Petra Allen

Student

Petra Allen

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Cohort

2018-2019

Biography

Petra Allen is currently a student at the University of Central Florida (UCF) pursuing her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology. She am currently a scholar of UCF’s Research and Mentoring Program (RAMP) working with Dr. Doan Modianos on a research project. The aim of the experiment is to investigate the possible correlation between personality, stress, and depression susceptibility. In addition to her research, she am a member of various unique organizations on campus such as Active Minds, Jamaican Student Association, and Beta Psi Omega Professional Biological Fraternity. Ms Allen also a Registered Behavioral Technician correcting maladaptive behaviors with children on the autism spectrum. Upon graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school with her Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree in Clinical Psychology. In the future, Ms Allen plans to become a Clinical Psychologist focusing on the treatment of mental health in minorities.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Doan Modianos, PhD

Undergraduate Major

Psychology

Future Plans

I plan to attend graduate school to obtain my PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Research

Bilingualism has been studied extensively in multiple disciplines, yet we are still trying to figure out how exactly bilinguals think. A bilingual advantage has been observed in various experimental studies, but also has not been observed in many other studies. A bilingual advantage has been shown in tasks using selective attention. These tasks study the effects of language interference, where two types of interference are observed: interlingual (between languages) and intralingual (within one language). This study examined language interference in Spanish-English bilinguals, using an auditory- visual simultaneous translation experimental setup. 16 college English monolinguals and 17 college Spanish-English bilinguals were tested. The task was to ignore the word in the headphones and to translate/repeat the word on the screen into English. Distractor words went to either the right, left, or both headphone ears. Subjects were given 72 words to translate, words were randomized, and ear of the distractor word was randomized. The monolingual group was not affected by any independent variables tested except screen word length. Bilinguals did worse when the word and audio were in Spanish, and when the word and audio were different words. No ear advantage was observed. Proficiency levels and first language had no effects on bilingual performance. More intralingual interference was observed for bilinguals only, no significant interference occurred for monolinguals. A slight bilingual advantage was found but not fully, because of the high load of the task and introduction of another language. In conclusion, bilinguals did not have a cognitive advantage in this experiment setup.

Petra Allen

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