The program of research of the Social and Organizational Psychology Research Lab investigates the process by which people regulate and control their social interaction with others at home and at work.
Social Facilitation - We are testing the premise that social presence be viewed as a continuous variable differing in the salience of presence. We are focusing on two often overlooked types of presence: anticipatory and residual social presence. Anticipatory social presence relates to anticipating the arrival of an observer and residual social presence relates to the feeling of "presence" which lingers after an observer has left.
The Effects of Distractions and Interruptions - We have found that some types of distractions and interruptions while we are working actually positively affect performance. So, we are designing other studies to test when music and workplace distractions detract or improve performance. In addition, we are testing under which conditions individuals improve their performance depending on the task, their personality, and their immediate environment.
Social Psychology of Technology – We are conducting a series of studies examining the role that technology plays in our interactions with others. At work millions of Americans are continually monitored from the moment they arrive at work. We already have demonstrated the stressful effects on employees’ health and performance of this monitoring process.
Telework - We are conducting a longitudinal case study of a division of a market research organization which I helped make the transition to full-time telework. We are studying changes in employee anxiety, distraction, communication, team cohesion, and performance.
We provide students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the day-to-day operations of research in social and organizational psychology. Students will participate in the excitement of discovery: they will learn how research is generated and hypotheses are formulated, how investigations are conducted, and how data are organized, analyzed, and interpreted. There are many opportunities to participate in the training for and the execution of research, both in the field and in the lab. Students are able to learn how to effectively research the literature on topics related to social and organizational psychology. Working as a team is a central part of our research, and students have a great opportunity to learn how best to work together.
Students will have an opportunity to acquire skills that are invaluable in graduate school and in the workforce. These skills include literature searches, using computer programs to organize and analyze data, detecting and correcting problems that arise in the lab, and brainstorming ideas for future studies with the research team. The more initiative students take, the more opportunities they will have to acquire these skills.