Descriptions of the current Psychology labs are below.
Behavioral Endocrinology and Ethanol Research (B.E.E.R.) Lab
Professor Megan Bertholomey
Research in the B.E.E.R. lab takes a behavioral pharmacology approach to understanding the mechanisms underlying pathological behaviors using preclinical models. Our research is aimed at examining stress- and gonadal hormone-related changes in rat models of psychopathology, with a particular emphasis on substance use (especially alcohol), anxiety, PTSD, and depression. As it is increasingly understood that sex as a biological variable (#SABV for short) is an important consideration in research, projects our lab use both female and male rats. B.E.E.R. lab members read the primary literature in this field to familiarize themselves with prior research and in techniques related to future studies in the lab. Ongoing experiments examine the effects of gonadectomy (surgical removel of ovaries or testes) in adolescence or adulthood on sex differences in alcohol drinking, with the hypothesis that adolescent (prepubertal) gonadectomy will eliminate the typical sex difference in alcohol drinking observed. Students will receive hands-on training in the surgical and behavioral techniques, data management and analysis, and have the opportunity to present the results of these studies at local and national conferences. Interested students can contact Dr. B to discuss current projects and space in the B.E.E.R. lab.
Just Undergraduate Students Thoroughly Investigative Crime Ethically (JUSTICE) Lab
Professor Chris Normile
The JUSTICE Lab consists of several undergraduate students who are interested in conducting research investigating psychology and law related issues. Topics that we investigate include perceptions of exonerees, jury decision-making, secondary confessions, and more. As a member of the JUSTICE Lab, students learn how to design research studies at all parts of the research process. This includes reading journal articles, generating new ideas, developing materials, collecting data, and analyzing data. Students also have the opportunity to present research at national and regional conferences. Professor Normile always recruits students to join the lab during registration period each semester. If you are an undergraduate student at Allegheny College interested in joining the JUSTICE Lab, please reach out to Professor Normile and schedule an appointment to discuss the opportunity.
Physiology and Applied Social Sciences (PASS) Lab
Professor Ryan Pickering
My lab uses physiological approaches to study social stress, particularly stress related to being a part of a marginalized community. This can and has included research on stereotype threat, identity and performance, disclosure of concealable identity, and perceptions and anticipatory stress related to diversity training. We also apply interdisciplinary and multi-modal research approaches to learn about and try to solve real-world problems, like sustainability, behavioral intention related to health, workplace issues, behavioral economics, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belongingness for students from marginalized groups. I generally recruit students from my social psychology (PSYCH162) course, though I am always open to recruiting interested students, particularly near the end of the spring semester to prepare students for at least a full year of lab involvement.
Statistical Cognition Lab
Professor Chris Normile
The Statistical Cognition Lab consists of students who are interested in studying the learning and understanding of statistics. Topics we investigate include understanding how different disciplines approach statistical pedagogy, NHST versus new and Bayesian statistics, and understanding what statistical software works best for student learning. As a member of the Statistical Cognition Lab, students learn how to design research studies at all parts of the research process. This includes reading journal articles, generating new ideas, developing materials, collecting data, and analyzing data. Students also have the opportunity to present research at national and regional conferences. Professor Normile always recruits students to join the lab during registration period each semester. If you are an undergraduate student at Allegheny College interested in joining the Statistical Cognition Lab, please reach out to Professor Normile and schedule an appointment to discuss the opportunity.