Interested in working in a research laboratory? A number of laboratories on campus conduct cognitive science research and are often seeking undergraduate assistants and interns. Explore the research labs listed below by clicking on the links and reading about the research focus and projects. Contact the Weinberg Institute to explore research funding opportunities.
Research Profile: Stephanie Hong
Stephanie is a senior double majoring in cognitive science (decision track) and business and is interested in behavioral marketing research. She first got involved in research her sophomore year through her COGSCI 200 and PSYCH 240 GSI Hyseue Jang in the Cognition and Aging Lab under Dr. Cindy Lustig.
After a semester in the lab, Stephanie decided to pivot toward more behavioral research, so she joined the Behavioral Sciences Lab at Ross under Dr. Shalena Srna and the Emotion and Self Control Lab under Dr. Ethan Kross. In these labs, Stephanie began to narrow her research interests toward consumer behavior, specifically in the context of social media. Her experiences in these labs also helped to provide a wide variety of experiences with collaboration, lab culture, and research agendas.
Summer of 2021, Stephanie did research at Harvard Business School as a PRIMO fellow with Dr. Navid Mojir and doctoral student Jimin Nam. Being immersed in a research environment for a summer and working alongside others who were enthusiastic about the field was a transformative experience and solidified Stephanie’s plans to pursue a PhD in behavioral marketing.
The project that Stephanie worked on at HBS was about AI-Induced biases: how do subjects interpret recommendations from an AI algorithm differently depending on the gender of the individual who communicates the advice? As a part of onboarding to the project, Stephanie conducted a literature review on papers relating to AI biases and human-computer interactions and also familiarized herself with a field study Dr. Mojir had conducted prior. Throughout the rest of the summer, Stephanie worked alongside Dr. Mojir and Jimin Nam to design research studies, compile surveys in Qualtrics, preregister studies online, submit IRBs, and run analyses in STATA. Being embedded in a project at its very conception allowed Stephanie to better understand how research progresses, and it also helped to set the tone for her thesis she’d write the following semester.
This past year, Stephanie has been working with her advisor Dr. Shalena Srna on her thesis titled “The Instagram Reels Effect: How the viewing order of emotions impact willingness-to-pay and perception of advertisements.” Stephanie’s inspiration for this paper stemmed from observations about her own behavior while on TikTok and Instagram Reels and it also draws from the research agendas of other labs she is a part of. While writing a thesis can be challenging, Stephanie recommends it to anyone who is considering it! Weinberg has played a large role in the success of her project via funding and faculty mentoring, and Stephanie is excited to continue to grow as a researcher in the future.
Research Profile: Julia Smoot
Year: Senior (Class of 2022)
Major: Mathematical Sciences & Cognitive Science (Decision and Cognition)
Minor: LGBTQ+ and Sexuality Studies
Why CogSci: The field of Cognitive Science appealed to me because of its interdisciplinary nature. I felt that I was able to learn about the mind through a plethora of different viewpoints and apply my knowledge from different areas of study. I am very happy that I have continued my mathematics education because I found my quantitative view of the world to be an excellent supplement to my studies in Cognitive Science.
Stigmatized Sexualities Lab: The Stigmatized Sexualities lab is run by Psychology Professor Dr. Terri Conley. Her research focuses on the role of gender and sexuality in casual sex, the orgasm gap, and sexual scipts. Additionally the lab also studies nescience and risk assessment in relation to gendered experiences. My interest in Psychology was sparked by a Women’s Studies course that I took my freshman year. This course helped me to critically consider how our subjective experiences are influenced by gender and sexuality. In Winter 2021, I took a course in Queer Psychology with Will Beschel who introduced me to Dr. Conley and the Stigmatized Sexualities Lab.
Honors Thesis: My honors thesis is composed of two studies about sexual guilt. The first study examines the validity of two different scales that are meant to measure sex guilt. This study has shown that the older of the two scales is an inaccurate measure of sex guilt among sexually liberal individuals. The second part of the study attempts to prime the subjects with narratives that may cause feelings od sex guilt before administering both of the scales used in the first study. I also had the opportunity to co-author a paper about WEIRD sex research subject pools with a postdoctoral student in the lab. This work has deepened my understanding of not only the social structures that impact our gendered experiences, but the research process as well.
Future Plans: Next year, I hope to participate in the AMDP accelerated Master’s program in Psychology and continue my work in the Stigmatized Sexualities Lab. I eventually hope to work toward a PhD in Social Psychology and work as a Professor and Researcher at a University.