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Psychology Department
Psychology

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 falceste@butler.edu.

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 jnberry1@butler.edu.

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 bday@butler.edu.

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 rgiesler@butler.edu.  

Amanda C. Hall,  Professor

B.A., Gettysburg College, M.A., Towson University, M.A., PhD., University of Virginia. Specialty: Cognitive psychology. Dr. Hall studies the accuracy of the human memory system and the relationship between confidence and accuracy in memory. Her research focuses on what people believe about their memories and how those beliefs can be changed so as to be more accurate. One line of her research focuses on students and how to maximize their learning in class and outside of class. In addition, she is interested in how factors such as mood and emotion can impact our ability to monitor the contextual details of our memories. Dr. Hall can be reached at mhall2@butler.edu.

Karina Hamamouche, Assistant Professor 

B.A. Butler University, M.A., Ph.D., Boston College. Dr. Hamamouche's research is in the area of Developmental Psychology, particularly early childhood development. In order to navigate our environments, we must represent and understand the vast amount of quantitative information around us. Motivated by this, Dr. Hamamouche's research focuses on our representations of quantity (e.g., number, time, etc.) and the impact that those early representations have on our formal understanding of quantity (e.g., math, temporal units of measurement, etc.). In particular, she investigates the nature of quantity representations, which includes comparing similarities and differences across quantitative domains (e.g., number and time) and testing the relations between the early ability to perceive quantities and the later ability to learn symbols for these quantities. She also applies her work to the domain of education by examining ways in which we can facilitate children’s learning of difficult quantitative concepts, such as counting and division. Dr. Hamamouche can be reached at khamamou@butler.edu.  

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 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 Black women in STEM environments.  Other, current projects involve how identity-safety cues and allyship cues can encourage marginalized persons to feel welcome and supported in academic and organizational settings.  You can learn more about Dr. Johnson’s research and lab at www.indiarjohnsonphd.com Dr. Johnson can be reached at irjohnso@butler.edu.

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 interests span neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and, Parkinson's disease, music and dementia, healthy aging, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and epilepsy. She especially loves mentoring undergraduate students as they develop their research skills as student scientists. For press coverage of Dr. Lineweaver's research, see Fox 59 coverage.  Dr. Lineweaver can be reached at tlinewea@butler.edu.

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 jmmarti1@butler.edu.

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, however, his work has focused on more social aspects of developmental and personality psychology. For example, students in his lab have pursued projects involving the use of theatrical interventions for understanding and improving the social-emotional development of children on the spectrum as well as understanding and reducing faking on personality tests. Dr. Padgett's interest in predictive analytics as a tool for understanding development has also let to student work examining measures of verbal ability as predictors of peer rejection among children from socioeconomically diverse environments as well as identifying experiences that foster flexible and transcendent self-identities among college-aged students. Dr. Padgett can be reached at rpadgett@butler.edu.

Stacy Wetmore, Assistant Professor

B.A., M.A. University of Alabama Huntsville, Ph.D. University of Oklahoma. The focus of her research examines the intersection between cognition and the legal system.  Dr. Wetmore’s current focus is on informant witnesses. Jailhouse informants are one of the leading causes of wrongful conviction, yet little is known about this form of evidence. How do jurors perceive and weigh this information? How accurate is informant testimony? Are effective safeguards in place to protect against false testimony?  Her secondary interest is in eyewitness identifications. At its core an eyewitness identification procedure is a memory test. She is looking into ways that we can either improve the existing test (most commonly a lineup) or create new ways to assess an eyewitness’s memory. In addition, she is interested in identifying if there are other measures that can help inform us whether an individual is likely to be accurate.  Dr. Wetmore can be reached at swetmore@butler.edu.