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Current Labs

Interested in joining a lab?

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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 abuse. 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 strong attention to detail. To learn
more about the lab and the accomplishments of our lab alumni, please visit our website at
http://alcohollab.pages.tcnj.edu/
NOTE: The next recruitment cycle for the Alcohol Lab will occur in Spring, 2020 for the Fall,
2020 semester.

 

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

Relevant specializations: Counseling/Clinical, Social

In the Clinical Outcomes and Processes (COP) lab, we study cognitive processes – such as
rumination and mindfulness – that are associated with clinical outcomes. We research a range of
clinical outcomes, such as depression, aggression, sleep, disordered eating, anxiety, and social
connectedness. Students will gain experience with most aspects of conducting research, from
developing research hypotheses and methodology to running participants, analyzing data, and
preparing and presenting research reports. Students will also learn to comprehend and synthesize
empirical articles and improve their ability to write scholarly papers. This lab is particularly
appropriate for students interested in pursuing careers in clinical research and/or social work. I
strongly prefer that students have successfully taken PSY 121 and 203 before joining the lab. See
our website for more information: http://coplab.pages.tcnj.edu/

 

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; freshman may
apply. See the “For Students” section of our website for more information: www.tcnjcogdevlab.com

 

Emotion Lab – Dr. Kim-Prieto:

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: http://emotion.pages.tcnj.edu/

 

ERP Lab – Dr. Leynes:

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 SPSS and R, and learn some
programming skills in MATLAB and Python. Students do not need any particular skills except
an interest in neuroscience, a willingness to learn, reliability, and attention to details. More
information is on our website: http://erplab.pages.tcnj.edu/research-opportunities/

 

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.

 

Infant/Child Lab – Dr. Ruddy:

Relevant specialization: Developmental

In the Infant/Child Lab we study ways that parents and teachers can support children’s
development. Recent topics have included bibliotherapy and parenting styles. Although the full
lab will not be running as PSY 390/492 in Spring 2020, students who are interested in
developing spring 493 projects related to this lab are invited to talk with Dr. Ruddy.

 

Memory and Aging 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 and how memory
changes 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. All students may apply regardless of class
standing or former coursework. See our website for more information: https://memory.pages.tcnj.edu/

 

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:
http://misclab.pages.tcnj.edu/

 

Organizational Psychology Lab Dr. Dahling:

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
9-10:50am. See our lab website for more information: https://orgpsychlab.pages.tcnj.edu/

 

Political Psychology Lab – Dr. Crawford:

Relevant specializations: Social

The Political Psychology Lab focuses on the intersection of politics, cognitive biases, and
intergroup attitudes. Specifically, we are interested in how people’s politics affect their reactions
to other people and groups, and they way in which they understand and process information they
encounter. In addition, we are interested in studying and promoting better scientific practices in
psychological research, with an emphasis on replication. We use a variety of methodological
approaches, including observational, archival, survey-based, and experimental. See Dr.
Crawford’s website for more information: http://crawford.pages.tcnj.edu

 

Psychodynamic Lab – Dr. Vivona:

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.

 

Quantitative Psychology Lab – Dr. Ruscio:

Relevant specializations – All

In the quantitative psychology lab, we approach a wide range of topics using modern and robust
statistical methods. Topics studied in recent years include win probability models for
professional sports, analyzing data in replication studies, estimating effect size, and the
construction of confidence intervals. Students can expect to work closely with Dr. Ruscio at all
stages of the research process, from the conceptualization and design of studies, through data
collection and analysis, to the reporting, presentation, and publication of findings. All students
are eligible to apply. For more information, please visit the Quantitative Psychology Lab Web Page.

 

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 Web site: https://reachlab.pages.tcnj.edu/.

NOTE: The next recruitment cycle for the REACH Lab will occur in Spring, 2020 for the Fall,
2020 semester.

 

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. Our lab meets on Thursdays from 12:30- 1:50pm. More information is on
our website: https://reactivitylab.pages.tcnj.edu/

 

Reproductive and Sexual Health 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: http://sexualhealth.tcnj.edu/  

 

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

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
about intimacy and conflict events reveal healthy and unhealthy approaches to dealing with
relationship challenges. Learn to do face-to-face interviews to gather relationship stories, to
transcribe and code these stories, to 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: https://sites.google.com/tcnj.edu/rrrlab/home. A brief YouTube video about the RRRLab can be found here.

 

Social Change and Collective Identity Lab – Dr. Wiley:

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 and Emotional Development Lab – Dr. Graham:

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

This laboratory, in partnership Camp Fire NJ, combines experiential learning and research with
children in over 120 schools from pre k– 12 grade. Camp Fire NJ provides programs that create
measurable improvements in self-management, self-awareness, responsible decision-making,
relationship skills, and social awareness. The lab makes it a priority to demonstrate the value and
to evaluate the effectiveness of Camp Fire NJ’s programming through observational and survey-
based methods. My research students work directly with children, parents, teachers, and Camp
Fire NJ staff in school and community settings. 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, and presentation. For more information about our work, see the
Social and Emotional Learning Lab

 

TAPLab – Dr. Kirnan:

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

TAPLab uses the scientific process and a measurement lens to answer research questions in
applied setting. The lab team often collaborates with internal and external partners on their
measurement and research needs.. In the past we assisted the Psychology Department in the
development of curricula assessment tools and analysis of learning outcomes. We also partnered
with a local elementary school to determine the effectiveness of a dog-assisted literacy program.
We are currently involved in two projects: 1) Research on the use of Emotional Support Animals
(ESAs) on the college campus; and 2) Program evaluation of Coming Up for Air, a mental health
education program. 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 currently meets on
Wednesdays from 9 to 11 as a team with additional subgroup meetings scheduled around
individual availability. However, in other semesters the meeting time may be on a
Monday/Thursday schedule – please check PAWS for uptodate meeting times. More information
is on our website: https://taplab.pages.tcnj.edu/

 

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