Student Research in Psychology

Student and faculty interacting during student research

With a major in the Department of Psychology, you will have a unique opportunity to conduct research alongside our experienced faculty members.

The SPIN Lab: Social Psychology and Influence

Faculty: Max Butterfield, Ph.D. and Kim Schaeffer, Ph.D.
Topics: Social Influence, Behavioral Economics, Social Cognition, Judgment, Decision-Making

As a student researcher in the SPIN lab, you can look forward to:

  • Applying psychology research to make a difference in real-world issues like poverty, politics, climate change, disease prevention, and social justice
  • Uncovering hidden influences on our spending, saving, and investing habits
  • Exploring how our thoughts about others form and change in response to small cues from our social world
  • Understanding cognitive shortcuts that reduce the effectiveness of our decisions and judgment

Marriage Satisfaction and Brain Activation

Faculty: Kendra Oakes-Mueller, Ph.D. and John Wu, Ed.D.
Topics: Marriage, Divorce, Cohabitation, Attachment, Brain

As a student researcher in the Lasting Love Lab, you can look forward to:

  • Conducting research on factors that affect marriage longevity and satisfaction
  • Exploring underlying factors to relational satisfaction, such as attachment, trauma, and brain area activation
  • Exploring how behaviors such as cohabitation and sexual timing affect later relational satisfaction
  • Applying findings to develop more effective counseling approaches

Moral Psychology and Compassion Lab

Faculty: Ross Oakes-Mueller, Ph.D. and G. Michael Leffel, Ph.D.
Topics: Moral Psychology, The Good Physician

As a student researcher in the Moral Psychology and Compassion Lab, you can look forward to:

  • Conducting research on the development of compassion and other moral virtues
  • Understanding the intertwining roles of thoughts, emotions, and habits in shaping our moral lives
  • Examining the role of faith and spirituality in predicting and shaping morally relevant thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • Uncovering and testing practices that can enhance empathy, generosity, and compassion
  • Applying such research to better understand and shape compassionate behavior in real-world settings (Past studies have examined community service, romantic relationships, and medical education, among others.)