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Faculty research, service and professional interests
Bonnie Angelone, Associate Professor
My primary area of interest is people’s inability to detect changes to visual stimuli, a phenomenon known as change blindness. For example, imagine a pedestrian asked you directions to a certain location on campus. While you were talking, a couple of construction workers walk between you and the lost person carrying a large door. During this interruption the person you were talking to switches with one of the construction workers behind the door. Do you think you would notice that you were now talking to a completely different person? Although almost everyone believes they would notice that their conversation partner changed before their eyes, only about half actually do. Because change blindness is a counterintuitive finding, I became interested in why it occurs for centrally attended stimuli. I am currently working on projects to examine factors that may affect people’s ability to detect changes. For example, working memory capacity, people’s prior expectations, people’s general knowledge about vision and individual differences are a few of the many possible factors that may influence change detection. Please contact me if you would like more information about my research or if you are interested in getting involved with any related projects (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by my office!!)
D.J. Angelone, Associate Professor
My primary research interests focus on sexually aggressive behavior from the perspective of both the perpetrator and the victim. I am also interested in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) and Substance Abuse both as independent disorders and in relation to sexual aggression. In the past, I have examined person and situational factors that can influence men’s engagement in sexually aggressive behavior in a laboratory setting, as well as the influence of such factors on men and women’s perceptions of sexually aggressive behavior. For example, I have examined the relationship between factors such as peer interactions, alcohol use, alcohol expectancies, “Club drug” use, intentionality, sexual orientation, and cognitive defensiveness with sexual assault and sexual harassment in the context of a person X situation model. In addition, I am interested in human sexuality and couple’s issues and the psychological treatment of substance abuse and victims and perpetrators of sexual assault and other trauma. Finally, I am interested in examining outcome data relevant to factors associated with substance abuse treatment. Please contact me if you would like more information about my research or if you are interested in getting involved with related projects.
Tom Dinzeo, Associate Professor
My research focuses on schizophrenia and the schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. I am interested in understanding the individual risk factors that contribute to the development (or exacerbation) of schizophrenia-related disorders. Over the last several years my lab has specifically examined neurocognitive functioning, personality factors, social/interpersonal functioning, & lifestyle behaviors. Recent research has included outpatients with schizophrenia and high-risk samples (e.g. college students with high levels of schizotypy). Most recently I have focused my attention on the relationship between health behaviors (e.g., substance use, stress management, exercise & nutrition) and outcomes in those with schizophrenia-spectrum conditions. The literature suggests a well-known link between schizophrenia and chronic illness / early mortality with lifestyle factors contributing significantly to these issues. I am interested in identifying 1) how problematic health-behaviors develop, 2) how these behaviors are maintained, 3) whether-or-not these behaviors can be successfully addressed through non-medical interventions. Students who are interested in these topics and would like to obtain research experience are encouraged to contact me via email (email@example.com) or by dropping in to see me at my office in Robinson Hall (room 116D).
Jim Haugh, Associate Professor
My research interests are threefold. First, I am interested in the development and treatment of depressive disorders, with a specific focus on specific and non-specific factors related to these two syndromes. I have explored a number of psychosocial factors related to this goal, including social problem solving abilities, social support, ruminative response styles, coping, personality/schemas, and automatic thinking. Second, I am interested in the role of psychosocial factors in the prediction of specific disorders that are commonly comorbid with depressive disorders or symptoms. Most recently, this research has resulted in a number of investigations exploring the comorbidity between anxious depressive symptoms. Finally, I am interested in psychotherapy process and outcome research. This research has included predicting treatment progress in juvenile offenders, exploring the role of the therapeutic relationship in predicting treatment progress and outcome, and using case study methodology to explore treatment progress and outcome. I have an active research team that includes both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students can volunteer time as a research assistant where they assist with one of the ongoing projects, or they can sign up for an independent study where they will conduct one of their own studies that is consistent with my research interests.
Gerald Hough, Associate Professor
My areas of interest center around how birds (and by extension, people) learn navigational maps in their world, and how these maps change across the lifespan. These research projects include investigating the neurobiology of bird behavior, with a specific focus on the navigational abilities of homing pigeons and language evolution in Hawaiian honeycreepers. I perform both behavioral and physiological investigations of these phenomena using behavioral, bioacoustic, and tracking experiments. Ongling projects include the effects of rotating landmarks on the food searching behavior of homing pigeons, the effects of landscape differences on the homing abilities in homing pigeons, and the differences in 'Amakihi songs across several islands in Hawaii. My office is located in Science Hall 201D. If you wish to talk more to me about these lines of research, please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Meredith Cerian Joppa, Assistant Professor
My research interests focus on the development of healthy romantic relationships and sexual behavior among adolescents and young adults. Specifically, I am interested in developing interventions to prevent dating violence, STIs/HIV and unintended pregnancy among at-risk teens, and am currently developing an attachment theory-based intervention to prevent dating violence and sexual risk among teen mothers and their partners. I am also developing a study to examine how romantic attachment and relationship skills, particularly communication skills, are related to dating violence and sexual risk among college students. (email@example.com)
MaryLou Kerwin, Professor and Chair of Psychology
My research interests are in applied behavior analysis, especially the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding problems, child abuse and neglect, and substance abuse. I am particularly interested in the relationship between substance abuse and parenting as well as in developing integrated treatments for substance abuse and parenting difficulties.
Karyn A. Tappe, Assistant Professor
I'm trained as a health psychologist and am interested in studying the areas of our daily lives that impact our health most profoundly: eating and physical activity. I have conducted several studies about physical activity maintenance, with the goal of understanding why some individuals are able to maintain a regular, long-term exercise routine while others are not. My main focus in this area has been on the concept of habit formation, and whether performing exercise habitually (same activity, same time of day, same location, etc) encourages lifetime exercise routines. Currently my Psychology Exercise Lab is running a study evaluating influences on student exercise behavior, such as commuting time and overall stress level. My secondary interest focuses on consumer behaviors regarding food purchases and eating patterns, as impacted by such environmental influences as supermarket organization, packaging appeal and size of packages. Our ability to control our weight is profoundly influenced by the "obesogenic" environment, which encourages us to eat excessively and mindlessly. I would like to learn more about these influences in order to help consumers develop defensive mechanisms against such damaging food marketing techniques.