Joining a laboratory as an undergraduate assistant is an invaluable opportunity to get hands-on training on specific methodological, analytical, and professional skills sets critical to conducting psychological research. Moreover, considerable undergraduate research experience is a strongly weighted factor in the graduate selection process. Depending on one's commitment and length of service in the lab, undergraduate research assistants can expect to have training and practice with the following skill sets:
Methodological: Study generation, study design, and data collection
Analytical: Data cleanup, data analysis, and data interpretation/reporting
Professional: Self-awareness and communication, work ethic, and collaboration/mentoring
Although project topic content may vary, typical laboratory duties involve (but are not limited to), literature searches using library databases, laboratory and/or field data collection (including SONA system use and online survey platforms), and data organizationa/management (entry and coding in Excel and SPSS). More experienced research assistants may also conduct statistical analyses, contribute to manuscript writing, and prepare presentations at local, regional, or national conferences. Visit the Research Positions and Earning Course Credit pages to learn more.