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Faculty Research Labs

Research Lab Video



Social Emotional Development Laboratory

Director - Tsu-Ming Chiang, Ph.D.

This laboratory is designed to examine factors contributing to the development of young children's social and emotional competence. It combines basic and applied research methodology. Students learn the research process from designing the procedure, collecting data to analyzing and presenting data in local, regional and national conferences. Students applied their knowledge of experimental designs, questionnaires construction and observation techniques in a field base research project. Current research projects include:

  1. Empathy training - document the effectiveness of emotional coaching in young children who display behavioral and/or emotional issues.
  2. Parental influence on children's development of gender stereotype.
  3. The relationship between parental disciplinary strategies and children's social emotional competence.
  4. Understand the development of young children's gender stereotype through toy selection.
  5. Foster literacy interests in young low-income children.


Behavioral Pharmacology

Director- Kristina Dandy, Ph.D.

In our laboratory we primarily investigate choice behavior and decision making utilizing an animal model. Specifically, our laboratory focuses on the study of impulsive behavior, which is a subset of learning psychology that investigates the rules by which organisms adjust to reward and punishment. Specifically, we have been investigating the various factors that influence impulsive choice utilizing delay-discounting procedures.


Adventure Therapy: Research and Practice - AND - Meta-analysis of group work

Director - Lee Gillis, Ph.D.

My "lab" is more virtual than an actual space as it focuses on two areas of research.  Historically I am most identified with Adventure Therapy practice and currently am co-principal investigator on a grant to study the impact of adventure therapy on 18-24 year old males with substance use issues.  Additionally I am working with colleagues on meta-analyses of adventure therapy programs.   I also share an ongoing interest in how meta-analytic thinking helps explain group behavior through the use of group development activities from a database I have built over the past 7 years.

Social Psychology and Wellness Lab
Director – Whitney L. Heppner, PhD
In the Social Psychology and Wellness (SPaW) Lab, we explore how basic social psychological theories of human behavior and emotions inform outcomes related to health and wellness.  Specifically, a primary topic of interest includes mindfulness and meditation, and how fostering attention and awareness of our current experience may promote physical and mental health.  We examine how mindfulness and other aspects of psychological well-being may improve various aspects of self-regulation, including the regulation of attention, emotions and health behaviors.


Behavioral Neuroscience

Director - Walter Isaac, Ph.D.

Dr. Walter Isaac supervises student research in this general area. Recent research concerned studying the impact of D-cycloserine on neurological and behavioral development of fetal alcohol syndrome in rats and of D-cycloserine’s possible memory enhancing influences on strategic learning and memory formation. Current research focuses on a range of topics using a cricket model (Acheta domesticus). Topics broadly range from perception to learning with pharmacological and environmental manipulations.



GC Psychophysiology Lab

Director - Noland White, Ph.D.

The Georgia College Psychophysiology Lab is currently engaged in the investigation of psychophysiological correlates of cognitive task performance, primarily in adults with and without Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Some of the current methods of investigation include quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG), event related potentials (ERPs), and electrodermal activity (EDA). These methods are used while participants complete a variety of neuropsychological tasks.


Decision Research Lab

Director - Diana Young, Ph.D.

The research interests of the Decision Research Lab currently include judgment and decision-making and general cognition. Recent work has examined adolescent risk taking from a decision making perspective by developing a realistic scale of adolescents' perceptions of sexual risk-taking behaviors.  Research will also focus on situational factors that influence general human risk taking and risk perception, such as perceived control and time pressure. Other  research interests include strategic reasoning in two-player competitive games, overconfidence and the relations between decision behavior, personality, and engagement in problematic behaviors (addictions, delinquency, impulsivity etc.).


Social Context and Youth Development Labs (SCYD)

Directors - Ashley Taylor, Ph.D. & Dana Wood, Ph.D.

In the Social Context and Youth Development Labs (SCYD), we explore how experiences within families, schools and neighborhoods are related to social, psychological, and education-related outcomes among adolescents and emerging adults.  In our work, we consider how race, gender and social class impact development, and we seek to identify factors that can serve as assets to positive development and protect youth against risks and challenges.
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Wood have distinct but complementary research agendas.  Dr. Wood’s students will focus on understanding resilience among socially and economically disadvantaged middle school and high school students.  Students collaborating with Dr. Taylor will have the opportunity to explore late adolescence and early adulthood through projects that examine how race, gender and social context relate to optimal developmental outcomes during these stages.
Students in both SCYD Labs will have opportunities to collaborate on many facets of research, including project planning, data collection, and presentation of research findings at regional conferences.  Current projects include an investigation of psychological factors related to high academic achievement among college students and a study of how race and gender stereotype beliefs are related to adults’ perceptions and treatment of ethnic minority youth.


Lab Facilities

In addition to its classrooms and offices in the Arts and Sciences Building, the Department of Psychological Science has three research and teaching laboratory suites. One suite is used for infant cognition and clinical neuroscience. Another suite is used for social development and group dynamics research. This lab consists of an audio/video control room and several group rooms. The third suite is used for non-human animal research. This area contains small animal colonies, surgery rooms, rooms for animal behavior research and a histological laboratory.

Research Lab Video

This video(mov) gives an overview of research currently conducted in the Department of Psychological Science at Georgia College.
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