influence on other MSM than it did on them. Further research is needed to better understand the influence of UAI in SEOM. If found to be influential, SEOM may be an innovate medium in which to present HIV prevention interventions to MSM.
Nelson, K.M., Leickly, E., Yang, J.P., Pereira, A. and Simoni, J.M. (under review) The influence of sexually explicit online media on sex: Do men who have sex with men believe the "Do what they see?" Journal of Sex Research.
Are gifts betten than goods? Benefits are better when experienced with gratitude. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii (2013)
Exploring how gratitude impacts cognitive process that enhance well-being. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii (2013)
US Mexican Deportation and HIV/AIDS. 16th Annual EWu Student Research and Creative Works Symposium (2013)
Is intrinsic motivation required for happiness interventions to work? Western Psychological Association Annual Convention, Reno, Nev. (2013)
Gratitude May Amplify Positive Memories. Association for Psychological Science Annual Conventio, Chicago, III (2012)
Gratitude "Three Blessings" Treatment Produces Improved Well-Being: The importance of Positive Memory Accessibility. Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Chicago, III (2012)
Gratitude Toward God: An Exploration of Religiosity, Gratitude and Happiness. 15th Annual EWU Student Research and Creative Work Symposium, Cheney, Washington (2012)
Personality Characteristics of Grateful People. 15th Annual EWu Student Research and Creative Works Symposium, Cheney, Washington (2012)
Religiosity Predicts Positive Memory Recall. National Conference for Undergraduate Research, Ogden, Utah (2012)
How Attachment to the Divine Might Improve Well-Being. EWU Student Research and Creative Works Symposium (2011)
Valence and Fading Affect on the Recollection of Recent Significant Events. 11th Annual Stanford Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference, Stanford, California (2011)
2012-2013 Honors and Awards:_____________________________________________________________
Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society: the top 7.5 percent of second semester juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students
Psi Chi International Honor Society ( Psychology)
Psi Chi Elected Officer, Eastern Washington University