RESEARCH

 

Faculty Research Activities
All faculty members in the School of Psychology, Family, and Community (SPFC) are active in empirical research and writing. Engaging in knowledge generation in our fields is an exciting process, and it brings alive the concepts and content we teach in our classrooms. SPFC values scholarly productivity in all four domains presented by Ernest L. Boyer in his influential Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate.1 That is, the scholarship of discovery, of integration, of application, and of teaching.

All SPFC faculty members present research papers at national and international conferences and author scientific articles, book chapters, and the like. Topics being researched by SPFC faculty members are both fascinating and diverse. A partial list includes emotional development of aggressive/ rejected children, effective leading in adversity, psychological interventions for managing pain, mental illness in adolescent offenders, rehabilitation of stroke patients, forgiveness and adult attachment, Sabbath rhythm and rest and psychological well-being, physical activity and quality of life in women's health, self esteem and emotions, ethnic identity and ethnic conflict, problem gambling among college students, diagnosis of mild brain injury, and leadership development in top executives.

 

Faculty Research Sites

The Initiative for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Young Children's Self Regulation Project

 

Student Research Activities

A distinctive of SPFC is its extensive student research program. For example in 2010-11,


• Fifty-two undergraduate Psychology students participated in research projects under faculty supervision. Thirty-nine students and six psychology alumni co-authored twenty-one presentations with faculty at state, regional, national or international professional conferences. In addition, two Psychology alumni co-authored three scholarly publications with faculty this year.

• All Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology doctoral students continued ongoing research projects with their faculty advisors. Three doctoral students presented research at a national conference. Eight doctoral students are co-authors on three “in-press” scholarly publications with faculty. Five students co-authored technical papers with faculty.

• Forty-four Clinical Psychology doctoral students (along with two alumni, two I/O doctoral students, and three undergraduate Psychology students) participated in fifty-five research presentations in state, regional, or national professional conferences. Fifteen CPY doctoral students and eight recent alumni (along with seven I/O doctoral students) were co-authors with seven faculty this year on twenty-nine different scholarly publications. Clinical Psychology doctoral students were also co-authors on twenty-three manuscripts "under review" in peer reviewed journals.

Seven dissertations were successfully proposed, and seventeen were successfully defended.

• Forty undergraduate Psychology students, thirty-two Marriage and Family Therapy students, one master’s and eight doctoral I/O students, and twenty-eight Clinical Psychology Students students presented fifty-four research posters or papers at the SPFC Student Research Conference 25 May 2011.

For more specific information on faculty and student research interests and publications, click on one of the following links:

Clinical Psychology Faculty


Clinical Psychology Students


Marriage and Family Therapy Faculty


Industrial/Organizational Psychology Faculty


Undergraduate Psychology Faculty

 

Laboratory Programs

Currently SPFC has eight active research-producing and teaching laboratories. Five are housed in Lower Watson Hall in our Behavioral Research Suite (BRS). The principal investigators/lab supervisors are Drs. Margaret Brown, Baine Craft, Thane Erickson, Kathy Lustyk, and Bev Wilson.

This year the Brown team continued to examine a model linking prosocial action to attitudes toward intergroup relations. Specifically, they have been testing the effect of the human virtue of generosity on prejudicial attitudes and behaviors, using correlational, experimental, and longitudinal methods. The Erickson team conducted an experimental investigation of ways to influence moral emotions in the laboratory, replicated and extended a field intervention to increase moral emotions in daily life, and collected preliminary data on a similar, longer-term field intervention. The Craft human learning and cognition team examined impulsive and risky choice behavior in human participants. The Lustyk team investigated the effects of a daily brief mindfulness exercise on premenstrual symptoms and stress by assessing neuroendocrine and psychophysiological responses to a laboratory stressor; additionally they investigated the potential moderating effect of mindfulness on stress in women who self-medicate their stress by abusing alcohol or other drugs (AOD). The Wilson team continued to investigate the self-regulation strategies and skills of three to six year old children with autism spectrum disorders and typically developing children including their physiological responses during a series of challenging tasks. Additional research this year began documenting parenting behaviors and strategies that may facilitate the self-regulation skills of these children.

Two additional laboratories are housed in Lower Watson Hall in our Clinical Training and Research Suite (CTRS) [1]. The principal investigators/lab supervisors are Drs. Ursula Krentz and Amy Mezulis.

This year the Krentz team explored the development of aesthetics in infants. They also teamed up with the Fetal Drug and Alcohol Unit at the University of Washington to look at the effects of infant-parent psychotherapy on the relationship quality of mothers with a history of methamphetamine abuse and their toddlers. In addition, they collaborated with the Wilson Lab to look at attachment quality and parental sensitivity and autonomy support as a mediators and psychosocial risk as a moderator for attentional and emotional regulation and social competency in school-aged children. Finally, they continued to assess the validity of an observational measure of mother-infant/toddler interaction, emotional regulation, and communication as a clinical "measure of impairment" using longitudinal data from a high-risk Early Head Start population. The Mezulis team examined the relationships among affective, physiological, and cognitive responses to stress among college students at low and high risk for depression. In their SNAP study, the Mezulis team ran over eighty participants through a laboratory paradigm that included an induced failure; physiological recording of heart rate and skin conductance; self-report measures of state affect, rumination, cognitive style, and self-referent information processing; and an attention bias Posner task. The Mezulis team also completed data collection for Women ROCK, an innovative preventive intervention program for SPU undergraduate women at risk for depression.

The eighth laboratory program focuses on animal behavior and learning; it is housed in Eaton Hall across the hall from SPFC’s designated “wet” lab/classroom (SCI 231). The principal investigator/lab supervisor is Dr. Baine Craft, and this year the Craft comparative psychology team performed research parallel to his human study noted above on animal impulsive and risky choice behavior.


 

Laboratory Facilities
SPFC maintains a number of research and teaching labs in Marston/Watson Hall and in Eaton Hall. The psychophysiology lab is located in a specially designed room to control for sound, temperature and light. It is equipped to run cardiorespiratory stress testing through the use of continuous electrocardiogram and pulmonary monitoring via surface skin electrodes and tension transduction respectively. Materials are available for the collecting and storing of salivary cortisol samples in accordance with current biohazard safety guidelines put forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The primary developmental psychology lab is located in a suite of three rooms: 1) The child/family session room includes video and sound recording equipment, a computer, and psychophysiological equipment to collect cardiac, blood pressure and skin conductance data. This room also has a one-way mirror for unobtrusive viewing of sessions during filming. 2) The office/filming room contains a video stack for recording sessions, and a computer for data entry. The video stack includes a mixer for audio and video signals and a date/time code generator. 3) The coding room contains computers as well as VCRs and monitors for coding sessions.

The primary social psychology lab is located in two connected rooms. The rooms include linked workstations containing computers permitting individual or yoked experimentation. These computers are also programmed for experiments in cognition and perception (e.g., reaction time tasks, signal detection tests).

Our clinical observation suites are equipped with one-way mirrors, and video and audio recording capabilities which permit real-time supervision and training. These observational suites are also available for developmental and social psychological research.

SPFC's "wet" labs in Eaton Hall, adjacent to Marston-Watson Hall. Here is located the learning lab, which contains numerous stations equipped with operant cubicles permitting experiments in instrumental and classical conditioning controlled by a central computer which has the capability of separate programming and cumulative recording of each individual station. Also in this building is SPFC's hi-tech psychophysiological demonstration classroom in which the SPFC students take their neural basis of behavior courses, work with neuroanatomical models, and participate in brain and spinal cord dissection exercises.

_____________________________________
1Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Princeton University Press

[1] The CTRS consists of five contiguous rooms, the walls of which contain "one-way" mirrors permitting observations in either direction, and two-way intercoms. Each room is outfitted with permanently installed cameras and audio recording equipment to permit videotaping of activities in one room while controlled from an adjacent room. The rooms in this Suite were intentionally designed for therapy training activities, a training clinic, and laboratory research in therapeutic processes, group dynamics and relationship development.