Faculty Thesis Areas
I am broadly interested in community psychology and the psychology of women. My research focuses on violence against women (e.g., sexual assault, domestic violence) with an emphasis on the impact social reactions have on survivors’ physical and psychological health, the role of activism and community involvement on recovery, and the development and evaluation of prevention and intervention programs by community-based crisis centers.
James H. Amirkhan
Stress and coping, health psychology, attribution theory. As a Personality psychologist, I am particularly interested in individual differences in the above domains — e.g., the person-related variables that lead one person to confront a stressor and another to avoid it. Currently, I am working on validating a new stress questionnaire, and finishing up a 4-year project that examines possible reasons for the high levels of distress among recent Korean immigrants.
I am broadly interested in factors influencing psychological well-being among elders. Particularly, I am interested in understanding factors that have impact on elders’ subjective estimation of their life expectancy and the consequence of these estimations on psychological well-being.
(willing to accept one student who wants to get involved in the Korean immigrant stress study)
My broad area of research interest is in minority mental health. Currently, I have two active research programs. The first one examines the role of cultural values and attribution in the stress and coping process in Korean immigrants. The second study investigates how cultural beliefs influence coping with symptoms of PTSD in Cambodian refugees.
Martin S. Fiebert
1) Interracial dating and interracial relationships
2) Variables related to Facebook behavior
3) Transpersonal psychology and meditation
Dennis G. Fisher
Areas of interest include the following: Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse and Infectious Disease, Reliability and Validity Studies, Cluster Analysis, Survival Analysis, Logistic Regression, and Clinical Trials. My publications have mostly been in the area of drug abuse, hepatitis and needle exchange, with a secondary interest in psychometrics. Dr. Fisher’s divisional affiliations within the American Psychological Association are: Division 5, Evaluation, Measurement & Statistics; Division 38, Health Psychology; and Division 50, Addiction.
Primary areas of interest: Psychology of Learning, Biological Psychology, and Cognitive Ethology. Specifically, my research efforts address the role that the birth of new neurons (neurogenesis) plays in learning and memory using birds as the primary animal model. By integrating techniques, research can range from field and laboratory investigations of learning to the neurobiology mediating learning and memory formation. The research is currently directed along three basic lines of inquiry. First, when and where in the avian brain does adult neurogenesis occur? Second, what types of learning experiences and/or fluctuations in hormone levels influence the rate at which neurogenesis occurs and the direction new neurons take? And third, how does neurogenesis influence subsequent learning and memory?
Kevin B. MacDonald
I am interested in developmental research with children in virtually any area of social and personality development. I am also interested in personality research on adults as well as any area of research related to evolutionary perspectives on psychology.
Lisa M. Maxfield
My formal training is as a cognitive neuropsychologist with emphasis in human memory as well as language processing capacities as they are instantiated across the two cerebral hemispheres of the human brain. My primary interest in human memory has evolved to include how humans learn as well. I am now pursuing these interests in applied settings, rather than as basic research. As CSULB’s General Education Coordinator, my research is looking at issues of student achievement in college, including how faculty can facilitate learning and engagement in college classrooms. The research has significance for understanding issues of teaching and learning, specifically educational effectiveness of teaching practices and what types of learning experiences best serve college students.
“I investigate the relationship between perception and action. My research looks at the interaction between cognitive control and environmentally based response biases, and my most recent work examines this in two domains: 1) How are different forms of spatial information encoded and represented, and how do they affect behavior? 2) How do features of tools and other controllers influence our movements towards objects in the world. In particular, how does the relationship between non-functional features of tools and target objects (e.g., color) affect our decision making processes and how is this reflected in our actions?”
Hannah-Hanh Nguyen (on leave 2012/2013)
Dr. Nguyen’s active research programs include projects on hiring discrimination during a resume-screen process and how to reduce raters’ prejudice, and projects on job seekers’ proactive of online social networking sites. Her other research interests include the effect of stereotype threat on minorities’ test performance, test takers’ use of helpful test-taking strategies, and Asian entrepreneurship. She also collaborates with international scholars to conduct workplace-related studies.
William C. Pedersen
My research is primarily focused on factors that impact aggressive behavior and violence. I am interested in a variety of personality factors including trait rumination, narcissism, impulsivity, attachment style, and religiosity. I have also investigated a variety of situational factors that impact aggression including rumination, social support, power restoration, alcohol priming, and drug use. A related line of research investigates the impact of trait displaced aggression on romantic relationships, life satisfaction, and both mental and physical health. Finally, I have smaller research programs in the areas of both intergroup relations and evolutionary psychology (specifically gender differences in mating strategies).
Sherry A. Span
My research to date has focused on the relation among the following:
1. Risk factors associated with alcohol/substance abuse
2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
3. Clinical Neuropsychology
Thomas Z. Strybel
Auditory/Visual Space Perception
Robert E. Thayer
Interests: Mood, including psychological and physiological connections. Particular interests include relationships between mood and exercise, food, health, stress, biological cycles, and self-perception. Also of interest is self-regulation of mood, and especially associations with drugs, food, and exercise. Negative mood states such as moderate depression and positive mood states such as calm-energy are of interest as well. Note particularly Thayer’s three books: The Biopsychology of Mood and Arousal (Oxford Univ Press, 1989), The Origin of Everyday Moods (Oxford Univ Press, 1996), and Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise (Oxford Univ Press, 2003). More information on web site: www.csulb.edu/~thayer
My research focuses on how individuals develop and maintain motivation (particularly for long-term pursuits), and how this motivation is influenced by the individual’s social context. More specifically, I aim to understand the social nature of intrinsic motivation, the development of interests and integration of interests into identity, and how stereotypes and discrimination influence interest, motivation, and choices. This program of research relates to several topics, including: intrinsic motivation, development of interest, stereotypes and social stigmas, self-regulation, development of self and identity, attributions, and evaluation. Although much of my research occurs in the lab, I am passionate about the applied aspect of this research, as well as how these processes function across cultures. My training is grounded in social psychology, but my research interests also strongly overlap with developmental and educational psychology.
My research in the area of Clinical & Health Psychology has focused on examining psychosocial, behavioral, and physiological factors associated with mental and physical health outcomes. The primary objective of this research is to identify groups that are at-risk for chronic health problems and to develop and test community-based interventions that are designed to promote chronic disease prevention and management in low-income, ethnic minority, and other medically underserved populations. Specific areas of my research include examining the impact of stress and its biomarkers (e.g., cortisol) on health, identifying risk factors for adverse maternal and infant health outcomes, and evaluating the efficacy of health behavior programs (e.g., exercise, nutrition, stress management) on preventing stress-related disorders. For more information about my PRO-Health research group, please refer to the following web site: http://www.csulb.edu/~gurizar
Cognition, Human Performance, Human Factors, and Human-Computer Interation: One area of my research focuses on the topic of action selection. Action selection refers to how a speeded decision is made regarding which action to take in response to perceptual events. One of the major factors affecting efficiency of action selection is stimulus-response compatibility (SRC), or the mapping of stimulus (or display) elements to responses (or controls). Studies of SRC effects have been a valuable tool to study automatic and intentional processes associated with the response selection that intervene between perception and action. In addition, research in the area of action selection has implications for how displays and controls should be organized and mapped in order to achieve efficient performance, with minimal errors. The other area of my research focuses on more directly on human factors (designing products for human use) and human-computer interaction. My work in this area includes use of metacognitive judgments to predict computer expertise and human factors issues in Web design, computer security, and Web privacy.
The domains of research I am current investigating can be roughly grouped into three categories: affect, performance, and psychometrics. My work on affect, or affectivity, investigates the various predispositions that shape the way we view our environment and interpret our work settings, along with more momentary job related affective reactions to workplace environments. Another area of interest for me includes individual performance, especially regarding both internal and external determinants of self regulation, and how those translate into worker safety behaviors. Finally, my work in psychometrics, or the study of psychological measurement, focuses on reliability, or test consistency, and how this effects things such as agreement indices, and be effected by test length and mood.
David J. Whitney
Primary research domain is the application of Industrial-Organizational psychology to improving employment outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders. Areas of interest include work expectations, the investigation of obstacles and facilitators of employment for individuals with ASD, co-worker attitudes, and interview coaching.
Bianca Wilson (on leave 2012/2013)
My general areas of research are sexual health and health promotion research. I study the role of culture, oppression and identity in health behaviors and health care access. I primarily work within ethnic and sexual minority communities, and am particularly interested in the strategies we use to incorporate knowledge about a community’s culture into the development of health programs.
Arturo R. Zavala
Areas of interests include animal models of drug addiction and developmental neuropsychopharmacology. Specifically, my research investigates the short- and long-term neurochemical and behavioral effects of exposure to psychostimulant drugs across development (neonatal, adolescence, and adulthood), as well as determine the impact that early exposure to drugs may have on the susceptibility to abuse drugs later in life.