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RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES FOR UNDERGRADUATES

(last updated, 8/30/19)

NOTE: I ONLY UPDATE THIS PAGE OCCASIONALLY.  ANYTHING PRESENTED HERE MAY BE OUT OF DATE, AND IS MORE LIKELY TO BE OUT OF DATE, THE OLDER THE LAST UPDATED DATE IS. IF YOU ARE IN MY LAB, THE DESCRIPTIONS AND REQUIREMENTS IN MY LAB’S SAKAI SITE SUPERSEDES ANYTHING PRESENTED HERE.

 

My current research opportunities for undergraduates primarily involve research in the following areas:
1) Identifying when, how, and how much stereotypes influence how people perceive individuals from the stereotyped group.
2) Projects on science reform and political biases in academia.
GO TO MY BIO PAGE (The second half of my bio focuses largely on research).

FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT WORK CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS,
GO TO MY WORK IN PROGRESS PAGE PAGE

FOR INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
GO TO MY LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION PAGE

Aresty Programs

Rutgers has several programs that provide strong support for undergraduates involved in research, such as grants and internships.  I strongly encourage you to consider gettinginvolved in one or more of the Aresty Programs. Click here for more information.

Undergraduate Research Open to Anyone (formerly, Independent Study)

There are no prerequisites. Freshmen and sophomores are *highly* welcome in my lab.It is also open admissions as long as there are slots.  I do not  care about your past record.Completed coursework in social and personality psychology, statistics, and experience using  computers are all major  pluses that will help you get more out of it. Studies usually involve working with a team of undergraduate and/or graduate students,
and provide excellent opportunities to learn how to design and run experiments and analyze data using the computer.

Formal Requirements

1. Two-semester commitment. You receive 3 credits per semester, like a regular class.  If this is your first semester of research with me, you must sign up for one additional semester (this could be over a summer) of research with me. You will automatically receive a grade of TC (or less) for your first research class, which will be changed after you complete the paper required at the end of second semester.

2. Work. Your eligibility for particular grades depends on: 1) How much you work; and 2) how good your work is. Although the quality of your work is necessarily a subjective judgment, how much you work need not be. In order to keep the subjective aspects of the amount of your work to a minimum, each day you work, you will be required to record your hours on a log in the Social Perception Laboratory (room 301 Tillett).

Your eligibility for certain grades hinges on how much you work each semester:

Grade……..Minimum Required Hours
A…………….130
B+…………..120
B…………….110
C+…………..100
C……………..90
D……………..80
F…………….<80

Note: These hours are required each semester. You will receive two grades, one for each semester.

Probably the best way to interpret this is as follows: The column in the left provides the highest grade you can possibly receive, given that your amount of work exceeds the number of hours on the column on the right. For example, to be eligible for an A, you must have completed at least 130 hours worth of work that semester. Completing 130 hours does not guarantee an A. In addition, we must judge that your work has been of high quality. However, completing 113 guarantees that you will not get an A and that you will not even get a B+ (the highest possible grade you could receive would be a B). So, if you complete 113 hours, and the quality of your work is very high, you will receive a B; if the quality of your work is not very high, you will receive a grade of C+ or lower.

3. You must be highly dependable and reliable. If you say you are going to do something or be somewhere, it is very important that you do so. Acts of god (e.g., lying unconscious after an accident on the turnpike, your home burns down, etc.) are the only category of acceptable reasons for failing to do so.

4. Final Paper (see below)

For information on current studies being conducted in the Social Perception Lab, go to my Work in Progress page.

Your Role You will get more information on these studies later. Your role may involve reading and reporting on psychology research articles, interviewing, running experimental sessions, and/or coding and analyzing data — not to mention a final paper required at the end of the second semester. You will undoubtedly have to learn a little about IBM-compatible personal computers (PCs). You may have to learn quite a lot. But do not worry if you are not familiar with computers, or even if you are a little computer phobic. We will get you started.


FINAL PAPER

All students who are involved in research with me are required to write a final paper at the end of the second semester. No paper is required at the end of the first semester. This paper is due by the end of the finals reading period second semester. Feel free to turn it in any time earlier. IF YOU FAIL TO TURN IT IN ON TIME, YOU WILL RECEIVE A GRADE OF TZ OR, AT MOST TC . This will be changed after you actually turn in the paper (if you do so before Rutgers rules lead the TZ to become an F). There is no additional penalty for being late. Do not give me the ONLY copy of your paper. No paper is required at the end of the first semester.

IMPORTANT WARNING:  For me to enter  your grade, and change your temporary grade from the first semester,  your paper must be handed in at least two weeks before the end of the semester.  I will inflict no punishment of consequences of any sort for failing to do so.  However, it is possible that the RU registrar will inflict such a punishment on you.  If you **need** the grade for some reason, and your paper is not handed in on time, you will not receive the grade.  This is not a punishment, it is a natural effect of not handing in the paper.  No paper, no grade.
Here is a worst case scenario: You complete the two semesters, and plan on graduating in May.  But you don’t hand in the paper till May 15.  That is too late for me to enter the grade.  As a result, you will get a TZ grade for that semester.  You get no credit for a TZ grade.  This might prevent you from graduating.

I am not looking to prevent you from graduating.  You do, however, have to finish the final paper to get a grade.  If you do not finish the final paper two weeks before the end of a semester,  you will not get the grade that semester.  It is up to you (not me) to be mindful of the potential consequences that may bring.

Title Page

Your Name
Social Perception Lab
Date Submitted
Semesters You Worked in the Lab

This paper should total around ten pages and be in two parts.

Part I (of paper)
The first part should be a formal description of the research project you were involved with and should be about 6-7 pages long. This first part should approximately follow American Psychological Association standards for a research paper. First, there should be an introduction presenting general theoretical background and then the hypotheses. Second, there should be a methods section describing exactly how the experiment was conducted (pilot-testing, pre-testing, procedures, materials, confederates, questionnaires, etc.).

Third, there should be results section. This section describes exactly how the experiment “came out” — how the independent variables influenced the dependent variables; group differences, control conditions vs. experimental conditions, correlations among variables, etc. Not all of these types of results are relevant to any particular study, but you should report all those that are relevant to the study you worked on. If results were not yet obtained, describe in detail how you think the results are likely to come out.

Fourth, there should be a discussion section. In this section you discuss how the research you worked on relates to broader issues in social psychology, to psychology in general, and its relevance (or lack of it) to “real life.” Also discuss some ideas for following up the study you worked on — i.e., based on what is or might be discovered by the study you worked on, what should be the next thing we should research?

Part II (of paper) The second part of the paper should be a more informal description of your experiences in this project (about 4-5 pages). What did you learn from your participation? What did you get out of it? Which parts did you enjoy and which were annoying pains in the neck? How could the study be improved? Feel free to criticize (and compliment) any aspect of the study itself, how it was done, and your relationships with any of the other people in the study, including other undergrads, grad students and me.

Alternative Paper If you are the primary author of a paper that is accepted for presentation at a professional conference (e.g., American Psychological Association), that will count as Part I of your paper. Even if you are not primary author, if I judge that the paper is sufficiently difficult and sophisticated, and your contribution significant, you may get Part I of the paper waived.

BUT EVERYONE STILL HAS TO DO PART II.

Deadlines

  • It has no due date, and there is no late penalty, ever.
  • HOWEVER, if you want your grades submitted by the end of a semester, you MUST submit the final paper no later than the last day of classes.