Reid Conference


The annual L. Starling Reid Psychology Research Conference at the University of Virginia highlights empirical research conducted by undergraduate scholars.  Presentation formats are research talks (15 minutes) or posters. 

2021 Virtual Conference: April 23, 2021

8:30am - 4:45pm (est)

  • Online Access: Zoom Link | Password: Reid

  • Attending as a Guest? Please register here

  • Conference Schedule:

    •  8:30- 8:45  Welcoming Remarks: Frederick Smyth, PhD | Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology University of Virginia

    •  8:45-10:15  Oral Presentations I (4 student presenters)

    • 10:30-11:30  Poster Session I

    • 11:30-12:30  Break

    • 12:30- 1:30  Poster Session II

    •  1:45- 3:15  Oral Presentations II (4 student presenters)

    •  3:15- 3:20  Appreciation Remarks: Frederick Smyth, PhD

    •  3:30- 4:30  Keynote Lecture: Elizabeth A. Phelps, Phd | Mechanisms of Threat Control in Humans

    •  4:30- 4:45  Being Human in Psychological Science | Informal Q&A with keynote speaker, Elizabeth A. Phelps, PhD, about her path in psychological science. All are encouraged to turn camera’s on and participate.

  • 2021 Presentation Folder:


Pershing Square Professor of Human Neuroscience | Department of Psychology, Harvard University

Mechanisms of Threat Control in Humans

Animal models of associative threat learning provide a basis for understanding human fears and anxiety.  Building on research from animal models, I will explore a range of means maladaptive defensive responses can be acquired and diminished in humans.  First, I will outline how extinction and emotion regulation, techniques adapted in cognitive behavioral therapy, can be used to control learned defensive responses via inhibitory signals from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to the amygdala.  One drawback of these techniques is that these responses are only inhibited and can return, with one factor being stress. I will then review research examining the lasting control of maladaptive defensive responses by targeting memory reconsolidation and present evidence suggesting that the behavioral interference of reconsolidation in humans diminishes involvement of the prefrontal cortex inhibitory circuitry, although there are limitations to its efficacy.  Finally, I will describe two novel behavioral techniques that might result in a more lasting fear reduction by providing control over the stressor and introducing novelty.  

  • Zoom Link | Password: Reid
  • 3:30-4:30 EST Lecture
  • 4:30-4:45 EST Being Human in Psychological Science (​Informal Q&A with keynote speaker, Elizabeth A. Phelps, PhD,about her path in psychological science. All are encouraged to turn camera’s on and participate.)

Proposal Deadline:  March 29th, 2021 - 8:00 am

The submission form is closed and decisions have been communicated.  If you have any questions, contact us here:

Abstract Guidelines

Please follow American Psychological Association style guidelines closely. Abstracts are not to exceed 250 words and the research should be independent student research. Your faculty advisor should not be listed as a coauthor, but should be included on a separate line.

See the example below:

            American Children: Associations with Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors

            Jane Smith

            Advisor: Dr. Jones

            Grandest University

Childrens' emotion regulation ability has been shown to influence psychosocial development, but this research has relied primarily on data from Western cultures. Given the important influence of culture and context on emotion processes, the current study examined emotion regulation and its  associations with internalizing and externalizing behaviors in Ghanaian and American youth. Participants were 142 children from Ghana and 147 children from the United States, ages 8-15, who completed questionnaires assessing the coping, inhibition, and dysregulation of sadness and  anger, frequency of emotion experiences, presence of depressed mood, and aggressive behavior.  Regression analyses indicated that sadness and anger regulation do predict uniquely to depressive and aggressive behaviors in both.

Eligibility for Presentation (Talk or Poster)

Students applying to present  research must be currently enrolled  as an undergraduate. Presentation content should bear on psychological theory and involve empirical analysis.  Analyses need not be completed at the time of application, but completion by the time of the conference should be feasible.

Information on Talks

Talks are one-person presentations by the undergraduate student. Faculty advisors are to be noted separately.  Talks should be planned to take 12-15 minutes, and will be followed by up to 5 minutes for questions. Students should also share their talk on the Open Science Folder: 

Information on Posters

Applicants for a poster presentation may have their name listed on only one poster. Multiple student authors are allowed for a given poster, but only one student should submit the application. Faculty advisors are to be listed on a separate line.  For the virtual conference, presenters should create a PDF version of their poster to present in zoom breakout room. Students should also share their poster on the Open Science Folder: 


If you have any questions, contact us here:

Recently Participating Schools:

Bates College • Boston College • Brandeis University • Christopher Newport University • Clemson University • College of William and Mary • Duke University • Fordham University • George Mason University • George Washington University • James Madison University • Longwood University • Loyola University Maryland •  Mary Baldwin College • Meredith College • New York University • Northwestern University • Ohio State University • Old Dominion University • Pennsylvania State University • Rochester University • St. Mary's College of Maryland • Sweet Briar College • Syracuse University • University of California Santa Barbara • University of Maryland • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill • University of Washington • ​Virginia Commonwealth University • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University • Washington & Lee University • Yeshiva University

2020 Accepted Abstracts 

Participating students were invited to publish their talk or poster through the Center for Open Science “OSFMeetings” online platform. Please visit the following site to access participating talks and posters for the L. Starling Reid Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference 2020: