Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) Directory

The FRAP Directory allows students to identify UCSB faculty who are looking for undergraduate students to participate in their research projects or creative activities. Please use the links below to find opportunities by discipline. Students, if your desired discipline is not listed, please contact the Undergraduate Research Initiatives office at 805-893-3090 or urca@ltsc.ucsb.edu for assistance. Faculty, if you would like to post your research or creative activity opportunity, please complete the online submission form.

Psychological and Brain Sciences

James Blascovich

Location:
Psychology East 38
x5082

Research Project

Research project focusing on the effects of stress on cardiovascular reactivity. Will include studies of the effects of stressful tasks on women and the overweight. Preferred but not essential: Social psychology (psych 102); Health psychology (psych 101), computer skills.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates will assist in recruiting study participants, running participants in experiments, coding data, data entry, library research.

Requirements

Preferred but not essential: Social psychology (psych 102); Health psychology (psych 101), computer skills.

Nancy Collins

Location:
3815 Psychology East

Research Project

The Effects of Verbal Support and Affectionate Touch on Cortisol Reactivity to a Laboratory Stressor - This project will compare the effects of receiving (and not receiving) verbal and affectionate touch support on couple members’ cortisol levels and psychological measures of stress and relational well-being. Couples will be brought into the lab, where one partner (speech-giver (SG)) will be instructed to perform a stressful task (performing a speech and mental arithmetic for an evaluator). The other couple member (support provider (SP)) will be assigned to 1) provide support via words only, 2) provide support via touch only, 3) provide support via words and touch, or 4) provide no support at all. Couple members will have a discussion about the stressor after receiving their instructions, and then the SG will perform the stressful task. Cortisol samples will be collected throughout the study.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will be involved in all aspects of the project, which include running participants, collecting cortisol samples, and coding behavioral video.

Requirements

Prior research experience is preferred but not required. Students must be enthusiastic about research, comfortable interacting with participants (UCSB students and other members of the community), attentive to detail, responsible, respectful, conscientious, and able to commit 6-9 hours a week for at least 2 quarters to the project.

For more information, please contact the graduate student in charge of the study, Delancey Wu: delancey.wu@psych.ucsb.edu

Shelly Gable

Location:
Bldg.251, Rm.3837

Research Project

Our research looks at topics such as approach and avoidance motivation (the desire to go after positive outcomes vs. the desire to avoid negative outcomes), relationship and personal goals, personal goal support, relationship motives, capitalization, positive emotions, etc. A number of projects centered on motivation and relationship research will be going on in the lab. We conduct observational studies with couples, questionnaire studies, diary studies, as well a number of experimental studies.

Undergraduate Contribution

Responsibilities include running participants, coding data, entering data, brainstorming ideas for follow-up studies, preparing study materials, etc.

Requirements

We are looking for bright, responsible and reliable research assistants (no prior experience is necessary). Please complete our lab's application, located here:
https://collinslab.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b9JeQub9geWGmrP

David Hamilton

Location:
Bldg. 251, Rm. 3819
805-893-2456

Research Project

People form first impressions of others quickly and easily, even from minimal information. Research has shown that people routinely infer trait qualities about a person from information they learn about the person’s behaviors. In fact, this happens spontaneously, without intention and even without the perceivers’ awareness that they are making these inferences. In other words, they begin forming a first impression immediately and automatically. Our research has shown that perceivers spontaneously make similar trait inferences about groups, based on the behaviors performed by a group. Again, perceivers are forming group impressions immediately and automatically, without being aware they are doing so.

The current project builds upon and extends this line of research. A series of studies (1-2 per quarter) are planned in which we will determine whether perceivers can spontaneously form simultaneous, yet different, impressions of two or more groups. The paradigm used in these studies can determine whether this can happen even when people are not intending to do so (their task presumably is simply to remember the sentences) and they are not aware that they are in fact making those inferences. In these experiments we will present information about two different groups and will test whether two distinct impressions can be unconsciously formed and retained in memory under these conditions.  The results of these studies will be very informative regarding the nature of human inference processes in group and intergroup perception, with implications for foundations of stereotype formation.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates will assist in several phases of the research: preparation of experimental materials, conducting experimental sessions, data coding and entry, library research.

Requirements

3.0 GPA, Psychology majors only. 

Mary Hegarty

Location:
Bldg. 251, Rm.3812
893-3750

Research Project

This project will focus on individual difference and sex differences in various spatial abilities and skills, including mental and manual rotation and navigation in real and virtual environments.  A major question this work seeks to explore is how participants at different levels of spatial abilities use different strategies in performing spatial tasks.

Undergraduate Contribution

The contribution of the undergraduate involved in this work will include running participants, data management such as entry and coding, and organization of the research.

We are also interested in finding students with a computer science background who would be interested in programming experiments using virtual environment technologies.

Requirements

We require at least a 3.0 GPA and previous training as a lab assistant is preferable. Additionally, the student should be interested in spatial abilities and research in general.

Emily Jacobs

Location:
3818 Psychology East

Research Project

Our lab investigates the role of hormones in learning and memory. We use a combination of behavioral measures, neuroimaging, neuroendocrine and genetic assessments. Current projects include understanding how reproductive aging (i.e. menopause) shapes brain function in midlife women, and the impact of oral contraceptives on brain structure/function.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will be involved in preparing study materials, running participants, and assisting with data analysis.

Requirements

Undergraduates with a strong background in cognitive psychology, biological psychiatry, neuroscience, and/or programming (particularly Matlab) are encouraged to apply. The lab seeks students who are passionate about neuroscience and want to gain hands-on research experience. Familiarity with computer programming is preferred, but not required.

Major: Coursework in the sciences

GPA: 3.0 or higher

Students are asked to commit 8-10 hours/week to research activities

Heejung Kim

Location:
Psychology East 38
X6180

Research Project

Our main focus of research is how culture shapes psychological functioning in areas as diverse as interpersonal communication, religion, physiology, and genetics. To learn more about our laboratory, feel free to visit the website.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate research assistants help in all aspects of the research experience, from serving as experimenters, library research, data coding and entry, and assistance in manuscript preparation.

Requirements

We ask for at least two quarter commitment and 3.0 or higher GPA. If you are interested, you may download an application form from the website. Please complete and email the application to Professor Kim.

Tod Kippin

Location:
Psych East 2821
893-2459

Research Project

Current research in the laboratory focuses on two projects in neurobiology. The main project seeks to define factors that contribute to addiction vulnerability as well as the underlying biological basis of these factors. Studies in this area focus on genetics, epigenetics, neurochemistry, endocrinology, development, and stress. A secondary focus of the laboratory is on neurogenesis in the adult brain aimed at understanding the regulation and function of this process.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate research assistants help in all aspects of the research. This can include assistance with behavioral analyses, histological and molecular techniques, data management, and routine laboratory upkeep. Assistants must be able to work safely in a laboratory environment and follow instructions in a meticulous fashion.

Requirements

•Grade point average of 3.0 or better.
•Commitment to research activities of at least 8-10 hours per week for a minimum of two quarters.
•Student must be enthusiastic about research, extremely responsible and conscientious as well as pay attention to detail, perform procedures as directed, and be able to work well with others.
•Completion of Psy 111 is preferred but not essential.

Zoe Liberman

Location:
Psychology East 3821
(805) 893-5498

Research Project

Research in the Social Cognitive Development Lab focuses on learning and development in infancy and early childhood. We conduct studies in our on campus lab and with local partners off site. The majority of the research focuses on topics relevant to understanding and navigating or complex social world. For example, how do infants learn from other people? Or, do infants think about people as members of social categories? Additionally, how do different social experiences (such as regular exposure to multiple languages) influence social cognition and learning? Most of our studies are interactive where we play short games with kids and record their behavior. We also do story/survey studies with older children, and looking time studies with infants.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates will participate in all aspects of the research process, including recruiting families to come into the lab, contacting interested families to schedule appointments, creating stimuli for studies, running studies with participants in the on campus lab and off site (at MOXI museum and the Santa Barbara Zoo), entering data, analyzing data, and developing new project ideas.

Requirements

Research assistants must have a GPA of at least a 3.0 average over the last three quarters. Research assistants must also be comfortable interacting with infants and young children, and with contacting parents/local preschools/organizations over the phone. A commitment of at least 2 quarters is required, and an interest in continuing on for further quarters and developing independent research projects is preferred. Past research experience, or coursework in developmental psychology is preferred but not required.

Diane Mackie

Location:
Psych East 1823
805-893-2858

Research Project

Current research in our lab focuses on a) the emotions that people feel because they belong to a group, and how those emotions contribute to both positive and negative relations among groups; b) the extent to which people's opinions and attitudes reflect the influence of those around them; and c) the behavioral consequences of perceptions of power, and d) the prosocial outcomes of global identity ad connections, and e) identifying the process by which narratives (both written and visual) influence people's perceptions of themselves, the groups to which they belong, and of outgroup members. To learn more, please visit the website.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate research assistants help in all aspects of the research experience, from serving as experimenters, library research, data coding and entry, and assistance in manuscript preparation.

Requirements

We prefer a three-quarter commitment and require a GPA above 3.0.  Good grades in PSY 5, 7 ,and 102 are always welcome but a passion for research is the best prerequisite. Research assistants must have blocks of time (at least an hour, preferably more) available between 8AM and 5PM at least 2 days of the week.

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