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Current Labs

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Read about the different labs below.


Alcohol Lab – Dr. Martinetti:

Relevant specializations: Biopsychology, Counseling/Clinical, Developmental, Social

The Alcohol Lab at TCNJ is a multidisciplinary, translational research lab that studies human and animal models of alcohol use. Specifically, our research examines the environmental contexts associated with alcohol consumption, such as alternative reinforcers and alcohol price/availability, using quantitative models of choice (e.g., behavioral economics). My research students learn how to conduct experiments on alcohol self-administration in laboratory rats and some students also learn to conduct human studies using a hypothetical alcohol purchase task. My students also gain experience reading, discussing, and writing about scholarly research on behavioral pharmacology, substance use, and addiction. Basic requirements include PSY101 or equivalent, an interest in working on a research team, and a strong attention to detail. To learn more about the lab and the accomplishments of our lab alumni, please visit our website at


Cognitive Development Lab Dr. Stahl: 

Relevant specializations: Cognitive, Developmental

The Cognitive Development Lab studies learning and memory in infants and children. Students
recruit local parents to participate in our research, regularly interact with young children between
0 and 5 years old in our on-campus lab, learn to conduct experiments, code and analyze data, and present research findings. Students must have experience/interest in working with young
children, the ability to communicate well with others, be available to work in the lab for
approximately 6 hours a week, and attend our weekly lab meeting on Wednesdays 9:30-10:50. I
give preference to students who have completed PSY 121 with a B or higher; first year students may apply. See the “For Students” section of our website for more information:


Decision Making Lab – Dr. Ruscio:

The Decision Making Lab is not recruiting for Fall 2024. 

Relevant specializations – All

In the decision making lab, we explore a wide range of topics related to judgment and decision making, such as ways to examine processes and optimize outcomes. Topics span individual and collective decision making, and concepts can be applied in many domains (e.g., professional psychology, sports, education, law, criminal justice, environmental issues, public policy). Students can expect to work closely with Dr. Ruscio at all stages of a literature review or empirical research project, from the conceptualization of key questions through the reporting of findings. All students are eligible to apply. For more information, please visit the Decision Making Lab Web Page.


Emotion Lab – Dr. Kim:

Relevant specializations: Social, Developmental, Counseling/Clinical,
Industrial/Organizational (I/O)

The Emotion Lab at TCNJ researches topics including cultural variation in the experience of
emotion, effect of emotion on behaviors, and individual differences in emotions. Lab Members
help plan, design, run, and evaluate experiments. Along the way, students learn research methods
and statistical analyses, and hone their writing and oral communication skills. We present our
research findings at regional and national psychology conferences. We can be found in the
Social Science Building 017, and the webpage is here:


ERP Lab – Dr. Leynes:

The ERP Lab is not recruiting for Fall 2024. 

Relevant specializations: Cognitive, Biopsychology

This lab investigates the neuroscience of memory by recording brain activity (ERPs). We study
different kinds of memory including how we recognize something we have seen before or how
we identify where we learned some information. Research Assistants (RAs) develop their social
skills working with research participants and in small teams. RAs learn how to collect set up and
collect electroencephalographic (EEG) data, develop data processing skills using MATLAB
toolboxes (EEGLAB, ERPLAB), develop data analysis skills using R, and some advanced students some programming skills (e.g., Python). Students do not need any particular skills except
an interest in neuroscience, a willingness to learn, reliability, and attention to details. Follow us on Instagram (erplab_tcnj) or look for more information on our website:


Identity Development across the African Diaspora – Dr. Onyewuenyi:

Relevant specializations: Developmental, Social, Educational

The Identity Development across the African Diaspora (IDAD) Lab examines identity
development and social inequity in educational attainment and access for Black adolescents and
emerging adults across the African Diaspora (African immigrant, Black American, Caribbean
immigrant, and Afro-Latinx). Students can expect to work with teens, young adults, and
community members at TCNJ and the surrounding communities. Students will learn to: read and
synthesize literature, collaborate with community partners, develop research protocols, recruit
participants for projects, data collection (surveys and face-to-face interviews), assist with data
entry & analysis, present research findings, and write publications. Students wanting to join the
IDAD Lab must be interested in Developmental and/or Educational Psychology, working with
youth and communities, interested in conducting research off-campus, and be available for lab
meetings on Wednesdays from 10am-12pm. This lab has no restriction concerning academic
level; freshman may apply.


Memory Lab – Dr. Bireta:

Relevant specializations: Cognitive, Social, Developmental, Counseling/Clinical

Our lab focuses on why it is easy to remember some things but not others. Our current focus is on memory in younger adults (we aren’t running studies with older adults at this time). Students are involved in helping design studies, collecting data (running participants), analyzing data (with training!), getting a little introduction to computer programming, and participating in weekly lab meetings. Our lab runs every semester (Fall and Spring), and we take new students every semester. All students may apply regardless of class standing or former coursework. See our website for more information:


MISC Lab – Dr. Grimm:

Relevant specializations: Cognitive, Social

Human cognition does not occur in a vacuum. Our goals, beliefs, and social roles influence the
way we remember and use information. As a lab, we are interested in how these factors interact
with learning and testing environments to influence performance, and test our theories in a wide-
range of domains, such as video game play/design, exercise, programming, and magic. Students
in the lab collaborate on selecting course readings and learn how to integrate past research into
study design, collect and interpret data, and work as a team. There are no eligibility restrictions
to joining the lab team, but most students have taken PSY214 or a related course. Lab meetings
are Tuesday and Friday (times vary by semester). Please see our website for more information:


Organizational Psychology Lab Dr. Dahling:

The Organizational Psychology Lab is not recruiting for Fall 2024.

Relevant specializations: Industrial/Organizational, Social

The average person spends about 90,000 hours of their life at work! In the Organizational
Psychology Lab, we study the psychological experience of working. We focus on topics such as
leadership, emotion management, performance coaching, and diversity in the workplace.
Students will learn to read and critique research, collect data, and develop research ideas of their
own. I have no eligibility restrictions except for PSY101; lab meetings are weekly on Wednesdays from
9:30-10:50am. See our lab website for more information:


Replicat Lab – Dr. Crawford:

Relevant specializations: Social

The Replicat Lab primarily conducts meta-science research in the fields of social and personality psychology. Following a crisis of confidence in psychology in roughly 2010, the field has seen fits and starts as it grapples with how to improve psychological science. In the Replicat Lab, we empirically examine a variety of issues in meta-scientific psychology, including but not limited to conducting replications; participating in large-scale meta-science efforts; evaluating psychology’s past and current research practices; and recommending improvements to psychology’s research practices. See Dr. Crawford’s website for more information:


Psychodynamic Lab – Dr. Vivona:

The Psychodynamic Lab is not recruiting for Fall 2024. 

Relevant Specializations: Counseling/Clinical, Developmental, Social, Cognitive, Biopsychology

Many forms of psychotherapy are based in the idea that a special kind of conversation between
therapist and client allows the client to change lifelong patterns and ways of being. What is it
about speech and language that makes such changes possible? This lab considers this question
from the perspective of the nature of language that is revealed through examination of the
processes of language development in infancy. The method is a comprehensive analysis of the
theoretical and research literature on infant relational and language development. In this lab, you
will use and enhance your abilities to analyze complex ideas from the professional literature,
develop your own scholarly ideas, communicate those ideas in writing and orally, and contribute
to the development of others’ scholarly work. This lab does not involve designing studies or
gathering data. Eligible students must enjoy reading, writing, and talking about complex ideas
and have an interest in language, infant development, and the psychotherapy. Preference is given
to students who have knowledge of clinical psychology (e.g., PSY 217, PSY 216, PSY 331)
and/or psychological development (e.g., PSY 220 or equivalents), although all interested
students are eligible and encouraged to apply.


REACH Lab – Dr. Chung:

Relevant specializations: Counseling/Clinical; Developmental

Our lab integrates theories and practices in Clinical/Counseling, Developmental, and Community
Psychology, as well as Prevention Science. We take an interdisciplinary approach to understand
factors that promote well-being. We are particularly interested in how social contexts (e.g.,
families, peer groups, schools, neighborhoods, afterschool programs) influence outcomes. We
conduct most of our work with community partners in Trenton, NJ and try to identify resources
that help people and communities thrive. Examples of community partners include Millhill Child and
Family Development Center and Urban Promise Trenton. Skills that students can expect to
learn include: developing campus-community partnerships, conducting mixed-methods research,
collaborating with youth and important adults in their lives, and disseminating research to
community and scientific audiences. All students are eligible to apply. For more information,
visit the REACH Lab website:


Reactivity Lab Dr. Herres:

Relevant Specializations: Counseling/Clinical

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 post-traumatic stress (PTS) following campus sexual assault (CSA). Students will gain
experience with most aspects of conducting research, from developing research hypotheses and
designing studies, analyzing data, and preparing and presenting research reports. Students will
also develop their teamwork skills and learn about various aspects of professional development,
including CV building and networking. Although there are no requirements for admittance to the
lab, preference will be given to students who have completed PSY121 and PSY203 with a grade
of B or better in each. More information is on our website:


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

Relevant specializations: Social, Biopsychology, Counseling/Clinical

In our lab, we are interested in understanding the complex factors that influence reproductive and
sexual health attitudes, knowledge and behaviors. We aim to inform interventions and public
health campaigns aimed at improving reproductive well-being. We currently research topics such
as attitudes toward menstruation, infertility, and motherhood. Students will gain experience in
both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analyses, and be involved in several aspects
of research design and analysis. Students will also be able to hone their critical thinking and
writing skills. All students may apply regardless of class standing or former coursework. See our
website for more information:


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

The RRR Lab is not recruiting for Fall 2024.

Relevant specializations: Counseling/Clinical, Developmental, Social

Romantic relationships are the foundation for meaningful lives. They can be rewarding and
frustrating and are almost always complicated. Our lab studies how romantic partners’ stories
reveal healthy and unhealthy approaches to dealing with relationship challenges. We’ve begun
developing a relationship education project HeartSmarts: Building Better Relationship Skills-
to provide immersive relationship education for people in LGBTQ+ as well as heterosexual
relationships ages 18-25. Learn to do face-to-face interviews to gather relationship stories, to
transcribe and code these stories, to evaluate relationship education program efficacy, understand
and apply the relationship literature to our own work, and to present our findings at conferences.
You must be at least a sophomore and be available for lab meetings Thursday 2-4:50 to join this
lab. The lab website can be found at this link:


Social Change and Collective Identity Lab – Dr. Wiley:

The Social Change and Collective Identity Lab is not recruiting for Fall 2024. 

Relevant specializations: Social, Industrial/Organizational (I/O), Counseling/Clinical

In the Social Change and Collective Identity Lab (SCCI), we study when and why people join
together to challenge oppression, both with members of their own social groups and with
members of groups to which they do not belong. We emphasize the role of people’s multiple and
intersecting social identities in this process. For example, some of our work examines the role of
immigrants’ ethnic (e.g., Mexican, Dominican) and national (e.g., American) in their willingness
to participate politically in the United States. Other work examines when and how members of
advantaged social groups (e.g., men) will take action in support of members of less advantaged
social groups (e.g., women), or when members of different disadvantaged groups might work
together. Our goal is to contribute to a social psychology that challenges oppression without
paving over difference. You can learn more about our research at Dr. Wiley’s Google Scholar profile.


Social Emotional Learning and Development Lab (SELD) – Dr. Graham:

Relevant specializations: Developmental, Educational, Industrial/Organizational (I/O),

Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, the lab merges developmental psychology, social cognition, and educational theory to provide insight into how children (5 – 11 years old) understand, regulate, and express their emotions and social behaviors. The SELD Lab collaborates with local schools (mainly Trenton City Public Schools) and community/school programs to disseminate its research findings and integrate evidence-based SEL practices into curricula, programs, and digital platforms. Currently, our research projects revolve around (1) Emotional Awareness, (2) Social Interaction and Relationships, and (3) SEL Program Intervention and Evaluation in educational settings. Students work directly with children, parents, teachers, and staff in school and community settings. Additionally, students are involved in the central core of research, which includes activities such as research planning, writing, data collection, data entry, data analysis, and presentation. To join this lab, you must be at least a sophomore and have completed PSY121 and PSY220 (or equivalent – ECE 201, ELE 201, SPE 203, or NUR 110). Lab meetings are weekly on Tuesdays from 2 – 3:20 p.m. Emotional Awareness, (2) Social Interaction and Relationships, and (3) SEL Program Intervention and Evaluation in educational settings. Students work directly with children, parents, teachers, and staff in school and community settings. Additionally, students are involved in the central core of research, which includes activities such as research planning, writing, data collection, data entry, data analysis, and presentation. To join this lab, you must be at least a sophomore and have completed PSY121 and PSY220 (or equivalent – ECE 201, ELE 201, SPE 203, or NUR 110). Lab meetings are weekly on Tuesdays from 2 – 3:20 p.m.


TAPLab – Dr. Kirnan:

The TAPLab is not recruiting for Fall 2024.

Relevant specializations: Industrial/Organizational (I/O), Social, Educational

TAPLab uses the scientific process and a measurement lens to answer research questions in applied settings. The lab team often collaborates with internal and external partners on their measurement and research needs. We are currently involved in the following projects: 1) Program evaluation of mental health education programs in local schools with our community partner, AIR (Attitudes in Reverse); and 2) documentation of the process and outcomes of school therapy dog programs with our community partner, the Calais School. Students in this lab develop skills in survey design, Qualtrics online survey software, SPSS, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, reading and writing scholarly work, teamwork, and professional development such as networking and working with various constituencies. At a minimum, students must have completed PSY121 with a grade of B or better. Depending on the stage of research for our various projects, in some semesters successful completion of PSY203 (grade of B or better) will also be required. Our lab meeting times vary by semester. Check PAWS for up-to-date meeting times.