Research & Laboratories

Sona Information


Research Labs

The Department offers numerous opportunities for students to engage in research under the direction of a faculty member. Each semester, approximately 40 undergraduates participate in supervised research opportunities. Students are encouraged to look for opportunities that match their area of interest. Undergraduate students may do so either for credit (up to six hours) or on a volunteer basis. Involvement in research is highly recommended for students planning to pursue graduate study.  Below is a list of facutly  research lab and their research foci. Additional information about faculty research can be found on the Faculty & Staff page.



Anxiety Research Laboratory

Lab Director(s)Joshua J. Broman-Fulks, Ph.D. (
Research FocusThe Anxiety Research Laboratory conducts translational research focused on the identification, prevention, and improvement of problems in living associated with anxiety. A primary focus of the Anxiety Research Laboratory is examining the effects of various modifiable lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, mindfulness practice, and acceptance-based interventions, on anxiety and relevant functional living outcomes.
Lab Website



Appalachian Adult ADHD (AAA) Lab

Lab Director(s)Will Canu, Ph.D. (
Research FocusThe Appalachian Adult ADHD Lab (AAA Lab) is devoted primarily to investigating the assessment, features, course, consequences, comorbidities, and treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, with a special focus on adult populations. An emerging secondary theme in the lab is a focus on rural clinical issues, including differential outcomes related to rural conditions, access to services, and treatment delivery.
Lab Website



Applicant Decision-Making (ADM) Lab

Lab Director(s)Yalcin Acikgoz, Ph.D. (
Research FocusApplicant Decision-Making Lab investigates the process through which an employment relationship begins from the applicants' perspective. Specifically, we examine issues surrounding applicants in job search, employment testing, and offer evaluation process including, but not limited to, their reactions to organizational practices and how they evaluate job offers.
Lab Website



ASC School Mental Health Lab

Lab Director(s)

Kurt Michael, Ph.D. (,
JP Jameson, Ph.D. (

Research FocusChild and adolescent psychopathology, School mental health, Suicide prevention, Rural service delivery, Depression and anxiety, Substance abuse disorders, Meta-analysis, Psychotherapy outcome
Lab Website 




Women's Health Lab

Lab Director(s)Denise Martz, Ph.D. (
Research FocusBody image, eating disorders, fat talk, body snarking and how interpersonal violence and bullying affect psychological disorders.
Lab Website



HR Science Team

Lab Director(s)

Shawn Bergman, Ph.D. (
Yalcin Acikgoz, Ph.D. (

Research FocusNow more than ever, organizations recognize the competitive advantages that HR analytics provide their companies. In order to help organizations harness this potential, HR Science Team conducts research on how to best utilize data in making HR decisions.
Lab Website



Perception Action Lab (PAL)

Lab Director(s)Kenneth M. Steele (
Research FocusWe study the relationship between people and the environment in which we live. The research includes environmental information to which we are sensitive (perception), and the effect of that information on future behavior (learning).
Lab Website



Personality and Romantic Relationships Lab

Lab Director(s)Chris Holden, Ph.D. (
Research FocusOur lab investigates how personality influences the ways in which people approach and maintain their romantic relationships. In doing so, we often focus on self-esteem, contingent self-esteem, and mate retention behaviors.
Lab Website



Rural Evidence-based Addictions and Community Treatment (REACT) Lab

Lab Director(s)Jackie Hersh, Ph.D. ( and Lisa Curtin, Ph.D. (
Research FocusThe REACT Lab conducts clinical psychology research focused on how to improve mental health treatments and the lives of underserved populations (such as those in rural areas). This includes examining treatment adaptations (e.g., the use of mobile technology) and bringing services to innovative settings (e.g., integrating mental health care in medical settings, schools, etc). We're also interested in treatment for substance misuse. Dr. Hersh additionally has an interest in child and adolescent psychopathology and Dr. Curtin additionally has an interest in health psychology.
Lab Website



SLAP (Students of Law and Psychology) Lab

Lab Director(s)Twila Wingrove, JD, Ph.D. (
Research FocusWe study the intersection of psychology and the legal system. Currently, we are focusing on understanding how juries make decisions in sexual assault cases.
Lab Website 



Social Cognition and Motivated Reasoning (SCaMR) Lab

Lab Director(s)Andrew Smith, Ph.D. (
Research FocusMy team conducts research focusing on how social and motivational factors influence how people perceive themselves and others, and how these factors influence their behavior.
Lab Website



Videogame, Media & Bullying Lab

Lab Director(s)Mary Ballard, Ph.D. (
Research Focus

We examine the impact of videogame play on a variety of physiological and behavioral outcomes, including bullying. We sometimes incorporate other media, such as the news, in our studies. Some of our studies also focus on the risks for LGBT people, including bullying, risk behavior, and sleep disruption.

Lab Website