Student Spotlight – Celine Tsoi

Meet third-year undergraduate researcher Celine Tsoi!

Celine Tsoi majors in Psychology and Political Science and minors in Musicology and is in our Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP). The title of her project is “Correlation of personality, relationship satisfaction, and music tastes.” She hopes that her project will encourage interested individuals to pursue this field. Her best piece of advice to not give up and just follow your heart!

How did you first get interested in your research project?

I have been trying to find an intersection between music and psychology since I read Oliver Sacks’ Musicophilia. When I was developing my research question, I was in an Intimate Relationships class and I came across a popular article on relationship satisfaction and music taste. So, I decided to test this in an academic setting and expand it to include personality!

What has been the most exciting aspect of your research so far?

My research is still going on, but the most exciting part is when IRB gave me the green light! And I thought to myself – woah this is real, I’m doing research!

What has surprised you about your research or the research process?

Gathering participants was tougher than I thought it would be, especially when I am just starting and don’t have a list of previous participants. I think I sent 15 emails, posted on all social media platforms and group texts, and I got only around 100 participants. I was also surprised by how relatively pleasant the IRB process was. I don’t know what I imagined but the comments are really helpful, and the process was very fast, too.

What is one piece of advice you have for other UCLA students thinking about doing research?

Don’t give up! There are going to be a lot of obstacles in your way. For me, I asked two professors to be my mentor before my current mentor is willing to take me. There are also times when I felt it would be impossible to get my target number of participants, but other people are always there to help and support you! If you want to do it, just follow your heart 🙂

What effect do you hope your research has in your field, at UCLA, in your community, or in the world?

UCLA, surprising, does not have a lot of research on music psychology. So, finding like-minded individuals have been hard for me. But I hope by getting my research out there, other interested individuals will be encouraged to pursue this field!