Research in Psychology

If you're an ASU undergrad majoring in Psychology and would like to get involved in one of our research labs below please visit the Research Opportunities page for more information.

NEW PROJECTS: 
  Research Participants needed!
 

The Stories Study MRI: Researchers are trying to better understand how people understand stories and the role of the brain in that process. We are looking for individuals who would be willing to undergo an MRI which is a harmless brain scan.  If you would like to apply, CLICK HERE to complete and submit the online form.

The Body Project:  What is the stereotype of the ASU woman?  The answer we often get from students is not a flattering stereotype. The Body Project is a campus-wide initiative aimed at changing the stereotype of the ASU woman, starting at home in our campus. Starting Fall semester, the Body Project will be offered to every freshman woman residing on campus. But before then, we are offering the program to all undergraduate women. The Body Project is a body acceptance program that is fun and interactive. 
RequirementAttend two, 2-hour group sessions. CLICK HERE to sign up for the first session.


Our Research Labs

We're a graduate-level research lab within the Behavioral Neuroscience Program of the Department of Psychology.  Our principal investigator is Dr. Foster Olive, an Associate Professor with decades of experience in Drug Abuse research.
Under Dr. Doane's mentorship, undergraduate and doctoral students explore the psychophysiological underpinnings of adolescent and young adult every-day stress experiences from a developmental psychopathology theoretical framework.   
This lab conducts research on the physical and mental health consequences of adolescent substance abuse.
The Arizona Health and Aging Lab (AHAL) is a collaborative lab conducting on-going studies examining factors that contribute to resilience in aging, including the relation between stress and biological risk factors for disease.
The Behavioral Alcohol Research for Clinical Advancement [BARCA] lab conducts laboratory and survey research on processes involved in the development of alcohol-related problems including alcohol use disorders.
We study basic processes that are critical to understand human and non-human behavior: How do we perceive significant events in our environment? How do we remember them? How do we respond to them? How do they modulate motivation for certain activities? How do we learn to avert those activities when they are harmful in the long run?
The purpose of our research is to understand the consequences of chronic stress on the brain and behavior.  Chronic stress has far reaching effects, from exacerbating conditions that include AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, obesity, and autoimmune disorders, to triggering drug relapse.  
The CCB lab aims at better understanding canine behavior through scientific investigation. We study many areas of canine behavior, and we also study multiple species and subspecies within the family Canidae.
The CARMA lab seeks to understand culture, religion, and evolution. Here are some examples of the kinds of questions the CARMA lab is interested in:  What constitutes personhood? Do people from different cultures and religions see personhood differently? Is God a person?  Do people become fundamentalist because of the threats they perceive?  Do people become religious as a way to find mates? 
Dr. Pina is interested in the study of intra-individual level risk factors in the development of anxiety disorders in youths and the evaluation of preventive and treatment interventions for use with this population. Dr. Pina's work integrates cultural and child-adolescent anxiety research and is aimed at developing empirically informed, culturally robust assessment and intervention strategies for youth.
The Child Emotion Center researchers explore early biological and environmental risk and protective factors for later mental and physical health of children. Under the direction of the center's founder Dr. Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant, graduate and undergraduate students use twin studies to separate out the effects of genes and the environment on development.
This research aims to understand the learning processes that produce conditioned food preferences. The research concerns how flavors come to be preferred by being associated with already preferred flavors (i.e., sweet) or with nutrients (i.e., calories). We are also concerned with whether merely being exposed to foods increases preference for them and whether subjects learn about taste (i.e., salty, sour, bitter, sweet) and odor stimuli (i.e., flavor extracts) by the same learning processes.
The mission of the Culture and Decision Science Network is to understand how people think, feel, and behave like they do and the underlying influences of dynamic interactions between culture and individual psychology.
The Dynamics of Perception, Action, & Cognition (DPAC) lab is a multidisciplinary research team whose focus is the application of dynamics, complexity, and self-organization to the fields of perception, action, and cognition. Our research aims to understand the coordination among multiple systems and processes such as: vision, touch, limb movements, breathing, heart rate, handedness, learning, and attention.
The Eating Pathology Lab (EPL) conducts prevention, intervention and laboratory studies on the development of eating disorders and childhood obesity.
How do words, objects, and events become meaningful to us? Glenberg and his students are attacking these problems by developing an embodied theory of cognition: All cognitive processes are based on neural processes of perception, action, and emotion.
The goal of UCP-SARnet is to build a global community of students, university faculties, community activists and members of local governments engaged in the search for solutions to the most pressing global issues of our time articulated in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.  
Our Evolutionary Social Cognition Lab explores how motivations influence psychological processes from attention and memory to decision-making and behavior. In particular, we focus on fundamental social motivations, such as self-protection, mating, social affiliation, kin care, status-striving, and disease avoidance, that have been important to humans for tens of thousands of years.
Research conducted in The Health and Coping Lab examines social, developmental, and cognitive influences on stress, coping, and physical health. Our primary areas of focus include women's and infants' health, cognitive mediators of physiological stress responses, and the influence of childhood experiences on psychological and physical health in adulthood.  
Ever wonder what the factors are that promote a healthy and fulfilling life? Or, what makes an individual capable of overcoming a stressful life circumstance? These are some of the questions we are investigating in the Healthy Aging and Life Events Lab.
Our research includes identifying different types of overt engagement activities that are particularly helpful to learners and easily adopted by learners, exploring how to promote students’ understanding of emergent processes and concepts of collective summing, analyzing how students learn from monologue versus dialogue presentation of learning materials, and examining what allows students to learn vicariously.
Dr. Luthar's research involves vulnerability and resilience among various populations including youth in poverty and children in families affected by serious mental illness.  Her recent work has focused on children of affluent, highly educated parents, illuminating unacknowledged pressures and adjustment problems from childhood through adulthood. 
The MLL conducts research covering topics such as attention, memory, visual search, speech and reading.
We conduct research investigating the basic memory and attention mechanisms that support a wide range of human behavior.  Our approach borrows designs from three traditions in psychology including experimental, individual differences, and neuroscience. 
A multimedia resource to assist faculty with their undergraduate lectures to increase student learning, memory, attendance, engagement, enthusiasm, and fun.
We explore a wide range of questions related to stigma, prejudice, and intergroup relations.  Why do we stigmatize some people and some groups, but not others?  How do important social goals (e.g., to protect oneself) influence how we come to understand the individuals around us?  In what ways does religion influence intergroup conflict?
The research goals of our laboratory are to characterize the cognitive and brain changes that occur during aging, as well as to develop behavioral, pharmacological, and dietary strategies to attenuate mnemonic and neurobiological age-related alterations.
Dr. Morris Okun's research interests involve applications of social psychological theories and concepts to several domains including commitment to education, health and well-being, dyadic relationships, and volunteering by older adults.
In the Parent-Child Relations Lab, we focus on parenting processes and children’s emotional and behavioral attributes that contribute to the emergence of early mental health problems in children. We study these processes in the context of a variety of risk conditions that potentially increase the experience of stress in the family, which in turn may act as a change agent to deflect positive trajectories.
This lab conducts research on developmental pathways of risk and resilience from childhood to adulthood. Our projects include longitudinal studies of the origins of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and the mechanisms through which these behaviors are transmitted across multiple generations.
Michael McBeath’s research focuses on computational modeling of perception-action in dynamic, natural environments. Specialty areas span sports, robotics, music, navigation, and multisensory object perception. The most widely known work is on navigational strategies used by baseball players, animals, and robots.
Dr.  Wolchik studies modifiable risk and protective factors that explain variability in youths’ response to family disruptions such as parental divorce or death.  She also develops and evaluates parenting-focused prevention programs designed to promote healthy outcomes for youth across development.
The PRC is part of the Psychology Department at Arizona State University, and was established in 1984 as an NIMH funded Center to develop, evaluate and disseminate prevention programs for children and families in high stress situations. Research at the Center focuses on children and families experiencing four different stressors, parental divorce, poverty, bereavement, and parental job loss.
The PAL is devoted to the exploration of fundamental issues in human categorization, ranging from the variables known to shape concepts to the investigation of higher-order issues in categorization theory.
The relationship dynamics lab focuses on understanding and changing relationship dynamics that are problematic (i.e., coercive conflict, peer contagion) as well as those that promote health and well being in children and adolescents (i.e., compassion, validation, resilient coping).
RIPL is a research group at Arizona State University. Our projects are headed by Dr. David MacKinnon and focus on prevention research and methodology.
RSG is dedicated to advancing knowledge of resilience within the scientific community and using current knowledge to help people become more resilient. We are also dedicated to teaching communities how to provide their people with resilient solutions to the problems they face in everyday life.  
The primary goals of the SoLET lab are to further our understanding of cognitive processes and to use this theoretical foundation to improve educational methods.
The overall aim of the research carried out in the SMoRG lab is to both understand the intricacies of neural control of real arm movement, and to address crucial bioengineering issues in the design of neuro-electronic hybrid systems.
Dr. Shiota's research interests include a multi-method approach to positive emotion differentiation; positive emotion and social bonding; psychophysiological and long-term cardiovascular health aspects of emotion regulation; and the role of positive emotion in emotion regulation.
Current STAR GATE projects deal both with physical health and psychological implications of dysfunctions in goal systems and self-regulation.
One of Dr. William Fabricius' areas of research focuses on children’s social cognitive development, in particular the development of children’s “theory of mind”. Another area of his research is father-child relationships, especially in divorced families.

Psychology
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