Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility UWF Psychology Laboratories | University of West Florida
Skip to main content

UWF Psychology Laboratories

UWF Occupational Health and Stress Lab

What relationships do you think connect someone’s job-fit to health outcomes? Is this different
for highly stressful jobs like for emergency services personnel? The Occupational Health and Stress Lab under the direction of Dr. April Schantz focuses on strain, well-being, and performance outcomes associated with high-stress occupations (e.g., first responders, emergency or disaster response groups, action- or performance-teams).In progress research usually includes interdisciplinary projects with other departments and/or project collaborations with local organizations. Students with an interest in Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) or high-reliability teams should consider getting involved as a research member in Dr. Schantz’ lab. Email Dr. Schantz to express your interest.

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 Children's Self-Regulation Lab

The Children's Self-Regulation 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

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.

UWF Lab for Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Health

Dr. Rob Rotunda, Professor in the Department of Psychology, supervises applied clinical and consulting projects in the areas of addictive behaviors, trauma and PTSD, intimate partner violence, crisis intervention and disaster psychology, and sport/exercise psychology. He works with undergraduate and graduate students on a wide range of thesis and directed independent study projects, often proposed and initiated by high-performing students themselves. Recent projects that resulted in publications or conference presentations were on topics such as problematic internet use among university students , cross-cultural perceptions of cheating in sports, psychological symptoms and distress among victims of intimate partner violence, trauma symptoms and PTSD among firefighters and paramedics, and the epidemiology and personality correlates of problem gambling. To find out more about current initiatives contact Dr. Rotunda.

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.

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 for further information.