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Psychology Department

Psychology Faculty Research

Fabiana Alceste, Assistant Professor

B.A. University of Florida, Ph.D. John Jay College of Criminal Justice/The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Dr. Alceste’s research area is Psychology and Law. She studies the social and cognitive processes involved in police interrogations and false confessions. Her recent work focuses on how interrogation practices (such as directly accusing a suspect, minimizing the moral seriousness of an offense, and/or sharing crime details with a suspect) influence judgments about police custody and confession evidence. She hopes that work in this field will continue to improve the criminal justice system by preventing and identifying false confessions that may lead to a wrongful conviction. Dr. Alceste can be reached at

Jennifer N. Berry, Assistant Professor

B.S., M.S., Ph.D. University of Kentucky, post-doctoral research Purdue University. Specialty: Behavioral neuroscience/biopsychology. Dr. Berry’s research focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms involved in the development of substance abuse and dependence using in vivo rodent models. Additionally, we investigate receptor systems (i.e. nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, stress hormone receptors) that may be targeted in the treatment of substance dependence. Current projects involve investigations into nicotine and alcohol co-consumption and the role of stress hormones in substance abuse. Dr. Berry can be reached at

Brian Day, Assistant Professor

B.A., Denison University, M.S., Illinois State University, Ph.D., Clemson University.  Specialties: Human Factors Psychology, Ecological Psychology, Perception and Action, History of Psychology.  Dr. Day's research investigates the relationship between perception and action, especially in regard to the perception of affordances (the behaviors that can be done in the world). His research also focuses on ensuring that products, ranging from simple tools and websites to virtual reality systems and complex technology interfaces, are safe and easy to use. Dr. Day is also interested in the history of psychology, with a focus on the work of William James and other American functionalists and pragmatists. Dr. Day can be reached at

R. Brian Giesler, Associate Professor

B.A. Cornell University, PhD. University of Texas at Austin, post-doctoral fellowship Baylor College of Medicine & Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Specialty: Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine; also Statistics/Methods and Social Psychology. Most of Dr. Giesler's prior work has focused on assessing and improving the quality of life of cancer patients and their families.  Although he still conducts research in this area, the majority of his current research focuses on: 1) the relationship between health and spirituality/religiosity; 2) how to help people achieve their health-related goals by intervening on the cognitive and emotional processes that are in-play during goal adoption; 3) the impact of positive emotions on health; 4) how consensus information affects individuals’ attitudes and behaviors.  Dr. Giesler can be reached at  

Amanda C. Hall,  Professor

B.A., Gettysburg College, M.A., Towson University, M.A., PhD., University of Virginia. Specialty: Cognitive psychology. Dr. Hall studies memory errors and the factors that contribute to them.  Her research focuses on how factors such as mood and emotion can impact our ability to monitor accurately the contextual details of our memories. In addition, she is interested in ways to reduce false memories and what reductions in memory errors can tell us about how the memory system works. Dr. Hall can be reached at

India R. Johnson, Associate Professor

B.A. Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis, M.A., Ph.D., The Ohio State University.  Dr. Johnson’s area of research is Applied Social Psychology, Stereotyping and Prejudice, Diversity Interventions.  Dr. Johnson’s research examines the development and evaluation of interventions geared towards promoting healthier interactions between persons of different identities.  Most recently her work has focused on interventions to support underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) environments.  Current projects involve how role models and allies can encourage underrepresented groups (e.g. Black and Latina women, White women, sexual and religious minorities) to feel welcome and supported in academic and organizational settings.  Dr. Johnson can be reached at

Tara T. Lineweaver,  Professor.

B.S., B.A., Butler University; M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology;  PhD., San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology; Clinical Internship, University of Chicago Medical Center; Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Specialty: Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Lineweaver is trained as a Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in neuropsychology (how the brain impacts cognitive abilities). Her research focuses on memory and visuospatial information processing in patients with neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Epilepsy. In addition, she studies the factors that contribute to the opinions healthy individuals have about their memory and their other cognitive skills. For press coverage of Dr. Lineweaver's research, see Fox 59 coverage.  Dr. Lineweaver can be reached at

Joel M. Martin,  Professor 

B.S., University of Pittsburgh, M.S., PhD., University of Memphis. Specialty: Clinical and counseling psychology. Dr. Martin studies cognitive, behavioral, and social factors that distinguish the subclinical versions of psychological disorders from full disorders (e.g., normal sadness from major depression). He is also interested in stigma and stereotypes of mental illness, ethical decision-making in therapy, empirically supported psychotherapies, treatment of substance use, and the portrayal of psychotherapy and psychopathology in popular cinema. Dr. Martin can be reached at

Robert J. Padgett, Professor

B.A. Hanover College, M.A., PhD. Wayne State University. Specialty: Developmental psychology, statistics and measurement. Dr. Padgett has a long-standing interest in how young children learn and remember information from activities in which they participate. In recent years, his work has focused on what children learn and remember from visiting a science museum and from video game play. Dr. Padgett can be reached at