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Departmental Research Opportunities

Biopsychology

Project Director: Mary Heitzeg, PhD
Alternate Contact: Robert Labadie
Email: labadier@med.umich.edu

Title of Project: fMRI Study of Impulse Control and Emotion Regulation in Youth

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Biopsychology

Project Description:

Michigan Longitudinal Neuroimaging Lab
This lab researches how addiction, specifically alcohol, is passed down through families and the genetic/familial/environmental risk of developing substance use disorder. The study administers a long survey to a cohort of substance abusing men, their partners, and their children, and their grandchildren each year. fMRI studies are being carried out on children, adolescents, and young adults. Students are responsible for entering the data from these studies into a database. This is a good lab for students interested in neuroscience.

Location: Rachel Upjohn Building, East Medical Center, 4250 Plymouth Rd.

Time commitment requested:
Students should be doing 7.5 hours of lab work a week (97.5 total for the semester).

Qualifications of student:
We only accept students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, who are committed to learning about research. Helpful prerequisites (not required but suggested) are Intro to Psychopathology, Stats 250, and Psych 303 - Research Methods in Psychology (you may take these at the same time as the lab). An interview is required.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? 
no
Money Offered?: 
no
Work-Study Employment Offered? 
no

 

Project Director: Barbara Smuts
Email: bsmuts@umich.edu
Title of Project: Social Behavior in Domestic Dogs

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:   Biopsychology

Project Description:
Students will code specific behaviors while watching video (on computers) of social interactions among domestic dogs. The interactions occur mainly during play and greetings. The videos are filmed locally (in back yards or dog parks, etc.) as part of an ongoing study of dog social behavior. Students will use slow motion and frame-by-frame viewing to recognize and code subtle or rapid behaviors difficult to identify in real time. Through this experience, students will develop an excellent eye for complex behavioral sequences. Since these observational skills will generalize to other species, this training is useful for any student interested in studying naturally occurring behavior in animals, including humans. Students will work for a pre-agreed, average number of hours each week at a video laboratory in East Hall. Work hours are flexible but a minimum of 6 hours/week is required. Students can take the course as Psych 322 (credit/no credit) or Psych 326. The latter involves writing a 6-8 page paper in scientific format that describes the coding, analysis, and interpretation of some aspect of dog behavior. Students highly motivated to continue with research may participate further in subsequent terms. Advanced students may have opportunities to design their own research projects in collaboration with Dr. Smuts and other experienced students.

Time commitment requested:  Minimum 6 hrs/week

Qualifications of student:
At least one previous class in animal behavior, such as Psych 335 or Psych 338 (same as Anthro 368) and Psych 530, "Behavior of wolves & dogs" taught by Dr. Smuts.

Experience Only? No
Credit Offered? Yes
Money Offered? No
Work-Study Employment Offered? No

Clinical

Project Director: Dr. Kate Rosenblum, Dr. Maria Muzik
Alternate Contact:  Lindsay Hayes
Email: linhayes@med.umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Zero to Thrive Research Projects
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical, Developmental


Project Description:
There are many research projects/programs at the University Of Michigan Department of Psychiatry that encompass the women, infant and early childhood populations. All projects focus on supporting the wellbeing and mental health of women, infants, and young children. Some projects also focus on special populations, such as women who are in the perinatal period, and fathers. Students will have the opportunity to work on some or all of these projects.

We are looking for students to assist with a variety of research tasks, such as data entry and verification, transcribing narrative interviews, video, coding, helping with child care at data assessments, assisting with interventions targeting high-risk families, administrative office tasks and potential qualitative coding opportunities. In addition, this position offers the opportunity for learning about developmental and clinical research, interventions for parents of young children, and administrative aspects of running longitudinal and intervention studies.

If you are interested please contact Lindsay Hayes at linhayes@med.umich.edu

Time commitment requested: 9 hours/week. 

Qualifications of student: Research Assistants must have an interest and experience in working with families and children. Students must be reliable, detail-oriented, professional, and organized. Skills/experience with data entry and analyses is a plus. Individual interviews with the research team will be required.

Credit Offered: yes
Experience only: no
Money: no
Work study: maybe

 

Project Director: Ka Ip

Email: kaip@umich.edu
Project Title: How much is too much? A cultural examination of individual variability of stress tolerance

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical and Social

Project Description:

Stressful events such as failing an exam, dealing with roommate issues or having a bad headache commonly occur in our daily life. Even having the same aversive circumstance, while some individuals feel very distressed or upset, others seem to able to bear it despite experiencing objectively the same level of distress. This suggests that the perceived capacity of handling distress (i.e., distress tolerance) varies across individuals. Yet, there is a dearth of research examining individual factors that contributed to the variability of distress tolerance. Using survey methodology, the aim of the study is to examine 1) the cultural (e.g., Asian/Asian American vs. European American), social-emotional (e.g., acculturation, emotion regulation) and cognitive (e.g., dialectical thinking) factors underlying individual differences in distress tolerance, and secondly, and 2) the relations among distress tolerance, help seeking behaviors and attitudes, and mental health outcomes.

This study will have important implications for understanding factors that can enhance distress tolerance, which can facilitate the dissemination of psychosocial interventions design to promote tolerance for distress.

Motivated students will have the opportunity to design surveys, present results in regional or national conferences, and work on manuscripts for publication. This research opportunity is particularly valuable to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree or career related to clinical, health and cross-cultural psychology, social work, psychiatry, public health, and medicine.

Time commitment: 6 - 8 hours. A two-semester (a full-year is preferred) commitment is required.

Student Qualifications: We are seeking highly motivated students that are fast learners, with strong critical thinking skills, and can work both independently and collaboratively.

Inquiry can be directed to Ka Ip kaip@umich.edu

Lab experience only: preferred but not necessary.

Credit Offered: Yes  (or volunteer)
Money: No
Work Study: No

 

 

Project Director: Supervisor: Ka Ip; PI: Kate Fitzgerald, MD
Email: kaip@umich.edu
Project Title: Identifying Brain Markers of Child Anxiety and Depression
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical and Developmental

Project Description:

Internalizing disorders such as anxiety and depression that present early in childhood are often associated with a more chronic course and may result in more adverse outcomes than disorders that emerge late. Identifying brain/bio-markers that relate to the development of internalizing problems early in life could improve the prognosis and identification of treatment for youth with internalizing disorders. The aim of the study is to identify early neurophysiological risk markers [i.e., error-related negativity (ERN) and fear-potentiated startle (FPS)] of child anxiety and depression using EEG/ERP methodology with clinically (and sub-clinically) anxious children aged 4 – 9.

Students will gain hands-on experience conducting pediatric brain/ERP research and/or interacting with pediatric/clinical population. Other-related research experiences include (but not limited to) subject recruitment and scheduling, data organization and analysis, literature review, lab-meetings. Motivated students will have the opportunity to present results in regional or national conferences, and work on honors thesis and manuscripts for publication. This research opportunity is particularly valuable to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree or career related to clinical psychology, social work, child psychiatry, public health, and medicine.

Time commitment: 6 - 9 hours per week in 3-hour shifts; Mandatory trainings will be held on Tuesdays 3pm – 6pm. A two-semester (a full-year is preferred) commitment and weekend availability is also required for data collection.

Student Qualifications: Must have a car on campus for transportation; EEG data collection is located in Rachael Upjohn Building (4250 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48109). Experience working with young children (and not afraid) is preferred. We are seeking highly motivated students that are fast learners, with strong communication skills, and can work both independently and collaboratively.

Inquiry can be directed to Ka Ip kaip@umich.edu

Lab experience only: preferred but not necessary.

Credit Offered: Yes
Money: No
Work Study: No

 

 

Project Director: Kate Blumstein

Email: kpblum@umich.edu

Title of Project: A cross-cultural study on parent’s concept of maladaptive behavior in young children. 

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical and Developmental

Project Description:

Parents’ beliefs about child behavior are central components of child development and socialization. Although parents in every culture have intuitive or folk concepts of negative child behavior, comparative cross-cultural research on this topic has been extremely scant. This study examines Spanish, Chinese, and U.S. parental attributions of children’s misbehavior, and how that is related to discipline strategies (e.g., reasoning, empathy building, physical punishment etc.) and children’s behavioral adjustment cross-nationally.  

We are currently focused on collecting and coding our Spanish data, so research assistants must be fluent in Spanish and are expected to be involved in literature review, coding, data entry, organization and analysis, manuscript preparation, lab meetings, and other lab-related tasks. Motivated students will have the opportunity to present results in regional or national conferences. This research opportunity is particularly valuable to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree or career in related to the field of developmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology and clinical psychology.

Please check out our website for more details: http://sites.lsa.umich.edu/olson-lab/

Applicants should send their CV and an unofficial copy of their transcript to Kate Blumstein at kpblum@umich.edu

Time commitment requested: 9 - 12 Hours Per Week (flexible). Two full semester commitment required.

Qualifications of student: Undergraduates majoring in Psychology, BCN, Statistics or related field who are interested in research. Students must be fluent in Spanish, organized, reliable, motivated, and able to work independently. Students with experience using SPSS, SAS, Mplus and Matlab are preferred but not required. Students in good academic standing and with experience in research are encouraged to apply.

Credit Offered? Yes

Experience Only? yes

Money Offered? no

Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

 

Project Director: Laura Zahodne, PhD

Contact Person and Email: Ketlyne Sol, PhD; ksol@umich.edu

Major Area of Psychology in which this projects is located: Clinical

Time Commitment: 10 hours/week, minimum two semester commitment required

Experience Only: yes

Credit: yes

Money: no

W/S: no

Project Title: Michigan Study of Cognitive Aging in Diverse Elders

 

Project Description:

Dementia is a significant public health concern worldwide. The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, by far the most common form of dementia, is projected to triple (to nearly 14 million cases) by 2050. Currently, there are no disease-modifying medications for dementia, and recent drug trials have proved unsuccessful. Therefore, there is a critical need to identify modifiable factors that directly influence dementia risk, or indirectly affect dementia risk by buffering against other risk factors. Because major longitudinal studies of dementia risk have used convenience samples of mostly highly-educated, non-Hispanic White participants, few well-designed studies are able to estimate racial/ethnic disparities in dementia. However, available data from a regionally representative sample in New York indicate that annual age-specific incidence rates are up to 4 times higher for non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics, compared to non-Hispanic Whites living in the same community. While these disparities reflect, in part, known racial/ethnic differences in the levels of various dementia risk factors such as cardiovascular disease and educational disadvantage, significant disparities persist even when stroke, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, educational attainment, and illiteracy are taken into account. Therefore, mechanisms of dementia disparities must also involve (1) yet unmeasured dementia risk factors among racial/ethnic minorities and/or (2) differential impact of known dementia risk factors across race/ethnicity. It is imperative to understand and ameliorate the sources of racial/ethnic disparities in dementia, particularly in light of the fact that by 2060, nearly one half of U.S. adults aged 65 and over will be racial/ethnic minorities.

The overall objective of the current study is to characterize risk and protective factors for dementia in a racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of older adults.

Duties:

Will include but are not limited to:

-Calling participants to schedule appointments and answer questions about the study

-Thorough documentation of participant contacts

-Preparing letters to mail to participants

-Face-to-face interviews and cognitive testing with participants (upon completion of study-provided training)

-Reading relevant literature, inputting data into database

Amount of responsibility and tasks will be assigned as student is cleared on study procedures, lab needs, and student preferences. For especially motivated students, opportunities are available to develop their own research project with guidance from study staff, graduate students, and faculty.

Minimum Qualifications:

-Awareness of and sensitivity to cross-cultural issues in research

-Interest in working with older adults and diverse populations

-Strong computer skills, ideally with some proficiency using Microsoft Excel and SPSS

-Available to attend mandatory laboratory meetings

-Interest in psychology and clinical research

-Excellent interpersonal skills

-Attention to detail

-Willingness to learn new tests and processes

-Reliability and punctuality

Study locations, based on participant preference:

-Central Campus

-Detroit Center

-Participant homes in Washtenaw and Wayne counties

*own transportation preferred for participants not scheduled at Central Campus

 

Project Director or Contact Person: Jacqueline Kim

Project Director or Contact Person’s E-mail: jhjkim@umich.edu

Title of Project: Topics in cross-cultural/ethnic minority mental health

Major Area of Psychology in which the project is located: Clinical

Description: This project examines various topics in mental health, most of which is cross-cultural and/or focused on Asian American mental health. Topics the research assistant may be assigned to work on include:
-Emotional abuse/neglect (cross-culturally explores the intergenerational patterns of emotional abuse/neglect in Caucasian American and Asian American families and related biopsychosocial outcomes)
-Predictors of service use (national survey, college survey, small clinic sample data examining factors influencing service use in Asian Americans with depressive features)
-Role of pain on treatment outcome (examines whether baseline level pain endorsement is related to treatment outcomes for Caucasian American vs. African American sample)


Students’ primary responsibilities will be to conduct necessary literature reviews and create written summaries of reviews. If needed, secondary responsibilities will be to assist with participant recruitment or with IRB submission. Topic assignments will be dependent on project needs, considering student interest when possible. Depending on data availability, progress, and student initiative, students may be invited to work on conference proposals.

Time Commitment Requested: Minimum one full semester commitment. 8-12 hours/week, including supervision/meetings as needed.

Dates of Project: current-Spring/Summer 2017

Qualifications of Student: A qualified student should have some familiarity with literature reviews and be able to critically analyze academic journal articles. Student should also know how to use Excel, Word, Google docs. Student must be detail-oriented, conscientious, accountable, and be able to communicate clearly in a timely fashion. It will be helpful to know if the student has experience using Zotero, Qualtrics, or statistical analysis software but this is not a requirement.

**Please email jhjkim@umich.edu with a resume and writing sample attached.
_X__ Credit Offered ___ Money Offered _X__Experience only

 

Psychology 326.448 Michigan Longitudinal Study of Families at Risk for Substance Use Disorder

Project Director: Dr. Robert Zucker

Alternate Contact: Angela Galka

Email: anti@med.umich.edu

Major Area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Psychopathology

Project Description: The Addiction Center provides continuing opportunities for students to gain experience as part of the Center's ongoing program of research studies. The current project includes data management for a longitudinal study that began in the 1980s on the development of alcohol and substance use disorder.

Qualifications of student: A major in Psychology, Neuroscience, or BCN is helpful, but not required. Students who are extremely motivated, hard-working, reliable, and comfortable interacting with others are welcome to apply. Students who have a 3.5 GPA in the Junior or Senior year will be considered for an interview for a position in the class. Underclassmen are welcome to volunteer in the lab.

Time commitment requested: 326.448 Students: 7.5 hours per week which includes a one hour weekly seminar.
Volunteers: 6 hour per week

Credit Offered? Yes:  3 Credits
Volunteer opportunities for no credit? Yes  
Experience Needed? No  
Money Offered? No

Contact Angela Galka (anti@med.umich.edu) to interview for acceptance into class, or to volunteer.

 

Project Director: Ivy Tso, Ph.D.

Title of Research Project: Neural Mechanisms of Eye Gaze
Perception in Psychosis 

Major area of Psychology in which this project is located: Clinical
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Project Description: Use functional MRI and experimental methods to investigate the brain mechanisms of eye gaze and visual information processing in adults with schizophrenia.

Student Tasks and Responsibilities: Lab work will include recruiting research participants, running experiments, assisting with data files management, data entry, and data analysis.  Relevant
training and readings will be provided to perform these tasks.

Minimum Qualifications: Completed Psych111, interested in clinical research, responsible, highly motivated, attention to detail, previous research experience required, previous experience in interaction with human subjects preferred but not necessary,
working knowledge of Excel.

Time commitment requested: 9 - 12 hours per week (flexible;
some work may be performed offsite), 2 full semester commitment required.

Work Location: Rachel
Upjohn Building, 4250 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor MI 48109.

Interested students
please send a copy of CV and a brief statement of interest to Merranda McLaughlin, merranda@med.umich.edu. Under-represented students (e.g., ethic minorities, first-generation college students, students from low-income families, LGBT students, students with disabilities) are especially encouraged to apply. More information of Dr. Tso's lab can
be found here: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ivytso-lab/

Credit Offered? 3-4 credits (PSY 200, 322, or 326)
Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 ----------------------------------------------------

Project Director: Ivy Tso, Ph.D.

Title of Research Project: Reward Processing in Bipolar Disorder
Major area of Psychology in which this project is located: Clinical
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Project Description: Use functional MRI and experimental methods to investigate the psychological and brain mechanisms involved in altered reward processing and impulsivity in adults with bipolar disorder.

Student Tasks and Responsibilities: Lab work will include recruiting research participants, running experiments, assisting with data files management, data entry, and data analysis.  Relevant
training and readings will be provided to perform these tasks.

Minimum Qualifications: Completed Psych111, interested in clinical research, responsible, highly motivated, attention to detail, previous research experience required, previous experience in interaction with human subjects preferred but not necessary,
working knowledge of Excel.

Time commitment requested: 9 - 12 hours per week
(flexible; some work may be performed offsite), 2 full semester
commitment required.

Work Location: Rachel Upjohn Building, 4250 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor MI 48109.

Interested students
please send a copy of CV and a brief statement of interest to Merranda McLaughlin, merranda@med.umich.edu.
Under-represented students (e.g., ethic minorities, first-generation college students, students from low-income families, LGBT
students, students with disabilities) are especially encouraged to apply. More information of Dr. Tso's lab can be found here: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ivytso-lab/

Credit Offered? 3-4 credits (PSY 200, 322, or 326)
Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

Project Director: Ka I Ip
Email:kaip@umich.edu
Title of Project: A cross-cultural study on parent’s concept of maladaptive behavior in young children. 
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical and Developmental

Project Description:
Parents’ beliefs about child behavior are central components of child development and socialization. Although parents in every culture have intuitive or folk concepts of negative child behavior, comparative cross-cultural research on this topic has been extremely scant. This study examines Chinese and US parental attributions of children’s misbehavior, and how that is related to discipline strategies (e.g., reasoning, empathy building, physical punishment etc.) and children’s behavioral adjustment cross-nationally.  

Research assistants will be involved in literature review, coding, data entry, organization and analysis, manuscript preparation, lab meetings, and other lab-related tasks. Motivated students will have the opportunity to present results in regional or national conferences. This research opportunity is particularly valuable to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree or career in related to the field of developmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology and clinical psychology.

Please check out our website for more details: http://sites.lsa.umich.edu/olson-lab/

Applicants should send their CV and an unofficial copy of their transcript to Ka Ip at kaip@umich.edu

Time commitment requested: 9 - 12 Hours Per Week (flexible). Two full semester commitment required.

Qualifications of student:
Undergraduates majoring in Psychology, BCN, Statistics or related field who are interested in research. Students must be organized, reliable, motivated, and able to work independently. Students with experience using SPSS, SAS, Mplus and Matlab are preferred but not required. Students in good academic standing and with experience in research are encouraged to apply.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

PSY 326-448
SPRING/SUMMER Combined
Monthly Research Seminar and Addiction Studies Laboratory
Project Director:
 Dr. Robert Zucker
Overall Title of Project:  Michigan Longitudinal Study of Families at Risk for Substance Use Disorder
Email: cleacock@med.umich.edu to interview for acceptance into class.

Major Area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Psychopathology

Project Description: The Addiction Center provides continuing opportunities for students to gain experience as part of the Center's ongoing program of research studies. The current project includes data management for a 28 year-long longitudinal study of the development of risk for alcohol and substance use disorder.

Qualifications of student: Students who have declared Psychology, Neuroscience, or BCN majors and are extremely motivated, hard-working, reliable, and comfortable interacting with others are welcome to apply. Strong written and oral communication skills are essential along with basic computer skills. Students who have a 3.5 GPA in Psychology in the Junior or Senior year will be considered for an interview for a position in the class.

Time commitment requested: 9 hours lab per week including a one hour seminar once a month

Credit Offered? Yes:  3 Credits
Volunteer opportunities for no credit? Yes
Experience Needed? No  
Money Offered? No

 

Project Director: Robert A. Zucker Ph.D.
Contact: Cynthia Leacock
Email: cleacock@med.umich.edu
Title of Project:  Cognitive Behavior Techniques
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical

Project Description:  
Our lab researches using Cognitive Behavioral techniques to improve the functioning of individuals with chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, and/or substance use disorders.  More specifically, our projects include: 

1) examining whether a tailored telephone monitoring intervention with those with both substance use and psychiatric disorders increases utilization of outpatient substance disorder services following an episode of inpatient psychiatric treatment;

2) testing the effect of a CBT intervention for patients with chronic pain who are already engaged in VA outpatient treatment for substance use disorders compared to an attention control condition on measures of pain intensity, pain-related disability and pain-tolerance;

3) conducting a randomized control trial that is designed to determine the efficacy of a group based cognitive-behavioral pain management intervention in comparison to a Supportive Psycho-education Control (SPC) group in individuals with co-occurring pain and substance use disorders recruited at the start of residential treatment program;

4) Identifying and following a cohort of 800 individuals who are seeking to obtain medical marijuana and examine their substance use, pain, HIV risk profile, functioning, and health service use over the course of two years.

Research assistants participate in readings, discussion and daily research tasks which may include (but are not limited to):  scheduling participants, locating participants, data entry, gathering and creation of research materials, creating tracking systems, assisting with assessments, etc. Research assistants may also have an opportunity to assist in the grant/funding process.  These studies relate to psychology in both topic (ex. mental health disorders and treatments) and research tasks/experiences.

**This lab may require orientation, paperwork and forms to fill out, and training with the Veteran’s Administration prior to starting on study specific work**

Location: Ann Arbor Veteran’s Administration

Time commitment requested: 
Students should be doing 7.5 hours of lab work a week (97.5 total for the semester).

Qualifications of student: 
We only accept students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, who are committed to learning about research. Helpful prerequisites (not required but suggested) are Intro to Psychopathology, Stats 250, and Psych 303 - Research Methods in Psychology (you may take these at the same time as the lab). An interview is required.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? 
no
Money Offered? 
no
Work-Study Employment Offered? 
no

 

Project Director: Robert A. Zucker Ph.D. & Brian M. Hicks Ph.D.
Contact: Cynthia Leacock
Email: cleacock@med.umich.edu
Title of Project: Michigan Longitudinal Study
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical

Project Description:
Michigan Longitudinal Study
This lab researches how addiction, specifically alcohol, is passed down through families and the genetic/familial/environmental risk of developing substance use disorder. The study administers a long survey to a cohort of substance abusing men, their partners, and their children, and their grandchildren each year. Students are responsible for entering the data from these studies into a database. This is a good lab for students interested experience with data.

Location: Rachel Upjohn Building, East Medical Center, 4250 Plymouth Rd.

Time commitment requested: 
Students should be doing 7.5 hours of lab work a week (97.5 total for the semester).

Qualifications of student:
We only accept students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, who are committed to learning about research. Helpful prerequisites (not required but suggested) are Intro to Psychopathology, Stats 250, and Psych 303 - Research Methods in Psychology (you may take these at the same time as the lab). An interview is required.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? 
no
Money Offered? 
no
Work-Study Employment Offered? 
no

 

Project Director: Linas A. Bieliauskas, Ph.D.
Email: linas@umich.edu
Title of Project:Neuropsychological Changes with Normal and Abnormal Aging, Chronic Disease, and Head Injuries
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Biopsychology, Cognition and Perception

Project Description:
This description covers ongoing projects in the areas of aging, chronic disease, and head injuries which are conducted primarily at the associated Veterans Administration Hospital. Students will be involved in testing patients for cognitive and emotional status on admission to the nursing home care unit, veterans returning from the Gulf Wars area, patients with cardiovascular and liver disease, and normal aging subjects. Students will learn clinical skills associated with administering psychological tests, learn to administer and score various clinical test instruments, get experience with data entry, and learn the application of medical and psychological test data to research protocols. Team members meet weekly to coordinate activities, learn about relevant neuropsychological syndromes, and track progress of research projects. Honors theses are sponsored and encouraged, as well as participation in ongoing research protocols which result in national and international presentation and peer-reviewed publication. Travel to national sites for data collection and for meeting presentations is supported as resources are available.

Time commitment requested:  
Minimum of ½ day per week plus weekly meeting of 1 hour.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? 
no
Work-Study Employment Offered? 
no

 

Project Director: Michelle Kees
Email: mkees@umich.edu
Phone: 734.764.7328
Title of Project: Resilient Military Families
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Developmental

Project Description:
Through M-SPAN (Military Support Programs and Networks; www.m-span.org), we have a number of family-based programs developed to build resiliency and promote positive adjustment across the deployment cycle. Activities within our military family programs include therapeutic intervention groups for parenting young children and for building spouse resiliency, military family support and education groups, community service and outreach, and an extensive research component with surveys, focus groups, and program evaluation.

Students will have an opportunity to be involved in all phases of the various projects including team meetings, outreach activities with military families, collecting data from adults and children, co-leading child intervention groups, entering and analyzing data, and writing up results for presentation/publication. Students will gain in-depth knowledge and experience about how to conduct clinical research and opportunities for direct interaction with children.

Time commitment requested:
6-12 hours per week. Some evening time required. Potential weekend time.

Qualifications of student:
Research Assistants must have an interest and experience in working with children. Prefer someone with an interest and/or background in the military. Upper-level psychology majors with 3.0 GPA or higher preferred. Students must be reliable, detail-oriented, professional, and organized. Skills/experience with data entry and analyses is a plus. Individual interviews with project director and transcripts will be required.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

Project Director: Dr. Cynthia Ewell Foster, Department of Psychiatry
Email: cjfoster@med.umich.edu
Alternative Contact: Gigi Colombini: Adolescent Suicide Prevention Specialist, Macomb County Community Mental Health
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Community

Project Description:
A research assistant is needed to follow up with participants in a suicide prevention program via phone. The RA will receive crisis intervention training, gain clinical experience and assist with the research project.

Time commitment requested:8 hours/week

Qualifications of student:
Undergraduate majoring in psychology or a related field Evening work hours available Transportation to Chesterfield, MI required Previous research experience preferred, but not necessary

Credit Offered? no
Experience Only?
 yes
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? 
no

 

Project Director:Dr. Cynthia Ewell Foster, Department of Psychiatry
Email:cjfoster@med.umich.edu
Alternate Contact:Amanda Burnside
Email: amaburns@med.umich.edu
Title of Project:  SAMSHA Transforming Youth Suicide Program
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:  Clinical
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located:  Community

Project Description:
What is the best way to reach adolescents at risk for suicide? How can so-called gatekeepers (teachers, school counselors and others) recognize adolescents at risk for suicide and link them to the appropriate resources? Our SAMSHA-funded project is looking to answer these questions, after providing these gatekeepers with a suicide prevention training. A research assistant is needed for data entry and data organization. The research assistant should be self-motivated and energetic with attention to detail.

Time commitment requested:  5-10 hours/week (flexible)

Qualifications of student:
Undergraduate coursework in psychology; Transportation to the Rachel Upjohn Building; Previous work experience (with references)

Credit Offered? no
Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? 
no
Work-Study Employment Offered? 
no

 

Project Director: A. Zarina Kraal

Email: azkraal@med.umich.edu
Title of Project: Neuropsychological Changes with Normal and Abnormal Aging, Chronic Disease, and Head Injuries
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical
Related areas of Psychology in which this project is located:Biopsychology, Cognition and Perception

Project Description:
This description covers ongoing projects in the areas of aging, chronic disease, and head injuries which are  conducted primarily at the Ann Arbor Veterans Administration Hospital, which is accessible by the AATA bus system. Students will be primarily  involved in abstracting medical records for chart review, data entry and management, and learn the application of medical and psychological test data to research protocols. Students will also learn how to read and synthesize scientific articles, prepare literature reviews, and run statistical analyses using SPSS and R. Students who excel at their responsibilities will have the opportunity to learn how to administer neuropsychological and psychological tests on patients. There will be opportunities for students’ professional development including conducting an independent project to present at a regional or national conference, networking with researchers and clinicians in psychology and other health-related fields, learning how to give an effective oral presentation, and attending relevant talks. Students will also learn about relevant neuropsychological syndromes and attend a weekly lab meeting.

Applicants must send their CV/resume, an unofficial copy of their transcript, and a brief statement regarding their interest in this project to Zarina Kraal at azkraal@med.umich.edu.

Time commitment requested:  8-10 hours per week

Qualifications of student:

Undergraduates majoring in Psychology, BCN, or Neuroscience who are interested in research. Minimum two semester commitment required. Students must be hardworking, organized, reliable, motivated, and able to work independently. Students in good academic standing and with experience in research are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to students who are interested in vascular and cognitive function in chronic health conditions.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

Project Director:Tyler Grove
Email:tylerg@umich.edu
Title of Project:Emotion and Auditory Processing in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical

Project Description:
This study examines whether difficulties in localizing emotional and neutral auditory information is associated with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, social cognition, and social functioning. Research assistants will be involved in scheduling and running participants for the study, data entry, data organization, participating in lab meetings, and other lab-related tasks.

Applicants should send their CV and an unofficial copy of their transcript to Tyler Grove at tylerg@umich.edu.

Time commitment requested:10 Hours Per Week

Qualifications of student:
Undergraduates majoring in Psychology, BCN, or Neuroscience who are interested in research. Students must be organized, reliable, motivated, and able to work independently. Students in good academic standing and with experience in research are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to students who are interested in schizophrenia and, if possible, able to help during the spring and summer.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

Project Director:Dr. Rich Tolman
Email: rtolman@umich.edu
Title of Project:First-Time Fathers’ Prenatal Behaviors, Motivation to Parent and Partner, and Their Pregnant Partner's Perceived Support
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located:Developmental, Health

Project Description:
This project aims to fill a gap in knowledge about the prenatal experience of fathers, make an important contribution to the still very limited body of research on men's transition to fatherhood, and test a preventive intervention based on positive psychology principles to strengthen fathers’ parenting and partnering in the postnatal period. A research assistant is needed to assist with data management. SPSS proficiency and data management skills are a prerequisite.

Time commitment requested: 9-12 hours per week, April-June.

Qualifications of student:
The key requirement of this position is SPSS proficiency. Specifically, you must be adept at: -writing syntax in SPSS -variable creation -cleaning and merging datasets Additional qualifications include motivated, independent, responsive, reliable, and organized.

Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Project Director: Jeewon Oh

Emailjeewono@umich.edu

Title of Project: Emotional Word Processing in First and Second Language

Major Area of Psychology: Cognitive, specifically language acquisition

Project Description: This study compares first and second language processing. It investigates how different characteristics of language and the type of background experience facilitate language processing. You will be looking at a series of words and non-words and determine whether they were real words or not. We are studying this to better our understanding language processing and how different experiences with learning shapes language acquisition. The experiment will take less than 1 hour in the basement of East Hall. You may sign up to receive 1 hour of Subject Pool Credit for your Introductory Psychology class. 

You must be at least 18 years old and be a native Korean speaker who have lived in an English speaking environment for more than 4 years.

Project Director: Ipek Demirdag (graduate student in CCN) 

Project Director’s E-mail: ipekd@umich.edu

Title of Project: Cognitive Processes Underlying Consumer Decision-Making

Major Area of Psychology in which the project is located: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Area(s) of Psychology to which the program is related: Social

Description: Our research is dedicated to investigating certain factors that contribute to real-life decision-making, especially within the context of consumer decision-making. We are interested in the cognitive processes involved in 'how' those factors influence judgments and decisions. Research assistants will be able to assist the project director with literature review, subject recruitment and testing, data collection and entry, and data management. If you are enthusiastic about decision-making, consumer behavior, and behavioral research, this project is the one for you!

Time Commitment Requested: Approximately 9 hours per week for Fall 2016 and Winter 2017.

Qualifications of Student: We are looking for highly motivated, dependable, punctual, hard-working, detail-oriented, organized research assistants. Students should be eager to learn and be able to work both independently and with others. Past research experience with human subjects and previous statistics knowledge is desirable, but not required. Students must be proficient in Microsoft Excel and have basic computer skills. Interest in the field of cognition and cognitive neuroscience and consumer behavior is important.  A two-semester commitment is expected.

Interested students are encouraged to submit a resume/CV, unofficial transcript, and schedule for the Fall 2016 semester to Ipek Demirdag, ipekd@umich.edu. 

Yes Credit Offered 

No Money Offered

Yes Experience only 

Yes Work Study

 

 

Project Director: Haoyang Yan (graduate student in CCN)
Email: haoyangy@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project:  Judgment bias, Decision aids
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:  Social and Cognitive

Project Description: 
Our research is devoted to understanding how and why a certain decision is
made. We focus on explaining bizarre real-life decision making phenomena and
exploring decision aids that can make our world better. If you have insights
about decision making on the following topics: marketing, education, music,
life milestones, law, health, etc, this may be the place for you! Research
assistants (You!) will have a chance to get involved in the entire research
process. For example, you will get a chance to help with literature review and
experiment designs at the early stage of a project. You will also assist in
data collection, data analysis, and presentation preparation for research
experiments at the later stage. Opportunities to present research work and
initiate independent projects are possible.

Time commitment requested:
6-9 hours per week for Spring 2017 and/or Summer 2017. 6-9 hours per week
for Fall 2017 and Winter 2018.

Qualifications of student:
We are looking for highly driven students who are reliable, punctual, and
detail-oriented in research work. You should be excited about the research
process, and take initiative to learn as much as you can from this opportunity.
We prefer that you have a flexible schedule, and feel comfortable working
both independently and interactively. Preference will be given to students
who are available starting Spring 2016 and able to stay more than two terms. Previous
research experience is preferred but not required, as you will be able to gain
necessary skills if you have a great learning attitude. Basic computer skills
are required.

Credit offered: yes
Money: no
Experience only: maybe but prefer assistants who can register for credit
Workstudy: yes

 

Project Director: Alex Hall-Ruiz
Alternate Contact: Chelsea Zabel
Email: czabel@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Cognitive and motivational processes involved in ADHD
Major area of psychology: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Project Description:
We are interested in investigating how ADHD affects performance on cognitive tasks and whether there are additional factors that mediate the relationship between an ADHD diagnosis and impaired task performance. We utilize behavioral measures and in the future may incorporate neuroimaging and/or pharmacological manipulations in our research.

Students will be expected to assist with subject recruitment and testing as well as data entry, and may have the opportunity to assist with data processing and analysis. Through these experiences, students will have the chance to gain familiarity with software commonly used in the field (SPSS, E-Prime, etc.).

Qualifications of student:
Psychology, BBCS, and Neuroscience majors are especially encouraged to apply. An interest in pursuing a career in psychological and behavioral research is a plus. Students must be proficient with Microsoft Excel and other basic computer programs. Experience working with human participants in a research setting is desirable, but not required. Students should be hard-working, detail-oriented, reliable, and organized. A desire to learn as well as good communication and interpersonal skills are also important.

Interested students should submit a resume, unofficial transcript, and schedule for the Winter 2016 semester to Chelsea Zabel, czabel@umich.edu.

Time commitment requested: 9-15 hours/week; 2 semester minimum commitment.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? yes

 

Project Director: Daniel Weissman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology
Email: danweiss@umich.edu

Title of Project: Minimizing Distraction
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Project Description: Since selective attention is far from perfect, we are often distracted by irrelevant stimuli. Our main objective is to understand the psychological and neural mechanisms that minimize distraction and how these mechanisms operate differently in special populations. To this end, we are employing both behavioral and functional neuroimaging approaches to investigate how humans minimize distraction.

Undergraduate researchers will gain valuable research skills including learning to (1) read and understand real scientific journal articles, (2) design cognitive psychology experiments in the fields of attention and cognitive control, (3) conduct basic statistical analyses of data using Microsoft Excel and SPSS, (4) give effective and well-organized oral presentations with PowerPoint, and, possibly, (5) write a scientific paper for an academic journal. Undergraduates will also gain valuable teamwork skills including learning to (1) interact appropriately with human subjects, (2) work effectively in a lab group as a cooperative and responsible colleague, and (3) pass on knowledge and skills to other members of the team.

Time Commitment Requested: Approximately 9 hours per week

Qualifications of student: This opportunity is for highly motivated students who are interested in how humans minimize distraction and who want to begin a research experience in September, 2014. Students should be dependable, hard-working, and enthusiastic about the research topic. If accepted, students will be expected to enroll in Psych 326 (independent study) for two semesters. If things go well after one semester, then, at the discretion of the professor, students may conduct research toward an Honors Thesis. Interested students should e-mail Professor Weissman (danweiss@umich.edu) a resume, which lists their computer skills (computer programming, SPSS, Microsoft Office, etc.), GPA, and major. The body of the e-mail message should explain how the student’s interests fit with Professor Weissman’s research investigating the mechanisms that enable humans to minimize distraction (https://www.lsa.umich.edu/psych/people/faculty/ci.weissmandaniel_ci.detail).

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? no
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

 

Project Director: Amira Ibrahim
Emailibrahiam@umich.edu

Title of Project: The Role of Working Memory in Mathematics Learning
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Developmental Psychology

Project Description:

Working memory is a limited resource, and sometimes learning new information can overload our working memory making it more difficult for us to learn. Our main objective is to study the role of working memory in mathematics learning.  Utilizing two different learning procedures, we will assess the benefits of each procedure under different conditions. We will also be exploring the effects of individual differences on mathematics learning. The initial study is currently in its beginning stages and future directions may include fMRI or EEG approaches to assess this topic. This is a great opportunity for undergraduates to gain experience in study design and procedures. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about the background and underlying theories related to various topics currently being explored in the lab.

Time Commitment Requested: 8+ hours per week

Qualifications of student:

We are looking for students who are highly motivated to learn about the research process.  Students are expected to be dependable, hard working, pay close attention to detail, and able to work independently.  Also it is crucial that students are organized and have strong interpersonal skills.  Past research experience in cognitive psychology would be great, but just an interest in the field and enthusiasm to learn is most important.  A minimum of a two-semester commitment is preferred. Interested applications should send their resume/CV and a copy of their unofficial transcript to Amira Ibrahim at ibrahiam@umich.edu.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? no
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

Project Director: Jun Zhang
Email: junz@umich.edu

Title of Project: Theory-of-Mind Reasoning and Application
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology

Project Description:

Theory-of-mind (ToM) reasoning involves reasoning about desire, belief, and motivation of others and of oneself, and is often recursive in nature (“I think you think I think …”). In Hedden and Zhang (2002), we developed an experimental paradigm to probe the depth of ToM reasoning in a two-person, three-step sequential game. Follow-up studies (Zhang et al, 2012) investigated the role of perspective taking in ToM recursion. This line of investigation is now evolving into new two directions: 1) strategic inter-personal reasoning with mis-information and deception; 2) theological reasoning about the existence of a “superior being”. Undergraduate students interested in either direction are invited to participate in this project, starting with an early research experience (Psych 326) or faculty directed tutorial reading (Psych 420), which in limited situation can be substituted by a field practicum course (Psych 322/404/405), and continue as faculty-directed research lab (Psych 328) or advanced research (Psych 422), with possibility of pursing an Honors thesis (Psych 424/426). Exceptional students will be considered for sponsorship into the Accelerated Degree Program (ADP).

Time commitment requested: Approx. 3 hrs/week

Qualifications of student:

  1. Strong interest and potential career in psychological research;
  2. Highly motivated, detail-oriented, and insatious intellectual curiosity;
  3. Interdisciplinary background (outside psychology) in economics, mathematics, computer science, evolution biology, anthropology, etc
  4. GPA 3.3 and higher;
  5. Cross-cultural experience and/or religious exposure may offer unique perspectives to this project.   


Credit Offered? yes

Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

Developmental, Education and Psychology

Project Director: Dr. Kate Rosenblum, Dr. Maria Muzik
Alternate Contact:  Lindsay Hayes
Email: linhayes@med.umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Zero to Thrive Research Projects
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical, Developmental


Project Description:
There are many research projects/programs at the University Of Michigan Department of Psychiatry that encompass the women, infant and early childhood populations. All projects focus on supporting the wellbeing and mental health of women, infants, and young children. Some projects also focus on special populations, such as women who are in the perinatal period, and fathers. Students will have the opportunity to work on some or all of these projects.

We are looking for students to assist with a variety of research tasks, such as data entry and verification, transcribing narrative interviews, video, coding, helping with child care at data assessments, assisting with interventions targeting high-risk families, administrative office tasks and potential qualitative coding opportunities. In addition, this position offers the opportunity for learning about developmental and clinical research, interventions for parents of young children, and administrative aspects of running longitudinal and intervention studies.

If you are interested please contact Lindsay Hayes at linhayes@med.umich.edu

Time commitment requested: 9 hours/week. 

Qualifications of student: Research Assistants must have an interest and experience in working with families and children. Students must be reliable, detail-oriented, professional, and organized. Skills/experience with data entry and analyses is a plus. Individual interviews with the research team will be required.

Credit Offered: yes
Experience only: no
Money: no
Work study: maybe

 

Project Director: Supervisor: Ka Ip; PI: Kate Fitzgerald, MD

Email: kaip@umich.edu
Project Title: Identifying Brain Markers of Child Anxiety and Depression
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical and Developmental

Project Description:

Internalizing disorders such as anxiety and depression that present early in childhood are often associated with a more chronic course and may result in more adverse outcomes than disorders that emerge late. Identifying brain/bio-markers that relate to the development of internalizing problems early in life could improve the prognosis and identification of treatment for youth with internalizing disorders. The aim of the study is to identify early neurophysiological risk markers [i.e., error-related negativity (ERN) and fear-potentiated startle (FPS)] of child anxiety and depression using EEG/ERP methodology with clinically (and sub-clinically) anxious children aged 4 – 9.

Students will gain hands-on experience conducting pediatric brain/ERP research and/or interacting with pediatric/clinical population. Other-related research experiences include (but not limited to) subject recruitment and scheduling, data organization and analysis, literature review, lab-meetings. Motivated students will have the opportunity to present results in regional or national conferences, and work on honors thesis and manuscripts for publication. This research opportunity is particularly valuable to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree or career related to clinical psychology, social work, child psychiatry, public health, and medicine.

Time commitment: 6 - 9 hours per week in 3-hour shifts; Mandatory trainings will be held on Tuesdays 3pm – 6pm. A two-semester (a full-year is preferred) commitment and weekend availability is also required for data collection.

Student Qualifications: Must have a car on campus for transportation; EEG data collection is located in Rachael Upjohn Building (4250 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48109). Experience working with young children (and not afraid) is preferred. We are seeking highly motivated students that are fast learners, with strong communication skills, and can work both independently and collaboratively.

Inquiry can be directed to Ka Ip kaip@umich.edu

Lab experience only: preferred but not necessary. 

Credit Offered: Yes
Money: No
Work Study: No

 

 

Project Director: Kate Blumstein

Email: kpblum@umich.edu

Title of Project: A cross-cultural study on parent’s concept of maladaptive behavior in young children. 

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical and Developmental

Project Description:

Parents’ beliefs about child behavior are central components of child development and socialization. Although parents in every culture have intuitive or folk concepts of negative child behavior, comparative cross-cultural research on this topic has been extremely scant. This study examines Spanish, Chinese, and U.S. parental attributions of children’s misbehavior, and how that is related to discipline strategies (e.g., reasoning, empathy building, physical punishment etc.) and children’s behavioral adjustment cross-nationally.  

We are currently focused on collecting and coding our Spanish data, so research assistants must be fluent in Spanish and are expected to be involved in literature review, coding, data entry, organization and analysis, manuscript preparation, lab meetings, and other lab-related tasks. Motivated students will have the opportunity to present results in regional or national conferences. This research opportunity is particularly valuable to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree or career in related to the field of developmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology and clinical psychology.

Please check out our website for more details: http://sites.lsa.umich.edu/olson-lab/

Applicants should send their CV and an unofficial copy of their transcript to Kate Blumstein at kpblum@umich.edu

Time commitment requested: 9 - 12 Hours Per Week (flexible). Two full semester commitment required.

Qualifications of student: Undergraduates majoring in Psychology, BCN, Statistics or related field who are interested in research. Students must be fluent in Spanish, organized, reliable, motivated, and able to work independently. Students with experience using SPSS, SAS, Mplus and Matlab are preferred but not required. Students in good academic standing and with experience in research are encouraged to apply.

Credit Offered? Yes

Experience Only? yes

Money Offered? no

Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

 

Project Director: Brenda Volling, Matthew Stevenson

Alternate Contact: Matthew Stevenson
Email: mattstev@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: The BigSib Study
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Developmental

Project Description:
The BigSib Study is currently collecting follow up data from The Family Relationships Project. Briefly, the Family Relationships Project previously followed families across the transition to the birth of the second child and how the older sibling adjusted when the baby was brought home. We are currently following up on the younger and older siblings when they are aged 9-15 (e.g. The BigSib Study). We are interested in how early parenting influences children’s later outcomes with respect to sibling relationships, family relationships, social skills with peers, and psychopathology.


Research assistants will mostly be involved in face-to-face interviews of younger and older siblings either in the family home (local) or via Skype (when the family has moved). Research assistants will also provide minor help with literature review, data entry, organization, and other lab-related tasks as needed. The experience offered is particularly valuable to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree or career in developmental psychology, clinical psychology, or social work. Students will be trained in basic interviewing skills.


Time commitment requested: 6-9 hours per week

Qualifications of student:
Undergraduates majoring in Psychology or a related field who are interested in research, parent-child relationships, and sibling relationships. Scheduling flexibility is required as students will often be required to interview children afternoons, evenings, and weekends to accommodate family work schedules and children’s school schedules. Good academic standing is required.


Credit Offered: yes
Experience Only: maybe
Money Offered: no
Work-Study Employment Offered: no

 

Project Director: John W. Hagen PhD
Email:  jwhagen@umich.edu


Overall Title of Project: Identifying Trends In Research on Children
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Developmental

Project Description: 

John W. Hagen, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, is conducting a major project in which trends in publications in leading journals in child/human development are analyzed. Until around 3 decades ago, research in child development has been focused primarily on white, middle-class children in the United States. Recently, researchers have come to recognize serious gaps in our knowledge about children of different races and ethnicities, as well as those with atypical or abnormal developmental patterns. Currently analyses are being conducted on published studies with emphases on historical trends, current directions and specific areas including content, methods or design, and subject characteristics such as race/ethnicity, gender, and nationality. In the initial phase of this project, covering trends from 1930-1979, articles published in Child Development (CD) were coded for the following categories: topics of study, such as physical growth and cognitive and emotional development; type of paradigms used; and characteristics of the investigators, such as disciplines and number of authors. Later we added categories to identify characteristics of subjects studied. Most recently, the analyses were extended from 2007-2014, and included publications from Developmental Psychology (DP) and Developmental Science (DS). Collectively these three journals represent the Big Three of empirical journals in developmental psychology/science. We aim to determine whether publication trends apply to the field as a whole or are specific to particular journals. Further, we are investigating trends over time as well as differences based on national origin of the study and divergent ways of assessing of socioeconomic status.


Time commitment requested:
2-4 hours a week
Qualifications of student:

No research experience is necessary but is strongly preferred. Students should have a strong understanding of research methods and experience with statistical analysis.

Students will have the opportunity to receive academic credit through Psych 326, or other independent study courses, for participation in this project. They may also be involved in developing new categories of study as well as creating presentations of this research. As a result of this experience, students will learn coding, data analyses, and drafting written reports.

Credit offered: yes
Money: no
Experience only: no
Workstudy: no

 

Project Director:  Adriene Beltz (abeltz)
Alternate Contact: Amy Loviska (amlovisk)
Email: msdresearch@umich.edu

Title of Project: Estrogen and Human Affective, Behavioral, and Cognitive Sex Differences

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Developmental Psychology

Project Description: Have you ever wondered why men and women think differently? Do you see the world as a system of interacting parts? Are you curious about the ways people change over time? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then join a lab that works to answer them! The Methods, Sex differences, and Development – M(SD) – lab directed by Dr. Adriene Beltz in the Psychology department is looking for highly motivated undergraduate research assistants to help with projects on sex hormones, brain networks, and human development. As a research assistant, you would play a vital role in the lab by working with data, running test sessions, presenting research findings, and more! If you are interested, read more about the lab and apply online via the research assistant form at http://sites.lsa.umich.edu/abeltz-lab/.

Time commitment requested: 10 hours per week 

Qualifications of student: To be a research assistant in M(SD) lab, we require a commitment of at least 10 hours per week. These hours are to be completed between 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. One hour out of the 10 hour weekly commitment will be dedicated to attend a weekly lab meeting. You must be currently enrolled in or have taken psychology or biology courses at the college level. Successful research assistants in M(SD) lab will be self-motivated and conscientious, have good attention to detail, and be ready to ask questions. 

Credit Offered? Yes
Experience Only? 
Yes
Money Offered?: 
No
Work-Study Employment Offered? 
No

 

Project Director: Christy Li

Email: litinyan@umich.edu

Title of Project: Investigation of reading acquisition in typically developing Cantonese bilingual children

Study investigators: Christy Li, Rebecca Marks, Dr. Ioulia Kovelman

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Developmental

Project Description:

Do you speak Cantonese? Are you interested in bilingualism? Cantonese is recognized as a difficult language to learn for native-English speakers, not only because it is a tonal language but it has a pictorial writing system that consists of 20,000+ characters. While Mandarin has four tones, Cantonese has nine (with pitch and contour shaping each syllable’s meaning). Our research hopes to understand how bilingual exposure to Chinese affect children’s literacy through behavioral measures of phonological and morphological competence. Research assistants will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience such as recruiting participants, running experiments, creating and organizing spreadsheets in Excel and SPSS, and possibly data analysis. Research assistants can join on a volunteer basis or receive experiential credit for PSYCH 326.

Time commitment requested: 6-12 hours per week

Qualifications of research assistants:

Fluent in Cantonese

Strongly motivated, accountable, willing to learn

Comfortable interacting with others, especially children

Psychology (or related) majors, or those who intend to be psychology majors

Credit offered: Yes

Money: No

Experience only: No

Work-study: No

 

Project Director: Dr. Chris Monk

Contact: Adrienne Woods, Graduate Student (adrwoods@umich.edu)

Title of Project: Understanding Educational Outcomes for At-Risk Youth and Adolescents

Area of Research: Developmental Psychology, Clinical Psychology, & Education

Time: 6-12 hours per week

Credit Offered: Yes

Money: No

Project Description: This project involves ongoing research with at-risk Detroit and Toledo teens and their families as a follow-up to a longitudinal study that began at the children’s birth. Currently, the study is investigating developmental and academic outcomes as a result of growing up in poverty. Researchers are collecting multiple forms of data, through home visits, observational tasks, computer games, clinical interviews, genetic analyses, fMRI scans, and survey measures. Additionally, adolescents' schools are contacted in order to obtain comprehensive school records from kindergarten onward, including disciplinary reports, GPA, special education information, school transfers, and standardized testing scores.

We are looking for 2-3 undergraduate students to join this project, who will play a major role in data collection, input, and interpretation. As a part of the research team, students will have the opportunity to assist with data collection (contacting schools to request school records, sending/receiving faxed information, coordinating drop offs and pick-ups with schools), and managing data (scanning and uploading documents, coding documents, data entry, and data cleaning). Students will also gain experience working with SPSS, REDCap, and Microsoft Excel. Finally, students are expected to participate in weekly meetings, and will have the opportunity to learn about participant recruitment, large scale data collection, longitudinal studies, educational records, and educational policy.

Please visit our website to learn more about our research:

http://mindlab.psych.lsa.umich.edu/logik_project/adolescent-wellbeing-and-brain-development-study/

Qualifications: Proficiency in writing and computer operating systems (PC), familiarity with Excel, availability to commit to at least 6 hours each week. Must have taken or be currently enrolled in PSYCH 111/112. Previous lab experience or familiarity with data/research desired, though not required. 

 

Project Director: Dr. Frederick Morrison

Overall Title of Project: Pathways to Literacy Laboratory, Schooling Effects on Executive Function

Alternate Contact: Barbara Dennis, bsdennis@umich.edu

Major Area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Developmental, Educational, Cognitive

Project Description:

We are currently conducting an exciting research project that is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In collaboration with local elementary schools, we are exploring the role of schooling on children’s ability to regulate their behavior, and how this relates to their academic success. In doing so, we are taking a three-pronged approach to gain a better understanding of these important skills by looking at: children’s behavior and academic achievement, brain-based games that examine these skills from a neurological level, and classroom-level analyses to determine what teachers are doing to foster these important skills.

Duties:

We are looking for students that are able to travel and assist with data collection at our participating schools. Staff will be trained to administer an academic and behavioral battery as well as assist in EEG data collection. Great experience and skill building in the areas of: child interaction, data collection, video coding, data management, developmental psychology.

Time Commitment:

Specific ability to commit to working either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday weekly from 8:00am-4:00pm.

Qualifications:

Experience observing or interacting with children. Previous research experience in quantitative research methods preferred. Detail-oriented and reliable. Project is located off campus, transportation to schools will be provided.

Credit: Yes

Money: No

W/S: No

Experience/ Volunteer Only: Yes

 

 

 

Project Director: Dr. Fred Morrison

Contact: Nick Waters, Lab Manager (nickwat@umich.edu)

Area of Research: Developmental Psychology and Education

Time: 6-18 hours per week

Credit Offered: Yes

Money: No

Project Description: This project examines development of school readiness in early elementary school students (ages 5 - 7). Additionally, the project explores development of academic skills, including self-regulation. The project combines behavioral measures with academic and cognitive testing, and also includes a neuroscience component (ERP). The project explores associations between laboratory-based measures of executive function (EF) and school-based assessments of self-regulation and effortful control in school-aged children. The project also aims to identify features of classroom instruction (including teacher behavior and language) that are associated with the development of children’s EF skills.

We are looking for 3-4 undergraduate students to join the Pathways to Literacy Lab. As a part of the research team, students will have the opportunity to assist with data coding (academic/behavioral assessments, EEG testing, and classroom observations), and data management (surveys). Students will also gain experience working with SPSS, Qualtrics, qualitative and qualitative study design and analysis, data collection, and participant
recruitment. Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to be trained in electrophysiological and genetic data collection and analysis.

Please visit our lab website to learn more about our research:

http://sites.lsa.umich.edu/pathways-lab/

Qualifications: Proficiency in writing and computer operating systems (PC and Mac), familiarity with Excel, availability to commit at least 6 hours each week (at least one full weekday to go out to schools with the Research Team, preferably early in the week), experience working with children, previous lab experience desired, though not required. Interest in early childhood education and cognitive development. Prefer student who has completed or is enrolled in PSYCH 111 or 112, and who can commit to two semesters or more. 

Project Director: Danielle Labotka

Project Director Phone Number: 630-805-4118
Project Director E-mail: dlabotka@umich.edu

Alternate Contact: Natalie Davidson
Alternate Contact’s E-mail: nsdavid@umich.edu

Title of Project: Children’s Talk with Native and Foreign Individuals

Major Area of Psychology in which the project is located: Developmental

Area(s) of Psychology to which the program is related: Social, Cognitive

Description:

Throughout our daily lives, we know to adjust our language according to whom we’re speaking. For instance, when asking a professor for a favor, we will use much more formal and polite language than we would if we were asking a friend. This project asks the question: how do children learn to use social information to adjust their speech?

This study aims to answer the question by seeing how children as well as adults produce speech differentially depending on social categories they have knowledge of –in particular, native versus foreign individuals. As such, we are looking for the assistance of both American and international students (See below for more information).

Research assistants will be testing participants (in brief, game-like tasks) and will also have the opportunity to assist in other aspects of research such transcribing dialogue, coding responses, and entering data.

Time Commitment Requested: 6-12 hours/week

Qualifications of Student:

  • International, female students.
    • If international, from a non-Anglophone country (i.e. not UK, Australia, etc.)
  • Students who are psychology majors or majors in other related fields.
  • A GPA of 3.5 or greater.
  • Basic computer knowledge including MS Office is required.
  • Available for at least two semesters.
  • Prior research experience is not required; training will be provided.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? no
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no
 

Project Director: Stephen J. Aguilar
Alternate Contact:  Stuart Karabenick
Email:  aguilars@umich.edu

Title of Project: Studying the Motivational Affordance of Visualizations Depicting Academic Information
Major area of Psychology in which this project is located:  Education & Psychology, Learning Analytics

Project Description:

Has a professor ever shared the class average on an exam with you, or the rest of the class? How did having that extra information make you feel? More motivated? Less motivated? What if the same information was accessible to you via a web-application, but instead of being a number it was some sort of visualization, like a graph? Would this change how you feel about the same information?

The goal of this project is to explore these questions. Research assistants will play a key role in helping to conceptualize the underlying mechanisms that may drive students to interpret visualizations of their academic information in ways that are motivationally adaptive or maladaptive.  Research assistants will conduct cognitive interviews, analyze various types of data including: interview transcripts, eye-tracking data, and survey data. Research assistants will also be involved in literature review, coding, data entry, and manuscript preparation.

RA's will develop both qualitative and quantitative analytic skills. Motivated students will have the opportunity to present results in regional or national conferences. Students interested in studying the psychological impacts of learning technologies will find this work of interest. 

Time commitment requested:  6-12 hours per week (flexible). Potential evening and weekend time. 

Qualifications of student: Students must be reliable, detail-oriented, professional, and organized. Students should be able to work independently when needed, be responsive to email, and be comfortable using online collaborative applications (e.g., Google Apps).  

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? no
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no  

 

Project Director: Ka I Ip

Email: kaip@umich.edu


Title of Project: A cross-cultural study on parent’s concept of maladaptive behavior in young children. 
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical and Developmental

Project Description:
Parents’ beliefs about child behavior are central components of child development and socialization. Although parents in every culture have intuitive or folk concepts of negative child behavior, comparative cross-cultural research on this topic has been extremely scant. This study examines Chinese and US parental attributions of children’s misbehavior, and how that is related to discipline strategies (e.g., reasoning, empathy building, physical punishment etc.) and children’s behavioral adjustment cross-nationally.  

Research assistants will be involved in literature review, coding, data entry, organization and analysis, manuscript preparation, lab meetings, and other lab-related tasks. Motivated students will have the opportunity to present results in regional or national conferences. This research opportunity is particularly valuable to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree or career in related to the field of developmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology and clinical psychology.

Please check out our website for more details: http://sites.lsa.umich.edu/olson-lab/

Applicants should send their CV and an unofficial copy of their transcript to Ka Ip at kaip@umich.edu

Time commitment requested: 9 - 12 Hours Per Week (flexible). Two full semester commitment required.

Qualifications of student:
Undergraduates majoring in Psychology, BCN, Statistics or related field who are interested in research. Students must be organized, reliable, motivated, and able to work independently. Students with experience using SPSS, SAS, Mplus and Matlab are preferred but not required. Students in good academic standing and with experience in research are encouraged to apply.

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? yes
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

Project Director:  Susan Gelman
Alternate Contact: Elizabeth (Lily) Uribe
Email: eduribe@umich.edu  

Overall Title of Project: Language and Conceptual Development in Children
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:Developmental, Cognitive

Project Description:

Our research examines concept and language development in young children, 2-10 years of age.  Many of our studies take place in our on-campus laboratory; some research is conducted in local preschools.  Ongoing topics include ownership, authenticity, social categories, and value.  Some tasks are brief, game-like experiments with young children. Other tasks involve videotaping, transcribing, and coding parent-child interactions. Research assistants will have the opportunity to test participants (young children and undergraduates), enter data into Excel, code dialogue between a parent and child, and be involved in the day-to-day lab activities in the Conceptual Development Lab. For more information, you can view our lab website: http://umconceptlab.com.

Time commitment requested: 6 - 12 hours per week.

Qualifications of student: 

  • Students who are psychology majors, or majors in other related fields.
  • A GPA of 3.5 or greater.
  • Basic computer knowledge including MS Office is required.
  • Knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and web design desirable, but not required.
  • Available for at least two semesters.
  • Prior research experience is not required; training will be provided. 

Credit Offered: yes
Money: no
Experience only: maybe
Workstudy: no

 

Project Director:Twila Tardif
Email: twila@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project:Language Development in English and Chinese
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:Developmental, Psycholinguistics

Project Description:
How do children learn language? What factors influence language development, and do these factors change over time? How do language skills shape other aspects of development? Does the language learning process differ for children learning different languages? What mechanisms in this process are universal, and which vary based on linguistic or cultural differences? Our laboratory collaborates with other laboratories in China and Singapore to examine these and related questions.

Our studies look longitudinally at English-learning and Chinese-learning children, assessing various linguistic skills, as well as information about the childrenfs backgrounds, their language learning environment, literacy skills, IQ, visual spatial skills, and processing speed. We hope to use this information to develop a comprehensive model of language development.

Research assistants will gain valuable experience in the domains of language development, cross-cultural and longitudinal methodologies, statistical methods, and general research practices. This includes some data analysis (primarily in Excel and SPSS), transcribing, coding, and translating. Hours are fairly flexible, and training will be provided.

Time commitment requested:   8-12 hours per week

Qualifications of student:

We are looking for people who are Native Mandarin speakers ipreferably from the Beijing area or other areas of northern Chinaj, majoring in psychology or linguistics. Some basic knowledge of statistics is preferred, but not required. Familiarity with Microsoft Excel and SPSS are strongly recommended.

Credit Offered:yes      
Money: no
Experience only: no
Workstudy: no

 

Project Director: Richard Nisbett
Email: nisbett@umich.edu

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:Developmental
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located:Cognitive, Cultural, Social

Time commitment requested:9-12 hours per week for at least one semester.

Qualifications of student:
Motivated, independent, reliable, and organized. Students should also be humble and willing to learn. Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills are required, as is general computer proficiency in MS office. Additional computer skills (programming, SPSS, etc) are preferred but not required. Psychology majors who would like to learn about research on intelligence, wisdom, and culture.

Credit Offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience only: Yes
Workstudy: Yes

 

Project Director:Rick Price
Email:ricprice@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project:Innovators and Entrepreneurs: Psychology and Strategy
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Developmental
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Personality and Social Context; Social Psychology

Project Description:
This project is about innovators and entrepreneurs. Are they different from the rest of us? Do they think and act in distinctive ways? Innovators and entrepreneurs are people who put their new ideas to use in the world. Their dream may be to create a new business, help a disadvantaged group or save the environment, but beneath the surface they share a common set of strategies. We will study how they frame problems, marshal persuasive tactics and manage cooperation as they turn their vision into a new enterprise.

We are looking for students who are passionate about doing research to gain a deeper understanding of the psychology and strategies used by innovators and entrepreneurs. Students will have a chance to interview innovators and entrepreneurs, work in teams, review the popular and scholarly literature, analyze interviews, write case studies and analyze existing data sets. Students interested in doing undergraduate honors theses or applying to graduate school will find this project especially useful.

You will learn: How to conduct interviews, do observational and archival research, design and write case studies, and the practical skills for doing research at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Time commitment requested:8-12 hours per week [2-4 credits; negotiable]

Qualifications of student:

Students should be majors in psychology or majors relevant to the content of this project who are highly motivated, organized and reliable, detail-oriented, hard-working, passionate about the topic, genuinely interested in gaining research experience, and capable of working as a part of a team of researchers. Students who want to make a 2-semester commitment are especially encouraged to apply. Some previous research experience and writing skills preferred.

Credit Offered: yes
Money: yes (negotiable)
Experience only: no     
Workstudy: no

 

Project Director:Julie Lumeng, MD, Katherine Rosenblum, PhD, Alison Miller, PhD
Alternate Contact: Sara Johnson
Email:MaternalFeeding@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: The Maternal Feeding Study
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Developmental

Project Description:
The current longitudinal study examines maternal feeding styles, parenting behavior, and childhood obesity in mothers and their preschool-aged children. The goal of the study is to characterize maternal feeding styles in families of low socioeconomic status and address gaps in the current literature surrounding childhood obesity. Participating families agree to a series of semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, recorded mealtimes, and a food experiment located both on campus and in the field. These protocols occur during the day and/or into the later afternoon in communities up to 1.5 hours from Ann Arbor, and this position therefore requires availability in the evening. Data collection occurs in a family's home and in child care settings. Undergraduate students are needed to work in the field as aides to the research assistants conducting protocol. Duties may include helping with preparation of research materials (weighing food, setting up protocols), engaging with the mothers and their children, providing activities for the children while their mothers participate in research, and other office tasks (phone calls).

Time commitment requested:   4-10 hours per week, more if interested; most times will be during the evening between the hours of 3-7pm. Must be willing to accompany research assistant into the field (transportation provided).

Qualifications of student:
Interested students must show initiative, be professional, motivated, personable, and comfortable around small children. Psychology and outside majors applicable. Competition of a background check will be performed before student can go into field.

Credit Offered:   no
Money: no
Experience only: yes
Workstudy: yes

Health Organizational

Project Director: Robert A. Zucker Ph.D. and Brian M. Hicks Ph.D.
Alternate Contact: Angela Galka
Email: anti@med.umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Brief Intervention Lab
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Health Organizational

Project Description:  Brief Intervention Lab

Studies in this lab research the effectiveness of a brief intervention for younger patients in Primary Care or in the Emergency Room. The research examines whether or not a 10-15 minutes psycho-educational intervention change or prevent behaviors such as risky behaviors, violence, and substance abuse.  Some of the work compares outcomes of a brief intervention delivered by a clinician to a brief intervention delivered by a computer-based module. Students help with participant recruitment, completing follow up surveys by phone, maintaining participant contact, data entry, and filing.

Location: North Campus Research Complex


Time commitment requested: Students should be doing 7.5 hours of lab work a week

(97.5 total for the semester).


Qualifications of student: We only accept students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, who are committed to learning about research. Helpful prerequisites (not required but suggested) are Intro to Psychopathology, Stats 250, and Psych 303 - Research Methods in Psychology (you may take these at the same time as the lab). An interview is required.

Credit Offered: yes
Experience only: 
no
Money: 
no
Work-study: 
no

Personality

Project Director: Aki Gormezano

Email: agormeza@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Dominance or Submission? The Role of Culture in Preference for Hierarchy

Major area of Psychology in which this project is located: Personality and Social Contexts, Cultural Psychology

Project Description:

Imagine you are meeting somebody new for the first time. They've just sat down across from you, stretching out their legs and draping an arm across the chair next to them. How might your posture change and how might this influence the dynamic of your relationship?

Researchers have identified a human preference for hierarchy in task based situations; we seek out hierarchy, even if informal, because it will help us get that task done. This is reflected in our posture upon meeting someone; we are more likely to complement the expansiveness of a partner’s posture than we are to mirror it. This is called ‘dominance complementarity.’ But when, where, and for whom does this tendency towards hierarchy exist? We will investigate the aspects of culture, personality, and situation upon which dominance complementarity varies amongst individuals.

Time commitment requested: Flexible Hours (but able to commit to the time(s) you choose to schedule). Course credit is available to students who remain in the lab for more than one semester.

Qualifications of student:

Interested students must be organized and able to effectively communicate with others. All experience levels are welcome.

Credit Offered: Maybe

Money: No

Experience only: No

Workstudy: No

 

 

Project Director: Andrea Belgrade
Email: belgrade@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Dual Citizens or Divided Loyalties? The Impact of Identity Integration on Intergroup Relations

Major area of Psychology in which this project is located: Personality and Social Contexts, Cultural Psychology

Project Description:

Past research on intergroup relations primarily focused on the interactions between in-group members (those which whom you identify) and out-group members (those which whom you do not identify), excluding those who identify with multiple groups (i.e. immigrants, biculturals, etc.). By 2050, however, it is estimated that over a third of the US population will be made up of first-and second-generation immigrants, demonstrating a need to understand how these individuals navigate these multiple identities. Rightly or wrongly, immigrants are often accused of experiencing a sense of divided loyalty between their national groups; we will attempt to distinguish between people who are perceived to interact with their identity groups in this conflicting way and those that do not to measure how this affects the perceivers' level of trust for these individuals.

Time commitment requested: Flexible Hours, but must be able to commit to the time you choose to schedule. Course credit is available to students who remain in the lab for more than one semester.

Qualifications of student:
Interested students must be organized and able to effectively communicate with others. We welcome all experience levels. 

Credit Offered: Maybe
Money: No
Experience only: No
Workstudy: No

 

Social

Project Director: Ka Ip

Email: kaip@umich.edu
Project Title: How much is too much? A cultural examination of individual variability of stress tolerance

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Clinical and Social

Project Description:

Stressful events such as failing an exam, dealing with roommate issues or having a bad headache commonly occur in our daily life. Even having the same aversive circumstance, while some individuals feel very distressed or upset, others seem to able to bear it despite experiencing objectively the same level of distress. This suggests that the perceived capacity of handling distress (i.e., distress tolerance) varies across individuals. Yet, there is a dearth of research examining individual factors that contributed to the variability of distress tolerance. Using survey methodology, the aim of the study is to examine 1) the cultural (e.g., Asian/Asian American vs. European American), social-emotional (e.g., acculturation, emotion regulation) and cognitive (e.g., dialectical thinking) factors underlying individual differences in distress tolerance, and secondly, and 2) the relations among distress tolerance, help seeking behaviors and attitudes, and mental health outcomes.

This study will have important implications for understanding factors that can enhance distress tolerance, which can facilitate the dissemination of psychosocial interventions design to promote tolerance for distress.

Motivated students will have the opportunity to design surveys, present results in regional or national conferences, and work on manuscripts for publication. This research opportunity is particularly valuable to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree or career related to clinical, health and cross-cultural psychology, social work, psychiatry, public health, and medicine.

Time commitment: 6 - 8 hours. A two-semester (a full-year is preferred) commitment is required.

Student Qualifications: We are seeking highly motivated students that are fast learners, with strong critical thinking skills, and can work both independently and collaboratively.

Inquiry can be directed to Ka Ip kaip@umich.edu

Lab experience only: preferred but not necessary. 

Credit Offered: Yes  (or volunteer)
Money: No
Work Study: No

 

 

Overall Title of Project: Would You Rather Be the Big Frog in a Small Pond?

Project Director: Kaidi Wu

Email: kaidiwu@umich.edu

Study Investigators: Kaidi Wu, Dr. Stephen Garcia, Dr. Shirli Kopelman

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Cognitive, Personality

Project Description:

Imagine yourself at the crossroads of college entry decisions. Would you rather go to a prestigious college where your academic performance would be below-average, or a less selective college where your academic performance would be above-average? From choosing a class to deciding between job offers, we often find ourselves at the crossroads of similar entry choices: Would we rather be the Big Frog in a Small Pond, or the Small Frog in a Big Pond? We examine people’s entry decisions and motivations behind them. We also explore potential cultural variations.

We are recruiting 2-3 motivated research assistants to join our research lab this Spring/Summer. Students will have the opportunity to conduct literature review, assist in study design, construct surveys, recruit subjects, collect and analyze data. Students will also gain research skills in Qualtrics and SPSS, and have the opportunities to present at regional or national conferences, if motivated.

We also welcome applications from research assistants who have knowledge in Chinese to help with the cross-cultural components of the study.

Time commitment requested: 6-12 hours/week.

Qualifications: 1) Strongly motivated, accountable, willing to learn; 2) Comfortable communicating and interacting with others, 3) Psychology (or related) majors, or those who intend to be psychology majors, 4) Preference will be given to those who can stay for two semesters or more. Prior research experience is preferred, but not necessary. 

Credit offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience only: Possibly
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Kaidi Wu

Email: kaidiwu@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Frequency Illusion: Once I Knew About It, I Start to See It Everywhere!

Study Investigators: Kaidi Wu & Dr. David Dunning

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Cognitive, Personality

Project Description:

You friend just told you about humblebragging: using false modesty to brag about one’s self (e.g., “Still scratching my head about how I got into Stanford & demand answers!”). You go on your social media pages later that day and throughout the week, and you start to notice humblebragging everywhere!

What you are experiencing is the frequency illusion – becoming overly aware of a concept once you have learned about it. We explore this phenomenon in everyday life and across cultures.

We are recruiting 2-3 motivated research assistants to join our research lab this Spring/Summer. Students will have the opportunity to conduct literature review, assist in study design, construct surveys, recruit subjects, collect and analyze data. Students will also gain research skills in Qualtrics and SPSS, and have the opportunities to present at conferences if motivated.

We also welcome applications from research assistants who have knowledge in Chinese to help with the cross-cultural components of the study.

Time commitment requested: 6-12 hours/week.

Qualifications: 1) Strongly motivated, accountable, willing to learn; 2) Comfortable communicating and interacting with others, 3) Psychology (or related) majors, or those who intend to be psychology majors, 4) Preference will be given to those who can stay for two semesters or more. Prior research experience is preferred, but not necessary. 

Credit offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience only: No
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Dr. Ethan Kross

Email: scmanagers@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Emotion Regulation and Self-Control Strategies in Daily Life 
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:  Primarily Social, but includes Developmental, Personality, Clinical, Neuroscience

Project Description: Our work explores how people can control their emotions to improve our understanding of how self-control works, and to discover ways of enhancing self-control in daily life. We adopt an integrative approach to address these issues that draws on multiple disciplines within psychology with a primary focus on social psychology. This work seeks to explore how and when people use emotion regulation and self-control strategies, and encompasses wide age ranges of people, from children to adults. Research assistants will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the research process, including running participants, coding data, and more.

Time commitment requested: At least 6 hours per week

Qualifications of student: Students must be: 1) Punctual, motivated, and reliable, 2) Organized and detail-oriented, 3) Able to commit at least two semesters (spring/summer), 4) Interested in research, 5) Interested in acquiring new skills

Credit offered: yes
Money: no
Volunteer offered: yes
Workstudy: no

To apply: Please e-mail your resume to scmanagers@umich.edu, or visit selfcontrol.psych.lsa.umich.edu/join/ to fill out our online application

 

Project Director: Dr. Oliver Sng and Dr. Joshua Ackerman

Email: olisng@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project:  Environmental and Social Influences on Behavior

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:  Social Psychology

Project Description: 

Some people like planning for the future. Others prefer to live in the moment. Some of us enjoy meeting and socializing with new people. Yet some of us prefer to spend time with familiar friends and family. Many of us are willing to lend a helping hand when others are in need, but there are also those who turn a blind eye.

Why? Why do people think and behave in such different ways? One answer is: the environment. In our research lab, we aim to examine how the environments that people live in shape their psychology. One environment we live in is the physical one: how crowded our environment is, whether there are infectious diseases going around, or whether there are more women or men. However, another environment we live in is the electronic one. Many of us spend time in the electronic world, such as on social networking sites, online gaming, and social forums. How do aspects of these online environments influence our behavior offline? In exploring these questions of human social behavior, we draw uniquely upon ideas and research from non-human animal behavior.

Students will have the opportunity to be involved in multiple parts of the research process, including: brainstorming and developing new ideas, doing reviews of existing research, conducting lab studies, & data coding.

Time commitment requested: Between 6-8 hours/week

Qualifications:

The ideal research assistant will be highly conscientious, motivated, independent, open to new ideas, and most important of all, be curious. Prior research experience is a plus, but not necessary. Applicants should be committed to at least one semester of work. This position is most suited for those who are interested in gaining research experience in social/evolutionary psychology, or who are interested in going to grad school in these areas.

Please contact olisng@umich.edu for application information/questions.

Credit offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience only: Possibly
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Dr. Ethan Kross

Email: aerlich@umich.edu (Amy Erlich)

Overall Title of Project: The Toolbox Project

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are

located:  Primarily Social, but includes Developmental and Cognitive

Project Description: Our project aims to teach middle and high schoolstudents about the science of self-control and metacognition (i.e. how to learn). To achieve this goal, world-class researchers and outstanding middle and high school teachers have joined forces to develop curricula on these topics. We are now working to refine these curricula to pilot them in schools in the 2017-2018 school year. In the following year, we are conducting a randomized control trial to assess if these curricula improve student outcomes on various levels. Research assistants will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the research process, including reviewing and refining lesson plans for the curricula.

We are looking for a research assistant to help us prepare to pilot the curricula. Tasks include, but are not limited to:

Review lesson plans for consistency in formatting, grammar/spelling and clarity

Assist in assembling “student-friendly” materials (e.g. worksheets that
accompany lesson plans)

Administrative tasks such (e.g. requesting copies, compiling materials)

Preparing memos and written summaries

Time commitment requested: At least 8 hours per week; must be able to work April 1-July 30th (with the possibility of extension)

Qualifications of student:

1) Punctual, motivated, and reliable

2) Organized and extremely detail-oriented

3) Able to work as part of a team

4) Able to commit from April 1-July 30 th

5) Interested in intervention research

6) Interested in acquiring new skills

Credit offered: yes

Money: no

Volunteer: yes

Workstudy: no

To apply: Please e-mail your cover letter and resume to aerlich@umich.edu.

 

Project Director: Darwin Guevarra

Email: guevarra@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project:  Regulating Pain and Emotions (Mind and Body Group)

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:  Social Psychology

Project Description: The goal of the research program is to explore the effectiveness of regulating pain and emotions. Students will learn how to work on a team and individually while also learning about the research process. 

Time commitment requested: 10-12 hours/week

What RAs do: Learn how to elicit pain and emotion, measure pain and emotion, run participants, search literature and write summaries, learn data acquisition software and basic physiological equipment, learn data software and basic data analysis, learn how to use video equipment

Qualifications of student:-Must be available Monday through Friday between 9am and 6pm. 

-Interest in psychology 

-Interest in attending graduate school 

-Ability to work independently 

-Prefer someone who is willing to work till 8 and/or weekends.

Credit offered:
 Yes
Money: No
Experience only: No 
Workstudy: No

Link to Google Form Applicationhttps://goo.gl/forms/a8oW92EzccPOqDXT2

 

Project Director: Kaidi Wu

Contact: kaidiwu@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Facebook: What It Has to Do with Culture and Modesty

Study Investigators: Kaidi Wu & Dr. Donna Nagata

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Clinical, Personality

Project Description: Do you use Facebook? In an information age rampant

with social media and self-promoting postings, what is you reaction and how is your daily life affected? In this research, we examine people's responses in the face of online self-promotion. We also study variations across individuals and across cultures.

We are looking for 2 motivated research assistants to join our Culture & Self-Insight (CSI) lab this term. Students will have the opportunity to conduct literature review, assist in study design, construct surveys, recruit subjects, collect and analyze data. Students will gain research skills and full competence in Qualtrics and SPSS. If motivated, students will also have the opportunity of writing proposals and presenting at regional or national conferences.

Knowledge in Chinese will be a great help to the cross-cultural component of the study, although not required.

Time commitment requested: 6-12 hours/week.

Qualifications: 1) Strongly motivated, accountable, willing to learn; 2) Comfortable interacting with others, 3) Psychology (or related) majors, or those who intend to be psychology majors, 4) GPA 3.5 or higher; 5) Preference will be given to those who can stay for two semesters or more.

Prior research experience is preferred, but not necessary. 

Credit offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience only: No
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Dr. Oliver Sng and Dr. Joshua Ackerman

Email: olisng@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project:  Environmental Influences on Social Behavior

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:  Social Psychology

Project Description: 

Some people like planning for the future. Others prefer to live in the moment. Many of us are willing to lend a helping hand when others are in need, but there are also those who turn a blind eye. Some of us believe we can all work to become better persons. Yet some of us also believe that people can’t really change how they are like.

Why? Why do people think and behave in such different ways? One answer is: the environment. In our research lab, we aim to examine how the environments that people live in shape their psychology, be it consciously or unconsciously. Specifically, we focus on the effects of factors such as population density, disease, sex ratio (whether there are more males or females in the environment), and genetic relatedness (whether people are surrounded by kin or not). While our focus is on human social behavior, we draw uniquely upon ideas and insights from non-human animal behavior.

Students will have the opportunity to be involved in multiple parts of the research process, including: brainstorming and developing new ideas, doing reviews of existing research, conducting lab studies, & data coding.

Time commitment requested: Between 6-9 hours/week

Qualifications:

The ideal research assistant will be highly conscientious, motivated, independent, open to new ideas, and most important of all, be curious. Prior research experience is a plus, but not necessary. Applicants should be committed to at least one semester of work. This position is most suited for those who are interested in gaining research experience in social/evolutionary psychology, or who are interested in going to grad school in these areas.

Please contact olisng@umich.edu for application information/questions.

Credit offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience only: Possibly
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Dr. Joshua Ackerman


Contact: Yuching Lin, Lab Manager (yuchingg@umich.edu)

Overall Title of Project: Evolutionary Social Psychology: Confronting Ancestral Problems

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Did you know that disease outbreaks such as the recent spread of Ebola or the norovirus outbreak on campus cause people to become more prejudiced against people who are foreign, obese, or disfigured? Or that merely seeing something related to disease can activate our physiological immune system, prior to even coming in contact with pathogens?

In our lab, we conduct experiments that investigate how our evolutionary history and mental processes affect everyday impressions and decisions. Our primary focus is on the role that disease threats and fear of germs play in a variety of psychological and physiological outcomes, including the type of people we prefer to associate with, how sensitive we are to our internal bodily cues, and how active our immune system is.

Students will be involved with administering experiments, managing datasets, developing experimental stimuli (such as images or verbal stimuli), and learning specific theories. RAs will work on multiple studies over the semester. This is a great opportunity for students with a background in psychology and ideally suited for people interested in graduate school.

You may visit our lab website to learn more about our work: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/esplab/

Qualfications:
Experience with programming is helpful, but not required. Must be conscientious and have great time management skills. Also, you should be comfortable with memorizing and reciting scripts, as some studies require this.

Time: 6-12 hours per week. Time will be scheduled in multi-hour blocks during the week. Biweekly meetings will be held, and attendance at these is required.

There are a limited number of positions each semester. Please email us if you are interested.

Credit Offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience Only: Possibly
Workstudy: No

 

Project Directors: Joseph Calabrisotto, Walter Sowden, & Izzy Gainsburg

Email Contact: joecala@umich.edu

Study Investigators: Joseph Calabrisotto, Walter Sowden, Izzy Gainsburg, Ethan Kross, and Allison Earl

Project Titles: 1) Social dilemmas and social decision making, & 2) The influences of safe spaces and microaggressions on human perception.

Major Area of Psychology in Which These Projects are Located: Social Psychology

Related Areas of Psychology in Which These Projects are Located: Behavioral Economics, Decision Theory, & Environmental Perception

Project Description: We are looking for several research assistants who are interested in gaining experience in the field of psychology for Fall 2016 and Winter 2017. Research assistants will be interacting with college students and online populations to facilitate the running of several studies examining both, social decision making and the influences of safe spaces and microaggressions on human perception. In one series of studies we are examining how making social decisions (such as those involved when deciding whether or not to cooperate with another individual) influence how people make subsequent decisions. In another series of studies we are examining how people’s perceptions of safe spaces influence their perceptions of safety in the world, as well as their perceptions of prejudice, and explicit and implicit bias.

Students will have the opportunity to run psychology studies with college students and online populations, and will develop research skills, including: literature review, study design, participant recruitment, data coding, data cleaning, & data analysis.

Time Commitment Requested: 6 - 12 hours a week, either as a volunteer or for research credit through psych 326.

Qualifications: Ideal candidates will be highly motivated to gain research experience in the field of psychology, as well as have a strong work ethic and the ability to get projects done independently (with guidance from us of course). Candidates will also be comfortable interacting with people as the positions require research assistants to actually run psychology studies with college students. Prior research experience is desired, but not necessary. Ability to commit for at least one semester, with candidates who can commit to two semesters receiving preference.

Credit Offered: Yes

Money: No

Volunteer Only: Yes (but will need to demonstrate that they will be committed to the research)

Work-Study: No

 

Project Director: Blake Ebright

Email: bebright@umich.edu

Project title: The Vilification of Minority Groups: Assumed Immorality

Major area in which the project is located: Primarily Social Psychology with elements of Personality Psychology and Gender/Feminist Psych

Project description: 

I am looking for 4-5 research assistants to join the Positive Empathy Lab and work on this project for Fall 2016 and possibly Winter 2017. Our research focuses on the intersection of morality and empathy. Past research has shown that working class mothers are seen as less capable, less trustworthy, and more blame-worthy than their middle class counterparts even when they have performed the same act. We’re looking to expand this research into the realm of empathy and test its replicability with other marginalized groups. We run experiments in the lab (East Hall) as well as in the field (public places on campus). Research assistants will primarily work on data collection and experimental design.

Research assistants can join on a volunteer basis or receive experiential credit for PSYCH 326. 

Time commitment requested: 6-12 hours per week

Qualifications of research assistants:

The ideal candidate for this position will have excellent social skills, work well independently, and practice good time management skills. Candidates should be comfortable talking with new people of all ages, backgrounds, and education levels. Prior experience is ideal but not required.

Credit offered: Yes

Money: No

Experience only: No

Work-study: No

To apply, email a cover letter and attach a resume or CV to bebright@umich.edu

Applications may also be submitted via google form: http://goo.gl/forms/DBmnqNTVifBrk4sR2

 

Overall Title of Project: Would You Rather Be a Big Frog in a Small Pond?

Project Director: Kaidi Wu

Email: kaidiwu@umich.edu

Study Investigators: Kaidi Wu, Dr. Stephen Garcia, Dr. Shirli Kopelman

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Cognitive, Personality

Project Description:

Imagine yourself at the crossroads of college entry decisions. Would you rather go to a prestigious college where your academic performance would be below-average, or a less selective college where your academic performance would be above-average? From choosing a class to deciding between job offers, we often find ourselves at the crossroads of similar entry choices: Would we rather be the Big Frog in a Small Pond, or the Small Frog in a Big Pond? We examine people’s entry decisions and motivations behind them. We also explore potential cultural variations.

We are recruiting 2-3 motivated research assistants to join our study this term. Students will have the opportunity to conduct literature review, assist in study design, construct surveys, recruit subjects, collect and analyze data. Students will also gain research skills in Qualtrics and SPSS.

We also welcome applications from research assistants who have knowledge in Chinese to help with the cross-cultural components of the study.

Time commitment requested: 6-12 hours/week.

Qualifications: 1) Strongly motivated, accountable, willing to learn; 2) Comfortable interacting with others, 3) Psychology (or related) majors, or those who intend to be psychology majors, 4) GPA 3.5 or higher; 5) Preference will be given to those who can stay for two semesters or more.

Prior research experience is preferred, but not necessary. 6) Knowledge in Chinese is a bonus, but not required. 

Credit Offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience Only: No
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Kaidi Wu

Email: kaidiwu@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Does It Mean What You Think It Means? A Study on Concept Commensurability and Hypocognition

Study Investigators: Kaidi Wu & Dr. David Dunning

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Cognitive, Personality

Project Description:

Do you have high self-esteem? Before you answer the question, what does self-esteem even mean? We see the linguistic equivalents of “self-esteem” across cultures, yet its conceptual meaning might deviate from one culture to another.

Then there are other words, which – as they nosed their way into the lexicon and provided a linguistic frame for our experience – transformed the way we once experienced them. But what happened before that? When we had no word to describe what we were experiencing? Before “mindfulness”, were we even aware of a meditative state that orients us to the “present moment” and boosts well-being? Before the emergence of “ghosting”, how did we perceive the emotional damage of abrupt relationship endings?

In this study, we explore the extent to which concepts are commensurate (e.g., Does this word mean the same thing in my culture and yours?) and hypocognized (e.g., What happens when there is no word to describe how I feel?)

We are looking for 2-3 motivated research assistants to join our Culture & Self-Insight (CSI) research team this term. Students will have the opportunity to conduct literature review, assist in study design, construct surveys, recruit subjects, run subjects in a lab setting, clean/analyze data. Students will also gain research skills in Qualtrics and SPSS. This position will lead to possible presentation opportunities at psychology conferences.

Time commitment requested: 6-12 hours/week.  

Qualifications:

Strongly motivated, accountable, willing to learn

Comfortable interacting with others

Psychology (or related) majors, or those who intend to be psychology majors

GPA 3.5 or higher

Preference will be given to those who can stay for two semesters or more. 

Prior research experience is preferred, but not necessary. Knowledge in Chinese or
Japanese will be a great help to the cross-cultural component of the study,
although not required.

Credit Offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience Only: No
Workstudy: No

  

Project Director: Kaidi Wu

Email: kaidiwu@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Am I Doing Better Than You? A Better-Than-Average Effect Study

Study Investigators: Kaidi Wu & Dr. David Dunning

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Cognitive, Personality

Project Description:

Think about this for a moment: How smart are you? How smart is the typical UM student? Now, think about how fashionable you are and how fashionable the typical UM student is. Were your answers different?

Whether we think of ourselves as above average is hotly debated. Your answers to the two questions above likely depend on what kind of trait you are asked to describe yourself on (e.g., Is this a positive or negative trait? How important is this trait anyways?). Your answers might also depend on which culture you are from. In this study, we look at the “above-average effect” across traits in various domains. We will also explore potential cultural variations.

We are looking for 2-3 motivated research assistants to join our Culture & Self-Insight (CSI) research team this term. Students will have the opportunity to conduct literature review, assist in study design, construct surveys, recruit subjects, collect and clean/analyze data. Students will also gain research skills in Qualtrics and SPSS. This position will lead to possible presentation opportunities at psychology conferences.

Time commitment requested:
6-12 hours/week. 

Qualifications:

Strongly motivated, accountable, willing to learn.

Comfortable interacting with others

Psychology(or related) majors, or those who intend to be psychology majors

GPA 3.5 or higher

Preference will be given to those who can stay for two semesters or more. 

Prior research experience is preferred, but not necessary. Knowledge in Chinese or Japanese will be a great help to the cross-cultural component of the study, although not required.
 

Credit offered: yes
Money: no
Experience only: no
Workstudy: no

 

Project Director: Dr. Ethan Kross

Email: scmanagers@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Emotion Regulation and Self-Control Strategies in Daily Life 
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:  Primarily Social, but includes Developmental, Personality, Clinical, Neuroscience

Project Description: Our work explores how people can control their emotions to improve our understanding of how self-control works, and to discover ways of enhancing self-control in daily life. We adopt an integrative approach to address these issues that draws on multiple disciplines within psychology including social, personality, clinical, developmental, and neuroscience. This work seeks to explore how and when people use emotion regulation and self-control strategies, and encompasses wide age ranges of people, from children to adults. Research assistants will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the research process, including running participants, coding data, and more.

Time commitment requested: At least 6 hours per week

Qualifications of student: Students must be: 1) Punctual, motivated, and reliable, 2) Organized and detail-oriented, 3) Able to commit at least two semesters (spring/summer), 4) Interested in research, 5) Interested in acquiring new skills

Credit offered: yes
Money: no
Experience only: yes
Workstudy: no

To apply: Please e-mail your cover letter and resume to scmanagers@umich.edu, or visit selfcontrol.psych.lsa.umich.edu/join/ to fill out our online application.

 

Project Director: Haoyang Yan (graduate student in CCN)
Email: haoyangy@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project:  Judgment bias, Decision aids
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located:  Social and Cognitive

Project Description: 
Our research is devoted to understanding how and why a certain decision is
made. We focus on explaining bizarre real-life decision making phenomena and
exploring decision aids that can make our world better. If you have insights
about decision making on the following topics: marketing, education, music,
life milestones, law, health, etc, this may be the place for you! Research
assistants (You!) will have a chance to get involved in the entire research
process. For example, you will get a chance to help with literature review and
experiment designs at the early stage of a project. You will also assist in
data collection, data analysis, and presentation preparation for research
experiments at the later stage. Opportunities to present research work and
initiate independent projects are possible.

Time commitment requested:
6-9 hours per week for Spring 2017 and/or Summer 2017. 6-9 hours per week
for Fall 2017 and Winter 2018.

Qualifications of student:
We are looking for highly driven students who are reliable, punctual, and
detail-oriented in research work. You should be excited about the research
process, and take initiative to learn as much as you can from this opportunity.
We prefer that you have a flexible schedule, and feel comfortable working
both independently and interactively. Preference will be given to students
who are available starting Spring 2016 and able to stay more than two terms. Previous
research experience is preferred but not required, as you will be able to gain
necessary skills if you have a great learning attitude. Basic computer skills
are required.

Credit offered: yes
Money: no
Experience only: maybe but prefer assistants who can register for credit
Workstudy: yes

 

 

Project Director: Koji Takahashi

Project Contact: kjtaka@umich.edu

Study Investigators: Koji Takahashi, Dr. Allison Earl and Dr. Denise Sekaquaptewa

Overall Title of Project: Prejudice and Persuasion Processes (PPP) Lab

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Project Description:

I am looking for research assistants for some exciting new projects that will examine (1) how prejudice and stigma impact how people responded to various persuasive messages and (2) ways to buffer against prejudice and stigma to increase receptivity to persuasive messages about important issues.  There are two specific projects underway:

Promoting Attention to Information about Stigmatized Health Conditions

1) This project tests how a specific type of emotion regulation strategy can help people engage with information about stigmatized health conditions (e.g. mental health, STIs). Past work in our lab shows that people don't pay attention to stigmatized health information because it tends to evoke aversive emotional reactions. The current project is testing whether the emotion regulation benefits of mindfulness meditation can promote attention and healthy behaviors.

The Effect of Sexist Jokes on Responses to Diversity Messages

2) A second line of studies are testing whether being exposed to different kinds of jokes makes people take messages about diversity less seriously. This is part of a larger research effort to promote more positive social climates for women and underrepresented minorities in academia—particularly in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Qualifications:

  • Ability to follow directions closely
  • Comfort Working with people
  • Motivated and accountable
  • Organized and communicative
  • Strong writing skills preferred

Research Assistant Duties:

  • Complete research training
  • Run lab studies
  • Prepare study materials
  • Attend weekly lab meetings (Wednesdays, 4:30pm)

Time Commitment: 6-8 hours per week

To apply:

Send a resume and weekly schedule to Koji Takahashi (kjtaka@umich.edu). If you have a strong preference to work on one project or the other, please indicate so in your e-mail.

Credit Offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience Only: No
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Dr. Muniba Saleem

Contact: Ian Hawkins, Lab Manager (hawki@umich.edu)

Overall Title of Project: Media and Intergroup Conflict
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Our lab examines the role of media in intergroup conflict from the majority and minority perspectives. We conduct studies on how media influences intergroup relations as well as aggressive tendencies towards others. Current studies on this topic explore how media stereotypes of Muslims influence attitudes and public policy support targeting Muslims. We also explore how media influences bicultural individuals’ identities (e.g., Muslim-Americans; Latino-Americans; Asian-Americans) and their relations with the majority group.

Students will be involved with recruiting participants, running experiments, creating and organizing spreadsheets in Excel and SPSS, and possibly data analysis. If interested, research assistants can take the initiative to learn basic statistical analysis and how to develop research hypotheses and refine experimental procedure. This is a great opportunity for students with a background in psychology and ideally suited for people interested in graduate school for social psychology or a related field.

You may visit our lab website to learn more about our work: http://sites.lsa.umich.edu/munibasaleem/research/what-we-do/

Qualifications: Experience with research software (such as Qualtrics and SPSS) is helpful, but not required. We are looking for students who are reliable, conscientious, and motivated to learn. The most successful students will be those interested in the research topics described above and in gaining research skills. Interested applicants should email Ian with a resume and a brief letter explaining their interest in joining the lab.

Time: 6-9 hours per week. Time will be scheduled in multi-hour blocks during the week. Biweekly lab meetings will be held.

Credit Offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience Only: No
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Daniel Porter

Email: djoepo@umich.edu

Title of Project: Support Interactions

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social Psychology
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Project Description:
In our daily interactions, we are often called on to provide social support to those around us. You would be a confederate in a deception study looking at how people interact.

Time commitment requested: Approx. 4-9hrs/week

Qualifications of student:
Interested students should possess good people skills and be comfortable speaking to strangers. Experience working with human participants in a research setting is desirable, but not required. Students should be highly motivated, detail-oriented, organized, and dependable. They should also have a pleasant telephone manner and possess very good interpersonal skills. An interest in pursuing a career in psychological and behavioral research is a plus. Interested candidates should e-mail a resume or CV to djoepo@umich.edu

Credit Offered? yes
Experience Only? no
Money Offered? no
Work-Study Employment Offered? no

 

Project Director: Dr. Arnold Ho
Contact: Yuching Lin, Lab Manager (yuchingg@umich.edu)

Overall Title of Project: The Psychology of Inequality: A study of racial hierarchy, prejudice, and ideologies that perpetuate social inequality
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Our lab examines why group-based social inequality is so common and so difficult to change. Our research is informed by Social Dominance Theory, which focuses on the maintenance of group-based hierarchy and oppression. We cover three main lines of research in order to explore how social inequality in the modern world is maintained in subtle ways:

I. Biases in Social Categorization – how people categorize and perceive individuals of mixed race

II. Individual Differences in Anti-Egalitarianism – how an individual’s endorsement of group-based dominance and inequality affects intergroup attitudes and behaviors

III. The Legitimation of Social Inequality – how people come to justify an unequal distribution of resources

Students will be involved with recruiting participants, running experiments, creating and organizing spreadsheets in Excel and SPSS, and possibly data analysis. If interested, research assistants can take the initiative to learn basic statistical analysis and how to develop research hypotheses and refine experimental procedure. This is a great opportunity for students with a background in psychology and ideally suited for people interested in graduate school for social psychology or a related field.

You may visit our lab website to learn more about our work: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ho-lab/

Qualifications: Experience with research software (such as Qualtrics and SPSS) is helpful, but not required. We are looking for students who are reliable, conscientious, and motivated to learn. The most successful students will be those interested in the research topics described above and in gaining research skills. Interested applicants should email Yuching with a resume and a brief letter explaining their interest in joining the lab.

Time: 6-12 hours per week. Time will be scheduled in multi-hour blocks during the week. Biweekly lab meetings will be held.

Credit Offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience Only: Possibly, depending on project
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Dr. Joshua Ackerman

Contact: Yuching Lin, Lab Manager (yuchingg@umich.edu)

Overall Title of Project: Evolutionary Social Psychology: Confronting Ancestral Problems

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Throughout the whole of human history, people have faced a number of fundamental problems and been influenced by a wide variety of thoughts, emotions, and environments, often in ways they don’t consciously consider or understand. In this lab, we will conduct experimental research that investigates how our evolutionary history and mental processes affect impressions and decisions. Specifically, we will study issues and behaviors relating to concerns about contagious disease, self-control, and attraction between people. Our primary focus will be on the role that disease threats and personal germ sensitivities play on social psychological outcomes ranging from visual attention and memory to group attitudes and behaviors.

Students will be involved with developing research hypotheses, learning specific theories, and (especially) collecting and managing experimental data. RAs will work on multiple studies over the semester. This is a great opportunity for students with a background in
psychology and ideally suited for people interested in graduate school for social or evolutionary psychology.

You may visit our lab website to learn more about our work: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/esplab/

Qualfications:
Experience with programming is helpful, but not required. Must have excellent time management skills and strong public speaking skills. Also, you should be comfortable with memorizing and reciting scripts, as some studies require this.

Time: 9 or 12 hours per week. Time will be scheduled in multi-hour blocks during the week. Biweekly meetings will be held, and attendance at these is required.

There are a limited number of positions each semester. Please email us earlier if you are interested.

Credit Offered: Yes
Money: No
Experience Only: Possibly
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Denise Sekaquaptewa
Email: dsekaqua@umich.edu


Overall Title of Project: Microaggressions in engineering student group project teams

Major area of Psychology in which this project is located: Social

Project Description:
A RESEARCH ASSISTANT is needed for a project involving microaggressions in engineering student group project teams. The project examines microaggressions, defined as brief, everyday exchanges that send negative messages to certain individuals because of their social identity such as their gender or race. Examples of everyday microaggressions include people expressing surprise that a woman is a surgeon or a man is a nurse;  when a Black student is assumed to have an athletic scholarship; when an Asian American person hears “Your English is very good”; when children playing sports are warned not to “throw like a girl”; and people making stereotypic jokes about race or gender.  Our goal is to examine what types of microaggressions emerge among students in science and engineering fields, and how they affect students' performance and persistence in these fields.

The Research Assistant will view and code videotaped footage of mixed gender teams working on an engineering project, as well help develop materials for an experiment on this topic. Because the project involves videotaped experimental interactions, familiarity with computer video applications such as iMovie or Quicktime is a plus.

Time commitment requested:
Six to ten hours per week for up to two semesters beginning January 2015.

Qualifications of student:
The ideal candidate for this position will have research experience (e.g., working in a faculty member’s lab, UROP, or completing a research methods lab course), and will have excellent organizational and communication skills.  We seek a person who can multi-task, pays attention to detail, and who has a professional demeanor and high personal standards. Experience with computer video applications (e.g. iMovie, Quicktime) as well other computer programs (including Excel, SPSS, and Qualtrics) is preferred.  Applicants should have strong interest in the topic of the research.  This position is offered for
course credit, hourly pay, or volunteer.

Credit offered: yes
Money: yes
Experience only: yes
Workstudy: yes

 

Project Directors: Dr. Allison Earl and Michael Hall
Email: mikeph@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Social Attitudes and Influence: Selective Exposure and Attention
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Project Description:

Are you interested in why people have specific attitudes and beliefs? Do you want to know why people pay attention to certain messages while ignoring others? In the Health, Attitudes, and Influence Lab, we examine when, why, and how people pay attention to certain messages, particularly when related to contentious issues or information—we also look at when, why, and how these messages may be ignored entirely. This project examines how individuals process both agreeable and disagreeable information about political and social issues. In a recent study that was conducted for this project, we collected data from many participants about their reactions to specific arguments that they read, and now we’d like to be able to aggregate those responses and understand how individuals reacted to these different kinds of arguments. Therefore, this project for the Spring and Summer terms of 2014 is focused on coding this free response data so that it is ready for data analysis. This project will involve learning a fairly simple coding system for participant responses, reading those responses, and making decisions about how to categorize those responses. If interested in continuing to work on research into the Fall 2014 semester, further research work on this project would involve running additional human subjects through new studies.

Time commitment requested: 9-12 hours per week

Qualifications of student:

Students should be considering or declared Psychology, Neuroscience, or BCN majors (although students from all backgrounds will be evaluated on a case by case basis) who are extremely motivated, hard-working, detail oriented, punctual, and comfortable interacting with others. Applicants should have basic computer skills, and experience with Excel and Qualtrics is preferred. Students who are interested in continuing to work as a research assistant through the 2014-2015 academic school year are especially encouraged to apply. Prior research experience is preferred but not required. Strong written and oral communication skills are essential.

Credit Offered: Yes (2-4 credits negotiable)
Money: No
Experience only: Negotiable
Workstudy: No

 

Project Directors:  Dr. Rona Carter
Alternate Contact: Ariel Britt
Emailcarter.lab@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Adolescents and Interpersonal Relationships Research
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Developmental, Social

Project Description:

Our research is devoted to understanding how pubertal development is related to and transforms interpersonal relationships.  We use this understanding to improve adolescent girls’ well-being (mental health and sexual decision making).   Special attention is devoted to the experiences of culturally diverse girls. Our research has importance for understanding the relational and social contexts of girls’ development and adjustment such as how girls negotiate aspects of their interpersonal relationships when making their sexual decisions.  

Time commitment requested: 6 hours per week 

Qualifications of student: 

  1. Dependable, motivated, and interested in research;
  2. Interested in social science (and have taken some social science classes);
  3. Comfortable working with people;
  4. Very detail-oriented and good at multi-tasking;
  5. Good written and verbal communication skills;
  6. Able to work in a team environment but also show leadership;
  7. Available for at least two semesters

Credit Offered: yes
Money: no
Experience only: maybe
Workstudy: no

 

Project Director: Denise Sekaquaptewa
Email: dsekaqua@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Stereotypic Attribution Bias among Women in Science & Engineering
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social
Major area of Psychology in which this project is located: Social

Project Description:

A RESEARCH ASSISTANT is needed for a project involving stereotypes and women in science and engineering. The project examines an unintended tendency for women in male-dominated domains such as science & engineering to implicitly discount their successes to external factors such as luck, but to attribute their set-backs to ability, as a result of stereotypes about women’s lower achievement and ability in these fields.  The Research Assistant will help with coding and entering data, recruiting participants, running experiments, and will also attend lab meetings.

Time commitment requested: 6-9 hours per week for Winter 2014.

Qualifications of student:

The ideal candidate for this position will have research experience (e.g., working in a faculty member’s lab, or on an undergraduate thesis project), and will have excellent organizational and communication skills.  We seek a person who can multi-task, pays attention to detail, and who has a professional demeanor and high personal standards.  The research assistant must also be able to work independently.  Experience with computer programs (including Powerpoint, Qualtrics, Excel, SPSS) is preferred.  Applicants should have strong interest in the topic of the research.

Credit offered: yes
Money: no
Experience only: yes
Workstudy: no

 

Project Director: Denise Sekaquaptewa
Email: dsekaqua@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project: Developing strategies to reduce stereotyping in engineering student group project teams

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social
Major area of Psychology in which this project is located: Social

Project Description:

A RESEARCH ASSISTANT is needed for a project involving gender stereotypes in science and engineering. The project examines a tendency for students in engineering group project teams to adopt gender stereotypic roles (men as “experts”, women as “supporters”), and will test interventions to reduce stereotyping in these teams.  The Research Assistant will help to recruit participants, run experiments, code and enter data, and attend lab meetings.  Because the project involves videotaped experimental sessions, familiarity with computer video applications such as iMovie or Quicktime is a plus. 

Time commitment requested: Up to ten hours per week for up to two semesters beginning January 2014.

Qualifications of student:

The ideal candidate for this position will have research experience (e.g., working in a faculty member’s lab, UROP, or completing a research methods lab course), and will have excellent organizational and communication skills.  We seek a person who can multi-task, pays attention to detail, and who has a professional demeanor and high personal standards. Experience with computer video applications (e.g., iMovie, Quicktime) as well other computer programs (including Excel, SPSS, and Qualtrics) is preferred.  Applicants should have strong interest in the topic of the research.  

Credit offered: yes
Money: yes
Experience only: yes
Workstudy: yes

 

Project Director: Brian Vickers and Stephanie Carpenter
Email: EmotionDM@umich.edu
Alternate Contact:Phoebe Ellsworth & Ethan Kross

Overall Title of Project:The illusion of choice: Emotions influence your decisions without your knowledge!

Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social and cognitive.
Related area(s) of Psychology in which this project is located: Affective sciences, judgment and decision making.

Project Description: Have you ever noticed that your friends sometimes make strange, inconsistent choices? Why are some people terrified of flying even though they can tell you that there's a very low risk of them being harmed? Why does the cupcake in the pastry case look so good on some days but not others? We investigate how choices are significantly impacted by influences we don't even notice. Economists have long believed that people are ultimately rational, weighing the pros and cons of our classes, friends, and jobs. Our research shows just the opposite, in the vein of "Freakonomics", "Blink", and "Gut Feelings". We have shown that where you go to lunch can change the kind of camera you want, that a visit to the doctor's office can make you choose the train to Chicago over the Megabus, and that being impulsive can sometimes be the same as self-controlled. In our experiments we're trying to understand the many ways in which emotions and seemingly small experiences change the way people feel and decide. On one end we try to see how far we can push people's choices in ways they don't notice, and on the other we're trying to figure out how people regulate their emotions and overcome these problematic biases. With your help we can understand and improve how people make choices both in the real world and in the clinic, where emotions go awry and affective regulation is more important than ever. Motivated students with or without experience are encouraged to apply. Students on the project will primarily be involved in running participants through experimental paradigms, creating and organizing spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel and SPSS, and performing literature reviews. If interested, research assistants can take the initiative to help with statistical analysis and interpretation, programming, drafting write-ups, and learning to develop new research questions and experimental paradigms based on your interests. We build in the flexibility to allow you to take on as much or as little responsibility as you would like.

Time commitment requested:8 - 12 hours

Qualifications of student:Motivated, detail-oriented, and hard-working students in psychology, neuroscience, or business are encouraged to apply, although all students with interest are encouraged to apply. Students are requested to make a 2 semester or longer commitment. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter describing why you are interested in the research described here, a resume and unofficial transcripts to EmotionDM@umich.edu.

Credit offered:Yes (2 - 4 credits; negotiable)
Money: Work-study only
Experience only:Yes
Workstudy: Yes

Project Director:Oscar Ybarra
Email: oybarra@umich.edu
Alternate Contact: David Lee
Email: dsjlee@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project:Social Factors in Decision Making
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Project Description:
Standard economic perspectives tend to assume that people are always rational. However, research in social psychology has shown in many studies that people at times make decisions that do not make perfect economic sense, for example, forgoing large long-term benefits for smaller short-term ones. At times people run into this kind of trouble because of the involvement of other people – other people have a way of influencing us to make less than optimal decisions because they can trigger motives such as competition, altruism, or a veritable buffet of emotions that affect thinking. In this study, we are exploring the idea that social factors, in particular secure and supportive social relations, can make people more “rational.” The experiments will include interacting with participants, administering computer-based surveys, and behavioral measures. Research assistants will be responsible for preparing experimental materials, running subjects, and entering and coding data.

Time commitment requested:   6-9 hours per week

Qualifications of student:
We are looking for students who are reliable, punctual, detail-oriented, and motivated to gain research experience. Good communication and organization skills and knowledge of some basic computer skills are also required.

Credit Offered:Yes     
Money: No
Experience only: No    
Workstudy: No

 

Project Director: Shinobu Kitayama
Alternate Contact:Steven Tompson
Email:tompson@umich.edu

Overall Title of Project:Cultural Neuroscience: Investigating the Social and Neural Bases of Social Cognition and Behavior
Major area of Psychology in which these projects are located: Social

Project Description:
Our research focuses on how culture and the brain dynamically interact to influence how people think and behave, as well as how the social environment influences neural processes. In order to investigate these issues, we employ a variety of neuroscience methodologies, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and genotyping. The goal of the current series of studies is to investigate how and why cultural and subcultural differences in cognition and behavior might occur. We focus on Eastern and Western cultures, as well as social class differences within the US. Effects we investigate include attribution of social behavior, self-referential processing, conflict detection and error monitoring, and emotion regulation.

Students will have the opportunity to be involved in some aspects of the project, based on experience and personal fit: data analysis, design and programming of new experiments, and literature review. Additionally, students will learn how to use an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain waves, help to schedule and run participants using EEG, analyze the EEG and behavioral data using MATLAB, EEGLab, and SPSS, and attend weekly lab meetings. Students will learn how to conduct research using behavioral and neuroscience methodology, work as part of a team, and will be encouraged to think creatively and independently. Those working for course credit will receive guidance on writing a paper and/or preparing a poster presenting the results.

Time commitment requested:   7-10 hours per week

Qualifications of student:

Students must be motivated, independent, reliable, and organized. Students should be willing to learn. The most successful students will be those interested in the project and in learning social psychological as well as neuroscience methods. Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills are required, as is advanced computer proficiency (e.g., programming, MATLAB, SPSS, etc.).

Credit Offered:Yes
Money: No
Experience only: No
Workstudy: Yes