Title Details
Join the Family Stress Lab!


The Family Stress Lab at Michigan State University seeks to understand the ways in which a variety of stressors impact the family system and child development. Current projects involve studying family processes and sibling relationships in families who have a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). 

We are looking for undergraduate research assistants to begin work in our lab as early as summer 2017, although we are also reviewing applications for fall 2017. 

Tasks available for undergraduate research assistants involve managing data collection, including scheduling families to come into our lab at the MSU Clinical Center and running these visits with families, and coding behaviors observed in videotaped parent-child interactions. Opportunities to assist Dr. Nuttall on papers and conference presentations are available to students who are exceptionally motivated and talented. Dr. Nuttall enjoys mentoring undergraduates and provides undergraduate research assistants with ample opportunities for excellent preparation for graduate work in psychology. During the school year, students working in the Family Stress Lab may enroll for research credit in Psychology (PSY 490 or 491).

Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA. Sophomores and juniors will be given preference, however, exceptional freshmen and seniors may be considered. To apply, please complete an application (available on the Family Stress Lab website listed below) and return it to Dr. Nuttall via email.

Lab website: http://familystresslab.hdfs.ms...

Contact: Dr. Amy Nuttall (nuttall@msu.edu)

Perception & Attention Lab


The Perception & Attention Lab has opennings for undergraduate assistants for

Fall 2017 

Project Background: The lab is directed by Mark W. Becker and the main focus of the lab is to investigate the processes that guide the allocation of visual attention.  Under this umbrella, we are investigating a number of specific questions about how people perform visual search for objects, how feedback, reward, punishment, and competition influence performance in simple perceptual tasks, how categorical information influences visual search, and how one's mood or emotion can impact  visual processing.

Undergraduate Responsibilities: Undergraduate assistants will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of research activities, including assisting with research design, running participants, and analyzing data. Many of these experiments use eye tracking technology, so you will also gain experience with eye tracking methods.  The projects are split into a number of smaller experiments. The manageable size of these small units makes it possible for you to be involved in the entire research process from inception through analysis and interpretation.

Requirements: Scheduling is flexible but you must commit to a minimum of 10 hours per week including attendance at regular lab meetings. You should have a GPA of over 3.3 and should have taken at  least one relevant psychology course (e.g., Cognitive Psychology, Brain and Behavior, Statistics, Sensation and Perception). If selected, you would begin in late August and the expectation is that you would continue through then end of the school year.  You can work either as a volunteer or for credit (PSY 491).

If you are interested in joining the lab, please contact the lab coordinator, Eric Chantland at ericchantland@gmail.com  for information about how to apply. 

Community design charrettes: A collaborative approach to interdisciplinary problem solving


Seeking undergraduate research assistant for community psychology dissertation study 

Fall 2017  

The primary aim of the study is to better understand the role of design in social change by evaluating collaborative efforts between designers (graphic, web, brand/marketing, etc.) and community-based organizations in pursuit of innovative community improvement. The unique and hands-on research environment will involve experience with data collection and analysis of interview, observation, and archival data for a qualitative multiple-case study of a designer-community partnership event in West Michigan (see current research section [msu.edu/~mcalindo/about.html] for a description of the study and research questions).

The undergraduate research assistant will be responsible for assisting with on-site structured observations, organization and management of a qualitative dataset, coding and analysis of qualitative data including archival documents and interview and observation transcripts. The research assistant must also be able to accompany the researcher to up to ten meetings in Grand Rapids, MI. Training will be provided for all tasks, as well as transportation for out of town meetings. Opportunities will be presented to develop connections with multiple community-based organizations in MI, learn more about the role of design and design-thinking in community change, and co-author presentations and/or publications of the findings.

Applicants must have a 3.2 GPA and be able to dedicate 5-10 hours per week to assigned tasks. The position is available for Fall 2017 semester, with a possible additional semester, and students may enroll for research credit in Psychology (PSY 491). Those with experience in qualitative research are encouraged to apply, though it is not required.

If interested, please contact Katie McAlindon mcalindo@msu.edu



PSY 455: Advanced Topics in Industrial and Organizational Psychology – Fall 2017

Tuesday & Thursday, 12:40 to 2:00

Class: 305 Ernst Bessey Hall




Simon J. Golden, M.A.

Office: 346 Psychology         

Phone Number: 616-204-6718

Email: goldensi@msu.edu (This is the best way to contact me).

Office Hours: I welcome you to come to office hours—directly following class on Tuesday—or contact me via email or phone to set an alternative time for us to meet. Please let me know ahead of time (e.g., you can tell me during Tues class) if you plan to attend office hours on Tuesday so that I can prepare for you.



I am a fourth year PhD student in the organizational psychology program. I enjoy teaching and mentoring students. Please let me know if you are interested in graduate school in psychology, organizational behavior, human resources, or other disciplines. I would enjoy talking with you and doing anything I can to help you reach your career goals, whether they involve graduate school or not. I have been at MSU for the past 10 years, completing my undergraduate here in 2011 and entering into the graduate program in 2012.




https://d2l.msu.edu/ (Please note that there is no “www” for d2l). This page will provide you with PowerPoint slides, grades, and other important class information.



Various book chapters posted on D2l. No required textbook.



You will gain mastery over basic concepts in I/O psychology in regards to training and a variety of other important I/O topics, and be able to apply these concepts to the real world. I will include examples from the workplace and business so that you can understand how practitioners use scientific concepts to inform business decisions. You will be exposed to principles in regards to interventions used to enhance learning in organizations, training, and organizational change. In addition, you will learn briefly about possible careers in I/O psychology. Finally, you will develop your writing skills by producing three written papers and receiving feedback on them. Knowing about training and organizational change interventions and learning about IO careers can help you decide if a career in IO is for you and become knowledgeable about how we apply scientific principles to aiding organizations. On a personal note, I took PSY 455 as an undergraduate student at MSU. It helped me to solidify my interest in doing I/O as a career. I hope to offer a challenging yet rewarding and useful class like the one I experienced.


Prerequisite:  Prerequisites include PSY 395, PSY 255, and completing a tier 1 writing course. The class is open to juniors and seniors majoring in psychology or in interdisciplinary studies in social science.



If you want to earn a good grade it is absolutely necessary that you attend and actively participate in class. Here are a few reasons why:


(1)  In-class assignments (worth 10% of your total grade) will be given during Tuesday and Thursday class. You will only receive points for these assignments if you come to class and complete them.

(2)  You will receive participation points (7.5% of your grade) only if you come to class and regularly participate in the discussions.

(3)  Exams (worth 38% of your grade) will draw directly from the lectures, discussions, and in-class activities during class. Some of the material in the exams will cover material that was NOT covered from other sources such as the reading materials.

(4)  I will release PowerPoint slides, however, these slides will be purposefully incomplete. If you come to class, you will be able to fill in the missing information. I use this approach because research has shown that filling in information during class is helpful for learning and recalling the material.


Given the very small size of class, it is critical that students show up in order for us to have meaningful discussions. You should attend every class but extenuating circumstances can arise that can make this difficult. If you cannot attend a class, please let me know. If circumstances make you miss more than 3 classes during the semester, you may be overextended and should drop this class. Feel free to come talk with me or email if you have any problems with coming to class.


Exams: The 2 exams in this course will consist of short essays. These essays will provide an opportunity for additional practice in writing, which is aligned with the tier 2 writing component of this course. The exams are designed to test the knowledge and skills you have developed over the course of the semester, especially your written communication skills. The exams emphasize material covered since the previous exam. Make-up exams require a certified medical excuse or a documented personal emergency.


In-Class Assignments. You will work on in-class assignments during class. These assignments serve as an extra reward for coming to class and fully engaging in the activities. Coming to class is a prerequisite for receiving the points for these in-class assignments. An example of an in-class assignment could be that you are separated into groups and each group has to write and present an argument in defense of a certain position. Your lowest two grades on in-class assignments will be dropped.


Writing assignments. You will receive three writing assignments throughout the course of the semester. They are designed to improve your analytical thinking and enhance your writing and communication skills, and ability to apply concepts to real world issues.


Grading: Your final grade will be based on the following course percentage points:



% of final grade

In-class activities




Writing Assignment 1


Writing Assignment 2


Writing Assignment 3


Exam 1


Exam 2



The grading scale is as follows:


Policy on grade changes:  If you are concerned about your grades, the time to talk to me is early – please do not wait until the end. Extra credit is the only way to increase your point total if you are concerned about falling on the wrong side on one of these cut-offs. At the end of the semester, if you believe that I made an error in calculating your grade, please let me know. I will check your grade, and I will change it if I have made an error. This is the only circumstance under which I will change a grade. Unfortunately, I cannot “bump up” your grade, or give you a special extra credit opportunity.


Late assignment/paper policy: On-time assignments must be turned into the Dropbox folder provided on D2L at the time indicated on each assignment sheet.  To turn in an assignment late you must submit the paper to me (which must be able to be opened using Microsoft Word) via email. Any assignment turned in late will lose 10 percentage points for each day that it is late, including the due date and weekends. 


MISSED EXAMS: Unfortunately, illnesses, death in the family or other traumatic events are part of life. Such events are unwelcomed and because I understand how difficult these times are, if you contact me within 24 hours of the event and provide documentation, I will be happy to give you a make-up exam.


I see PSY 395 as a learning community where civility and respect are crucial for success.  I expect that you will come to lecture and lab sessions on-time, prepared to learn, and ready to contribute to the course in a thoughtful manner. Please do not engage in distracting behaviors during scheduled course meeting times.  For example, do not read the newspaper, use a cell phone, talk with others, or leave in the middle of lecture in a disruptive fashion. 



I will post an incomplete version of the lecture slides the day before class. When you look at the slides, you will notice that some of the information is left out. One reason I do this is to enhance recall by having you fill in critical information. Another reason is to make sure you do not have to write down all of the material in each PowerPoint.


Extra Credit: You may accumulate extra credit points by completing an essay, which will be described in more detail later in the semester.


Academic Honesty: Article 2.3.3 of the Academic Freedom Report states that "The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards." In addition, the Psychology Department adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations.


You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, unless authorized, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including papers, in-class assignments, and exams, without assistance from any source (except as specified in the assignment). This also means that you may not submit course work you completed for another course to satisfy the requirements for this course. Also, you are not authorized to use the www.allmsu.com Website or similar websites to complete any course work in this course.  In addition, plagiarism of written work is forbidden. It includes taking the work of another individual or source and presenting it as your own. This is considered plagiarism even if the source has given you permission to use their work, or the work is in the public domain (e.g., on the web).  Students who violate MSU academic integrity rules may receive a penalty grade, including a failing grade on the assignment or in the course. See also: https://www.msu.edu/~ombud/academic-integrity/student-faq.html. Contact me if you are unsure about the appropriateness of your course work.


Policy on Religious Observations: If you anticipate being absent from class due to a major religious observance, please provide notice of the date(s) to me, in writing, by the second class meeting.


Note taking and recording: You are encouraged to take notes on the lecture and are permitted to tape-record class sessions for your own purposes. However, you are not permitted to take notes or tape-record for purposes of sale and distribution.


Students with Special Needs: Students with disabilities should contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to establish reasonable accommodations. For more information, call 884-7273 (voice), 355-1293 (TTY), or visit http://rcpd.msu.edu.  If you require accommodations for exams, please notify the instructor as soon as possible. It is also your responsibility to reserve a spot for each exam at the RCPD office.


Academic Assistance: This is a university and you are expected to produce college level work. If you have any trouble with assignments or the material covered in class, please make an appointment to speak with me. Additionally, the university has resources to assist students, such as the Campus Tutorial Center, the Campus Writing Center, Adult Student Services, and more. A lot is expected of you, but the university wants to help you to produce your best work.


Disclaimer: As the instructor, I reserve the right to make any changes that I deem necessary to the details and/or policies listed in this syllabus. This includes adjusting the schedule according to the pace of the course and the needs of the students. Check D2L regularly to keep up with the topics.  You will be given notice of any changes.





Class Expectations, an Introduction to Training and Development


Training and Development (continued)


Training Needs Assessment

Reading: Goldstein & Ford chapter 3 (pp. 34-68)

Writing Assignment 1 Assigned, due September 21


Experts, learning, and training objectives

Reading: Goldstein & Ford, (pp. 98-102); Gagne, et al, (pp. 43-49)


Transfer of Training part 1

Goldstein and Ford, Ch. 4, p. 126-135


Transfer of Training part 2


Training Manuals and Research: Guest lecture


Evaluating Training



Wrap Up Training and Review for Exam 1


Exam 1


Teams: An introduction and ways of knowing

Writing assignment 2 assigned, due October 24


Teams – Tasks and Interpersonal Processes: Part 1

Reading: Rothstein, The Empowerment Effort


Teams -- Task and Interpersonal Processes: Part 2


Guest Lecture


Guest Lecture


Ethical Issues in Research


Ethical Issues in I/O Consulting, process consultation

Book: Schein, Chapter 1


Basics of I/O Consulting Part 1: The Helping Relationship

Book: Schein, Chapter 2

Writing assignment 3 assigned, due November 16


Basics of I/O Consulting Part 2: Active Inquiry and Listening

Book: Schein, Chapter 3


Basics of I/O Consulting Part 3: Deliberate Feedback


Guest Lecture




Organizational Change: Resistance and How to Facilitate Change

Reading: Foster-Fishman and Ford chapter


Metaphors for Thinking about Organizations


Careers in IO


Review for Exam 2




Exam 2


The Clinical Neuroscience Lab has openings for undergraduate assistants for the 2017-2018 academic year


Project Background:  The goal of our lab is to understand the cognitive and biological mechanisms of psychotic disorders, with a focus on schizophrenia. We are particularly interested in how alterations in brain function are related to cognitive and social difficulties, psychotic symptoms (like hallucinations and delusions) and more generally to the subjective experience of individuals who have been diagnosed with psychotic disorders. In our group, we use a range of methods to answer these questions, including functional MRI, diffusion tensor MRI, eye tracking, and experimental psychology paradigms. A deeper understanding of symptoms and their mechanisms hold the promise to lead to more targeted and effective behavioral and pharmacological treatment options.

Undergraduate Responsibilities: Undergraduate assistants will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of research activities, including assisting with research design, running participants, participating in clinical interviews with individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and analyzing data. Many of these experiments use eye tracking technology, so you will also gain experience with eye tracking methods.

Requirements: Scheduling is flexible but you must commit to a minimum of 10 hours per week for the entire academic year. You should have a GPA of over 3.5. If selected, you would begin in early September and the expectation is that you would continue through the end of the school year.  You can work either as a volunteer or for credit (PSY 491). Experience with Matlab and/or Python is desirable.

If you are interested in joining the lab, please email the following information to the lab director, Dr. Katy Thakkar at kthakkar@msu.edu:

  1. CV/Resumé
  2. A one-page essay describing your interest in this area
  3. A document outlining your technical and quantitive skills (e.g. statistical skills, statistical software experience, other software experience, programming experience, operating technical equipment, etc.)
  4. How many hours you are available in the Fall semester and the days/times that you are available.
  5. Transcript (unofficial is fine)
Seeking Undergraduate Research Assistant to Join Cognitive Control Neurolab


The Cognitive Control Neurolab, overseen by Dr. Susan Ravizza, is recruiting one undergraduate research assistant to work with graduate student Katelyn Wills on her dissertation project.  This project explores the role of learning and motivation in attention and working memory.  You will primarily be expected to help run participants and collect data for these experiments.  Other responsibilities may include some data handling and coding. 


We are seeking students who are conscientious, self-motivated, and eager to learn and develop new skills.  Applicants should be prepared to commit 9 hours a week, including bi-weekly lab meetings on Wednesdays from 5-6 PM, for a minimum of 2 semesters.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 is preferred, and psychology majors interested in pursuing graduate study in cognitive psychology will be given priority.


You may work in the lab as a volunteer or for course credit.  Benefits include:

·         Research and lab experience

·         The opportunity to learn new technical skills in programs such as Microsoft Excel, Matlab, and E-Prime

·         One-on-one mentoring from a current graduate student

·         May be eligible to receive a letter of recommendation from Dr. Ravizza. 


Please contact Katelyn Wills at willska2@msu.edu for more information and to apply.

Michigan Twins Project Lab


The Michigan Twins Project (MTP) and Children of Twins Project (COT) compose a large, population-based twin registry consisting of twins between the ages of 3-55 born in Michigan.  Adult twins and parents of twin children complete and return a brief questionnaire that assesses family composition and health status.  The unique relationship twins share allows for a better understanding of the environmental, genetic and neurobiological factors that influence psychological functioning and health.  Because of this, data from the MTP and COT will contribute to research on a variety of conditions that carry significant consequences for individual and public health.  These related studies are directed by Drs. S. Alexandra Burt and Kelly Klump.

We are looking for undergraduate research assistants that can dedicate 10 hours per week (flexible schedule) starting in Fall 2017.  The research assistant(s) selected will prepare recruitment materials, track participation in the registry, enter data received from families, attend lab meetings and presentations, and get great research experience.  Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.2 and be able to commit to the lab for at least one year (Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters).

To apply for a research assistant position or to learn more about the position, please contact the project coordinator, Eric Gernaat, at gernaate@msu.edu or 517-432-5604.

Independent Study (490) Opportunity with Dr. Sullivan


We are seeking a small team of students who are interested in gaining research experience for credit (a 490 class). Dr. Sullivan's team has several studies in process that are seeking students who want to learn more about and participate in the research process. Potential duties include (but are not limited to): data checking, data management, coding, and baseline analysis. We focus on helping students acquire a solid knowledge of gender-based violence to give context to research activities. This is an active research group and we have provided great experiences to students in the past; a number of our past research assistants have gone on to graduate programs. If you are interested, submit a CV, list of at least two references and brief email on why you feel you would be a good candidate for this team; submissions to Heather Bomsta at bomstahe@msu.edu.

The Interpersonal Processes and Psychotherapy (IPP) Lab is recruiting new Research Assistants for Spring 2018!

The IPP Lab is interested in understanding how interpersonal processes across different types of relationships (e.g., psychotherapy, parent-child, peers, romantic partners) relate to outcomes, such as change in psychotherapy or the experience of different emotions. We are interested in recruiting new RAs for the Fall 2017 semester and beyond to help with several behavioral coding projects. RAs who join the lab will gain experience measuring behavior in real-time interpersonal interactions as well as helping to organize, manage, and analyze such data. RAs will more generally get an in-depth understanding of research in clinical psychology, exposure to information about graduate school, and opportunities to present research findings. RA's who successfully complete their commitment to lab will be eligible to receive a letter recommendation. Students may also receive 490/491 credit for working in the lab. However, this often requires more commitments than are expected for other volunteers in the lab. 

RA requirements include:
3.5 GPA
Minimum two-semester commitment
10 hours/week commitment

If you have any questions or are interested in joining the IPP Lab please contact 
interpersonal.msu@gmail.com for more information.

Child Twin Video Coding Lab


Currently hiring for Spring 2018!

The Child Twin Video Coding Team is part of the larger Twin Study of Behavioral and Emotional Development, directed by Dr. Alexandra Burt. Her research focuses on developmental differences in genetic, environmental, and neurobiological influences on internalizing (e.g., depression) and externalizing (e.g., aggression) symptoms. Specifically, Dr. Burt is interested in studying the role of gene-environment interplay in the development of aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors (collectively referred to as antisocial behaviors). One environmental factor that may play a role in the development of antisocial behaviors is parenting. Find out more about our research on our website.

Responsibilities for this project involve:

1.      Watching videos of children and their parents draw pictures on an Etch a Sketch

2.      Scoring the videos based on certain behaviors

3.      Maintaining scoring reliability with other video coders

4.      Minimal data entry



1.      12-month commitment (including summer availability)

2.      Must be able to work up to 8 hours per week

3.      At least a 3.0 GPA

4.      Attendance of a weekly lab meeting during training

5.      Must be dependable, self-motivated, and detail-oriented


More Details:

1.      No experience necessary

2.      Very flexible hours

3.      Eligible to ask for a letter of recommendation from Dr. Burt after you have completed the 12-month requirement

4.      Great way to gain research experience for graduate school!

If interested contact Justin Bennett (benne457@msu.edu).

Team Interaction Dynamics NASA Research


This research study is designed to explore teamwork interaction dynamics and how teams solve task related problems. We are validating badge technology for use on long duration space missions.

We are looking for undergraduate research assistants for Spring 2018. Research responsibilities would include:
• Arriving to lab sessions early to set up equipment.
• Learning how our sociometric badges work to help undergraduate participants use them.
• Cleaning and maintaining equipment.
• Signing in and assigning credit to participants.
• Carefully following an experimental script.
• Answering participants' questions about the task.
• Managing data files.

Steve Kozlowski is the primary investigator and Anthony Misisco is the project manager. For more information or to express interest in participating, please contact Anthony Misisco (misiscoa@msu.edu).