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Psychology Research at Hope College


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Research Opportunities

Research Experiences for Undergraduates

The department's exceptional facilities include an eight-room observational laboratory equipped with one-way mirrors for research in developmental and social psychology, as well as thirty laboratory rooms equipped for research in cognitive psychology, psychophysiology, social/personality psychology, developmental psychology, and neuroscience.

Research that is currently being done by the professors and also professors who need students to get involved in their research are listed below:

Dr. Carrie Bredow
Broadly speaking, my current research is focused on examining the question: Do people’s standards and preferences for a marriage partner “matter”? One of the major projects that my lab is working on is a longitudinal study examining how people’s cognitions and criteria for a marriage partner interact with other factors in the mate selection process to influence their romantic behaviors and experiences. In addition to this ongoing project, I am examining people’s implicit (unconscious) preferences for a romantic partner and how these preferences interact with explicit (reported) preferences to influence dating behavior. I will be seeking 1 or 2 students to join the lab. If you are interested in joining our team, please email me at and I will provide you with a lab application. After completing the application, I will set up a time for us to meet to further discuss whether my lab would be a good fit for you.

Dr. Alyssa Cheadle’s research focuses on how religiousness and spirituality are associated with health. Her methods include correlational and longitudinal studies involving interviews and surveys and physiological assessments of stress hormones and inflammation. She has ongoing projects in which students can get involved including studies of religiousness and spirituality in pregnant and postpartum women and diverse college-aged young adults. In addition, students can become involved in the early stages of her newest project at Hope, a daily diary study that will investigate health behaviors and religiousness and spirituality. Students interested in health psychology and particularly religiousness and spirituality are welcome to apply to join her lab. Interested students can email Dr. Cheadle at

Dr. Andrew Gall's research is focused on understanding the neural mechanisms and functions of sleep and circadian rhythms. Dr. Gall is especially interested in species-differences in the brain between animals that are diurnal (day-active) and those that are nocturnal (night-active), and how these differences emerge over development. Currently, Dr. Gall and his students are examining the mechanisms responsible for supporting a diurnal profile of activity in species like our own by performing brain lesions in a diurnal species, the Nile grass rat. In addition, his research team is collaborating with Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown to examine the importance of sleep in preschoolers, and the influences of environmental factors (such as light and diet) on the development of sleep patterns in children. Please contact Dr. Gall directly ( if you are interested in joining the lab.

Dr. Mary Inman will continue her work on body image and body attitudes. The students who are selected to work with her will sign up for Supervised Research Psy290 for 1 credit. Depending on which phase the project is in, students will help design the study, learn the ethics of doing research, learn about the ethics proposal, conduct the study, code the data, enter the data, write up portions of an APA style paper that pertains to the work, present the research, and receive career advice and writing suggestions. Interested students should email Dr. Inman ( to ask for an application and to get a copy of the expectations for doing research with her. Interested Psychology majors who are motivated and eager to learn and who have had Psy100, Psy200, Psy230, and Statistics before this lab experience are eligible to apply.

Dr. Hernandez Jarvis will be conducting research this year in the neurocogniton of dance. This is a new field that investigates mental mapping, knowledge representation, memory, and learning of complex body movements. The fall semester will be spent learning about this field through literature reviews and designing materials to conduct a study. Data collection, and data analysis will take place in the spring semester. I would like students with interest in the psychology of motion. I will particularly welcome students with an interest in body movement (sports or dance). Skills with video filming and editing will be particularly useful (but not necessary).

Dr. Root-Luna
My research project focuses on how people respond to a hurtful interpersonal event (a transgression). Participants engage in mental imagery about when they were hurt in a way that was both painful and wrong; that is, the offense mattered to them. They come to the lab twice and we monitor physiology (heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, cardiac output, and facial muscles). They also complete a daily questionnaire between visits. More broadly, I am also interested in how people seek forgiveness and what effect that has on relationships, as well as other virtues (e.g., humility, gratitude), emotion regulation, and the study of faith and religion. I am currently seeking (2-3) students who are interested in joining the lab to train them on how to use the psychophysiology equipment, work one-on-one with student participants to get them started on the study, and analyze and interpret data. If you are interested please email me at I will provide you with a lab application. Once you have completed the application we can meet to discuss whether my lab would be a good fit for you. Give the nature of the work we do, a commitment of at least 5 hours/week is required to join the lab.

Dr. Patricia Roehling conducts research in the following areas:

Weight Discrimination - Patricia Roehling researches the impact of discrimination against the overweight and obese in the areas of employment and the electoral process. She has also conducted research examining the processes underlying biases against the overweight, and the role of gender in weight discrimination.
Work and Family – Professor Roehling conducts research examining the intersection of work and family among men and women at different life stages. She is beginning a project examining the adjustments that men and women make to their work life when their children leave home.

Pedagogy – Patricia Roehling conducts research examining the effectiveness of different teaching pedagogies. These topics have included how to run effective classroom discussions and the effectiveness of using PowerPoint in upper versus lower level courses. She is currently conducting research on the “flipped classroom.”
Current research needs:

Currently Professor Roehling has a full research lab. She may have an opening in her Work and Family lab. If you are interested in working with Professor Roehling, you will need to complete an application. If you are interested in learning more about research opportunities with Professor Roehling, please email her:

Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren recently received a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to study the role of meaning in scientific and religious meaning systems. Accordingly, he and his lab group will be conducting research on how individuals interact with those holding different beliefs, as well as exploring various ways to reduce potential conflict among those with divergent worldviews. Dr. Van Tongeren is always looking for eager students who are responsible, motivated, and committed to learning more about the research process. He may have an opening for one student. Interested students can email Dr. Van Tongeren at ( and must complete an application that can be downloaded from his lab’s website ( in order to apply to join the lab.

Dr. Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet conducts research at the interface of clinical psychology, emotion regulation and positive psychology. Current topics include hope, forgiveness, and gratitude. Her methods include experiments and correlational studies examining psychophysiology, linguistic analyses, and self-report measures. Ideally, students with pre-requisites of PSY 100, 200, 370, and Math 210 or 311 will apply to and have a 2-year commitment to the lab, particularly when psychophysiology is involved.