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Professor of Human Development & PsychologyRegan A. R. Gurung


  • Psych 450 - Health Psychology
  • Psych 102 - Intro. to Psychology
  • HUM DEV 346 - Culture, Development & Health
  • HUM DEV/Psych 496 - Research Assistantships
  • Course Objectives:  This course is designed to give students the tools to do robust scientific research, enhance critical thinking skills, and provide hands on experience with every aspect of the research process.  Students will be assigned to work on a research project that has been designed by the instructor.  This may be a project scheduled to begin in the semester of study, the continuation of a study that has been run before, or the analysis and follow-up of a previous study.  Students will be assigned to a project that best suits their learning goals and future plans.  Working on a study already designed will enable the student to see how problems from everyday life are used to guide research.  This is a perfect opportunity for a student with no research experience, or one who wants some training and practice before conducting their own study.  Training and mentorship is designed to make the student a competitive candidate for graduate school or a wide variety of professional positions.     Eligibility:  Junior standing or higher, completion of Introductory Psychology, GPA of 3.00 or higher.

    Requirements:  Weekly meetings with the instructor, completing reading assignments, and all research related responsibilities. These may include literature reviews, library investigations, questionnaire development, recruitment and interviewing of research participants, the collection of data, management of research studies, data entry, and some minor statistical analyses.  To guarantee a wide range of experience you will be given the opportunity to work on many different  research projects.

    Assessment  Successful and conscientious completion of all assignments and a 8-10 page paper (a literature review or project proposal) are required.  Training and feedback will be provided to enable the paper  to be a potential candidate for acceptance at a national psychology conference (e.g., American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, Midwestern Psychological Association).  The topic, content, and structure (e.g., literature review or empirical paper) of the paper will vary with the project you are assigned to.

  • Psych 495 - Teaching Assistantships
  • Honors
  • Course Objectives are similar to Independent study (below).  Honors in the major project may satisfy the requirements for summa cum laude honors.

    Eligibility requirements
    for the honors in the major are:
    1. Minimum GPA of 3.50 for all courses in the major.
    2. Minimum GPA of 3.75 for all upper-level courses in the major.
    3.  Successful completion of this course.
  • HUM DEV/Psych 498 - Independent Study
  • Course Objectives:  This course is designed to help students conduct their own research.  The instructor will aid students in running robust scientific research, enhance critical thinking skills. This course requires motivated, conscientious students who are capable of working independently.  Students will conceptualize a problem from everyday life, formalize research questions, conduct literature reviews on the topic of choice, and then design and execute a research study to test their ideas.

    Given the time needed to complete a study, students are urged to begin thinking about and designing their projects in the semester before signing up for an independent study, and/or planning on two semesters of work on their chosen project.  Training and mentorship is designed to make the student a competitive candidate for graduate school or a wide variety of professional positions.

    Eligibility:  Junior standing or higher, completion of Introductory Psychology, GPA of 3.00 or higher.  You should have a good idea of the project you want to conduct.

      Generate a testable hypotheses on a topic of your choice.  Weekly meetings with instructor in first third of semester.  You will be asked to complete several drafts of a research paper on your project (15-20 pages long, APA style).
  • Interested In An Independent Study?
  • Good thing to do on your own before you apply.   Write down all the topics that you would be interested in finding more about.  What interests you?  What questions do you have?  These could come from your everyday life (E.g., "Why do I not exercise as much as I want to?"), from classes you have taken, or from material you have read, seen, or heard outside of class.  [Where do research ideas come from anyway?] Do not limit yourself by whether or not answers are available to your questions or whether or not it would be feasible to get answers.  Get a feel for what excites you.  It will provide a benchmark and starting point for you to think as a researcher.  Once you work on research activities for this Research Asst., you will be examining questions that I have set up.  Before you do that, I would like you to have a good sense of what you would like to find out more about.  Use a word processor/computer and list questions, ideas, thoughts you have.  Take a day or two away from it and then come back and add to your list by expanding on some ideas and being more specific (narrow down general ideas).  This first assignment will help you to narrow down a world of possible ideas to a focused research agenda.

    Once you have a general topic of investigation, search the literature for articles that are related to it.  It is very important to know what has been done on that topic before so the research does not repeat what is done before.  As you skim and collect abstracts maintain a list of the key things that have been found in each study with a full citation (in APA style).  The main questions that should guide your reading and searching of the literature are:
    1.  What are the key theories that explain the phenomenon I am interested in? 
    2.  What are the specific variables that have been studied in this area?
    3. What are the research designs used?
    4. What are the unanswered questions?
    5. Why is this important?