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Research Opportunities

Lawrence Locker, Jr.
Dr. Locker’s area of interest is cognitive psychology in language and memory. He is also interested in issues related to social cognition or interdisciplinary studies that involve a cognitive component. Dr. Locker conducts laboratory research involving the presentation of stimuli on a computer. Students are involved in the preparation of stimuli (e.g., a list of words). Research assistants also help with scheduling participants and are active in the data collection process.

Karen Naufel
Dr. Naufel’s research interests are twofold: people’s interpretations and responses to health messages, and ethical issues in psychology. Dr. Naufel’s undergraduate students take on various roles in the lab: They create health messages, design questionnaires (both web surveys and print surveys), assist with recruitment of participants, and conduct research sessions. Dr. Naufel values a lab community in which research ideas are generated and explored. Undergraduate assistants work actively with their lab mates and lab advisor, so strong interpersonal skills are desirable. Undergraduates must have completed or be enrolled in Research Methods.

Michael Nielsen
Dr. Nielsen’s research program focuses on psychological aspects of religion. He studies this from a social psychological perspective, sometimes working with colleagues in sociology, political science, and anthropology. Depending on the specific project, undergraduate students take on a range of duties, usually including library research, data collection, or data entry. Dr. Nielsen’s projects tend to involve self-reports (questionnaires), but he usesvexperimental and quasi-experimental designs. The most important qualities for research assistants are the abilities to be accurate and thorough in carrying out their duties and open-minded regarding views that may differ from their own. Students can typically sign up for 1 or 2 hours of credit (3-6 hours per week).

Rebecca G. Ryan
Dr. Ryan is open most semesters to students who are interested in registering for one, two, or three credit hours of research experience. The research in her lab is currently focused on jury decision-making and service learning. Dr. Ryan is investigating the influence of a series of variables on the conclusions made by mock jurors and outcomes associated with engaging in community service as part of completing course requirements. Research assistants will be involved in collecting and entering data, scoring assessments, and assisting with literature searches. Those accepted will gain experience in running participants and using SPSS and PsycInfo.

Theresa Yancey 
Dr. Yancey’s research areas are child maltreatment, resiliency following trauma, and the use of empirically supported treatments in nontraditional populations. Students working on Dr. Yancey’s projects enter data, read and evaluate research, and  write portions of research papers.

Last updated: 11/23/2022