Involvement in Research
The faculty and staff of the Department of Psychological Science are committed to the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of their professional lives. This is accomplished not only daily in the classroom and laboratory, but also in the execution of both basic and applied research activities with our students. Students regularly participate in faculty sponsored research activities. (To participate in research studies conducted and/or sponsored by faculty click HERE.) Many of these efforts result in professional publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and/or presentation at professional conferences in the psychological sciences. The faculty also actively supervise many students in applied settings where students participate in the practice of psychology.
Infant Cognition Lab
Director - Karen Bendersky, Ph.D.
Our work focuses on the development and use of mental representations. Imagery is one neglected area of mental representation in the infant literature. We are trying to determine the developmental course of mental imagery and its importance to early memory. Another related area of interest is understanding how infants represent simulated objects (such as cartoons) and the impact of this representation on infant learning. Although this work is primarily with infants, I also direct undergraduate research projects related to young adults and cognitive development issues.
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:
- Empathy training - document the effectiveness of emotional coaching in young children who display behavioral and/or emotional issues.
- Parental influence on children's development of gender stereotype.
- The relationship between parental disciplinary strategies and children's social emotional competence.
- Understand the development of young children's gender stereotype through toy selection.
- Foster literacy interests in young low-income children.
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 - Impact of Social Networking on Interpersonal Relationships - AND- Individual and Collective Self Efficacy
Director - Lee Gillis, Ph.D.
My "lab" focuses on three 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 a colleague on a meta-analysis of private pay wilderness therapy programs. I also study the impact of social media (including text messaging) on interpersonal relationships - mainly using online behavioral research techniques. Finally I have an ongoing interest in how individual and collective self efficacy changes through the use of group development activities.
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.
Social Psychology Lab
Director – Caitlin Powell, Ph.D.
Certain human emotions only exist in a social context. For instance, whereas it is possible to desire an object, one cannot experience envy towards the object -- rather, one envies the person that owns the object. Emotions like envy, pride, pity, admiration, jealousy, awe, and schadenfreude (or pleasure at the misfortune of others) are all inextricably social in nature. As a result, social emotions can often be linked to processes of social comparison, self-identity, and self-esteem. My primary area of research interest involves studying these social emotions. In addition, my lab is currently doing research in general social psychology areas such as emotion and memory, spirituality and counterfactual thinking, and cyberbullying. I also have students working in my lab that are interested in Industrial/Organizational psychology, and they have developed research projects involving self-efficacy, workplace environment and ethics, and how rewards can impact creativity.
The goals of my social psychology lab are fourfold:
- To get hands-on experience in social psychology research by creating scales, developing research paradigms, running participants, and analyzing data
- To learn about the latest cutting edge research in social psychology by reading the latest published research,
- To develop original research ideas broadly based in the area of social psychology or industrial/organizational psychology and implement them in independent projects, and
- To discuss ethical and methodological issues facing social psychologists today.
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.).
Book information can be found in the Class Schedule (web)
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