The College of New Jersey

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     

Current Labs

Interested in joining a lab?

click here to apply

Read about the different labs below.


Alcohol Lab – Dr. Martinetti:

The Alcohol Lab at TCNJ is a multidisciplinary, translational research lab that studies human and animal models of alcohol abuse. Past research projects have applied quantitative models of choice (such as behavioral economics) to alcohol consumption in rats and hypothetical alcohol purchases in humans. In the animal experiments, rats are trained to press a lever to receive access to an alcohol solution, thereby providing a model of “working” to earn alcohol access. Research with human subjects has used a hypothetical alcohol-purchase task to assess how alcohol pricing affects consumption. To learn more about the lab, please visit our website at

The Alcohol Lab is currently not recruiting for Fall 2019.


Clinical Outcomes and Processes (COP) Lab – Dr. Borders:

In the Clinical Outcomes and Processes (COP) lab, we study cognitive processes that are associated with clinical outcomes. At the moment, we are focusing on the cognitive processes of rumination and mindfulness. We have researched a range of clinical outcomes, such as depression, aggression, sleep, disordered eating, anxiety, and social connectedness. See the website for more information:


Cognitive Development Lab Dr. Stahl:

The Cognitive Development Lab investigates learning and memory in infants and children aged 0-6. Students who work in the lab conduct hands-on studies with various age groups using various methodologies. Students recruit local families to visit the lab, and will interact with parents and children on a regular basis. Students interested in The Cognitive Development Lab should visit the lab webpage ( to read about the lab experience.


Emotion Lab – Dr. Kim-Prieto:

We look at the antecedents and effects of emotions.  We also research the repercussions of stereotypes and microaggressions. For more information, see


ERP Lab – Dr. Leynes:

The ERP lab investigates the neuroscience of memory. For more information, see the lab’s website:


Identity Development across the African Diaspora – Dr. Onyewuenyi:

The Identity Development across the African Diaspora (IDAD) Lab examines identity development and social inequity in educational attainment and access for Black youth across the African Diaspora. More specifically, we take a multimethod approach to investigate the relationship between racial, ethnic, and immigrant identity, discrimination, and academic achievement among youth of the African Diaspora (African immigrant, Black American, Caribbean immigrant, and Afro-Latinx). We will collaborate with local community organizations and schools to conduct our research and do most of our data collection off campus. Most of our research questions address identity development during adolescence (middle and high school and college), so lab students can expect to interact with teens and young adults.


Infant/Child Lab – Dr. Ruddy:

In the Infant/Child Lab, plans include topics related to young children’s books (and stories via other media).   These topics will include stereotyping (and ways to combat stereotypes) and creativity (and ways to encourage it). Parenting controversies, among parents of infants and young children, will be studied in the lab, as well.


Memory and Aging Lab – Dr. Bireta:

Our lab focuses on (1) why are some things remembered so poorly and others remembered so well? and (2) how does memory change with healthy aging? Students are involved in helping design studies, collecting data (running participants), recruiting older adults from the community, analyzing data (with training!), and participating in weekly lab meetings. Our lab runs all year (Fall, Spring, and Summer), and we take new students every semester.


MISC Lab – Dr. Grimm:

The MISC Lab is directed by Dr. Lisa Grimm. The focus of the lab’s work is to improve our understanding of cognitive processes as they relate to motivation, stereotype threat, individual differences, and a variety of other topics. We usually have two or three lines of research that appear very different but are actually examining the same underlying processes. The current lab studies examine how exercise environments can be created to maximize health benefits and consider issues related to human-computer interactions. We also have ongoing research in the domain of the psychology of magic. Please visit our lab website ( for more information.


Organizational Psychology Lab Dr. Dahling:

Industrial Organizational Psychology concerns the application of psychological theories and principles to solving workplace problems. The Organizational Psychology Lab studies a wide variety of topics under the umbrella of organizational psychology, usually with a focus on applying theories of motivation and self-regulation to work-related problems. Please visit our lab website ( for more information.


Political Psychology Lab – Dr. Crawford:

The Political Psychology Lab conducts research on how people’s personalities, beliefs and experiences affect their social and political attitudes and behavior. Each semester, our lab conducts several original research projects. These projects will be in various stages—we may be doing the initial reading and discussion to get a project off the ground; we may be designing a study and preparing for IRB submission; we may be collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data; we may be drafting a poster or paper to present at a conference; or we may be writing up our studies for publication. Typically, we are engaged in a number of these stages simultaneously as we work on multiple projects. For more information, see:


Psychodynamic Lab – Dr. Vivona:

We will be completing library research for my book on language development during infancy. Together, we will read the theory and research literature on how infants understand words and communication more generally. Based on our reading, we will write a series of papers to work out our thoughts about how these areas of research inform an understanding of the therapeutic action of language, and speech in particular, in psychotherapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy in particular. If you are interested in language, psychotherapy, and/or infants, and if you like thinking, reading, writing, and talking, this is the Research Lab for you!

I am eager to work with students who enjoy reading, writing, and talking about complex ideas and who have an interest in the processes of psychotherapy. You do not need expertise in research methods or statistics for this lab, but you do need talent and enthusiasm for thinking, talking, and writing.


Quantitative Psychology Lab – Dr. Ruscio:

Independently and in collaboration with TCNJ students, I’ve been working on four streams of research:

• Applications of behavioral economics. How can knowledge of the cognitive limitations and biases, as well as the social influences, that affect our decisions be used to help us make better choices?

• The taxometric method for differentiating categories and dimensions. Should people be placed into distinct groups (e.g., depressed vs. non-depressed) or located along a continuum (e.g., severity of depression)?

• Modern and robust statistical methods. How can we take advantage of cheap computing power to estimate effect sizes and calculate confidence intervals?

• The measurement of scholarly impact. Rather than simply counting the number of articles someone has publication, what are the best ways to create indices using citation records catalogued in electronic databases? Students can get involved in this research through independent research courses (PSY391, PSY393, PSY493), senior honors theses (PSY396 + PSY496), or volunteering.

More information about my research and ways to get involved is available at


REACH Lab – Dr. Chung:

The REACH (Research on Engagement, Adjustment, and Community Health) lab conducts community-based research that promotes healthy outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. Students can expect to work with children, students, and community members at TCNJ, as well as in Trenton, and learn to: collaborate with community partners, develop research protocols, recruit participants for projects, conduct face-to-face interviews, assist with data entry/analysis, and present research findings. Students will also become familiar with research that shapes behavior, motivation, and attitudes, particularly among at-risk youth. Current partners include: Mercer Street Friends ( and TCNJ’s Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research ( See the REACH Lab website for more information:


Reactivity Lab Dr. Herres:

The Reactivity Lab investigates the role of emotional reactivity in the development and treatment of emotional disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Recently, the lab has begun to examine risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTS) following campus sexual assault (CSA). For example, we recently examined whether PTSD symptoms were related to more intense emotional reactivity for CSA survivors. Students who work in the lab also have the opportunity to analyze data from past studies, including a treatment study comparing family therapy to individual therapy for suicidal adolescents.

The Reactivity Lab is no longer recruiting for Fall 2019.


Reproductive and Sexual Health Lab – Dr. Barnack-Tavlaris:

Our lab is interested in understanding the complex factors that influence sexual health attitudes, knowledge and behaviors. We aim to inform interventions and public health campaigns aimed at increasing sexual well-being and reducing stigma towards illnesses. This is the lab website:  


Romantic Relationships Research Lab (RRRLab) – Dr. Feiring:

Our Lab focuses on how each member of a couple views the positive and negative experiences in their romantic relationship. We conduct separate face-to-face interviews with each member of a couple and audio-record their narratives about specific relationship events concerning met and unmet needs. These narratives are coded to examine healthy and unhealthy approaches to feeling, thinking and handling conflict. Research topics include: the role of positive and negative emotions in healthy romantic relationships, romantic relationship dating aggression, and issues of gender in relationship dynamics. More information: The lab website can be found at this link: A brief YouTube video about the RRRLab can be found here.


Social Change and Collective Identity Lab – Dr. Wiley:

In the Social Change and Collective Identity lab, we study the role of social identities in how people respond to (and when people challenge) discrimination and inequality.

For example, some recent research examines how dual identity shapes whether Latino immigrants challenge anti-immigrant policies, what leads members of advantaged groups (e.g, men, straight people) to challenge discrimination their privilege, and how to be an effective ally. You can read about some of our research here:


Social and Emotional Development Lab – Dr. Graham:

This laboratory, in partnership with Kidsbridge and Camp Fire NJ, combines experiential learning and research with children in grades k – 12.  The programs at Kidsbridge and Camp Fire NJ aim to provide programs that create measurable improvements in character education, conflict resolution, anti-bullying, leadership, and life skills.  Undergraduate students will work directly with children in the Kidsbridge Museum, or as mentors for Kidsbridge and Camp Fire NJ sponsored Life Skills programs in primary, elementary, middle, and high schools across New Jersey.  In this laboratory, students are involved in the central core of research that includes activities such as research planning, writing, data collection, data entry, data analysis, presenting, and publishing. For more information about the Social and Emotional Development Lab, see


TAPLab – Dr. Kirnan:

TAP stands for Testing and Assessment in Psychology. Our research revolves around the development of psychological measures and evaluation of existing programs. We are currently involved in four major projects: 1) Development of the PASS, Predictors of Academic Success of Students, a measure of non-cognitive predictors of first-year college success; 2) Program evaluation of Coming Up for Air, a mental health education program; 3) Investigation of the relationship between various personality traits and ethical perception and judgment; and 4) Research on the use of Emotional Support Animals, ESAs, on college campuses.

The TAPLab is minimally recruiting for Fall 2019.