Undergrad Research Labs
Dr. Margaret Ingate
Research interests: human memory, consumer behavior, adjustment and identity among minority group adolescents; personality.
Dr. Lee Jussim
Current projects on which undergraduates could assist include:
1. Identifying when, how, and how much stereotypes influence how people perceive individuals from the stereotype group.
2. assessing sources of anti-Semitism
3. various studies in political psychology, including the role of racism & sexism in the 2008 presidential election and political stereotyping
Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology at Rutgers University: 848 445-3922
Black Couples Research Project running Summer/Fall/and Spring
The purpose of this study is to understand how African Americans view and cope with racial factors such as oppression and racial stereotypes within their couple relationships. African American couples have been recruited from the community to complete questionnaires and participate in videotaped discussions regarding the role of racial issues in their lives, both as individuals and as a couple.
Students are needed for at least several of the following: to recruit participants and collect human subject data, code videotaped interactions, compile, enter and clean data, compile refworks and manuscript data bases, library research, and other research activities. Students are taught how to manage confidential participant information, and must have HSCP certification before joining the project. Students will receive training in empirical research methods, including data transformation and analysis via SPSS, or qualitative analyses using Atlas.ti, data and office management, and professional behavior. Students will also learn information about Black couples, and information about racial issues/perceptions relevant to research and practice. Such skills are invaluable to those who would like to go on to graduate school develop careers in research, and/or specialize in research or clinical work with African Americans.
Eye Movements and Cognitive Processes
Movements of the eyes are needed to gather information from the visual world because we must look at objects in order to see them clearly. From this simple fact comes 3 questions, all of which are under study in our laboratory. First, what factors determine where the eye moves and how accurately and quickly it arrives at its intended destination? Second, which patterns of eye movements are most useful for gathering visual information? Third, what can we learn about cognitive processes by studying an observer's pattern of eye movements?
Opportunities exist for interested students to participate in ongoing projects or design new experiments. Students should have completed Psychology 301/302. Our work is heavily dependent on use of computers (PCs) so familiarity with a computer programming language is needed to be a full participant in projects.
Prerequisite: Interested students must send by either e-mail or campus mail (Psychology Building, Busch Campus) a brief description of their background relevant to the research, including a list of related courses taken and a brief description of long-range educational and career goals.
Dr. Alexander Kusnecov
The nervous and immune systems share a mutually interactive relationship, which promotes various forms of physiological and behavioral adaptations in the face of pathogenic challenges from viruses and bacteria. The focus of my lab is on understanding this relationship through (I) studies that determine the mechanisms by which stress affects immune function, and (ii) studies that examine the cognitive and emotional consequences of immune system activation. These studies involve animal models of immunological activation and/or stressor exposure. Interested students should therefore be prepared to learn and conduct research that involves sterotaxic surgery, behavioral testing, and collection and processing of brain and lymphoid tissue for histological and biological assessment. This would be appropriate for students wishing to progress towards graduate education in Biopsychology/Behavioral Neuroscience, as well as in areas of Health Psychology that focus on Psychoneuroimmunology.
The Cognitive Development Lab studies the development of mental capacities underlying our understanding of physical objects, number, causation, social agency, pretending, and reasoning about other people’s mental states. Research is carried out, as appropriate, with normally developing infants (6 to 18 mos.) and preschool (3 to 5 years) and autistic and mentally handicapped children (6 to 18 years). We are always seeking eager undergraduates for research opportunities in our lab. Students should be willing and able to work in the lab for two semesters or a semester and a summer.
*For further information about our lab and its activities and how to apply for an internship please visit our Website.
Dr. Howard Leventhal
848 932-4105 Ext 27537
Our group is currently involved in several different types of study of health behavior. The areas are as follows:
1. Life Span Changes in Health and Illness Behavior: Our studies of illness cognition examine changes in thinking about illness over the life span. We are examining these processes in cohorts ranging from early adulthood to the old, i.e., over 75. We are interested in defining changes in coping strategies such as motivation to avoid risk and motivation to conserve energy resources that affect emotionality, immune function and help-seeking from middle to older age.
2. Illness Cognition: Studies of common sense views of illness: What are the categories and scripts that underlie the expectations people hold about symptom episodes, i.e., diagnostic cues, their causes (exposure, diet, sleep deprivation, stress, etc.), and the procedures they use to develop their expectations and control symptom episodes (self medication, rest, etc.). We will be looking at the contribution of emotional memory to different ways of representing chronic illness and re-examining the role of fear in the adoption of health promotive behaviors.
3. Self-appraisals. Self-assessments of health are quite strong predictors of mortality. People who say fair or poor in answering the question, "In general, would you say your health is (excellent to poor)?" are 2 to 5 times more likely to be decreased in the following years than people answering excellent or very good. This effect appears controlling for the individuals medical history. In short, individuals are able to assess the overall status of their physical selves. The questions we are asking, are; "How do people make these judgments?" "What information do they use?" “Do these self appraisals influence interpretation of symptoms or motivation to engage in protective health practices?
Prerequisite: (1) Experimental Lab (2) Quantitative Methods (830:200) (3) One course of social/personality /health (4) One course in Cognitive or BSN.
Dr. Teresa Leyro
In the Affective and Biological Underpinnings of Anxiety and Substance Abuse (ABUSA) lab we seek to identify underlying vulnerabilities that place individuals at risk for co-occurring anxiety pathology and substance use disorders, and/or may serve to maintain associated dysfunction.
Our program of work is translational in nature and utilizes laboratory paradigms to examine how vulnerabilities of interest predict outcomes in the context of stress. However, our end goal is to develop targeted interventions to help improve health and mental health outcomes for this difficult to treat population.
Given the bidirectional relations of behavior, affect, and physiology, it is our belief that psychological interventions should be integrative. Thus, toward our goal of understanding risk factors for anxiety and substance use, we take a multi-method approach, utilizing a combination of self-report, behavioral, and psychophysiological methods.
Current research focuses on cigarette smoking, with an emphasis on understanding factors that may moderate affective and behavioral responses to acute nicotine withdrawal in the context of stress. Future directions of the lab include the development of novel smoking cessation interventions that target both cognitive and physiological parameters.
We are recruiting talented and motivated students wishing to gain hands-on research experience and require a two semester, 10-hour/week commitment. For more information on our ongoing projects and to learn how to apply, please visit: http://www.abusalab.rutgers.edu/index.html.
Our overall focus is on individual differences in general cognitive abilities (c.f., "intelligence"). Genetically heterogenous and transgenic mice are used in studies of behavioral processes as well as neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and molecular/genetic mechanisms of learning, reasoning, and attention as they relate to general cognitive performance. Students are provided with the opportunity to participate in the design and implementation of all aspects of these studies.
Students interested in working in this laboratory should send a resume, transcript (unofficial transcript is fine), and schedule.
I use the rodent olfactory (smell) system to study how the brain processes sensory stimuli. I am especially interested in how the brain changes based on an animal's environment and prior experience. In my lab we use a wide variety of techniques, including behavioral experimentation, optical imaging of neural activity under a microscope, and tissue assays for various proteins and neurotransmitters. Students who wish to work in my lab should have taken Physiological Psychology or an equivalent undergraduate neuroscience course and should submit a resume and transcript. Please see my website for more information.
Dr. Julien Musolino
Based on our needs, we offer opportunities for undergraduate students to join our lab and participate in the research we conduct. We are looking for highly motivated individuals with strong organizational and interpersonal skills willing to commit for at least two consecutive semesters. Programming skills as well as knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint, and SPSS (or equivalent) are a strong plus. Undergraduate research assistants get involved in many aspects of our research, including design and creation of experimental stimuli, data collection, entry and analysis. Depending on the project, RAs may work onsite with adult participants or off site with young children at local preschools. In addition, RAs will be given the opportunity to attend our weekly lab meetings. These meetings provide a unique learning environment where all aspects of research are discussed in a friendly atmosphere. If you are interested in working with us as an undergraduate research assistant, please contact Dr. Julien Musolino: http://www.rutgers-psycholinguistics.com/contact