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Rulin’s Key Takeaways and Insights from MAPSA Conference 2023

29 Nov 2023

A fire with enthusiasm quote by Corin Nemec broaches “Never let life impede on your ability to manifest your dreams. Dig deeper into your dreams and deeper into yourself and believe that anything is possible, and make it happen.”. This journey began with Dr Shamala Ramasamy’s motivation when I was in her Statistics classes during my undergraduate study in psychology at IMU. She prepared us with the eagerness to brainstorm the thesis research scope as early as we can, as well as encouraged us to aim to present our research findings at the Malaysian Psychology Students Assembly (MAPSA) conference.


My burning passion for researching the Cyberbullying scope developed ever since I was in Diploma in Psychology at another college. I aspire to provide a platform for cyberbullying victims to voice out, conjointly, to raise anti-cyberbullying awareness in society. It is disheartening to recognise that the number of cyberbullying incidents has inflated incredibly across the years, the victims fear disclosing the experience to even the closest people such as family members and friends due to the fear of being discriminated against, and most importantly, the urgency of government and legal institutions to take expeditious actions to protect the victim and address the inappropriate and toxic social media users’ behaviour.


I was fortunate enough to conduct a thesis titled “A Phenomenological Study on Cybervictimization Experience and Coping Strategies among Women with Heavy Social Media Usage”, under Mr Alexius Cheang’s supervision and guidance. Upon the completion of the BSc (Hon) in Psychology, Dr Joshua Ng encouraged my cohort and I to present our research studies in this year’s MAPSA conference at Sunway University on 4 November 2023 (Saturday), centring on the theme “Psychology for a Sustainable Future.”.

Initially, I was doubtful of the quality of my research paper, however, with Dr Joshua Ng, Dr Serena In and Mr Alexius Cheang’s encouragement, I finally gave it a try, participated in the poster presentation and I am so grateful that I did not say no to it! Otherwise, I may regret of missing out on such a significant learning opportunity.

MAPSA Conference is an advantageous conference which allows undergraduate and postgraduate Psychology enthusiasts to gather, connect and share our research findings. An astounding vision shared by Prof Alvin Ng, “Psychology to be a mainstream subject accepted as a behavioural science that is applied beyond mental health; no longer mysterious” was my biggest take-home message from the conference.

The team from IMU: lecturers, oral and poster presenters, participants.

I had the opportunity to sit in the oral presentations under the subtheme of Health and Clinical Psychology, along with 2 brilliant plenary sessions by Dr Shawn Lee Ji Kwan from Monash University on the topic of “ The Opioid Epidemic: Why Health and Clinical Psychology Should be the Future of Chronic Pain Management”, and also Dr Joshua Ng from my Alma mater on the topic of “Cultivating Trust among Malaysian Adults: Attachment Styles, Counselling, Mentoring and Collectivistic Culture”.

One of the most exceptional oral presentations under the Subtheme of Health and Clinical Psychology that excited me was the research topic of “Association between Forms of Invalidation and BPD Symptoms in Malaysian Sexual Minorities”.


This conference truly motivates me to fly higher, and keep exploring, learning and growing in the field of Psychology and mental health with the mission to raise mental health awareness and break mental health stigma among the community, to build a nurturing community. Not exclusively, but I profoundly realised the fact that Clinical Psychology is the path I am passionate about to pursue, and this conference drove me to start taking baby steps to brainstorm future Master’s research scope.


Written by Lee Rulin

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