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Psychology Advising

Undergraduate Research

The Psychology Department produces a great deal of cutting-edge research that is published and presented at numerous research conferences. As a department with a strong empirical approach, we encourage all students to participate in research. This is done through (a) Psych 144 research projects, (b) volunteering on a research team, and (c) participating on a research team for Independent Study (Psych 190) credit.
Poster session of all Psychology 144 undergraduate student research projects 

Research Team Participation

Participation in the research process has many benefits.

  • It facilitates academic and career choices. Specifically, it often paves the way to graduate school education.
  • It allows a faculty member to get to know a student on a deeper level than as a student in a class. This is very important when it comes to asking a faculty member for a letter of recommendation.
  • If one enrolls in Independent Study, it fulfills elective units towards graduation and will be reflected on one's transcripts.\
  • It allows students to gain a deeper understanding of a particular issue of interest.
  • Being a member of a research team facilitates student interaction.
  • It often allows students the opportunity to present research at local and/or regional conferences.
  • It helps one understand how we know about the mind, behavior, and the brain.

For more information on the different areas of research that our faculty are engaged in, please see below.

Faculty Research at Fresno State

The following full-time professors have expressed a desire to receive inquiries from undergraduate students seeking to volunteer as research assistants. Note, however that research positions are limited. A professor's listing does not guarantee that positions are available for all students who wish to work on a particular project. Research positions are negotiated agreements between the student and the professor and thus will vary in amount and type of work required, and whether student name recognition is possible on presentations and publications resulting from the research. Most professors require completion of Psychology 42 and Psychology 144 prior to assisting with research. Additional courses may also be required.

Farin Bakitiari

Bakhtiari, Farin

S2 345  |  559.278.5681  |  farin@mail.fresnostate.ed

Research Interests: Well-being and development of adolescents and young adults in context (e.g., family, peers, school, immigration); family conflict; scale development; alcohol use.

Michael Botwin

Botwin, Michael

S2 344  |  559.278.5099  |

Research Interests: Personality assessment; personality structure; cognitive organization of personality information; interpersonal relationships; personality and health, cancer and repressive behaviors.

Lauren Dial

Dial, Lauren

S2 342  |  559.278.8137  |

Research Interests: Children’s conceptualization of health; food cognitions and food-related decisions; factors that impact food-related decisions in children and adults; food in relation to culture and identity. 

Christine  Edmondson

Edmondson, Chirstine

S2 331  |  559.278.6944  |

Research Interests: Assessment, diagnosis, and conceptualization of clinically significant anger, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders.

Mariane Jackson

Jackson, Marianne

S2 336  |   559.278.2757  |

Research Interests: Clinical interest in the treatment of severe problem behaviors and the teaching of complex behavior and social skills. Research in complex human behavior, verbal behavior, and health and fitness intervention.

Constance Jones

Jones, Constance

S2 312  |  559.278.5127  |

Research Interests: Lifespan developmental psychology; personality change; longitudinal methods and statistics.

Spee Kosloff

Kosloff, Spee

S2 358  |  559.278.3043  |

Research Interests: Terror management, political beliefs and attitudes, responses to traumatic events, and killing behavior.


Lorin Lachs

Lachs, Lorin

S2 338 |  559.278.4853  |

Research Interests: Speech perception, spoken word recognition, role of memory in language, lipreading, perception of virtual reality, and video game behavior.


Jean Millar

Millar, Jean

S2 334 |  559.278.5125  |

Research Interests: Emotional and social development; appearance stereotypes; attachment.

Chris Miller

Miller, Chirs

S2 356 |  559.278.7514  |

Research Interests: Neuroscience of psychiatric disorders; functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); meta-analysis; machine learning.

Amanda Mortimer

Mortimer, Amanda

S2 329  |  559.278.5126  |

Research Interests: Looking at clinical psychology from a neural science perspective - basic learning in anxiety disorders, couple communication in Alzheimer's Disease.


Hong Ni headshot

Ni, Hong

S2 351  |  559.278.1726  |

Research Interests: Teachers' and parents' cultural beliefs about learning and school education; students' views about learning and schooling; student adjustment.

Karl Oswald

Oswald, Karl

S2 332  |  559.278.4215  |

Research Interests: Cognitive psychology; human memory; forgetting; memory for faces; memory enhancement/ effective cognitive processing; critical thinking.

Steven Payne

Payne, Steven

S2 337  |  559.278.6937  |

Research Interests: Assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior; behavior analysis; behavioral economics; basic behavioral processes; and sustainability.

Paul Price

Price, Paul

S2 333  |  559.278.2120  |

Research Interests: Cognitive psychology, social cognition, judgment and decision making, clinical judgment, wishful thinking, computer simulation models.

Sharlet Rafacz

Rafacz, Sharlet

S2 335  |   559.278.2479  |

Research Interests: Organizational behavior management; systems analysis; verbal behavior; health behavior; school-wide positive behavior interventions and supports.

Martin Shapiro

Shapiro, Martin

S2 359  |  559.278.2358  |

Research Interests: Learning, decision making, psychophysiology, and neuroscience; animal behavior and animal learning; risky decision-making and confidence in humans; memory and gambling decisions.

Matthew Sharps

Sharps, Matthew

S2 340  |  559.278.2347  |

Research Interests: Forensic cognitive science; representation theory; evolution of cognition.

Sruthi Swami

Swami, Sruthi 

Research Interests: Racism, discrimination, and racial and ethnic disparities in systems (schools, community mental health, juvenile justice). Early language and literacy assessment and intervention. Motivation and engagement in schools. Asian American mental health.

Rosa Tora

Tora, Rosa

S2 355  |  559.278.4061  |


Research Interests: Impact of context (i.e. housing, community, neighborhood, and culture) on children’s development with an implicit focus on immigrant children and families.

Marulyn Wilson

Wilson, Marilyn

S2 354  |  559.278.5129  |

Research Interests: School psychology roles; curriculum-based assessment and academic intervention.

Ellen Woo

Woo, Ellen

S2 352  |  559.278.5124  |

Research Interests: Clinical neuropsychology; neurodegenerative disease; cognitive markers of Alzheimer's disease; semantic processing and executive skills; everyday functioning.

Ronald Yockey

Yockey, Ronald

S2 339  |  559.278.2438  |

Research Interests: Measurement; positive psychology.