Psychology Faculty Research Areas and Interests

Faculty Research Areas

Clinical Psychology

Christina Byrne, Anna Ciao, Brianna Delker, Jennifer McCabe, Tina Du Rocher Schudlich, Jim Graham

Counseling Psychology

Christina Byrne, Anna Ciao, Tina Du Rocher Schudlich, Jim Graham, Diana Gruman, Brent Mallinckrodt, Jennifer McCabe, Aaron Smith

Cross-Cultural Psychology

Alex Czopp, Jennifer Devenport, Jim Graham, Jeff King, Barbara Lehman, Kate McLean, David Sattler, Christie Scollon, Aaron Smith

Developmental Psychology

Annie Fast, Antonya Gonzalez, Diana Gruman, Jennifer McCabe, Kate McLean, Annie Riggs, Tina Du Rocher Schudlich

Learning, Cognition, and Perception

Todd Haskell, Ira Hyman, Annie Riggs, Cristina Sampaio, Larry Symons


Jeff Carroll, Janet Finlay, Jeffrey Grimm, Kelly Jantzen, Josh Kaplan, Mike Mana, Jacqueline Rose

School Counseling

Diana Gruman, Shaun Sowell

Social Psychology

Alex Czopp, Jennifer Devenport, Barbara Lehman, Kristi Lemm, David Sattler, Christie Scollon


Faculty Research Interests

Christina A. Byrne

Psychological trauma, intimate partner violence.

Jeff Carroll

Work in the Carroll lab is focused on understanding whole body symptoms of Huntington's Disease, using a genetic mouse model.  We are particularly interested in the role that brain-body cross talk plays in the development of HD symptoms in our system.  Dr. Carroll is also engaged in education efforts targeting the Huntington's Disease community, and the effects these educational efforts have on community member's decision making.

Anna Ciao

Dr. Ciao’s research interests are in the area of eating and weight disorders. She is primarily interested in understanding how and why eating disorders develop and her research investigates interventions for improving body image and reducing the risk of developing disordered eating. She is also passionate about increasing access to evidence-based treatments for eating and weight disorders, with a specific focus on eliminating individual and societal treatment barriers and disseminating treatments within community-based settings.     

Alex Czopp

My research attempts to examine the ways in which people can reduce the experiences and expressions of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination within themselves and others. In our efforts to address such outcomes we examine the subtle ways in which these category-based processes may contribute to the perpetuation of intergroup anxiety and hostility (e.g., through “positive” stereotypes) and the not-so-subtle ways that people can actively induce changes in their social environments (e.g., though interpersonal confrontation).

Brianna Delker

Dr. Delker's research lab examines the psychological impact of trauma and abuse perpetrated within close relationships. This includes abuse experienced in childhood relationships with caregivers, and also in adult relationships.  Dr. Delker is particularly interested in understanding the enduring effects of childhood trauma across the lifespan, with a focus on the experiences of young adults and women transitioning to parenthood. Recent work examines the social contexts for interpersonal violence, such as family reactions to child abuse, societal attitudes/stigma related to trauma, and cultural differences in the preference for traumatic experiences to be narrated in a redemptive fashion. 

Jennifer Devenport

Psychology and law; factors influencing juror decision-making such as expert psychological testimony, cross-examination, eyewitness identification evidence.

Tina Du Rocher Schudlich

My research interests include interparental and family processes associated with developmental psychopathology in children. My current research investigates the development of normal and abnormal patterns of emotion regulation in response to high-conflict environments, and mechanisms that explain risk and resilience in these environments.  Understanding reciprocal relations between mood disorders and families’ well-being is another focus. I incorporate multi-method approaches to my research and am especially fond of behavioral observations of couples’ and families’ interactions.

Lena K. Ericksen

My latest book, Stranded on the Shores of Time, scheduled for release November 2014, addresses how civilization altered human behavior. It also examines how the current economic system shapes the character of our interpersonal relationships. Evolutionary psychology, social constructivism, biological essentialism, and Eriksonian epigenetics were the paradigms that structured the textbook, Gender in a Changing World, for which I provided editorial guidance. I co-authored Nations of One, and originated the term and concept of hyper-individuation.

Annie Fast

Dr. Fast’s research interests are in the area of social and moral cognitive development. Therefore, she is passionate about investigating children’s reasoning about social/moral behaviors and children’s actual social/moral behavior. She is primarily interested in the development of generous behavior, with a particular focus on understanding why individuals share and help during early childhood. Her current research examines whether and how emotional experiences (e.g., happiness) from giving motivate young children’s sharing behavior.

Janet Finlay

Dr. Finlay's research translates clinical observations of brain structural abnormalities in schizophrenia into hypotheses about the biological basis of this disorder. These hypotheses are then tested using tractable model systems under controlled laboratory conditions. A goal of this work is to advance the development of novel approaches for treating and preventing psychiatric disorders. Studies currently underway in Finlay's laboratory use neurotoxin and gene deletion strategies to induce structural brain abnormalities in model systems. Lab members then examine the effects of these abnormalities on chemical neurotransmission and behavior.

Antonya Gonzalez

My research focuses on the development of intergroup bias. I study the cognitive biases and cultural influences that contribute to intergroup bias, as well as the consequences of bias for children’s behavior. Furthermore, I am currently examining the efficacy of interventions to change detrimental race, gender, and status biases in early development.

James Graham

My research focuses on examining adaptive processes in romantic relationships, or what goes “right” in relationships. In the past, this has included examining how couples spend their time together in growth-promoting or “self-expanding” activities, and how couples adapt successfully to stress.  Currently, my research team is examining the structure of romantic love and is developing a measure of romantic obsession. I also conduct research in statistics, psychometrics, and “best practices” in quantitative methods.

Jeffrey W. Grimm

Animal models of drug taking and drug seeking, neurobiology of drug taking and drug seeking.

Diana Gruman

Dr. Gruman is interested in the investigation of risk and protective factors which influence the academic and social development of school-aged children. Her research work is focused on examining the efficacy and effectiveness of preventative interventions within the professional practice of school counseling. Examples include: the effects of non-cognitive skills interventions on academic behaviors and the impact of literacy-based guidance lessons on social skills development.

Todd Haskell

Dr. Haskell’s research lies at the intersection of cognitive and educational psychology. On the theoretical side, his interests include category learning, development of problem solving skills, and the acquisition of expertise. On the practical side, he is interested in how we measure the effectiveness of educational efforts, and how new technologies impact the way people learn.

Ira E. Hyman, Jr.

Memory, cognitive psychology, social cognition.

Kelly J. Jantzen

I use high-density electroencephalography and transcranial magnetic stimulation to investigate brain behavior relationships.  The goal of research in my lab is to uncover fundamental principles of cortical function that explain the rich repertoire of human behavior.  Work is focused on understanding action/perception relationships.

McNeel Jantzen

My research employs electroencephalography (EEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to examine the neural mechanisms that underlie speech processing in adults and how language networks are organized or reorganized due to learning and alterations in acoustical environments. My work utilizes a neuroanatomical approach to investigate the effects of language and musical training on speech perception.

Josh Kaplan

My lab studies the developmental consequences and therapeutic efficacy of cannabis in pre-clinical rodent models of disease and psychological disorders. To do this, we employ behavioral, genetic, pharmacological, and electrophysiology techniques coupled with novel passive inhalation methods that mimic human use patterns. We aim to optimize cannabis' medicinal benefits, minimize side effects, and better understand its impact on the developing brain.

Jeff King

Cross-cultural psychology. The impact of teaching cross-cultural psychology to undergraduate students on their personal worldview, cultural awareness, behavior, and personal philosophy; the impact of teaching cross-cultural counseling on the perceived cultural competence of counselors in training; assessing the extent to which cultural content and processes are included in psychology courses; assessing student perceptions of the amount of cultural content in their respective classes; protective and risk factors in the retention of Native American college students; how scientific-mindedness affects our ability to understand non-western cultural epistemologies; and Muscogee Nation traditional healing and mental health treatment.

Barbara Lehman

Barbara Lehman studies the momentary processes by which stress predicts mental and physical health. Her recent experience sampling research focuses on the cardiovascular consequences of momentary concerns for social evaluative threat, and on the perpetuation of negative emotions over time. Her recent experimental work includes tests of the momentary effects of brief mindfulness meditation interventions, and investigations of invisible social support. She also studies research methodology and statistics, and typically includes physical markers of health (such as ambulatory blood pressure, heart rate variability, and cortisol) in her research.

Kristi Lemm

Dr. Lemm’s research interests are broadly in the area of social cognition, and span an eclectic range of topics including sport psychology, health psychology, prejudice and stereotyping, gender identity, cognitive development, and unconscious cognition.

Julie Major

Clinical psychology, behavioral medicine.

Brent Mallinckrodt

Attachment in adults, affect regulation, the counseling relationship as a catalyst for client change, social support, and training students for social justice advocacy.

Mike Mana

Neural substrates of cognition; stress and aging; behavioral pharmacology.

Jennifer McCabe

Dr. McCabe's program of research broadly pertains to maternal-child health. As director of the EMBERcenter, Dr. McCabe studies pregnancy and postpartum mental health and its consequences for parenting and child development. The goal for her research is to develop and test interventions designed to decrease maternal distress during pregnancy, improve mother-infancy interactions, and promote child social-emotional development.

Kate McLean

My research centers on identity development in adolescence and emerging adulthood.  I focus on how people recall and interpret their life experiences in narrative form.  I aim to understand how each person’s identity is both unique to his or her own life story, as well as born out of a social context that merits consideration in understanding the whole person as he or she begins to consolidate a sense of identity and purpose in the world.

Annie Riggs 

My research explores the cognitive processes underlying children’s social generalization. I’m interested in how children generalize information acquired from their experiences with individuals to groups of people. My past and current research investigates this question from multiple angles, including children’s memory for and statistical learning of social information, how they learn from people portrayed in curricular materials and the role that norms play in early social cognition.  

Catherine Riordan 

Dr. Riordan’s scholarship is in the areas of leadership and organizational change in applied settings.

Jacqueline Rose

Dr. Rose employs several approaches to gain insight into how neurons are uniquely adapted to modify themselves following a change in stimulus input. Research in the Rose lab utilizes the microscopic C. elegans model system to investigate processes at the single-neuron level within an intact animal model. Dr. Rose also employs dissociated hippocampal neuron cultures to observe protein redistribution and aggregation following induced activity. Taken together, these two research directions converge to reveal how alterations in ongoing signaling changes neurons and how these changes can be reflected in the whole, behaving animal.

Cristina Sampaio

Mechanisms and processes of memory, interactions of memory with knowledge, representations, phenomenal experience, memory errors, memory biasing processes, and metacognition.

David N. Sattler

Dr. Sattler examines social and environmental issues, including disaster response and recovery around the world; promoting sustainable behavior; cooperation in groups; social dilemmas; and cyberbullying. Recent work examines developing a psychological model of climate change adaptation among survivors of a super typhoon in the Philippines and South Pacific, posttraumatic stress and posttraumatic growth among survivors of an earthquake in Indonesia and tsunami in Thailand, and establishing and evaluating the International Tsunami Museum in Thailand.

Christie Scollon

Dr. Scollon studies subjective well-being, or what most people call 'happiness.' Under this broad umbrella, she is especially interested in cultural differences in happiness and emotions—for example, why some nations or cultures are happier than others. Some of her research has explored cultural differences in the valuing of emotions, cultural differences in the cognitive organization of emotion, and cultural differences in folk theories about the good life.

Aaron Smith

My research focuses on the development of mental health standards for work with military populations, including mental health interventions intended to provide support for veterans from traditionally marginalized groups, veterans transitioning out of the military or home from deployment, survivors of combat-trauma or military sexual trauma (MST), intimate partner violence (IPV), substance use, and other pertinent mental health concerns. I also conduct research on posttraumatic growth from a meaning-based, humanistic perspective with veteran survivors of trauma.

Shaun Sowell

Investigation of professional school counselors’ ability to use advocacy as a means to eliminate burnout and support self-care and wellness practices, using/developing best practices in training and preparing school counselors to work with diverse and ever changing student populations, the role of the school counselor in leveling inequities in education, and school counselor professional identity development.

Larry Symons

My research focuses on perceptual psychology. I study the perception of faces, particularly the effects of image inversion and processes involved in the holistic vs. piecemeal perception of parts of the face. I am also interested in stimulus factors that affect our ability to perceive direction of gaze. As well, I have studied illusions of motion. I am also interested in brain responses to these stimuli.