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

Clinical Psychology - Dr. Casey Trainor specializes in the relationship between anxiety and sleep disorders. Specifically he is interested in the factors that contribute to the development of anxiety, the relationship between anxiety and sleep, and the relationship between anxiety and substance use. Students in his lab design and analyze web-based surveys, and conduct in-person clinical interviews.

Cognitive Psychology - Dr. Elizabeth Babcock researches how cognitive abilities (such as memory, attention and learning) are affected by real-world task demands. Currently, she is exploring the relationship between technology use and creativity. She also investigates issues related to multitasking with technology, and how to improve memory for names. She conducts research with both college-aged students and older adults (aged 63+).

Counseling Psychology - Dr. Ben Jeppsen's research area is psychology and religion/spirituality. Currently, his focus is on the relationship between prayer and mental health. Specifically he examines the variables that explain the diverse effects of prayer on mental health (both positive and negative). 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. In the future he is developing a plan for an experimental design examining prayer type's effects on positive psychological constructs such as gratitude, humility, and prosocial behaviors.

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. Read the 2010 Developmental Lab Newsletter!

Social Psychology - Dr. Anne Zell's research relates to social and positive psychology. Her research topics have included humility, forgiveness, self-control, how competition affects relationships, moral evaluations of deception, and how receiving praise affects people. Recently, 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. Jeppsen (MC 132).
  • Give a copy of the recommendation checklist (in the application) to two faculty members who are willing to recommend you. (One of those faculty recommenders should be from outside the psychology department.) Ask them to return the completed checklist directly to Dr. Jeppsen 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.