Research

From exploring the impact of ADHD on daily life to treatment methods for addiction, faculty in the Saint Louis University Department of Psychology are committed to collaborating with students on research both in and out of labs.

The WAGER lab is just one of the many labs sponsored by the Department of Psychology.

You can start pursuing research even as an undergraduate under the supervision of a faculty member. Research opportunities are available in a variety of areas including domestic violence, trauma, neuropsychology, health psychology and clinical child psychology. Advanced clinical training opportunities in neuropsychology, pediatric and clinical child psychology, health psychology, and academic psychology are available through collaborative relationships with medical centers, agencies and practitioners in the community.

If you want to volunteer for a psychology research project, sign up through our research participation website.

Psychology Research Labs

Both undergraduates and graduates can pursue the research they find most interesting through faculty-guided research in one of the department’s many research labs.

ADHD Lab

Principal Investigator: Annie A. Garner, Ph.D.

The ADHD Lab examines Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its impact on daily life. Of particular interest is the impact of ADHD on driving among adolescents. We use experimental methods and state-of-the art driving simulation and eye tracking methodology to examine these relationships.

Lab Site

Applied Social Psychology Lab

Principal Investigator: Eddie M. Clark, Ph.D.

The Applied Social Psychology Lab research focuses on close relationships and health attitudes and behavior.

Lab Site

Billiken Sport Psychological Services and Consultation

Principal Investigator: Michael Ross, Ph.D.

The sport psychological service team provides individual and team services throughout SLU’s athletic department. We are primarily focused on understanding and improving the mental aspects of athletes' performances. Our team works with athletes to increase mental toughness, improve sport experience, provide support through sport-related experiences, and enhance overall performance.

Learn about the graduate mentoring philosophy of Michael Ross, Ph.D.

Learn more about our research activities

Individual Services
Individual services include one-on- one meetings between an athlete
and a sport psychology consultant (SPC). The length of time in sport psychological
training can vary and this largely depends on the athlete's presenting goals. Some athletes
choose to schedule one to two sessions that focus on specific skill development (e.g.,
confidence, relaxation, developing a mental warm-up), while other athletes prefer to
engage in more advanced skill training (10 weeks or longer). Athletes present to these
services with a variety of goals and/or areas of development. Some simply want to
increase their mental toughness during sport, decrease reactivity to negative experiences,
and improve their ability to reach a flow state. Other athletes may be experiencing
barriers to performance such as anxiety, difficulties adjusting to a new team, a lack of
confidence, or concerns regarding motivation. These services are available to all SLU
student-athletes. If interested in setting up this training, email Zach Merz
to request an appointment.

Biofeedback Training
This is one type of technique incorporated into the individual training. During biofeedback, athletes learn how to maintain control over physiological processes that enhance the likelihood of achieving a flow state. SPCs will introduce and train a variety of mental skills that help control these processes.

Team Services
SPCs are often requested to work with teams in a variety of capacities. Options for this training include one-day workshops, multisession team trainings, and team assessments. Team workshops typically focus on 1-2 skills or topics, while multisession team trainings include the introduction and application of a variety of skills. Team assessments are often requested by the coaching staff and include the evaluation of a variety of mental aspects using questionnaires and biofeedback techniques. Following a team assessment, coaches are provided with team and individual data and recommendations. Recommendations strive to enhance the mentality of the team during practice and games. Additionally, individual athletes receive their own data and recommendations for mental performance.

Specialty Groups
The Sport Psychological Service Team also provides specialty services to populations of athletes experiencing unique stressors or transitions. Examples include injured athletes (e.g., increasing coping and rehabilitation adherence), freshmen athletes (e.g., supporting the transition to a new team, coach, and/or role), and senior athletes (e.g., helping with the transition out of sport). These services often occur in a workshop format and are requested on an as needed basis by the athletic department staff and/or student-athletes.

Meet the Team
Michael J. Ross, Ph.D., ABPP
Director

Ashley Hansen, M.S.
Assistant Co-Director
Senior Sport Psychology Consultant

Taylor Montgomery, M.S.
Assistant Co-Director 
Senior Sport Psychology Consultant

Jeffrey Shulze, M.S.
Sport Psychology Consultant

Alicia Kauffman, M.S.
Sport Psychology Consultant

John Lace, M.S.
Sport Psychology Consultant

Tyesha McPherson, M.S.
Sport Psychology Consultant

Zach Soulliard, M.S.
Sport Psychology Consultant

Andrew McGrath, B.S.
Sport Psychology Consultant

Spondita Goswami, B.S.
Sport Psychology Consultant

Joanne Perry, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Zach Merz, M.S.
Senior Consultant
Predoctoral Intern
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

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Child and Family Research Lab

Principal Investigator: Janet Kuebli, Ph.D.

The Child and Family Research Lab studies child development and family processes. Of special interest are family socialization processes. For example, we are interested in how parents socialize children's emotion-related understandings of themselves and others, as well as how families socialize children's knowledge and attitudes related to science and math.

Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience of Aging (CANA) Lab

Principal Investigator: Jill D. Waring, Ph.D.

The Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience of Aging Lab investigates the interactions of cognition and emotion processing across the lifespan, with the goal of identifying behavioral and neural markers that may influence or precede cognitive decline or symptoms of anxiety and depression in late life. We investigate these topics using behavioral, neuropsychological and neuroimaging techniques.

Lab Site

Cognitive Neuroscience of Stress Lab

Principal Investigator: Tony W. Buchanan, Ph.D.

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Stress Lab is interested in how psychological stress affects attention, encoding, consolidation and retrieval of memory. We use endocrine measures (cortisol), autonomic nervous system activity (heart rate variability, skin conductance, pupil diameter) and eye-tracking methodology to examine how stress affects cognition.

Lab Site

Cross-Cultural Human Development Lab

Principal Investigator: Judith L. Gibbons, Ph.D.

The Cross-Cultural Human Development Lab works on research related to human development in international perspective, including such issues as ethnic relations among Guatemalan adolescents and inter-country adoption.

Dynamic Adaptability Research (DyNA) Lab

Principal Investigator: Dustin K. Jundt, Ph.D.

The DyNA Lab focuses on research examining learning, skill acquisition, skilled performance and performance adaptability in individuals and in teams by integrating and leveraging theories of motivation, learning and cognition.

Eating and Weight Studies Lab

Principal Investigator: Jillon Vander Wal, Ph.D.

The Eating and Weight Studies Lab conducts research in the areas of eating disorders, obesity and associated health behavior change.

Gender Cognitions and Development Lab

Principal Investigator: Kim Powlishta, Ph.D.

The Gender Cognitions and Development Lab focuses on the development of social categorization, stereotyping and peer interactions. We are interested in how children (and sometimes adolescents and adults) think about and interact with others whom they view as different from themselves and/or who belong to particular social categories. The primary differences or categories we explore are those based on gender.

Lab Site

Memory, Language and Cognition Lab

Principal Investigator: Ronald Kellogg, Ph.D.

The general themes explored in the Memory, Language and Cognition Lab include the role of working memory and semantic associations in language comprehension and written language production. Specific research interests are hemispheric differences in semantic processing, metaphor comprehension and conceptual metaphor theory, differential demands of written language production on verbal, visual, and spatial working memory, and verbal creativity.

Lab Site

MACRL: Multidisciplinary Aging and Cognition Research Lab

Principal Investigator: Lisa Willoughby, Ph.D.

The primary research interests of the Multidisciplinary Aging and Cognition Research Lab are focused on memory, aging and health. Currently projects include interdisciplinary collaborations and research studies conducted in the laboratory and in the community.

Lab Site

Neuropsychology Lab

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey D. Gfeller, Ph.D.

The Neuropsychology Lab conducts research that investigates how conditions such as traumatic brain injury, dementia, learning disabilities or ADHD, affect a person's cognitive and emotional functioning. Team members in our lab also investigate factors that influence examinees' performance and effort during neuropsychological evaluation.

Lab Site

Neuroscience Sleep Laboratory

Principal Investigator: A. Michael Anch, Ph.D.

The Neuroscience Sleep Laboratory investigates the underlying neural mechanisms that control sleep. The focus of our lab is to investigate the anatomical and neurochemical substrates that are involved in sleep and waking.

Lab Site

Social Justice Lab

Principal Investigator: Ruth Warner, Ph.D.

The goal of the Social Justice Lab is to examine how a history of victimization affects perceptions of individuals and groups.

Lab Site

Sustainable Employability Across the Lifespan (S.E.A.L.) Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Cort W. Rudolph, Ph.D

At the S.E.A.L. laboratory, we aim to develop and deploy cutting-edge science related to the broad implications of the aging workforce. We strongly believe that best practices should be grounded in scientific evidence. Thus, we seek to engage diverse stakeholders in conversations regarding the study of aging, work and retirement, and to apply research findings to inform future empirical explorations, theoretical advancements and practical applications.

We envision enhanced work environments that support sustainable employability across the lifespan. To achieve this, we strive to:

  1. Understand changes that occur as a result of aging within work contexts.
  2. Develop strategies to help people and organizations manage such changes.
  3. Engage in dialogues that support implementing these strategies.

Lab Site

Violence and Traumatic Stress Lab

Principal Investigator: Terri L. Weaver, Ph.D.

The Violence and Traumatic Stress Lab explores the intersection of psychological and physical sequelae of interpersonal violence.

Lab Site

Wellness, Addiction, Gambling and Exercise Research (WAGER) Lab

Principal Investigator: Jeremiah Weinstock, Ph.D.

In the Wellness, Addiction, Gambling and Exercise Research lab, we investigate the etiology, correlates and treatment of addiction. Of particular interest are interventions that address both the mind and body.

Lab Site