Research: Undergraduate, Grad & Faculty

Why Participate in Psychological Research?

Conducting research develops your ability to pose good questions, think logically, problem solve, write concisely, speak before an audience, and work on a team: abilities highly valued by employers. Collaborating within a research group at Avila enables you to work closely with a faculty member, who can put your particular talents to best use (and write those all-important letters of recommendation!). With our apprenticeship model of research, the specific tasks you will work on will be commensurate with your current level of experience and knowledge.

If you are interested in applying to the Ph.D. programs in Psychology, research experience is mandatory. Most programs are highly competitive, and nearly all of your competition will have had research experience of some sort.

Research involves making new discoveries, about finding answers to questions that puzzle you. Best of all, you can take advantage of opportunities to present your research at regional, national, or international conferences. There’s no better way to make contact with professors and other students who share your interests.

As an undergraduate or master’s level student at Avila, you will learn to do research from professors adept at research.

Work on Research Projects: Undergraduate Students

Avila undergraduate students from any discipline may work on a psychology research team with the permission of a faculty research supervisor.

Non-psychology majors, and psychology majors who have not yet completed Psychological Statistics and Research Methods I & II (PY 261 and PY 262) should sign up for Research Experience I (PY 297). This course is taken for ONE credit hour at a time, and can be repeated.

Psychology majors (from any area of concentration) who have completed PY 261 and PY 262 should sign up Research Experience II (PY 497). This course is also taken for ONE credit hour at a time, and can be repeated.

Psychology majors in the Research Concentration will additionally complete PY 498, Senior Thesis (3 credits per semester; normally taken for two semesters).

Work on Research Projects: Graduate Students

Students in the Master’s of Science in Psychology and the Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology programs may work in a psychology research team, with the permission of a faculty research advisor.

Students interested in gaining research experience should enroll in PY 647, Research Experience, which is offered for ONE credit hour at a time.

Students in the MSP Research will complete PY 697 Master’s Thesis.

Department of Psychology Faculty Research


Dr. Amy Bucher’s lab 
explores how language, specifically expressive writing, and behavior change are related. Using a language analysis software program, we hope to discover how word choice may indicate motivation to change. Previous studies found that the analysis of language can inform about people’s moods, whether or not a person is lying and certain types of writing can even facilitate healing from trauma.

In my lab, we are exploring how language and behavior change are related. Using a language analysis software program, we hope to discover how word choice may indicate motivation to change. We know that the analysis of language can inform us about a person’s moods, whether or not a person is lying and certain types of writing can even facilitate healing from trauma.

Amy Bucher, Ph.D.
Office: 1022 Foyle, 816.501.2468
Amy.Bucher@avila.edu

Dr. Leah Gensheimer’s research group involves the application of scientific methods to understand and address pervasive everyday problems at the individual and community levels, and to inform best practices. Current projects focus on the scholarship of teaching and learning (e.g., promoting college academic success, professional development, and academic standards and honesty). Other areas of interest include children and youth development and social justice issues.

Dr. Heather Noble’s research focuses upon cognition, including how it is understood and how it is measured.  Current projects include field research for the development of cognitive, achievement, and memory tests.  She assists with the process of collecting data to norm new editions of standardized tests that are reliable, valid, and multiculturally sensitive measures.   

Dr. Marcia Pasqualini heads the Emotions Laboratory, and her research interests relate to the psychophysiological aspects of emotions of people in social interactions. Specific research topics include public speaking anxiety, psychophysiological and facial synchrony in dyads, and individual differences in emotional reactivity. Students have the opportunity to use Mindware BioLab to measure heart rate variability, impedance and skin conductance; Noldus Observer for synchronized behavioral observations; and Nexus-10 for neurofeedback/biofeedback studies.

Dr. Regina Staves‘ research looks at secondary traumatic stress/compassion fatigue in those working in the mental health and related fields with clients who have experienced complex trauma. Other areas of interest are the efficacy of restorative practices, social justice, attachment in children and social/emotional development.

Dr. Jordan Wagge‘s Cognition Laboratory research group studies food cognition. In the lab, students study how cognitive processes such as language, memory, perception, and attention are associated with food and eating.

The Cognition Lab at Avila is a collaborative research lab for both undergraduate and graduate students interested in cognition and research. Students in the lab are prepared for Ph.D. programs and research careers. For more information on the lab and to request an application to join the lab, please contact Dr. Wagge.

Faculty
Jordan Wagge, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Office: Foyle 1021, 816.501.2964
jordan.wagge@avila.edu
jordanwagge.com/

Hi, I’m Dr. Wagge and I run the lab with the help of my graduate assistants. I have two current research lines.  One area is pedagogy and metascience; I currently serve as the Associate Director of the Collaborative Replications and Education Project (osf.io/wfc6u), which engages students in the research process through crowdsourced replication work. My second area of scholarship is food cognition. Specifically, I’m currently most interested in perception, action, and food choices. For more information about my lab, research, and students, please visit my website (linked below).

To Learn More go to jordanwagge.com!

 

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