Webster Vienna Psychology Students Conduct 'Crosstalks' in Austrian School

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Students and professor at the crosstalk event
Webster Vienna Private University (WVPU) students studying under Professor Sandra Velásquez conducted five crosstalks at a Vienna school on April 21.

In the field of psychology, a crosstalk refers to interference between two or more cognitive processes. It can occur in various contexts such as multitasking, perception and more.

“At the beginning of the semester, Professor Velasquez introduced the concept of a crosstalk as a central project for our class,” said Kate Rogosic, who is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. “The project was something my fellow students and I have worked on throughout the entire semester, and the main goal of this event was to apply the knowledge we gained about adolescence and this age group into the project.”

The crosstalks took place in a group of 26 students ranging in age from 14 to 16 years old. The event was hosted by Webster Vienna’s psychology department along with host organization Teach For Austria’s Fellow program.

The Webster Vienna students who led the school event are in Professor Velásquez’s Psychology of Adolescence course. This course examines the physical, emotional, intellectual and social changes of adolescence. Lectures and class discussions consider the characteristics and problems of contemporary adolescents and implications for emerging adulthood. Special issues such as addiction, adolescent-parent relationships and achievement are considered in Velásquez’s class.

“It was important for us to understand the mechanism and effects of crosstalk in order to design our crosstalks for the school event,” said psychology student Jema Zaripova. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to speak at the local school. My group's crosstalk topic was ‘Gender in Everyday Life and Careers.’ It was a pleasure to engage with the students. Personally, I was very impressed with one of the boys in particular, who was incredibly engaging and asked a multitude of thought-provoking questions. His curiosity and active participation in the discussion were truly commendable.

“I believe that initiatives such as this are important in promoting awareness and understanding of gender-related issues among young people.”

The subject matter of each of the five group crosstalks varied.

“My group’s topic was ‘Cross-Cultural Understanding and Conflict Resolution,’” said Rogosic. “The students at the school we visited have international backgrounds, so our focus was on educating the possible difficulties and misunderstandings that could potentially arise from these different backgrounds, as well as how to effectively deal with conflict. We planned some educational materials and activities to better transfer knowledge to the students, while making it entertaining and fun.

“These opportunities are much appreciated, as they are very useful and help us further develop our knowledge in a more practical way. We thank Professor Velasquez for providing us with this opportunity and for organizing the crosstalk!” Rogosic added.

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