Students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in class by getting involved in psychological research. Students benefit from one-on-one mentoring with faculty and have opportunities to present research on campus at the Undergraduate Research Symposium or at regional or national psychology conferences. Students also can become co-authors in professional publications.
Mental Health Research
The Laboratory for the Evaluation of Psychopathology and Psychosocial Interventions does research to focus on practice-based research by collaborating with mental health professionals in the community. The data for this research is usually generated through the course of routine clinical services or activities and addresses questions that are important to practicing clinicians.
Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Leonard Doerfler, Dr. Adam Volungis
The Psychosocial Outcomes for Multi-Stressed Youth (POMSY) Lab explores predictors of positive mental health outcomes of high-needs, at-risk youth. Youth that are served in various care systems, including the healthcare and foster care systems, are studied.
Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Alison Stoner
The Child and Family Studies Labs (CAFS) contain a real-life living room with a one-way mirror and state of the art observation cameras, coding software, a computerized doll simulating the responses of a real baby, and equipment to record body movements. This allows for unobtrusive data collection when interviewing families or observing children performing motor tasks or engaging in free play or social interactions. Our developmental research also involves observations outside of the lab, such as in schools, preschools, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and during home visits with families. Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Amy Cirillo, Dr. Paula Fitzpatrick, Dr. Maria Kalpidou, Dr. Regina Kuersten-Hogan
The Laboratory for Cognitive and Affective Science (LaCasa) houses equipment designed to measure precise reaction times to experiments, present multimedia stimuli, and record a range of psychophysiological measurements (such as heart rate and skin sweating). Past research projects have investigated the impact of fiction reading on emotional response, attentional bias under states of anxiety, and whether nostalgia helps or harms recovery from sad mood states.
Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Sarah Cavanagh
Emotion and Social Cognition Research
The Emotion and Social Cognition Lab, investigates emotions and facial expressions by exploring how culture, social, and physiological factors, such as gender, stereotypes and hormonal changes, influence recognition of facial expressions and how various emotions can impact information processing. We use morphing software to manipulate facial expressions and behavioral experiment software to present images and record individuals’ responses.
Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Maria Parmley, Dr. Fang Zhang
Learning and Memory Research
Research conducted in the Learning and Memory Lab employs a variety of experimental methods to better understand how we acquire and use information in a number of contexts and how that work can be applied in the real-world. For example, one area of research explores how the distribution of attentional resources during learning impacts memory accuracy and memory errors. This has important implications for classroom and eyewitness memory scenarios. Other projects include exploring how learning history influences people’s willingness to cooperate with others in a shared task, teaching methods that result in better development of symbolic relations, and best practices in training service delivery staff to implement teaching programs to children with autism.
Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Leamarie Gordon, Dr. Karen Lionello-Denolf
Showcasing Students’ Scholarly Work
During the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Assumption University community celebrates the scholarly work of students through a series of presentations attended by faculty, students and staff.