Research Opportunities


Independent Study (PSYC 485)

Independent study is an opportunity for a student to receive course credit for working in a professor’s research lab or for working with a faculty member on a research project. This experience is advantageous for those who are interested in graduate school, may need a letter of recommendation, or simply want to gain research experience. 

Regarding PSYC 485 Contract Forms: While some professors have their own unique application form(s), the general-purpose contract should also be completed.

Available Faculty Members

David Bridgett

  • Office/Lab: PM 308/PM 130
  • Office Email:
  • Research interests: Developmental Psychopathology, Infant/toddler Emotion Regulation, Parent-child interactions.
  • Important Resources: The Emotion Regulation and Temperament Laboratory site, which includes a section dedicated to describing possible research experiences available to undergraduate students.

Anne Britt

  • Office/Lab: PM 363/PM 1
  • Email:
  • Research interests: Comprehension, cognition, and memory; integration of information from multiple sources; enhancing learning and understanding through use of computer-aided instruction; argument comprehension and construction.

Amanda Durik

  • Office/Lab PM 414/PM 329
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: Motivation in achievement situations

Lisa Finkelstein

  • Office/Lab PM 571/PM 30
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: Age and generational issues in the work place; mentoring relationship; obesity bias; humor at work. (fall semester only)

Angela Grippo

Michelle Lilly

  • Office/Lab: PM 318/PM 32
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: Family violence, trauma, mental health and recovery
  • Important Resources: Lilly's homepage.

Christine Malecki

  • Office/Lab: PM 312/PM 534
  • Email:
  • Research interests: School psychology; social support perceived by children and adolescents; curriculum-based measurement; innovative school psychology delivery services.
  • Important Resources: Malecki's homepage, and a unique lab application.

Leslie Matuszewich

  • Office/Lab: PM 420/PM 537
  • Office Email:
  • Research Interests: Effects of chronic and acute stress on behavior and the brain; Neurotransmitter regulation of the stress response; Animal models of drug abuse; Neural regulation of sexual behavior in rats.
  • Important Resources: Matuszewich's unique lab application.

Randy McCarthy

  • Office/Lab: PM 307/PM 329
  • Email:
  • Research interests: Who behaves aggressively; why do people behave aggressively;When do people behave aggressively.

Keith K. Millis

  • Office/Lab: PM 320/PM 1
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: Discourse comprehension; technology and instruction; experimental aesthetics; memory processes.

Nina Mounts

  • Office/Lab: PM 410/PM 233-235
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: Social development of children and adolescents across diverse ethnic groups; linkages between parent and peer contexts; parent-child relationships including parenting style and parental management of peers; peer relationships including peer influence and friendship formation.
  • Important Resources: Mounts's unique lab application.

Bradford H. Pillow

  • Office/Lab: PM 353/PM 331
  • Office Email:
  • Research Interests: Social-cognitive and metacognitive development; Children's perspective-taking abilities; children's ability to reflect on their own mental states; children's conceptions of cognitive processes; children's explanations of others' behavior.

Laura Pittman

  • Office/Lab: PM 314/PM 132-134
  • Office Email:
  • Research Interests: Developmental psychopathology; family process; extended family; parenting practices; poverty; cultural diversity; and transition to college.
  • Important Resources: Pittman's homepage, and a unique lab application.

Rachel Saef

  • Office/Lab PM 569/PM 139
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: Personality and individual differences, organizational injustice, and diversity in the workplace.

Brad Sagarin

  • Office/Lab: PM 416/PM 227
  • Office Email:
  • Research Interests: Attitude change; resistance to persuasion; deception, jealousy and infidelity; evolutionary psychology; human sexuality; statistical approaches to missing data and non-compliance.
  • Note: Sagarin has a number of new and ongoing studies on jealousy, infidelity, human sexuality, and research methods.

Alecia Santuzzi

  • Office/Lab: PM 561/PM 327
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: Managing disability in the workplace; perceptions among women in male-dominated work environments; social paranoia in highly evaluative situations
  • Important Resources: Santuzzi's homepage.

John Skowronski

  • Office/Lab: PM 418/PM 133-135
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: Processes and structures involved in judgment and memory about others and the self: how we draw conclusions about the internal characteristics (traits, motives, goals) of people, and why we remember certain things about people and forget others.
  • Important Resources: Skowronski's homepage.

David Valentiner

Doug Wallace

  • Office/Lab: PM 309/PM 430
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: Animal models of Alzheimer's Disease.

Katja Wiemer

  • Office/Lab: PM 569/236
  • Email:
  • Research Interests: Concepts and categories; abstract concepts; determinants of similarity; perceptual bases of cognition; embodied cognition; metacognition; semantics; natural language processing; maladaptive cognitions in mood disorders.

Kevin Wu

  • Office/Lab: PM 311/PM 31
  • Email:  
  • Research Interests: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; personality; personality disorders; relations between the mood and anxiety disorders.
  • Important Resources: Wu's lab homepage.
  • Note: Student-initiated projects address the assessment of social anxiety disorder, rumination and how it relates to depression and anxiety, and the importance of certain beliefs for understanding repetitive phenomena (e.g., obsessions, worries).  Undergraduate research assistants may earn credit through PSYC 485; typically, students are recruited in April or May to begin during the subsequent Fall term and stay on for either one or (preferably) two terms. Less frequently, students may apply during November/December to begin during the following Spring term.