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Success for Limerick Student Kelly Ryan at 40th Annual All-Ireland Psychology Student Congress

Kelly Ryan receiving her award for Best Oral Presentation at the 40th Annual All-Ireland Psychology Student Congress.

Success for Limerick Student Kelly Ryan at 40th Annual All-Ireland Psychology Student Congress

The 40th Annual Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) Student Congress was held in Maynooth last week with great success for MIC student Kelly Ryan.

Kelly, from Lisnagry, Co Limerick, is a  4th year B Ed in Education (Primary Teaching) and Psychology at Mary Immaculate Colleg and won the prize for Best Oral Presentation at Undergraduate Level for her final-year dissertation at this year’s All-Ireland Student Congress.

Kelly’s dissertation entitled ‘Beauty in the body image of the beholder’, examined the hypothesis that one’s body image can be used to predict one’s perception of beauty; for example, if you have blonde hair you will be more likely to envisage somebody with blonde hair as being beautiful than somebody who does not have blonde hair. In order to prove this, eye-colour she asked participants to create a virtual character they considered to be beautiful. Following this the participants were asked to outline their own body image; namely their skin, hair, eye-colour, and hairstyle for later cross-comparisons with the avatar they had created. Results showed that sixty-eight percent of participants replicated their own body image in the avatar they had created supporting the hypothesis that one’s body image may predict one’s perception of beauty. According to Kelly “this research could prove fruitful in the treatment of eating disorders and also for gaining an understanding of an inherently self-interested mind”.

Congratulating Kelly on her achievement was her supervisor, Claire Griffin, lecturer in Educational Psychology at MIC, who said: “I heartily congratulate Kelly on this well-deserved achievement.  Kelly has displayed a full commitment to her studies here in MIC, particularly evident in the innovative research she designed and conducted as part of her Undergraduate Dissertation in Psychology. I, along with all her Psychology lecturers, wish her every success in the future”.


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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.