Department of Psychology Laboratories

UWF Cognitive Development Lab

The Cognitive Development Lab is under the direction of Dr. Vanessa Rainey. The focus of this lab is on the development of skills that help children and adults learn in their specific sociocultural environment. One line of research is examining how bilingual learners compensate for dual language conflict in the brain and how child translators cope with their highly demanding environments. Other lines of research are examining the general development of cognitive control across the lifespan and in different learning environments. This research is done using survey techniques, behavioral measurements, and electroencephalography (EEG). Check out the lab website for current lab activities.


UWF Health Psychology Research Lab

The Health Psychology Research Lab is directed by Dr. Susan Walch.  The lab focuses on conducting research examining biopsychosocial factors related to health and illness using a variety of research methods ranging from cross-sectional and longitudinal correlational research studies to experimental and quasi-experimental research investigations.  Recent lab studies have examined the impact of discrimination on the physical and mental health of sexual and gender minorities, factors predicting homophobia and transphobia, HIV prevention and care needs, negative affective states and sexual risk taking behavior, and the role of mindfulness in depressive symptoms and suicidality, among others.  Undergraduate and graduate student volunteer research assistants often work on a variety of projects at different phases of the research process to gain experience across research topic areas, methods, stages, and processes.  Lab research project have resulted in numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and paper, panel, and poster presentations at national, regional, and local conferences.  More information can be found at the UWF Health Psychology Research Lab website.


UWF Human Factors Lab

The human factors laboratory is under the direction of Dr. Steven Kass.  In general, human factors research provides the knowledge to design systems that optimize human performance by compensating for human limitations and capitalizing on human strengths.  Studies conducted in the laboratory have focused on attentional issues such as situation awareness, distraction, and tactile feedback and how they impact performance in driving and other psychomotor tasks. For examples of research conducted in the lab and representative publications, visit the UWF Human Factors Lab website.


UWF Neurocognition Lab

The Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory is under the direction of Dr. James Arruda.  Areas of research interest include cyclic variations in attention, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s dementia, and the multivariate statistics as they are applied to EEG data.  The Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory has a state-of-the-art EEG system (64 channels), including a Scan computer and a Stim2 system.  A complete description of each area of research and representative publications can be found at the UWF Neurocognition Lab website.


UWF Parenting and Child Development Lab

The Parenting and Child Development Lab is directed by Dr. Kimberly Day. This lab focuses on how individual and contextual factors influence socioemotional development in young children. One line of work is primarily focused on how factors such as children’s temperament and parenting are related to preschoolers’ control of their behavior and emotion, particularly their private (i.e., self-directed) speech. Observational and survey methodologies are utilized in this research lab. Motivated undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply to join the lab. For more information, please email Dr. Day at kday@uwf.edu.


UWF Leadership Lab

Dr. Schneider directs a broad variety of research in her leadership lab. Topics include how leadership, social identity, diversity, and social dilemmas affect culture in primarily non-profit and volunteer organizations.  Within this framework, for example, she has studied leadership of volunteers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and university faculty and staff.  She is currently working on an NSF ADVANCE grant to develop a survey to measure faculty culture conducive to enhancing a supportive and inclusive culture for recruiting, retaining, and advancing women faculty in STEM, with special attention to women of color and leadership positions. For more information email Dr. Schneider at sschneider@uwf.edu.


UWF Workforce Issues Lab

The Workforce Issues lab is under the direction of Dr. Valerie Morganson and focuses broadly upon topics in Organizational Psychology. Within this general theme, areas of specific focus are two-fold. The first concerns work-life balance issues. For example, how do people balance their work and family roles? The second major area of focus concerns gender barriers. In particular, how do service workers respond to sexual harassment from customers? Is retaliation toward the customer a coping strategy? Regarding gender barriers, the lab examines the underrepresentation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields. Recent research has additionally focused on student work-life balance and teacher support. Aside from developing research experience, lab members gain valuable experience through article reviews and peer mentorship. Visit the Workforce Issues Lab website at the UWF Workfore Issues Lab website.


UWF Biopsychology & Hormone (BpH) Lab

The Biopsychology & Hormone (BpH) laboratory is under the direction of Dr. Carolyn Pritchett. The BpH lab considers the various aspects of eating disorders, obesity, diabetes, mental health problems and the association between these health concerns. To do so, we use a mix of experimental and observational methods and measures. Some of the methods to be used in the BpH lab include assessing responses to and by gut-brain hormones; measuring lean muscle mass and body fat; assessment of blood glucose levels; and measuring eating (and related) behaviors with observational and survey methods. For more information, please contact Dr. Pritchett at cpritchett@uwf.edu.


UWF Status and Mindfulness Lab

The Status and Mindfulness lab operates under the guidance of Dr. Darren Bernal. The lab focuses on subjective social status, mindfulness, and well-being. Research activities emanate from (a)  the exploration of moderating effect of subjective socioeconomic status on psychological well-being; and (b) the effects of mindfulness on performance.  Current research projects include longitudinal research on subjective social status in immigrants, mindfulness on athletic performance, and the relationship between social connection and subjective social status. We utilize a team approach to conduct, present, and publish our research. Motivated graduate or undergraduate students are welcomed to apply. More information is happily provided via an email to Dr. Bernal at dbernal@uwf.edu.


UWF Attitudes and Emotions Research Lab

The Attitudes and Emotions Research Lab is directed by Dr. Stephen Vodanovich.  Research activities focus on a wide range of topics.  An ongoing research topic has involved the measurement of boredom and how it relates to individual well-being and workplace issues.  Several studies on the construct of workaholism have been conducted, including examining its antecedents and consequences.  Additional research topics include the assessment of ageism and its impact in the workplace, as well as investigating the content of job application forms from a legal perspective.  The vast majority of these research projects have been published in peer-reviewed journals and/or presented at national and regional conferences. Contact Dr. Vodanovich at svodanov@uwf.edu for more information.


UWF Lab for Rotunda

Dr. Rob Rotunda, Professor in the Department of Psychology and Coordinator of the master’s degree program in Counseling Psychology, is a clinical psychologist with research and clinical interests in addictive behaviors, trauma and PTSD, interpersonal violence, crisis intervention and response to disaster, and sport/exercise psychology. He works with undergraduate and graduate students on a wide range of thesis and directed independent study projects. To find out more contact Dr. Rotunda at rrotunda@uwf.edu.


UWF Visual Cognition Lab

Have you ever wondered how you are able to remember where things are? Or how you remember faces? Your ability to do these seemingly simple, but very complex, processes encompasses the field of visual cognition. In the Visual Cognition Lab, we study the cognitive processes associated with processing and representing visual information (e.g., shapes and real world objects). We focus on visual short-term memory for objects, and how other processes like attention and long-term memory influence the ability to remember information over the short-term. There is an additional line of research examining visual cognition in applied tasks like driving, visual search, and training. More details, including current projects and how to get involved, can be found at the lab website, or by contacting Dr. Lisa Blalock at lblalock@uwf.edu.


UWF Psychology SOTL Lab

Dr. Jane Halonen oversees the activities in the Psychology SOTL (Scholarship on Teaching and Learning) Lab. Research activities explore issues relating to how both teaching and learning can be improved in the psychology curriculum. A particular emphasis is the execution of the department’s assessment plan, including formulating the department’s annual technical report on its academic learning outcomes. For example, the university’s quality enhancement plan calls for improvement in students’ professional communication skills.  What strategies can professors implement to help students improve their writing and speaking skills?  Lab membership should be of value to students who intend to pursue careers as psychology professors or students who plan the workforce in areas that involve professional training or program evaluation.  Contact Dr. Halonen at jhalonen@uwf.edu for further information.

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