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Research Labs

Department of Psychology

Dr. Rebecca Gilbertson - Neurocognitive Lab

The primary research focus of the UMD Psychology Neurocognitive Lab is to understand health-related factors that influence neurocognitive function including substance use, abuse, and dependence (particularly alcohol).  Non-substance use disorders (“behavioral addiction”) and physiological response to stressors are emerging topics of study in the lab.  Given the complexity of brain change (primarily in the domains of attention and working memory), a variety of techniques are used including traditional computerized cognitive batteries, physiological and electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings, eye tracking and pencil/paper neuropsychological measures.  Lab members also assist with neuroscience outreach to middle and high school students.

Dr. Rebecca Gilbertson Lab


Dr. Lara LaCaille & Dr. Rick LaCaille - The Healthy Living and Learn (H2L) Lab

The Healthy Living and Learning (H2L) lab at UMD examines the intersection of psychology with health and learning.  A primary emphasis within the lab is placed upon how self-regulation affects mental and physical health.  In particular, we examine how various motives for the health behaviors of eating and physical activity are associated with weight management, well-being, and quality of life.  A corollary of this work has been to study attentional focus during exercise and sports.  Our research employs a variety of populations and approaches, including delivery of interventions to encourage healthy living.  More recently, we have begun to also investigate how pedagogical strategies and self-regulation influence student learning.

A goal of the H2L lab is to train students interested in becoming scholars and critical thinkers. Past members of the lab have gone on to doctorate programs in psychology as well as graduate training in public health.  Opportunities exist for both undergraduate and graduate students who have interests in clinical, health, or sport psychology. If you are interested in joining the H2L lab, please contact Drs. Lara or Rick LaCaille.

LaCaille Lab Photo


Dr. Alexandra Luong

Our group works on projects related to my primary lines of research: emotions in the work place, judgment and decision-making in recruitment and selection, and workplace meetings. Projects include examining correlates of psychological safety in meetings, preference for intuitive versus analytical methods in hiring, and the role of empathy in decision-making. Graduate and undergraduate students take active roles in various aspects of the research process, from research design to data collection to dissemination of findings.

 Dr. Luong Lab Photos


Dr. Mallory McCord - The Equality, Civility, and Health in Organizations (ECHO) Lab

The Equality, Civility, and Health in Organizations (ECHO) Lab investigates topics relevant to today’s organizations, including workplace mistreatment (e.g., bullying, discrimination), emotional intelligence (e.g., measurement, discrete EI), and leadership (e.g., abusive supervision, gender). The goal of this research is to deepen our understanding of these workplace phenomena and investigate interventions that may improve worker experiences. Click here to visit the lab's website: https://mccordm1.wixsite.com/echolab


Dr. Viann Nguyen-Feng - TraumaCare Lab

The TraumaCare Lab integrates psychology and public health. Our lab aims to increase access to psychotherapeutic care, particularly among in-need groups such as those who have experienced potentially traumatic life events. This research addresses access to care issues in two main ways:

  1. developing and evaluating technological interventions to get quality psychotherapeutic care to the most individuals possible;
  2. bringing holistic interventions (e.g., mind-body approaches, trauma-sensitive yoga) to individuals who might not otherwise access them.

We aim to serve at-risk groups, such as those exposed to interpersonal traumas, those who have disabling life experiences, and those with marginalized identities.


Dr. Catherine Reich - Psychotherapy and Trauma Research Lab

The Psychotherapy and Trauma Research Lab includes two separate lines of research. The primary line of research investigates why therapy/counseling "works." In other words, what mechanisms are responsible for client change. We often examine verbal and nonverbal behaviors of the therapist for their impact on psychotherapy process and outcome. The second line of research primarily centers around self-blame cognition held by trauma survivors and aims to learn more about the development, function, maintenance, and process of change for these types of thoughts. 

Dr. Catherine Reich Lab Photo


Dr. Gargi Sawhney - Safety, Health and Research Methods (SHARM) Lab

The Safety, Health and Research Methods (SHARM) lab investigates topics that include occupational safety, occupational stress, coping, recovery, and employee health and well-being. In addition, this lab explores the role of individual and contextual factors that influence psychometric properties of survey measures. If you are interested in join the SHARM lab, please contact Dr. Gargi Sawhney at gsawhney@d.umn.edu.


Dr. Julie Slowiak - Wellbeing & Behavioral Science Lab

The primary research focus of the Wellbeing and Behavioral Science Lab is to evaluate factors within physical and social environments that influence individual and organizational health, performance, and wellbeing. Topics generally relate to healthy lifestyle behavior change, performance management and improvement, behavior-based coaching, and the application of acceptance and commitment training to health, behavior, and performance coaching. The intention is to design sustainable methods and interventions that improve human wellbeing through research and practice grounded in behavioral science.

Dr. Slowiak Lab Collage

Link to website: https://jslowiak.wixsite.com/jslowiakumd/wbs-lab



Dr. Ashley Thompson - Sexuality and Relationship Science Lab

The primary research focus of the Sexuality and Relationship Science Lab is to understand people’s attitudes, judgments, and motives related to sexuality, intimacy, and romantic relationships. This is often done by applying social and cognitive psychological theories and testing them experimentally using sophisticated quantitative techniques.

Dr. Thompson Lab Team

Link to website: https://sexualityandrelationshipscience.com/