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Student Research Opportunities


All of the psychology faculty members are actively involved in different research projects in various areas of psychology. One of the most enriching experiences you can have as a psychology major or minor is involvement in this research! As demonstrated in the pictures above, students will have the opportunity to collect data and present their findings at local, regional, and national conferences.

Students have the opportunity to volunteer their time and energy, working on faculty-directed research or conducting an independent research project under the supervision of the faculty. Below are some current research projects being conducted by our faculty.

If you are interested in becoming involved in research, we encourage you to come and speak with us about ways you can contribute!

Dr. Larry Bates

  • Examining religious fundamentalism and emotion via the binocular rivalry task
  • Interstate Religion: Religious messaging through billboard advertisement
  • Tombstone Religion: Religious messaging and images on tombstones

Dr. Ryan Zayac

  • Examining the cultural differences of faculty and students' perceptions of behaviors and characteristics of "master" teachers.
  • Assessing the prevalence, advantages, and disadvantages of using a disability support service committee when reviewing post-secondary students' requests for accommodations.
  • Examining undergraduate research experiences from students' and mentors' perspectives

Recent Student Presentations (*denotes student researcher)

Ratkos, T., Frieder, J., Zayac, R. M., Donahue, N.*, Paulk, A., & Ware, M.* (2017, May). Essential readings for undergraduate students in behavior analysis: A survey of behavior analytic faculty and practitioners. Paper presented at the annual Association for Behavior Analysis International Conference, Denver, CO.

Pettit, M.*, Paulk, A., Zayac, R. M., & Keys-Mathews, L. (2017, April). A Comparison of U.S. versus German Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of the Impact of Undergraduate Research Experiences. Poster presented at the annual National Council on Undergraduate Research, Memphis, TN.

Miller, S.*, Carlisle, S.*, & Zayac, R. M., Paulk, A., & Lee, S. (2017, March). Disability accommodation requests: Prevalence, advantages, and disadvantages of various review processes. Poster presented at the annual Southeastern Psychological Association Conference, Atlanta, GA.  

Williams, H.*, Craig, H.*, Kizzire, A.*, Pugh, G.*, Pettit, M.*, Miller, S.*, Hudiburg, R., & Bates, L. (2017, March). The development of a scale of religious attitudes: Measuring fears.  Poster presented at the annual Southeastern Psychological Association Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Hogan, S.*, Bates, L., & Hudiburg, R., Priester, A.*, Prado, W.*, Miller, S.*, & Bergner, A.* (2017, March). Identifying Relationships between Psychological Well-Being and Inmate Program Participation.  Presentation at the annual Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA.

Mashburn, M.*, Mannon, E.*, Thompson, C.*, & Carrasco, G. (2017, January). Perceptions of severe weather: An examination of potential variables in severe weather decision making. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society, Seattle, WA.

Priester, A.*, Donahue, N.*, Kynerd, C.*, Bergner, A.*, Hogan, S.*, Williams, H.*, Kennedy, A.*, Bates, L., & Hudiburg, R. (2016, April).  Religious fundamentalism and the visual dot probe task.  Presented at the 62nd annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.

Schiavone, S.*, Leverenz, K.*, Hudiburg, R., & Bates, L. (2016, April). Bears on the trail! Development of the Hiking Fears Scale.  Presented at the 62nd annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.

Donahue, N.*, Ware, M.*, Mannon, E.*, Thompson, C.*, Bergner, A.*, Priester, A.*, Willis, L.*, Vedder-Abrams, C.*, Miller, S.*, Elise, C.*, & Zayac, R. M. (March, 2016). Stimulus equivalence training: Effects of preferred vs. Non-preferred foods on portion-size estimations of elementary school children. Poster presented at the annual Southeastern Psychological Association Conference, New Orleans, LA.  

Schiavone, S.*, Mannon, E.*, Ware, M.*, Donahue, N.*, Thompson, C.*, Priester, A.*, Bergner, A.*, Willis, L.*, Kennedy, A.*, Mashburn, M.*, Hollander, M.*, Beitel, A.*, & Zayac, R. M. (March, 2016). The effects of a stimulus equivalence program on portion-size estimations of Peruvian and American elementary school children. Poster presented at the annual Southeastern Psychological Association Conference, New Orleans, LA.  

Donahue, N.*, Priester, A.*, Hogan, S.*, Willis, L.*, Kynerd, C.*, Thompson, C.*, & Zayac, R. M. (March, 2016). The effects of recruitment modality on student participation in registered student organization events. Poster presented at the annual Southeastern Psychological Association Conference, New Orleans, LA. 

Hubbert, H.*, Priester, A.*, Beitel, A.*, Bates, L., & Hudiburg, R. (2015, October). Righteousness and riotousness in radio bluegrass music.  Paper presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Newport Beach, CA.

Hudiburg, R. A., Leverenz, K.*, Poole, K.*, Kennedy, A.*, & Bates, L. (2015, October). Hiking trail ethics behavior and religious dimensions of environmental ethics. Paper presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Newport Beach, CA.

Ware, M. *, Bergner, A. *, McClung, M. *, McCarley, A. *, Richardson, M. *, Parker, S. *, & Zayac, R. M. (March, 2015). Effects of prompts, feedback, and incentives on “green behaviors” in college dorms. Poster presented at the annual Southeastern Psychological Association Conference, Hilton Head, SC.