Academic test-taking can spark anxiety in even the calmest students. But is anxiety even more pronounced when the tests are taken online, with a visible timer ticking down the minutes and seconds?

University of Mary Washington psychology majors Eliana Black ’24, Kaitlin Lennox ’24, Ada Moses ’25 and Hannah Shipp ’25 are approaching that question with scholarly precision as participants in UMW’s second annual Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Summer Institute (AHSSSI).

Working alongside Assistant Professor of Psychology Marcus Leppanen, the four have devised a small-sample study that uses UMW’s high-tech eye-tracking equipment and a biometric sensor to determine test-anxiety levels in college-age volunteers. They and four other student-faculty research teams will present their findings at the AHSSSI Symposium at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, in Room 139 of Combs Hall.

Besides the test-anxiety study, this summer’s research teams are working on: studying how geopolitics affects multinational corporations’ foreign direct investments; producing a community-based documentary series; developing an urban food waste recovery project at a community garden in Fredericksburg; and expanding and refining a writing systems inventory database. Read more.