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:
Psych E 3821

Research Project

This experiment will examine the effects of relationship commitment on forgiveness behavior in romantic couples. To accomplish this goal, we will begin by priming participants with either high commitment (we will asked to write about ways in which they are connected to their partner) or low commitment (we will ask them to write about ways in which they are independent of their partner). Next, we will present them with a series of hypothetical partner transgressions (e.g., your boyfriend/girlfriend forgot your birthday).  Finally, we will measure their willingness to forgive their partner in each situation. Participants will complete the study on the computer in the Close Relationships lab in the Psychology Department. 

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate researchers will assist primarily with conducting the study sessions. This includes scheduling participants, setting up the computer lab for the study, and administering the experimental script to participants.  

Requirements

Student must be enthusiastic about research, comfortable interacting with study participants (other UCSB students), responsible and conscientious, and able to commit 6 to 9 hours a week to the project.  Student must have at least 1 quarter of prior research experience and must be at least 19 years old.

Location:
Bldg.251, Rm.3821

Research Project

Relationship Maintenance in Couples – This project will examine the ways in which romantic partners mentally represent relationship-relevant events. Partners will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires and to take part in some challenging activities at the lab. They will also undergo an exercise designed to manipulate their overall mindset, shifting their focus to abstract (vs. concrete) situational features. We will measure the duration of partners’ persistence at these challenging tasks to determine the role of this manipulated mindset and other relationship qualities (e.g., commitment, satisfaction) in promoting pro-relationship behavior.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will be involved in all aspects of the project including running participants, piloting of study design, data entry, and coding of data.

Requirements

No prior research experience required. Student must be enthusiastic about research, extremely responsible and conscientious, and able to commit 6 to 9 hours a week to the project.

Location:
3821 Psychology Ea

Research Project

Social support processes couples – This project will examine the ways in which individuals interact with their romantic partners when thinking about a current personal stressor. In the first part of this study, participants will complete an online questionnaire and writing task designed to measure expressions of support need. In the second part of this study, romantic couples will come to the lab and be video-recorded discussing one partner’s current personal stressor. We will measure partners’ emotional responses to stress, as well as support seeking and provision.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will be involved in all aspects of the project including running participants, transcription, and coding language and behavioral data.

Requirements

No prior research experience required. Student must be enthusiastic about research, extremely responsible and conscientious, and able to commit 6 to 9 hours a week to the project.

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.

Todd 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.

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