The Undergraduate Research Assistantship: An Analysis of the Benefits

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This study documents and quantifies the benefits of serving as an undergraduate research assistant based on the results of a national survey of undergraduate psychology educators (N = 211). The survey consisted of a list of 40 potential benefits, skills, and abilities. Respondents rated each of the items on (a) whether their research assistants attain the benefit, skill, or ability and (b) the importance of each item to an undergraduate education in psychology. Factor analysis revealed 2 major themes: The first factor contained items relating to technical skills, such as math, statistics, writing, and effective communication, whereas items in the second factor pertained to interpersonal benefits. This study provides important information for evaluating the value of the assistantship experience.