Research and Applied Practica

Coordinator:  Megan Wilson, Ph.D.

Applied Practica in Psychology (PSYC4770) and Research Practica in Psychology (PSYC4760) have the following prerequisites:

  • Psychology major or post-baccalaureate status
  • Sophomore or higher standing
  • PSYC3110 (Interpersonal Behavior) (For Applied, PSYC4770 only)
  • A student must have a minimum (overall) GPA of 2.5 and a minimum Psychology GPA of 3.0
  • Advising and authorization by the department
Students work and receive training in a setting where psychological methods and principles are applied in a community setting (PSYC4770) or through directed research involving the principles and methods of psychology in a research setting (PSYC4760). Each practicum course is equivalent to 1-3 credit hours of course work. Students are required to receive 30 hours of training for each credit hour registered. Each student is expected to have weekly contact with an on-site supervisor or faculty supervisor directing the project.

Students are expected to demonstrate their growth and their ability to integrate this experience through a written document at the end of the semester for each practicum, e.g. a scholarly paper, a journal, or reaction paper. All students registered for practicum will receive a grade of "S" or "U" in this course. According to the provision of the current catalog, we allow students a maximum combined total of (6) six hours of Psyc 4760 or Psyc 4770. No more than (3) three credit hours can be taken per semester, for example, (3) three Fall semester and (3) three Spring semester for a total of (6) six or (2) two fall, (2) two Spring and (2) two Summer for a total of (6) six.

Applied/Service Practica (4770). This training experience gives students hands-on experience in the field working with children, courts, advocacy groups, faculty projects, and other community-based agencies. Students planning to apply to graduate programs or jobs in psychology will enhance their applications with the addition of this experience. Students will also develop new skills and gain valuable work experience participating in a service practica. The Psychology Department maintains a roster of agencies and faculty projects that have practicum positions open for undergraduates on the Psychology Department undergraduate web page.

Research Practica (4760). This is an opportunity for students to get hands on directed research experience in the Psychology Department. Faculty needing help on their grants or other research/academic projects often offer practicum experiences. This opportunity is especially useful for students planning to continue their studies in graduate school. Practicum opportunities are also available with hospital-based research projects and local universities looking for large number of undergraduates for their projects.

  • Students MUST begin by making an appointment with an advisor in the Psychology Undergraduate Advisement Office to discuss their academic standing and to check that course prerequisites have been satisfied. Make an appointment at the reception desk on the 11th floor of Urban Life, 404-413-6217
  • Review the practicum website and have a general idea where you would like to interview before going to the advising session.
  • Students should bring an current transcript to their advising session.
  • Advisors will check prerequisites, go over available sites, and assign two sites for students to interview.
  • If interested in working in a faculty lab, students should contact faculty directly ONLY AFTER COMPLETING ADVISEMENT if their project is not listed on practicum site web page.
  • Students will receive an application from the psychology advisor once the advisement session is complete.
  • The advisor will place an advisement code and signature on the application form, which indicates that the student has been advised. Students will not be allowed to interview at the applied site or consult with the faculty member without this code.
  • After students have completed their interviews and have selected a site or faculty project for practicum they can complete the appropriate application and leave with receptionist on 11th floor for Dr. Megan Wilson.
  • The Practicum program will contact students using their Georgia State email address only with information to complete the registration process.
  • Students should allow at least one month to complete the entire process for practica sites off campus. These sites will require interviews of students at the site.
Students working on faculty projects must comply with written evaluations as outlined by faculty supervisors. All students registered for practicum will receive either an "S" (satisfactory) or "U" (unsatisfactory) grade for the course. All off campus practicum sites receive a midterm and final evaluation form from the Practicum Office. The practicum office will use supervisor evaluations along with final written paper for the final assigned grade.
If you need additional information please email the practicum program at: mwilson72@gsu.edu with “practicum” in the Subject Line. You will receive an automatic response with the following Word attachments: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s), Registration Instructions, and other resource information to help with the practicum advisement process.

Program Description: The Grady Trauma Project (GTP) is a federally funded research project with the goal of understanding genetic, environmental and gene x environment predictors of PTSD. The broader goal of the Grady Trauma Project is scientific and clinical understanding and prevention of PTSD and other trauma related mental disorders in the population of patients served by Grady Health System.

  • Hours: 5‑10 hours per week
  • Number of semesters: Minimum of 1 semester, but 2 semesters or one calendar year is preferable
  • Supervision: 1 hour group supervision per week (team meeting)
  • Duties: Students will administer protocols to participants, recruitment of participants, data entry and measurements, and other administrative research tasks.

Program Description: The Marcus Autism Center (MAC) is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide information, services, and programs to children with autism and related disorders, their families and those who live and work with them. We offer integrated advances clinical, behavioral, and educational and family support services through a single organization to reduce the stress for families that use our services. This placement is ideal for students considering graduate training in psychology, pediatrics, family social work, or a related behavioral health fields. Students will gain valuable training by participant in clinical and research activities addressing a variety of pediatric populations, including Pediatric Psychology and Feeding Disorders Program and Language Learning Clinic.

A 10 hour commitment per week is preferred. Fall, spring, summer semesters are available. Efforts will be made to match student interests with the needs of each program. Training will involve both individual and group supervision. At a minimum, individual and team supervision is provided weekly, although the nature of the clinical services provided at MAC often necessitates more frequent/daily supervision to guide treatment procedures. A description of each program and corresponding responsibilities is provided below:

Pediatric Psychology and Feeding Disorders Program:  The pediatric feeding disorders program services children who have chronic issues with nutritional and/or caloric intake.  A large percentage of the population treated at the clinic rely on alternative means to meet their nutritional needs (e.g., a feeding tube) or display very selective eating patterns, which compromises their intake of essential vitamins and minerals. The average age of children treated is about 3 years of age.  Feeding difficulties displayed by children in the program are often the result of a complex interaction between a numbers of factors. Many have complicated medical histories, such as food allergies or reflux.  Problem behaviors (e.g., crying, disruptions, aggression) develop as a means to escape food presentations intense refusal behaviors occur during most meals and maintaining low levels of intake after the medical issues are resolved. Interest in working with children in an interdisciplinary team is preferred. Training will include mealtime data collection of target behaviors using an event recording procedure, as well as tracking parent-child interactions during meals using a behavioral coding system. Students will also assist in ongoing research protocols, including scoring of instruments, data entry, and other administrative research tasks. Students may rate family interaction variables from videotaped family assessments.

Language and Learning Clinic (LLC): Intervention offered through the LLC is specifically designed to promote skill acquisition in the domains of functional communication, adaptive daily living skills, pre-academic and academic skills, and social relationships. The LLC offers intensive 1-on-1 ABA/Verbal Behavior services to children with significant language and adaptive skills delays. We serve children in need of services targeting increases in receptive and/or expressive language, pre-academic training, and social skills. Clients are primarily between the ages of 2-12 years. Language and adaptive skills are assessed via the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R) and acquisition programming is based on these results. Students will learn to implement discrete-trial training, verbal behavior programming, and natural environment teaching with a variety of cases. In addition, functional analyses and functional assessments are conducted to assess problem behavior and structures behavior protocols are frequently implemented. Students will be observed in vivo or via videotape implementing treatment procedures.

  • Hours: 10 per week
  • Number of Semesters: two semesters
  • Supervision: at least once a week

Program Description: This research project provides treatment to abused, suicidal African-American women.

  • Hours: 5-10 hours per week
  • Number of semesters: Minimum of one semester, but two semesters or one calendar year is preferable
  • Supervision: one hour of group supervision per week
  • Duties: Students will administer protocols to participants, assist group leaders and participants during intervention groups, and provide childcare for children of participants. Duties also include assisting with administrative tasks in the research lab and attending team meetings; other administrative tasks 

Program Description: The goal of the National SafeCare Training and Research Center (NSTRC) is the nationwide implementation of the SafeCare model, an evidence-based home visitation program that has been shown to reduce child maltreatment among at-risk families. The NSTRC faculty consists of psychologists who are engaged in research efforts to improve the training, implementation, and translation of the SafeCare model within child welfare systems. We are seeking students who are interested in learning about research projects studying the SafeCare model, and who are broadly interested in the prevention of family violence. Students would be asked to assist faculty in a variety of ways with the ongoing research projects.

  • Hours: 10 hours per week & establishment of a regular weekly schedule
  • Number of semesters: Minimum of one semester
  • Supervision: one hour group supervision per week
  • Duties: Students will conduct library research, assist with data collection, entry, and management, assist with grant preparation including research design, and human subjects protections, assist with IRB applications, and explore opportunities for graduate school with a faculty advisor.

Program Description: Caminar Latino ("Latino Journey") was founded in 1990 and its mission is to provide opportunities for Latino families affected by violence to transform their lives and their communities. Caminar Latino carries out its mission by creating safe spaces for each family member to begin their journey towards non-violence, and remains Georgia’s first and only comprehensive domestic violence intervention program for Latino families. Caminar Latino currently offers: support groups for Latina survivors, a certified 24-session intervention program for Latino males who have used violence, 5 sharing groups for Latino Youth witnesses of violence, information and referral services, parenting classes, and community outreach and education. Caminar Latino serves as training and research site for university graduate and undergraduate students and has practicum positions and volunteer opportunities available. Direct service volunteer/ practicum opportunities require that individuals be available Wednesday evenings from 6pm-9:30pm. The purpose of the practicum is to provide the student with hands-on experience in a group setting with Latino children affected by domestic violence. The students will co-facilitate one of the sharing groups for children, together with an experienced graduate student or community member.

  • Hours: 4 hours per week
  • Number of semesters: Minimum of two semesters
  • Supervision: Students will meet with supervisors on a weekly basis
  • Duties: Group facilitation will include planning for session, working directly with children during group activities, learning to identify behaviors that may signal potential problems in individual children, developing new experiential exercises in order to access and understand children’s feelings, among others.  
Program Description: Cool Girls, Inc. is dedicated to the self-empowerment of girls in low-income communities. Cool Girls offer opportunities for young girls (six to sixteen) to gain confidence by providing: mentoring relationships, field trips, health and life skills education and academic support.
  • Hours: five hours per week
  • Number of semesters: Minimum of two semesters
  • Supervision: Students will meet with supervisors on a weekly basis
  • Duties: Students will assist with administrative tasks needed to support curriculum development for existing after school programs (Cool Scholars and Cools Girls Club.) Students will also assist in the following: program development, and support for staff delivering four-to-six week training modules on life skills, pregnancy prevention, conflict resolution, self-esteem and cultural awareness.

    NOTE: AS OF MARCH 1, 2016 the FSAP IS NO LONGER SEEKING UNDERGRADUATES (we will update this site as soon as they do). Program Description: This site will expose students to a breath of services provided as part of the core services of the EEAP.  Students will receive supervision in the four core services: Organizational Dynamics, Health Promotion and Wellness, Education and Outreach, and Behavioral Mental Health.  This dynamic program serves a diverse population of faculty, staff, administrators, physicians, residents, and their immediate family members.

    • Hours: 5-8 hours per week
    • Number of semesters: Minimum of one semester
    • Supervision:  one hour of individual supervision weekly with professional staff
    • Duties:  Students will participate in specific activities in each of the four core service areas with the option of selecting one area that is of most interest in which they can devote more time and effort.  Students will also be invited to attend at least one clinical case conference where an interdisciplinary team of mental health professionals discusses challenging clinical cases.  Finally, students are asked to develop a workshop or project of special interest to them and present this to the FSAP team at the conclusion of their practicum experience.
    Program Description: FCCFV, Haven House, is dedicated to ending the cycle of family violence for all victims regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, age, disability, political affiliation, national origin, ethnicity, or religious belief. They provide services that include: 24 hour crisis line, battered women's and children's support groups, individual counseling, legal advocacy, temporary protective orders, legal and medical counseling referrals and emergency shelter.
    • Hours: 5 hours per week
    • Number of semesters: Minimum of 1 semester
    • Supervision: Students will meet with supervisor on a weekly basis
    • Duties: Students will assist clients in an 18-bed shelter in various areas such as, helping with legal advocacy, coordinating activities for women and children, and escorting individuals to the shelter  
    Program Description: The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy serves children who are victims of sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, or a witness to a violent crime. The Center provides services including forensic interviews of alleged victims, forensic evaluations of alleged victims, therapy services for victims of sexual abuse, and family advocacy for the non-offending caregivers of abuse victims. The Center also coordinates the multidisciplinary case review meetings (bi-weekly) to fully assess each case of possible child abuse.
    • Hours: 5 hours per week
    • Number of semesters: Minimum 1 semester, 2 preferred
    • Supervision: Students will meet with supervisor on a weekly basis
    • Duties: Students will attend an orientation session which will provide the students with an overview of the services offered by the center and will enable the students to gain a clear understanding of the dynamics of child sexual abuse. Students will assist in the coordination with agencies involved in the investigation of child abuse. Students will also assist in case tracking and statistical data collection. If interested, students will have the opportunity to meet with families during the forensic interview process in the role of the family advocate to distribute required information and respond to questions and needs of the families. Students will be asked to work on other projects/tasks as needed by the center.
    Program Description: This is a place where youth can develop life coping skills and successfully put them into practice while connecting with the community by serving others.
    • Hours: 5 hours per week
    • Number of semesters: Minimum of 1 semester, 2 preferred
    • Supervision: Students will meet with supervisor on a weekly basis
    • Duties: Students will assist in the classroom and work one-to-one with high-risk teens. Duties also include developing academic plans and assisting in the delivery of group classes on life and job skills. Students will also participate in the following in-service training classes: rape counseling, drug prevention, and working with forensic populations.  
    Program Description: The Marcus Autism Center (MAC) is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide information, services, and programs to children with autism and related disorders, their families and those who live and work with them. We offer integrated advances clinical, behavioral, and educational and family support services through a single organization to reduce the stress for families that use our services. This placement is ideal for students considering graduate training in psychology, pediatrics, family social work, or a related behavioral health fields. Students will gain valuable training by participant in clinical and research activities addressing a variety of pediatric populations, including Pediatric Psychology and Feeding Disorders Program and Language Learning Clinic.

    A 10 hour commitment per week is preferred. Fall, spring, summer semesters are available. Efforts will be made to match student interests with the needs of each program. Training will involve both individual and group supervision. At a minimum, individual and team supervision is provided weekly, although the nature of the clinical services provided at MAC often necessitates more frequent/daily supervision to guide treatment procedures. A description of each program and corresponding responsibilities is provided below: Pediatric Psychology and Feeding Disorders Program: The pediatric feeding disorders program services children who have chronic issues with nutritional and/or caloric intake. A large percentage of the population treated at the clinic rely on alternative means to meet their nutritional needs (e.g., a feeding tube) or display very selective eating patterns, which compromises their intake of essential vitamins and minerals. The average age of children treated is about 3 years of age. Feeding difficulties displayed by children in the program are often the result of a complex interaction between a numbers of factors. Many have complicated medical histories, such as food allergies or reflux. Problem behaviors (e.g., crying, disruptions, aggression) develop as a means to escape food presentations intense refusal behaviors occur during most meals and maintaining low levels of intake after the medical issues are resolved. Interest in working with children in an interdisciplinary team is preferred. Training will include mealtime data collection of target behaviors using an event recording procedure, as well as tracking parent-child interactions during meals using a behavioral coding system. Students will also assist in ongoing research protocols, including scoring of instruments, data entry, and other administrative research tasks. Students may rate family interaction variables from videotaped family assessments. Language and Learning Clinic (LLC): Intervention offered through the LLC is specifically designed to promote skill acquisition in the domains of functional communication, adaptive daily living skills, pre-academic and academic skills, and social relationships. The LLC offers intensive 1-on-1 ABA/Verbal Behavior services to children with significant language and adaptive skills delays. We serve children in need of services targeting increases in receptive and/or expressive language, pre-academic training, and social skills. Clients are primarily between the ages of 2-12 years. Language and adaptive skills are assessed via the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R) and acquisition programming is based on these results. Students will learn to implement discrete-trial training, verbal behavior programming, and natural environment teaching with a variety of cases. In addition, functional analyses and functional assessments are conducted to assess problem behavior and structures behavior protocols are frequently implemented. Students will be observed in vivo or via videotape implementing treatment procedures.

    • Hours: 10 per week
    • Number of Semesters: 2 semesters

    Supervision: at least once a week

    Program Description: Open Hand began in 1988, providing meals to Atlantans who were dying of AIDS. In 2000, Open Hand expanded its mission and began to serve homebound seniors and others suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, renal disease, etc. Today, Open Hand prepares, packages, and delivers up to 5,500 meals daily, TWO MILLION meals per year, throughout 17 metro Atlanta counties and Athens, Georgia. Open Hand’s registered dietitians plan balanced menus and select products according to the level of nutrition care determined for each client’s needs. All clients receive nutrition education, delivered on a regular basis with the meals, and can access individual or group nutrition education and counseling sessions on topics such as portion control, healthy eating, hands-on food preparation, physical activity, goal-setting, and self-management.

    • Hours: 10 per week preferred
    • Number of Semesters: Minimum 1, 2 preferred
    • Duties: Students will gain a deeper understanding of how a non profit works: students will be exposed to most duties that volunteers perform (including preparing meals) and will also be exposed to the scheduling, fundraising and other activities vital to running a successful nonprofit agency. Students may enhance public speaking skills by facilitating orientations and trainings, as well as provide administrative and staff support. Additionally, students will schedule volunteers and maintain calendars, maintain a volunteer database, and assist in creating and editing documents such as emails, letters, flyers, agendas, and reports. Interested students can also deliver meals to clients (must have a vehicle). These tasks will allow students to gain knowledge of volunteer management and its importance to nonprofit operations.  
    Program Description: Vistacare Hospice provides medical, psychological and spiritual care to persons with a prognosis or 6months or less regardless of their financial situation or complexity of care needs. In this practicum, students will acquire hands-on experience by working with hospice patients, offering companionship and emotional support to people with life-limiting illness. You will work with VistaCare’s interdisciplinary team, which is charged with relieving the physical, emotional, spiritual and social pain of patients and their family members. Volunteers will visit patients living in private residences, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities in Cobb County, North Fulton and North DeKalb. You may also work a shift and see patients at one of our in-patient facilities located at Emory University Hospital and at Emory Hospital Midtown. OR, for a complete experience of hospice care, you may want to combine a shift at an in-patient unit with visits to home care patients.

    Practicum students must meet for an initial interview with VistaCare’s Manager of Volunteer Services, submit an application, and attend a 4-hour training class. Also required: a 2-step TB test, a background check and two references.

    • Hours: 5 hours per week
    • Number of semesters: Minimum of 1 semester
    • Supervision: Students will meet with supervisor on a weekly basis
    • Duties: Duties are flexible based on students’ interests. Duties include working with patients in the end stage of life by doing visitations to patients’ homes or nursing care facilities. Students can also work with a chaplain to help patients and their families deal with grief. Students could also work with a social worker and talk with families about a variety of issues including funeral arrangements, financial situations, family relationships, etc. Practicum students will also learn about how the hospice office works by assisting our administrative staff with their efforts to support our field staff.

    Program Description: The WRC is a comprehensive center that provides training for volunteers to work in various programs that expend women's' issues (i.e. domestic violence, rape, homelessness, lesbian issues, etc.). This practicum opportunity focuses on the program to end domestic violence

    • Hours: Minimum of 5 hours per week
    • Number of semesters: Minimum of 1 semester
    • Supervision: Students will meet with supervisor on a weekly basis
    • Duties: Opportunities include positions in emergency shelter (assist with children’s programs, support groups for residents and household tasks), hotline advocacy (trained volunteers provide telephone support to women who call needing a compassionate ear and/or information about domestic violence), children’s program (assist with support groups and child centered services) and legal advocacy (assist staff legal advocates as they help women fill out and file Temporary Protective Orders). Students will attend training classes.

    In the CEBUS lab we investigate the evolution of economic decision-making using non-human primates as a model to understand human behavior.  One of our major areas of research is exploring how non-human primates make decisions underlying cooperation, reciprocity, inequity and property, and how those decisions are altered based on social and ecological contexts. We take an explicitly comparative approach, studying eight primate species, human children, human adults, and non-primate animals, to better understand the evolution of these behaviors. For an overview of the major research topics in our lab, please see http://www.sarah-brosnan.com/research/ (click on the links to learn more about each topic , as well as to connect to recently published papers).

    Duties:

    • Observing video tapes of studies and coding behaviors
    • Entering and analyzing data from studies
    • Assisting with research projects
    • Attending lab meetings (including presenting papers)
    • Preparing an annotated bibliography or poster presentation of work

    Note that a 2 semester minimum commitment is required

    This lab examines children's' the interplay of child psychology and pediatric medicine. Topics of study include children's distress associated with medical procedures, helping children manage pediatric chronic pain, family adjustment to pediatric chronic illness, and adherence to pediatric medical regimens.

    Current Projects:

    • Parent-child interactions during preschoolers' immunizations
    • Adherence to pediatric HIV treatment
    • The impact of pediatric sickle cell disease on the parents and the child patient
    • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for pediatric chronic illness
    • Randomized controlled trial of acute pediatric pain treatments

    Responsibilities:

    • Literature review for articles related to current projects
    • Build electronic database
    • Attend lab meetings
    • Help reduce and analyze data
    • Coding of behavioral data
    • Data collection (e.g., interviewing, videotaping, interacting with pediatric patients and their parents)

    Longitudinal Follow-Up of Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors: This study examines the current psychological, social, intellectual and motor functioning of adults diagnosed and treated for a brain tumor in childhood. Now adults, these individuals were once examined on a yearly basis by neuropsychologists at Georgia State University. The lack of comprehensive and longitudinal research involving children with brain tumors makes working with this research/database a unique opportunity. We are interested in the development of these individuals since the time of their last evaluation. Participants from the original study will be recruited and will undergo a neuropsychological evaluation. They will also undergo a neurological evaluation and participate in functional neuroimaging. Please watch our lab video on YouTube.

    See http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwpsy/king.html for information on additional ongoing studies.

    Student Responsibilities:

    • Compiling test materials for participants
    • Creating and maintaining research databases
    • Photocopying, filing, organizing, scanning
    • Compiling pertinent research articles
    • Scoring neuropsychological tests and measures
    • Analyzing functional neuroimaging data (fMRI)
    • Time Commitment for research assistants: at least 8 hrs/wk for a minimum of 2 semesters including the summer

    Learning Outcomes:

    • Learn about research methods and design, data management and analyses, and the personal and professional requirements of a graduate career.
    • Learn about neuropsychological research using some or all of the measures described above.
    • Learn from other research studies about the cognitive and neural mechanisms involved in brain tumor survivors and healthy populations.
    • Practice critical thinking and communication skills.
    • Have opportunities to analyze, interpret, and report findings from these studies at PURC, GSURC, or other professional conferences.

     Mentoring plan: We employ a vertical mentoring model. University Assistants work on a daily basis with doctoral students in the Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology graduate program, who in turn are directly supervised by Dr. King biweekly regarding student progress. Dr. King also meets directly with the University Assistant to discuss the student’s academic and laboratory performance, the student’s plans for the future, and any questions or background about the ongoing studies.

    Qualifications: Assistantships are available to any outstanding student, but preference will be given to students in psychology or neuroscience who are interested in neuropsychology and learning neuroimaging techniques. Assistantships are for one year and may be renewed, contingent on satisfactory academic and laboratory performance.

     If interested, please email your resume/cv and transcript to:  

    Michelle Fox

    This practicum will involve research aimed at understanding how brain chemicals contribute to memory and memory dysfunction in rats and humans. The student will have the opportunity learn a variety of scientific skills, including animal handling, behavioral tests of learning and memory, and processing of brain tissue and microscope slides for visualization under the microscope.

    • Responsibilities: assist with research projects, attend laboratory meetings, and prepare a short research paper.
    Undergraduates may work in the lab as a volunteer or as a practicum student. Students assist on two main projects: College Student-Parent's Daily Life. The goal of this study is to understand participant’s experiences both as a student and as a parent.

    Our second ongoing project is in conjunction with several community partners in the Atlanta area. In this project we aim to better understand family processes that are universal and those that are unique to African American families. We also explore the ways that a child’s surroundings help to develop his or her strengths.

    Research opportunities include:

    • Scheduling participants by phone
    • Transcribing and coding participants’ responses from video or audio tape
    • Preparing materials for data collection and IRB submission
    • Assisting with data administrations conducted in at local community agencies and at GSU
    • Entering data into SPSS statistical software and/or Excel spreadsheets
    • Conducting reviews from the most relevant literature and updating files

    Time Commitment: 6 hrs/wk

    Please see our website for more information and for an application: http://www2.gsu.edu/~psycps/family_lab/Research_Opportunities.html

    Visit our page for more information: http://www2.gsu.edu/~psycps/family_lab/Home/Home.html

    Researchers in the IDEA laboratory investigate attention and executive function and the ways in which these processes interact in the working memory system to influence higher-order cognitive abilities like learning and decision-making. Thus, we examine individual and group differences in the skills of attention, planning, and uncertainty monitoring to identify the relation between these mental abilities and the types of training that might improve them. Cross-species research is also ongoing to explore the emergence of executive attention in nonhuman primates. The IDEA laboratory is fully equipped with computers for automated testing of participants, eye-trackers/ pupillometers, psychophysiological instruments, and computer-interfaced response boxes for recording vocal and motor response latencies. Transcranial Doppler sonography apparatus is also available for relating behavior to brain using measures of cerebral blood flow using this noninvasive imaging technology. Student research opportunities include computerized testing of human and nonhuman primate participants in attention and decision-making experiments. This research may be supported by grants or contracts from the National Institutes of Health, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Georgia State University, and other foundations or agencies.

    Human factors research internships at AT&T Telecommunications are also available to select graduate students. For more information on this or other research opportunities please contact Dr. David Washburn.

    Scientists at the Sonny Carter Life Sciences Laboratory of the Language Research Center study the behavior and performance of humans and nonhuman animals (principally rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees). This research is designed to elucidate cognitive processes such as attention, learning, memory, and executive function as these constructs are manifest across species. Experiments are designed to reveal how these mental abilities develop, how they correspond to brain mechanisms, how they relate to one another, and how they are affected by cognitive (e.g., perceived control), affective/motivational (e.g., emotion), social (e.g., competition), and environmental (e.g., microgravity) variables. Moreover, research at the SCLSL is designed to examine how psychological well-being can be measured and maintained.

    The SCLSL is a component laboratory of Biobehavioral Foundations and Development of Cognitive Competence, a multi-investigator, multi-institutional program-project supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD060563).

    The SCLSL offers opportunities for biobehavioral collaborative research with investigators from institutions around the world. Graduate and undergraduate students can be involved in every phase of the research. For additional information, please contact Dr. David A. Washburn.

    Research Coordinators: Katharine Suma and Riane Ramsey

    Undergraduate research assistants may join one of our research teams that is investigating variations in early child development. RAs may be volunteers or practicum students; some RAs may apply for fellowships or temporary positions, as they become available.

    All research assistants are required to commit a minimum of two semesters, for a minimum of 8 hours per week.

    Each RA is assigned to one of our projects and assigned specific tasks that will help us collect and analyze data and present our findings. RAs may attend lab meetings and, as they learn more about our work, expand their roles in current studies and/or pose new questions for study.

    Currently, we have two projects that are especially well-suited for undergraduate research assistants:

    The early detection project. This project seeks to refine methods of detecting autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as early as possible. It is a multi- site study funded by NIH that is directed by Dr. Diana Robins, a clinical developmental neuropsychologist at Drexel University. Lauren Adamson supervises the GSU site whose team includes Riane Ramsey, clinical psychologists who conduct ASD evaluations in GSU’s Psychology Clinic, and several graduate and undergraduate students. We are currently asking parents to complete a short questionnaire, the M-CHAT-R/F, during their baby’s well-child visit to their pediatrician. When an infant demonstrates risk, we invite the parent and child to GSU for a clinical evaluation so that we can learn more about what early behaviors best predict ASD. Research assistants may help us video record clinical evaluations, enter data, score assessments, and interact with parents and medical staff. After a semester on the project, some research assistants are invited to learn one or more of the toddler measures to interact with individuals who come for sessions.

    The communication play project. This project seeks to describe early communication development in typically-developing toddlers and toddlers at risk for developmental delay, including autism spectrum disorder. We systematically observe parents and children interact several times, beginning when infants are just beginning to speak and ending during the preschool years when children have typically mastered the rudiments of language and social cognition. This project is funded by a long-standing grant from NIH. Lauren Adamson is the principal investigator and the research team includes Katie Suma, several students, and three faculty members, Roger Bakeman, Rebecca Williamson, and Diana Robins. Currently we are collecting observations of children and caregivers as they share sounds (speech, music, animal sounds, and mechanical sounds) to describe how sharing sounds develops and how variations in sharing sounds might account for later differences in the child’s language and social understanding. Research assistants may participate in video recording sessions, prepare for the caregiver-child visits, learn and apply coding schemes using INTERACT coding of video records, check scored assessments, and perform data entry.

    Research assistants may also have the opportunity to help graduate students with thesis and dissertation research projects or to participate on a pilot project related to poverty and early communication development.

    If you are interested in applying to a practicum in the Developmental Laboratory, please contact us at DevLab@gsu.edu.

    http://www.latzmanlab.com

    Overview: In the IDDP Lab, in both humans and chimpanzees, we research neurobehavioral factors associated with the development and persistence of psychopathological behaviors (e.g., aggression, substance use, psychopathy). We use a number of different techniques and approaches to investigate these questions including self-report surveys of personality and mental health, computerized neurocognitive tasks, and genetic and brain imaging data.

    Responsibilities: Research Assistants in the IDDP Lab are responsible for a number of different aspects of the research experience including:

    • Conducting research sessions with both undergraduate students as well as families
    • Data management and entry
    • Literature reviews on relevant topics
    • Attending weekly lab meetings
    • Assisting with research presentations and papers

    Additionally, highly motivated assistants will have the opportunity to present their own research at local, regional, and national research conferences as well as potentially completing an Honors Thesis.

    Learning Outcomes: Research Assistants will:

    • Receive training on the ethical conduct of research
    • Gain knowledge and experience in using some or all of the research approaches described above
    • Learn to conduct behavioral experiments with human participants
    • Practice critical thinking and communication skills with respect to the interpretation and explanation of research findings

    Requirements: Minimum requirements include a GPA of 3.4 or higher, an interest in pursuing a career in psychology, neuroscience, or related field, and the ability to commit at least 9 hours per week for at least two semesters.

    The overarching aim of the Behavioral Science Laboratory is to identify individuals who are most likely to engage in aggressive behavior as well as the environmental conditions that facilitate their aggression. As such, research in the lab examines a wide variety of risk factors for aggression. Major areas of focus include (1) examination of the effects of acute alcohol intoxication and cognitive processes on aggression – particularly intimate partner violence, (2) investigation of individual and situational variables that facilitate or inhibit prosocial bystander intervention for sexual violence, and (3) personality and attitudinal constructs (e.g., prejudice) and situational and/or social cues (e.g., the presence of others) on the perpetration of aggression toward sexual minorities. At present, our lab is conducting an NIAAA funded multisite laboratory-based project with Purdue University (Christopher Eckhardt, Co-PI) designed to examine how specific affective and cognitive processes mediate the relationship between alcohol intoxication and intimate partner aggression. In addition, additional ongoing projects address the major areas of focus described above.

    Current Doctoral Students

    Ruschelle Leone: Ruschelle is interested in identifying risk and protective factors to reduce alcohol-related aggression, with a particular focus on bystander intervention. Much of her research has focused on examining the effects of situational- and individual-level risk factors on violence against women and sexual minorities. She is particularly interested in research focusing on the environmental contexts in which violence is likely to occur, including the influence of alcohol use, social norms, and masculinity.

    Olivia Subramani: Olivia’s research interests include examining the role of individual differences in perpetration of alcohol- and non-alcohol-related violence, with a particular emphasis on intimate partner violence. She is particularly interested in the role of attention as a mechanism underlying aggressive behavior.

    The imaging genetics research programs in this lab use structural and functional neuroimaging data, as well as genetic data, to explore the genetic influences on the development of various traits or disorders. Current projects are focusing on schizophrenia, Huntington's Disease, and ADHD. Within schizophrenia the focus is on the mechanisms underlying hallucinations and other reality distortions.  These research projects are best suited to students with a solid mathematics background and an interest in both neuroscience and cognitive psychology. The informatics projects are focused on making the process of reading the neuroimaging literature more efficient, developing text-mining techniques to extract what a paper is about and what the experimental methods were. These efforts tie into the larger project of knowledge engineering, linking computer sciences and cognitive neurosciences in the service of more effective biomedical research. All these projects are highly interdisciplinary, and collaborative across multiple institutions and departments for access to large datasets and novel algorithms. 
    The HIV and Families Lab empirically examines issues at the intersection of HIV and families. The research team is currently part of a randomized clinical trial, taking place at multiple sites around the country, including Georgia State University. Specifically, the Parents Matter! Program is a prevention intervention designed to help parents of elementary school-aged children employ parenting and communication strategies that protect children from facing a variety of health risks, including HIV/AIDS. Additionally, the research team is involved in studies examining the impact of maternal HIV infection on parenting and, ultimately, child functioning. Most recently, the team is looking for opportunities to expand both areas of research to the international arena. 
    Our research focuses on understanding mechanisms of risk for internalizing problem. We are currently conducting three projects. The first is a study of how exposure to mothers’ sadness and anger are related to preschool-aged children’s shame/guilt, empathy/prosocial behavior, and physiological/emotional reactivity. The second study investigates toddler's social learning of prosocial behaviors. The third study examines empathic physiological reactivity, guilt/self-blame, excessive caretaking behavior, and parent's psychopathology as correlates of depression and anxiety in young adults. 

    Our research focuses on (1) understanding the processes of resilience and positive youth development in adolescence, and (2) evaluating the effectiveness of community based prevention and health promotion programs. With perspectives gleaned from community psychology, we value collaboration, interdisciplinary scholarship and varied research methods to make a difference in the communities we serve. For more information on our research and on getting involved, please go to: sites.gsu.edu/gkuperminc.

    We are interested in advancing science in the areas of stress and stress-related outcomes, with particular focus on factors that produce, or reduce, stress, and factors that make stress more, or less, problematic for people. Most of our work has emphasized stress risk and resilience that might be linked to different kinds of personality characteristics, especially perfectionism. We study stress and personality in lab, with projects examining physiological aspects of stress reactivity, and also conduct studies outside of the lab with projects examining academic, health, and other personal and interpersonal outcomes. Two major areas of recent emphasis have been on underrepresented college students majoring in one of the science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM) and on acculturative stress and psychosocial adjustment of international students in the U.S.

    Research Assistants participate in various aspects of current studies, such as:

    • Completion of required training for those conducting human subjects research.
    • Participation in regular research team meetings.
    • Reading, reviewing, and discussing relevant research articles.
    • Implementing procedures to run subjects through laboratory studies.
    • Data coding, entry, and data management.
    • Work with other team members to prepare research papers and presentations at national conferences.

    Students interested in becoming involved with this research team should do the following:

    1. Determine if they have, on average, five or more hours per week to devote to the research team.
    2. Read several (>5) abstracts from recent published research papers that Dr. Rice has authored. This will give you a good idea about current interest areas for the research team.
    3. Read completely at least one of his recent articles. http://education.gsu.edu/profile/kenneth-rice/

    If after completing 1-3, you are still interested, then email an unofficial copy of your transcripts, vita or resume, and a short note about your interest to Dr. Rice. He may subsequently arrange a time to meet with him or one of his graduate students to see if you can be involved in the team.

    In the NeuroLearn Lab, we investigate the neurocognitive mechanisms of learning and language development. Specifically, we aim to provide answers to the following questions:

    • What are the cognitive and neural mechanisms of learning, memory, and language?
    • Are disorders of language and communication due in part to disturbances to neural circuits supporting domain-general learning functions?
    • Can we enhance neurocognitive function of children and adults with language disorders by training them to learn and process information more efficiently?We use multiple techniques and populations to answer these questions. Some techniques include behavioral learning and language tasks, standardized neuropsychological assessments of language and cognition, and measurements of brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG) and ERP. Populations include typically developing children and adults as well as populations with language disorders, such as individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, have Autism Spectrum Disorder, or dyslexia.

    Student Responsibilities:  Research Assistants will join one of our ongoing research projects and will be trained to assist in data collection and analysis. This involves interacting with participants and administering some of the cognitive and neural assessments described above, including (if desired), neural (EEG) measures.

    Please contact Dr. Chris Conway for more information or to indicate interest.

    Dr. Aharoni's research lab draws upon interdisciplinary approaches to understand and shape the ways in which extra-rational factors, such as emotion, influence decision making in legal, criminal, interpersonal, and policy domains. This lab brings together perspectives from cognitive science, neuroscience, law, criminology, philosophy, economics, clinical psychology, evolutionary psychology, and computer science.

    Duties may include:

    • Assisting in research design
    • Engaging in data collection
    • Helping with data analysis
    • Compiling literature reviews
    • Aiding Dr. Aharoni in the reporting of laboratory studies
    • Attending weekly meetings

    Please note that a minimum 2 semester commitment is strongly preferred.

    For more information