Psychology students have the opportunity to take part in various research opportunities.
What are the benefits of doing student research?
The importance of research experience may seem most obvious for those students planning to pursue a graduate degree in psychology or to enter a research-oriented occupation (e.g., working in a business, university, or government agency). However, even for those students who are not planning to attend graduate school or to work in a research setting, the benefits of doing research are extensive, including the following:
- learning how to use scientific methods
- acquiring a deeper understanding of an area in psychology
- development of critical thinking and analysis skills
- strengthening problem solving skills
- becoming a better scientific writer
- helping students to achieve a better understanding of their desired career path
- developing relationships with professionals in the field
FAQ: How to get involved with research
- How can I learn about research opportunities being offered in the Psychology Department?
Students can learn about the various research opportunities offered in the department by contacting psychology faculty members. For a listing of research interests of the faculty members, check out the faculty page. You could try to find a professor doing research in an area of interest to you; however, you do not have to limit yourself to only those professors doing research in your area of interest. Any research experience will be valuable, regardless of the topic.
Once students have found a faculty member to serve as their research advisor, they will be registered for the research credits by the faculty research advisor.
- Do I need to have an idea in mind for what I want to research?
You can, but it's not necessary. There are two different routes that a student can take when it comes to getting research experience.
The first is when a student works on a professor's line of research. In this capacity, the student does not come up with their own study idea, but rather serves as a research assistant for the professor, helping them to carry out various phases of the research project, such as survey development, data collection and entry, statistical analysis, and/or manuscript preparation. Students in this capacity may also be able to serve as a co-author on a conference poster or presentation, depending on their contribution to the project.
The second route is when a student comes up with their own study idea and then works with a professor to conduct a study to test their hypothesis. In this capacity, the student is the one who conceptualizes the research study, and the professor then serves as a guide to help the student carry out the study. The student is responsible for most aspects of the research, including hypothesis development, survey development, data collection and entry, statistical analysis, and manuscript preparation. Students, in this capacity, may also be able to submit their projects (depending on results) as a conference poster or presentation.
- What are the minimum and maximum number of credits that may be obtained by doing research?
Students can earn 3 credits (or 6 credits over two semesters) for PSY 409: Research in Psychology and up to 12 total credits of PSY 485: Independent Study. Students can do research for more than one semester as long as they stay within these credit limits. Instructor permission is required for the registration of research credits. Keep in mind that students in the research concentration are required to complete at least 3 credits of PSY 409 as part of their degree requirements.
Recent student* presentations at EPA
*Cannizzaro, S. (2022, March). Awareness about domestic violence and traumatic brain injury among college students.
Khusid, I., *Achey, T., *Anglovich, G., *Jackson, M., *Pembleton, B., & *Rivera, H. (2022, March). Through the digital looking glass: The effects of social media on depression.
*O'Donnell, C., & Khusid, I. (2022, March). The impact of innovation and motivation among college students.
*Tressler, A, Chang, J., *Staples, K., & *Guarino, M. (2022, March). The prevalence and demographic correlates of compassion scores.
*Zimmerman, K., & Khusid, I. (2022, March). The effects of mindfulness practice on depression, anxiety, and stress.
Chang, J., *Tressler, A., McMunn, P., & *Lugiano, G. (2021, March). Using the Compassion for Others’ Lives Scale to compare compassion between four cultures.
*Guido, J., Chang, J., McMunn, P., & *Roe, J. (2021, March). Reliability and validity of the Compassion of Others’ Lives Scale Short Form.
*Zeifert, Z., *Friend, W., & Chang, J. (2021, March). Collecting spinal cord injury data from social forum using web scraping.
Dailey, D. D., *Williams, I., & Eshun, S. (2019, March). Ambulatory mobile device behaviors, health behaviors, cognitive dissonance and optimism bias.
Eshun, S., Dailey, D. D., *Eshun, S-L., & *Sosa, R. (2019, March). Gender, ethnicity, contact and empathy as predictors of attitudes about mental illness.
*Maas, Z., & Chang, J. (2019, March). Shortened form of the Compassion of Others’ Lives Scale (COOL Scale).