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Through an advanced research project that included a survey of her classmates, psychology major Kimberly Rubenfeld ’03 looked at the differences between how men and women interpret conversations. She conducted her project under the guidance of Susan Basow, Dana Professor of Psychology, designing and carrying out experiments in “gender communication.”

Rubenfeld suspects that differences in how men and women say and hear things cause conflicts in marriages. “I firmly believe that socialization plays a key role in who we are and how we perceive the world, and there is no greater difference in socialization within a culture than gender,” she says.

Rubenfeld hopes to use what she gained from the experience as a therapist as well as a researcher. “I want to learn more about differences in the ways males and females communicate and help fix these problems,” she adds.

Basow describes Rubenfeld as hard working, motivated, and committed to research in psychology. “She is taking advantage of the many opportunities Lafayette offers to develop her knowledge and skills, including advanced research,” says Basow.

Rubenfeld is president of the psychology club; a member of Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society; and a psychology lab assistant. She coordinates the Adopt-A-Grandparent program for the Landis Community Outreach Center. Rubenfeld served on the 2001-2002 Family Weekend Planning Committee, has helped organize blood drives and a walk for charity, and is former president of the Keefe Volunteer Floor. Last summer, she worked as a residential counselor for mentally ill and chemically addicted teens at Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead.

Categorized in: Academic News