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Way to Go: Rachel Abramowitz, Bellmore

Rachel Abramowitz, a senior at John F. Kennedy

Rachel Abramowitz, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, has been invited to present her project, "Why Innocent People Comply with Police Requests: The Role of Just World Beliefs in Public Self- Consciousness," at the American Psychology Law Society Conference, being held March 6-9 in New Orleans. Credit: Handout

A Bellmore student's project on people's compliance with police has earned her participation in a prestigious national conference.

Rachel Abramowitz, a John F. Kennedy High School senior, has been invited to present her project, "Why Innocent People Comply with Police Requests: The Role of Just World Beliefs in Public Self- Consciousness," at the American Psychology Law Society Conference, being held March 6-9 in New Orleans.

She will be the youngest presenter ever at the annual conference, school officials said.

"When I realized my research was going to make an impact, that's when I felt like a real scientist," Abramowitz said. "To be the youngest presenter at the conference is the most accomplishing feeling."

In her project, 80 volunteers were placed in crime scenarios and interrogated. Innocent people were "significantly more cooperative" in answering questions than guilty people, which can be attributed to psychological concepts called "illusion of transparency" and "just world hypothesis," Abramowitz said.

Her research was part of a districtwide advanced science research program and was conducted in partnership with Saul Kassin, a psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.

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