1 – 4 April 2013 – IMU psychology students organised a highly successful Psychology Week at the University’s Bukit Jalil campus with the aim of showcasing and educating the IMU community of the wide application of psychology in everyday life. They were involved in the planning, setting up and running of all the booths and activities which had a different theme every day.
Arina Rashidan, a first year psychology student, explained that although the initial planning was simple, the students were “… free to let our creative ideas and enthusiasm flow freely which made the whole four-day event a huge success. We have not only gained knowledge from each other but also a sense of pride to be psychology students and to be able to make our presence felt in IMU”.
Prof Peter Pook, IMU’s Executive Dean and Prof Khor Geok Lin, Dean, School of Health Sciences officiated the launching of the event. They hit the Psi symbol (representing Psychology) on the stage three times, followed by an energetic flash mob of psychology students who danced while wearing t-shirts proudly proclaiming, ‘Already a PSYCHO’ on the front and, ‘Not yet a LOGIST’ emblazoned on the back. The t-shirts definitely attracted a lot of attention from both faculty and students. Traditionally, the word ‘Psycho’ brings a very negative connotation but for Psychology Week, we decided to turn this negativity around and used it to empower the students as well as to provide a talking point with others to explain the true meaning of psychology.
The Counselling side showcased multiple experiential therapies which included sand tray therapy, expressive art therapy, experiential card therapy and clay therapy. These therapies were so popular among students that booths were opened throughout the week to cater to the popular demand. Two talks were also conducted: Five Love Languages by Ms Kah Hwei and Hypnosis and Relaxation by Ms Zuhrah Beevi, an IMU lecturer. The second day showcased the application of statistics where students demonstrate how to use the SPSS Statistics software while the third day focused on activities for Health Psychology that covered topics in ‘Health and Body Image’, ‘Stress and Health’, ‘Sex and Psychological Health’, and ‘Phone Addiction and Health’. Personality assessments and tests where participants could measure their level or state in emotional intelligence, stress, anxiety, depression and self-confidence were the focus of the fourth day.
A psychology student, Chee Shu-Yi commented that, “It was a very memorable experience to be able to enjoy and see so many people showing interest in our Psychology Week. The psychology booths were always full with people lining up to try out the many interesting activities.” Activities in the Psychology Lab, set up in the middle of the Atrium, proved to be extremely popular with staff and students. These activities were the Mirror Tracing – measuring spatial ability and hand-eye coordination, Biofeedback – showcasing emotional control and stress reduction, WAIS III Assessments – assessing cognitive ability, Tower of Hanoi – application of cognitive ability and problem solving and Biodots / Stress test – assessment of stress levels.
First Year psychology student, Samantha Yeap, said that the Psychology Week helped to create a stronger bond between the Psychology cohorts and that she was very happy because the activities allowed her to meet a lot of people from different courses. She also learnt a lot from the seniors when she tried a few tests at the counselling booths and the way they interpreted her drawings inspired her. “People were asking with enthusiasm about our projects, about how it worked and wanted to test them out themselves. In a way, we are advertising a small fragment of what contributions psychology is capable of, and that is drawing people’s interest! That’s the whole point of the week, and we achieved it far better than anyone can expect. Life is not just about studying, it’s important to have fun too! And what’s best is learning while having fun”, added Sea Lin Yao, another psychology student.