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Western Kentucky University

Department of Psychology

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Research Labs

This page shows research openings for students and the research interests of the faculty in the two psychology departments.

Department of Psychology: 
Student Research Opportunities | Faculty Research Interests
Department of Psychological Sciences: 
Student Research Opportunities | Faculty Research Interests


Student Research Opportunities

A "yes" under openings for students means that the faculty member will consider allowing you to work in his/her lab. Please contact that individual faculty member to discuss further.

Department of Psychology

Faculty Name Lab Name Openings For Students
Undergraduate Graduate
Pitt Derryberry Research of Ethical and Social Topics (REST) Lab Yes Yes
Lisa C. Duffin The Academic Quality (TAQ) Lab Yes Yes
Rick Grieve Clinical/Applied Research (CAR) Group Yes Yes
Sally Kuhlenschmidt Abilities Research Group No Yes
Elizabeth Jones Emotional Issues of Children and Youth Research Group Yes Yes
Carl Myers Behavior Assessment Lab Yes Yes
Tony Paquin   Yes Yes
Jenni Redifer Attention and Memory Lab Yes Yes
Steve Wininger Motivation Lab Yes Yes
Qin Zhao Metacognition Lab Yes Yes



Department of Psychological Sciences

Links for the Department of Psychological Sciences open in a new window.

Faculty Name Lab Name Openings For Students
Undergraduate Graduate
Amy Brausch Risk Behaviors Lab Yes Yes
Lance Hahn Semantics Lab Yes No
Elizabeth Lemerise Social Development Lab Yes Yes
Diane Lickenbrock Children and Families Lab Yes Maybe
Kelly Madole Cognitive Development Lab Yes Yes
Andrew Mienaltowski Lifespan Social Cognition Lab Yes Maybe
Sharon Mutter Cognition Lab Yes Yes
Farley Norman Vision and Haptics Lab Yes Maybe
Stephen O'Connor Suicide Prevention Lab Yes Yes
Amber Schroeder Industrial/Organizational Psychology Lab Yes Yes
Matt Shake Adult Learning Lab Maybe Maybe
Brandy Tiernan Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Lab Yes Yes
Aaron Wichman Social Cognition Lab Yes Yes



Faculty Research Interests

Department of Psychology

Pitt Derryberry
My research interests pertain to socio-cognitive development during adolescence and the college years with specific emphases on the development of moral judgment and self-understanding.
Lab: Research of Ethical and Social Topics (REST) Lab

Lisa C. Duffin
My research interest spans the factors that impact academic quality at many different levels (i.e., program-level, group-level, and individual-level) and in many different contexts (i.e., university, K-12 schools, lab).
Lab: The Academic Quality (TAQ) Lab

Rick Grieve
My research interests lie in the area of eating disorders, and right now I am investigating men's eating disorders, especially muscle dysmorphia. I am also interested in sport fan behaviors. I have a number of studies going in both areas through the Clinical/Applied Research (CAR) Group. 
Lab: Clinical/Applied Research (CAR) Group

Sally Kuhlenschmidt
My research interests lie in assessing, developing, and sustaining abilities and using abilities to cope with adversity. I focus on two primary settings: 1. the aged and caregivers of the aged and 2. university faculty.  A primary theme in both is achieving effective communication of needs and interventions. In the gerontology setting graduate students are working on mindfulness in the aged. In the university setting my focus is on identifying, classifying, and assessing faculty development practices in higher education institutions. I am considering a project on addressing mental health stigma using graphics.
Lab: Abilities Research Group

Elizabeth Jones
My research focuses on emotional issues experienced by children and adolescents. One area of investigation is the assessment of depression, the relative effectiveness of existing measures in assessing depression and anxiety, and the relationship between anxiety and depression in youth. Another area of investigation is nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) in youth. Areas of investigation within the area of NSSI include the relationship between nonsuicidal self-injury and other high risk behaviors, teacher knowledge and perceptions, peer perceptions, influence of the internet/social media, and emotional correlates of self-injury.
Lab: Emotional Issues of Children and Youth Research Group

Carl Myers
The focus of the research lab is on various behavioral assessment methods at the preschool age level.
Lab: Emotional Issues of Children and Youth Research Group

Tony Paquin
My research interests are: 1. The impact of culture on workplace behavior (e.g., productivity/organizational effectiveness, leadership, and incivility) in traditional and nontraditional organizations. 2. Psychometric issues in the translation and design of cross-cultural instruments. 3. Rater agreement in the context of performance appraisal.

Jenni Redifer
My research examines cognitive factors related to student learning and achievement. I am interested in how working memory capacity (the limited attentional resources we have available during effortful tasks) influences problem-solving and retrieval of information from long-term memory. Part of this work investigates methods for teaching effective strategies to individuals with low working memory capacity (i.e., fewer attentional resources).
Lab: Attention and Memory Lab

Steve Wininger
The majority of my research interests are in motivation, specifically in teaching people to self-regulate. My research spans three different contexts: exercise, learning, and sport. The three central outcome variables are exercise adherence, self-regulated learners, and peak sport performance. 
Lab: Motivation Lab

Qin Zhao
My research interests include metacognition, self-judgment, and self-regulation. Currently, the metacognition lab is examining how cognitive, motivational, and social factors influence metacognitive judgment of performance.
Lab: Metacognition Lab



Department of Psychological Sciences

Links for the Department of Psychological Sciences open in a new window.

Reagan Brown
My research interests are personnel selection, psychometrics, and statistics.

Lance Hahn
My primary research focus is on the semantic memory underlying word recognition. I use a very multidisciplinary approach that includes aspects of computation, behavior and neuroscience. Two representative projects are 1) behavioral and computational measures of word expectancy within a local context and 2) an examination of how gender and sex hormones influence the recognition of aggressive words.
Lab: Semantics Lab

Elizabeth Lemerise
My research examines aspects of social and emotional development in preschool and elementary school children. Specific topics addressed are social and emotional development, peer relations, and social information processing. 
Lab: Social Development Lab

Diane Lickenbrock
My research interests focus on early social and emotional development, beginning in infancy, by focusing on the dynamics of the family. Using longitudinal designs, I examine how characteristics of the child and parents influence the development of emotion regulation and parent-child relationships. I am particularly interested in the role of the father in his child's development.
Lab: Children and Families Lab

Kelly L. Madole
My main interest is in conceptual development. Currently, my research is focused on the factors that influence our beliefs about social categories. I am also conducting research on how adults' reasoning about object categories is similar to reasoning about events. 
Lab: Cognitive Development Lab

Andrew Mienaltowski
I study social and emotional reasoning across adulthood. My lab is currently investigating how we recognize emotion in the facial expressions of others, as well as how socioemotional goals (e.g., love, friendship, competitiveness, etc.) and stress impact decision making.
Lab: Lifespan Social Cognition Lab

Sharon Mutter
My research interests center on how age-related changes in cognitive processes such as attention, learning, and memory affect older adults ability to acquire both causal and non-causal contingency knowledge. At the moment, we are investigating (1) age differences in the ability to transfer causal knowledge learned about one set of cues to a similar, but novel set of cues, and (2) age differences in causal learning following error-driven and simple associative learning tasks.
Lab: Cognition Lab

Farley Norman
The goal of my Laboratory's research is to understand visual and tactile perception. We study how human participants perceive the 3-D shape and motion of environmental objects. We also study how perception changes as people age and become older.
Lab: Vision and Haptics Lab

Amber Schroeder
My research interests focus primarily on (a) the examination of negative employee and organizational behavior (e.g., workplace deviance, cyberbullying, and discrimination), (b) the assessment of employee personality and culture and their impact on work outcomes, and (c) the use of social media in employment settings.
Lab: Industrial/Organizational Psychology Lab

Matt Shake
My research focuses on how cognitive aging affects language processing and comprehension. This includes research on how external factors (e.g., text structure, reading environment, etc.) and internal factors (e.g., reader goals, attentional capacity, etc.) affect older adults' ability to process and retain information that they read.
Lab: Adult Learning Lab

Betsy Shoenfelt
My research interests focus on factors that influence performance in business, industry, education, and sport. Recent research has focused on justice perceptions of disciplinary decisions in team settings,  influences on organizational citizenship behavior, identifying and developing team values, and the measurement and development of leadership skills.

Brandy Tiernan
My research focuses on self-regulation in a variety of contexts. Currently, I use event related potentials (ERPs) coupled with behavioral techniques to investigate the neural correlates of affect, emotion regulation, cognitive control and aging.
Lab: Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Lab

Aaron Wichman
I am interested in social cognition, and in how cognitions either can be perceived as threatening or as information to integrate into judgments. I try to understand when and how people come to think in these ways.

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 Last Modified 10/9/14