Directed Research

Dr. Trainor with Directed Research students

PSYC 393, 394: Directed Research (1 - 3 credits)

Course Description: Students in this course will be involved in carrying out one or more empirical research projects currently being conducted by the supervising faculty member. Students will meet regularly with the faculty member, read relevant research articles, and collect data. Students may also participate in entering, coding, or analyzing data. Enrollment in this course is subject to approval of the supervising faculty member. Required application and recommendation forms for this course are available from the supervising faculty member or via the link below.


Ongoing Projects

Cognitive Psychology - Dr. Elizabeth Babcock Dr. Elizabeth Babcock researches how cognitive abilities (such as creativity, memory, attention and learning) are affected by various real-life situations. She has investigated how creativity and attention are affected by internet use, and how to improve memory for names. Students in her lab test other students (and sometimes older adults from the community) individually or in groups, as well as administer web-based surveys.

Counseling Psychology - Dr. Ben Jeppsen's research area is the relationship between prayer and mental health. Specifically he examines the variables that explain the diverse effects of prayer on mental health . Some of the variables include level of self disclosure in prayer, interpersonal relational factors (relationship to God, social support), prayer types, trust-based beliefs, and locus of control. He also looks at differences across religious denominations and the role of theology in psychological processes of prayer.

Developmental Psychology - Dr. Olivia Lima's broad area of research interest is teaching and learning, as informed by the perspectives of cognitive, developmental, and educational psychology. She has investigated preschoolers' word learning in school settings, how classroom climate and relationships affect learning and development, and best practices for college-level instruction and mentoring. 

Social Psychology - Dr. Anne Zell's esearch relates to social, positive, and political psychology. Her research topics have included motivated reasoning; humility, narcissism, and entitled behavior; forgiveness; self-control; how competition affects relationships; and moral tradeoffs. Students in her lab have conducted both experiments and correlational studies on these topics.

Application Information

Enrollment in directed research is selective, and space is limited. Therefore, if you would like to enroll in directed research, you must first apply and be accepted. Research teams will be filled on a “first come, first served” basis. The earlier your application materials are complete, the earlier you can finalize your registration plans.

To apply, you need to do the following:

  • Complete the application form and return it to Dr. Babcock (MC 134).
  • Give a copy of the recommendation checklist (in the application) to two faculty/staff members who are willing to recommend you. (One recommendation can come from the Psychology faculty but the other should be from outside the psychology department.) Ask them to return the completed checklist directly to Dr. Babcock as soon as possible.

We will contact you by email to inform you whether your application has been accepted. If your application is approved, we will let you know which faculty member you will be working with. You should talk with this faculty member about the number of credits that you should register for and a faculty member will authorize you to enroll in the course.