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Uc Davis Psychology Research Papers

Research Labs

Psychology research laboratories

Adult Attachment Lab
The Adult Attachment Lab advances current understanding of adult attachment dynamics. Research focuses on understanding the conscious and unconscious dynamics of the attachment behavioral system and associations between adult attachment style and other psychological constructs such as self-esteem, personality traits, death anxiety, and compassion and altruism.
Agent-Based Models Lab (Schank)
This lab uses agent-based models to understand the behavior of individuals and populations in social and evolutionary settings. The lab facilitates the use of agent-based modeling as a general theoretical and methodological tool for analyzing behavior.
Asian American Center on Disparities Research (Zane)
The Asian American Center on Disparities Research (AACDR) investigates how cultural factors work to either enhance or mitigate the implementation and effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for Asian Americans. The center focuses on the ethnocultural factors that influence the effectiveness of treatment.
Attitudes and Group Identity Lab (Ledgerwood)
How do we reach beyond our current experience? One of the most basic challenges that people face in everyday life is how to cross gaps—gaps that separate self from other, now from future, here from there, and us from them. Even the simplest activities, like having a conversation or planning what to do next week, would be impossible if it were not for the human capacity to get unstuck from current experience and relate to other people, future time points and distant contexts. The research in our lab centers around the social psychological tools that humans have developed to help them reach across these distances.
Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab (Trainor)
Mood and anxiety disorders are more likely to occur in women, yet most mouse models focus on males. Using the monogamous California mouse, we study the effects of stress on the brain and behavior.
Brain and Social Cognition Lab (Bowman)
How does social cognition develop? And what are the characteristics of the developing ‘social brain’? Research in the Brain and Social Cognition (BASC) Lab represents pioneering forays into these intriguing but as yet unanswered questions. The BASC Lab investigates the factors that shape development of social cognitions, and examines how these social cognitions interact with and influence real-world social behavior.
Carter Lab
Translational Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab
Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Lab
The Laboratory for the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language focuses on the psychological and neural mechanisms of language comprehension. The lab studies when and how different kinds of contextual information, including syntactic, thematic, semantic and referential information are integrated during reading and listening comprehension, and identifies the neural substrates of these integration processes.
Developmental Research Center (Goodman)
Gail Goodman's research falls into two major areas: memory development and children's abilities and experiences as victim/witnesses. She is also currently studying the effects of child abuse on emotional adjustment/psychopathology.
Dynamic Memory Lab (Ranganath)
Dr. Ranganath's research concerns the neurocognitive structure of human memory and executive control. One set of studies currently underway concerns the relationship between short-term, or working memory, and long-term memory.
Dynamics in Psychological Science Lab (Ferrer)
The Dynamics in Psychological Science (DIPS) lab is dedicated to advancing the science of psychology via the synthesis of intra- and inter-individual approaches to studying psychological processes. Specifically, we are interested in how intra-individual dynamical information can be retained and used to explain inter-individual differences across a population.
Emmons Lab (Emmons)
Gratitude heals, energizes and transforms lives. We are engaged in a long-term research project designed to create and disseminate a large body of novel scientific data on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its potential consequences for human health and well-being. Through conducting highly focused, cutting-edge studies on the nature of gratitude, its causes and its consequences, we hope to shed important scientific light on this important concept.
Healthy Emotions, Relationships & Development (HERD) Lab
The HERD Lab explores the factors contributing to children’s social and emotional development. We examine the contributions of “nurture” through children’s close relationships with family and friends, and “nature” through their autonomic and neuroendocrine regulatory systems. Our focus is on understanding how these factors shape developmental trajectories toward adaptive functioning, like compassion and social competence, and maladaptive functioning, like aggression and anxiety.
Human Memory Lab
In the Human Memory Lab we aim to understand how memory works… and why it often fails. We examine factors that influence memory such as stress and aging. We also investigate the brain networks involved in memory using neuroimaging methods like fMRI, and by examining people with memory problems related to medical conditions such as stroke and cardiac arrest.
Infant Cognition Lab
The first years after birth are critically important for the development of the baby's brain and mind. We know that experience plays an important role in shaping this development. The Infant Cognition Lab studies the baby's developing mind; particularly investigating infants' memory, attention and categorization.
Integrated Attention Lab
Our sensory worlds are filled with information, but we are only aware of a small proportion of it at any particular moment in time. Attention is the mechanism that prioritizes processing according to our goals. But what determines what our goals are and how well we can maintain them over time and in the face of distractions? Research in the lab focuses on how behavioral goals and prior experiences interact with sensory events to determine perception and cognition. To study these topics we use a combination of eye-tracking, psychophysics, fMRI and EEG/ERPs, and work with others to use TMS, pharmacology and patient studies.
Janata Lab
The Janata lab investigates how human brains engage with music. Paradigms range from psychophysical studies of the acuity of mental images for pitch, to neuroimaging studies of music-evoked memories and emotions, and behavioral examinations of sensorimotor coupling, i.e how people move along with music.
Laboratory for Basic and Translational Cognitive Neuroscience (Luck)
BASIC & TRANSLATIONAL COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE. Our laboratory focuses on the neural and cognitive mechanisms of attention and working memory in healthy young adults and dysfunction of attention and working memory in psychiatric and neurological disorders. We also work to develop and promote ERP methods, including a yearly 10-day NIH-funded summer workshop (the ERP Boot Camp) and an open-source Matlab toolbox (ERPLAB Toolbox).
Laboratory for Comparative Neurobiology of Monogamy (Bales)
The lab uses the comparative method to examine the endocrinology and neurobiology of social bonding. We focus on two monogamous species, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) and the coppery titi monkey (Callicebus cupreus), while using polygynous species, such as rhesus macaques, as comparisons.
Laboratory for the Neural Mechanisms of Attention (Mangun)
Our laboratory uses a cognitive neuroscience approach to investigate the cognitive and neural mechanisms of voluntary and reflexive attention in humans. We bring to bear a variety of complementary tools to study attention, including behavioral and psychophysical methods, human electrophysiological measures, and functional neuroimaging. Behavioral and psychophysical methods permit us to analyze the properties of the human attention system and how attention influences perception and performance.
Laboratory of Evolutionary Neurobiology (Krubitzer)
Dr. Krubitzer’s lab examines the anatomical connections and electrophysiological properties of neurons in the neocortex, the portion of the brain responsible for perception, cognition, learning, and memory. Researchers reconstruct the evolution of the neocortex and its relationship to functional changes.
Language Learning Lab
Infants are immersed in a world of immense complexity, yet they display knowledge of the people, objects, actions and sounds in their environments very early in life. Our research explores the mechanisms that support this early learning. In particular, the ability to detect statistical regularities may play a fundamental role in how infants learn about a highly complex, highly salient aspect of the auditory world: language.
Longitudinal and Missing Data Methods (Blozis)
Statistical procedures commonly applied to behavioral data, such as factor analysis, structural equation models, and mixed-effects models, fall under a general statistical framework based on the means, variances and covariances of data. My research concerns extensions and applications of this general framework to the study of clustered, repeated measures, and longitudinal data.
Memory and Development (MaD) Lab
Our research focuses on the development of memory and metamemory in childhood. Using behavioral and neuroimaging methods, our studies examine both typical and atypical development of memory in children.
Mind-Emotion Development
Research in the Mind-Emotion Development Lab focuses on the development of young children's knowledge about people in terms of their inner, mental lives – what a person desires, intends, believes, thinks about and feels emotionally.
Neurocognitive Development Lab
The Neurocognitive Development Lab employs a variety of converging research techniques to elucidate the complex brain-behavior relationships that underlie cognitive development.
Personality and Self-Knowledge Lab (Vazire)
The lab examines the accuracy of people’s perceptions of their own and others’ personality. The goal is to measure how people differ from one another not just at the trait level but also in their patterns of fluctuations across different roles and situations.
Personality, Self, and Emotions Laboratory (Robins)
The Personality, Self and Emotions Laboratory adopts a multifaceted approach to studying the self and personality processes, focusing on a range of pertinent topics including social development, emotion expression and regulation, and self-esteem.
Psycholinguistics Lab (Ferreira)
The Ferreira Lab conducts research in the area of psycholinguistics. We take advantage of basic insights from formal linguistics, especially theories in sentence phonology and syntax, to develop models of processing. Our empirical work relies both on behavioral and neural measures, including eyetracking (for measurement of fixations, saccades, and pupil diameter) and the recording of event-related potentials (ERPs). The fundamental aim of this work is to uncover the mechanisms that enable humans to understand and generate language in real time and in cooperation with other cognitive systems.
Self & Social Identity Laboratory (SASI) (Pickett)
The SASI Lab conducts research within the areas of social identity, intergroup relations, the self, social cognition and self-regulatory processes.
Sexual Orientation: Science, Education, and Policy Lab (Herek)
Professor Herek's original empirical research has addressed sexual prejudice and stigma and HIV/AIDS-related stigma in the US population, and the mental health consequences of hate crimes and other expressions of stigma targeting lesbians and gay men. His current research program focuses mainly on issues of prejudice and stigma, especially as they apply to sexual orientation and HIV/AIDS.
Social & Emotional Development Lab
The purpose of our work is to better understand the psychological development in children, especially in the early years of life, and to apply what we have learned to improving programs, practices, and policies affecting children and their families.
Social Cognition Lab (Jeff Sherman)
The Social Cognition Lab investigates the cognitive processes underlying social psychology and behavior. We are interested in how people perceive themselves, other people and groups of people. Much of our research focuses on stereotyping and prejudice.
Social Environment and Stress (SES) Lab (Hostinar)
The SES Lab focuses on understanding how the life experiences of children and adolescents shape their reactions to stress and their health. We are especially interested in how supportive social relationships reduce the effects of stress on our health, and may promote healthier biological profiles across development. Another goal of our lab is to better understand self-regulation skills, how stress affects these skills and other behaviors that require self-regulation. The long-term vision for this research is to suggest strategies and inform interventions that would reduce the impact of stress on developmental outcomes, especially for disadvantaged youth that too often confront several types of stressors in their lives.
Spatial Cognition Lab (Ekstrom)

Papers are due by March 16th before 5:00 pm.

Please read through everything on this page before beginning the paper option. It will help you to avoid common mistakes.

Overview:(1) Each paper should be 1000-1500 words. (2) Each paper is worth 2 research credits. (3) Each paper must review a research article from this list.  It should include a summary of the article and present your reactions to it as per this template. (4) Papers are due by 5pm on Friday March 16. (5) You will upload your papers to the Papers for Research Credit Canvas course — if you are not already added to this course, email the subject pool coordinator at

What is the paper option?

If for any reason you cannot or do not want to participate in your required hours worth of research studies, you may write brief research papers instead. These papers are based on reviewing one or more research articles written by faculty members in the Psychology Department. The idea behind this assignment is that you can learn about the research conducted by the faculty in the Psychology Department, either by participating in studies yourself or by reading articles and writing summaries of them. If you are under 18, you cannot participate in research studies.

What exactly should I write in my paper?

Instructions for writing your paper are provided Paper Template. Be sure to follow the prompts carefully. Failure to do so may lead to your paper being rejected. See the end of this page for a list of common paper errors.

When is the paper due?

The deadline for turning in papers is the same as for completing research. However, it is recommended you turn in your paper(s) early in case there are revisions needed.  You can turn in your paper any time before the deadline.

What if my paper is late?

Late papers will not be accepted. If you turn in a late paper for PSC1 and/or PSC41, you may receive an Incomplete for the class.

How do I turn in my paper?

You must be part of the “Papers for Research Credit” course on Canvas. If you are not currently added to this course, please contact the Subject Pool Coordinator.

Once you have been added to the Canvas website, you will see 6 assignments (Research Papers 1 -6).  To submit a research paper, you will enter your writing into the text entry box in Canvas under each assignment. You may want to write your papers in MS Word first (or something else you can save), and then copy and paste it into Canvas.

Be sure to include your name and your student ID on your paper, and the name and section of the class you want to use the credits for.

Each paper should be uploaded separately; that is, do not submit one big file that contains multiple research papers.

What journal articles can I write about?

You can receive two research credits for writing a 1000-1500 word summary and reaction on any article included on the list of papers here.  Articles not on this list will not be accepted. These papers are all written by UCD faculty members, and represent the diversity of research that takes place in the Psychology Department.

Can I reuse papers for more than one class?

Each paper must be written on a different article. We do have a record of what papers you’ve summarized already. You should be able to see what papers you have already summarized by looking at the comments column on your credits page.

Note: The article list was updated as of March 2015 to include some newer articles. If you previously summarized an article by a specific faculty member and there is now a new paper from that faculty member, you are free to summarize this new paper.

How many credits is each paper worth?

One paper counts as 2 research hours (2 credits).

Can I earn partial credit?

No, you cannot earn partial credit. Each paper is worth 2 points, period. If your paper is unsatisfactory, you will not earn any credit.

But I do not need 2 full credits. Can’t I just write a shorter version of the paper?

No, you cannot. If you are going to use the paper option, you must write the paper according to the requirements. This is the only option, and these papers are graded Pass/Fail. So even if you only need one more credit, you can’t simply write half of the paper.You need to fully complete the assignment in order to avoid an Incomplete.

Can I write papers and still be in studies?

Yes, (as long as you are 18 or over) you can complete your requirement by participating in studies, writing papers, or any combination of the two. As long as you have 6 total credits, you will have met the requirement.

What happens if my paper is rejected?

Typically, you are given a chance to edit your paper and make any necessary changes to make it acceptable. However, if you turn your paper in on the final due day, you will not have time to make these changes before the deadline and you may receive an Incomplete. So be sure to turn in your papers well in advance of the due date to leave time to make any changes.

How long does it take for my paper to be graded?

Papers will typically be graded within 48 business hours, but it may be slower near the end of the quarter due to the high volume of submissions. I urge anyone wanting to turn in the paper option to do it early, as the very end of the quarter has an extreme flood of submissions which will prevent me from giving you possibly necessary edits.

What can I do to make sure my paper is not rejected?

DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Plagiarism is a serious offense. It is theft of intellectual property and will result in referral to Student Judicial Affairs (SJA). Plagiarism includes rearranging the words of the author’s original sentence, copying the author’s words and changing one or two of them, copying the author’s words and not using quotation marks. To be sure you know how to avoid plagiarism, see This document from SJA. Also, do not quote the authors. Write the paper in your own words. See the next sections for more on this.

Also, see below to avoid common paper mistakes.

Common Paper Mistakes

Paper is not long enough.

Your paper needs to be at least 1000 words. This DOES NOT include your name, direct quotes, headings, or references. Direct quotes do not count because the purpose of the assignment is to demonstrate that you understand the journal article you read not that you know how to copy and paste. See the next item on this list. The word count also does not include author names. Some articles have over 6 authors with long last names, and listing them all seem to be an easy way to pad your paper. However, these will not be included in your word count.

Your paper contains quoted sentences from the journal article, rather than your own words.

Your paper needs to be in your own words. If you quote sentences from the journal article instead of writing the material in your own words, your paper will be rejected outright. Don’t just paste parts of the papers without quoting and not consider it quoting either, I can tell that you copied and pasted.

Your reaction section contains the wrong information.

This section is supposed to be your reaction,so it should be hard to get wrong: you liked it, you didn’t like it, it reminded you of xyz that you learned in class, etc. Do not simply restate the results here. You also should not be too broad and say something like, “It applies to what I learned in class because it is psychology and an experiment.” We’re looking for specificity here, as well as your personal opinion and thoughts regarding the paper.

Your paper is unreadable.

One or two typos are forgivable, but please proofread your paper. If you have incomplete or incoherent sentences, too many words spelled wrong, etc., your paper will be rejected.