Psychology Student Research

Participation in research is a key component of our curriculum. Each faculty member conducts research in one or more specialized areas within psychology. Students benefit from participating in faculty research groups in several ways. They have the opportunity to apply the concepts, theories, and ideas learned in the classroom. They also learn how to think like psychologists and learn how scientific research is conducted. No amount of reading about psychology or listening to instructors can replace the experience of conducting research in behavioral science.

We encourage students to become involved in research projects with several professors during their undergraduate years. Students participate in the planning, execution, presentation, and publication of the research. They typically start with Directed Research, PS396, followed by Independent Study, PS496. Some students complete an Honors Thesis, PS499, a year-long research project for which a proposal is required at the end of the junior year. They routinely make presentations at national meetings such as the annual convention of the American Psychological Society. Students also present their work at undergraduate research conferences, such as the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference and the Mid-America Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference. Student research projects may receive financial support from departmental sources and from Undergraduate Research Grants, which funds honors theses, student travel to national conferences. Students may also apply to participate in the American Psychological Association Summer Science Institute and the National Science Foundations Research Experience for Undergraduates program.