Research Labs | Department of Psychology


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Sexuality and Relationship Science Lab - Dr. Ashley Thompson

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/

Wellbeing & Behavioral Science Lab - Dr. Julie Slowiak

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

Neurocognitive Lab - Dr. Rebecca Gilbertson

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

Individual Differences in Disinhibition Lab - Dr. Scott Carlson

The Individual Differences in Disinhibition Lab explores lack of self-control and problems associated with it at multiple levels. We look at impulsivity or disinhibition in terms of personality traits, executive functions, emotions, neural activity, and behavior patterns. Problems we investigate include binge drinking, substance use disorders, antisocial behavior, aggression, psychopathy, high-risk sports, excessive gaming, and binge viewing of streaming media. We are interested in using multiple methods to explore risk factors associated with these problems and to identify moderators that reduce risk.

Dr. Scott Carlson Lab

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

The Equality, Civility, and Health in Organizations (ECHO) Lab investigates topics relevant to today’s organizations, including workplace mistreatment (e.g., bullying, incivility, discrimination), worker health and safety (e.g., mental health, physical safety), and emotional intelligence. The goal of this research is to deepen our understanding of these workplace phenomena and investigate interventions that may improve worker experiences. If you are interested in joining this lab, please contact Dr. Mallory McCord at mccordm@d.umn.edu.

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

The Healthy Living and Learn (HL2) Lab - Dr. Lara LaCaille and Dr. Rick LaCaille

The Healthy Living and Learning (HL2) 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 HL2 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 HL2 lab, please contact Drs. Lara or Rick LaCaille.

Lara and Rick LaCaille Lab Photos

Psychotherapy and Trauma Research Lab - Dr. Catherine Reich

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