Today we’re talking with Olivia Pappas, a senior (4th-year) psychology student on the Clinical Health Psychology Research Team. We sat down with her to talk about her favorite health topics.
UofSHealthPsych: Why did you decide to major in Psychology?
Olivia: I originally entered the University as a Biology major in the Physical Therapy program. Sophomore year I switched majors to Psychology after taking Professor Grande’s Intro to Psychology class second semester Freshman year. The theories were so interesting and I kept reading and studying for that class instead of my Biology and Chemistry classes. After that I switched and have not regretted it once!
UofSHealthPsych: What is your favorite type healthy food?
Olivia: My favorite type of healthy food is hummus. I eat it everyday and its so good on just about everything!
UofSHealthPsych: What is your favorite type of junk food?
Olivia: I have the biggest sweet tooth and anything with chocolate is my favorite. Dessert is not dessert if there is no chocolate.
UofSHealthPsych: What do you do to stay active and healthy?
Olivia: To stay active and healthy I love to go to yoga and go on hikes. I live near the border of Delaware so in the summer my friends and I go hiking and swim in the creek at Alapoca state park. It is absolutely beautiful and the perfect day trip spot.
UofSHealthPsych: What research topics in health psychology do you find interesting?
Olivia: The research I am interested in health psychology is the integration of mobile technology and wearables into the health maintenance. I believe that this is the future of living an active and healthy lifestyle and it is great to be researching such a popular and new topic.
UofSHealthPsych: Explain some of the research projects you have conducted while working in the Clinical Health Psychology Lab.
Olivia: I have done coding for written narratives, in which I read stream-of-consciousness pieces and analyzed them for positive, negative, and other meanings in terms of social experiences and what participants learned from writing.
The other project I am currently working on is the start of our new program in which we use the Fitbit to track people’s activity. Over Intersession I was able to play with a Fitbit, and it was interesting and helpful for me to understand what this device is capable of and how to use this wearable.
UofSHealthPsych: What are your goals for the future?
Olivia: My current goals are to complete a year of service in California. I’d like to work with homeless children and teens to help them with basic needs, homework, and teach them how to live a healthy lifestyle.