Labs and Research

All faculty members in the School of Psychology, Family, and Community 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 Professoriate1 — the scholarship of discovery, of integration, of application, and of teaching.

Learn more about SPFC faculty research activities and faculty labs, as well as how undergraduate and graduate students gain valuable hands-on experience through research activities.

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

Laboratory Facilities

The School of Psychology, Family, and Community maintains a number of research and teaching labs on the SPU campus in Marston-Watson Hall and Eaton Hall.

Additional laboratories are housed in the adjacent Clinical Training and Research Suite (CTRS). This 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 controlled from an adjacent room. The rooms in this suite were intentionally designed for therapy training activities and laboratory research in therapeutic processes, group dynamics, and relationship development.

Our “wet” laboratory program focuses on animal behavior and learning; it is housed in Eaton Hall near SPFC’s designated lab/classroom (EH 231).

Psychophysiology lab

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.

Developmental psychology lab

The primary developmental psychology lab is located in a suite of three rooms:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The coding room contains computers as well as VCRs and monitors for coding sessions.

Social psychology lab

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).

Clinical observation suites

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

Wet labs

SPFC’s “wet” labs are housed in Eaton 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 that has the capability of separate programming and cumulative recording of each individual station.

Psychophysiological demonstration classroom

Also in Eaton Hall is SPFC’s hi-tech psychophysiological demonstration classroom, in which SPFC students take their neural basis of behavior courses, work with neuroanatomical models, and participate in brain and spinal cord dissection exercises.