Research, Outreach, and Projects

All students in the psychology program complete a 12-credit research core that culminates in an original research project. Many students also collaborate with faculty in one of the eight full-time research laboratories.

Psychology Laboratory

The Psychology program maintains an eleven-room laboratory in Turnbull Hall for faculty and student teaching and research. The lab is equipped with computers and research equipment, including a 64-channel ERP system to collect brain waves. The lab is staffed by approximately fifteen to twenty psychology students each semester who conduct independent research or work-study. Students interested in working in the lab may contact any of the lab directors listed below.

Faculty Research

Clinical: Dr. Eric W. Corty

  • The role of classical conditioning in relapse to drug abuse.
  • Dual diagnosis (patients with substance abuse and other mental illness).
  • The reliability, validity, and development of psychological measures.

Developmental: Dr. Charisse Nixon

  • Children's social cognition.
  • Young children's theory of mind.
  • Family experiences and children's socioemotional understanding.
  • Relational aggression.
  • CASS project

Cognitive Neuroscience: Dr. Victoria A. Kazmerski

  • The examination of memory, language, and attention in both normal functioning and clinical populations using the recording of event-related brain potentials (ERPs)

Outreach and Special Projects

  • Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research, and Evaluation (CORE)
    CORE provides research, evaluation, and grant writing services for both public and private organizations.
  • COR: CourseWare for Observational Research
    COR is an interactive computer program that uses digital video and interactive coding forms to illustrate basic concepts of observational research.
  • High Aspirations
    High Aspirations is a Penn State outreach program that links K-12 and university professors and researchers for courses and activities to promote achievement for boys and girls.
  • The Mentor Project
    Do you enjoy working with children and adolescents? Would you like to sharpen your leadership skills? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you might be the perfect candidate for joining Penn State Behrend's Mentor Project. This leadership opportunity is available for committed Behrend students who are willing to build into the lives of local students. All training and resources will be provided. Selected Behrend mentors will work together as a team to facilitate weekly programmatic activities with students at local nearby schools. Carpooling will be arranged. If you are interested in The Mentor Project, please request an application from and return it to Mary Baird, Mentor Coordinator. Any questions, feel free to contact Mary Baird or Dr. Charisse Nixon.
  • VIZ: Visualization Assessment and Training Website
    VIZ is an interdisciplinary project designed to create web-based modules for the assessment and training of spatial skills.