Alisa Bedrov Receives 2018-2019 Jerome S. Bruner Award

Friday, November 16, 2018
Yuexuan Chen
photo provided by Bedrov

The Duke Department of Psychology & Neuroscience is pleased to announce that  Duke senior Alisa Bedrov is this year's winner of the Jerome S. Bruner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.

A double major in Psychology and Russian, Bedrov is in the process of applying to PhD programs in social psychology. She also works as a peer tutor for Introduction to Statistics in Psychology. She has her plan laid out to go straight to graduate school and then dive into academia with hopes of becoming a professor, maintaining research as a priority.

Her research interest is the psychology behind keeping secrets. She is currently working with Dr. Mark Leary on her Senior Honors Thesis: "Examining the Effects of Secrets on Relationships."

“This project thus far has involved coming up with the initial idea, conducting a background literature review, designing the Qualtrics questionnaire, and getting IRB [Institutional Review Board] approval,” Bedrov said. “The next step is conducting the data analysis with SPSS [software].”

As a budding researcher studying the implications of keeping secrets, Bedrov said, “I don’t have many secrets.”

Bedrov’s fascination with psychology began with Dan Ariely's book, Predictably Irrational,  and how “the seemingly irrational decisions we make every day can be explained by drawing from research in psychology.” This made Bedrov want to pursue her own research to explain and better understand everyday life.

At Duke, she has done research with the Imagination and Modal Cognition Lab with Dr. Felipe De Brigard and the Self, Emotion, and Behavior Lab with Dr. Mark Leary. She also spent the summer of 2017 working with researchers at the University of Utah in the College of Pharmacy and Department of Pediatrics.

This past summer, Bedrov studied abroad with the Duke in St. Petersburg program. It was her first time visiting Russia where her parents are from and she got to see two cousins she had never met before.  She hopes to incorporate Russian cultural studies into her future psychology research.

Next summer, Bedrov is going to the Grand Canyon with her dad. She grew up hiking in her home of Salt Lake City, Utah.

“I want to gain as much research experience as possible,” she said. “To me, the Bruner award gives encouragement and reassurance that I’m on the right path.”

The Jerome S. Bruner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research recognizes an undergraduate in their senior year at Duke for his/her excellence in research activities, intellectual curiosity, and future potential for scholarly activity. Eligible applicants will be engaged in research, either as part of the Psychology major or under the supervision of a primary faculty member in Psychology and Neuroscience.