Emma Nair '19 Finds Wonderful Balance of Leadership, Arts, and Passion for Psychology

Have you ever thought about why people vote or how empathetic people are?
It’s something that Emma Nair ’19 thinks about, and she learned more about it this summer at “Compassion Camp,” a week-long program in Eugene, Oregon, that featured psychologists from all around the world.

“They talked about why people give and vote, how people spend money and why, as well as other topics such as biases in donating, nuclear war, climate change, and refugees,” Emma said.

After Compassion Camp, Emma spent time in a social cognition lab with Dr. Sara Hodges at the University of Oregon. She worked on research focused on empathic accuracy, or the ability to accurately infer another person’s thoughts.

Her work involved measuring empathy and what people were thinking. “For instance, one experiment involved having people guess what someone else is thinking, and then grading how accurate they are, which translated to how empathetic they were to a certain person,” Emma said. “I knew what the person was thinking, so I could say how accurate the guesses were on a scale from 0 to 3.”

To meet a need for interests in psychology at Hutchison, Emma founded the Psychology Club, a place where students can learn about the different values of psychology.

“The goal is to have discussions about job opportunities and research methods that we might not discuss in class,” she said. “I wanted a place where people who have similar interests could talk with others.”

Emma's interest in psychology helps when she gets into character for theater. She is involved in both the Hutchison and Memphis University School theater programs and recently played the role of Erzulie in Hutchison's production of Once on This Island. Emma also enjoys singing and was named 8th chair, second soprano in the 2018-2019 All-West Choir. Don't miss seeing her perform in our Winter Music Concert on Wednesday!

Read More