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    Psychological Research in the Department of Psychology

    Our faculty members are involved in research both for their own professional development and for the enrichment of students’ experiences at Hamline University. Students often take on research apprenticeships to assist with professional research, and faculty members often collaborate with students to further their research skills.

    Dr. Jacob Appleby is a social and political psychologist interested mainly in how stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination undermine societal functioning and progress. For example, how are social, political, and legal judgments influenced by racism? How do liberals and conservatives see themselves and each other, and do those perceptions undermine cooperation and understanding? Dr. Appleby’s projects often involve a combination of methodologies and data including laboratory experiments, nationally-representative surveys, social media and search engine data, linguistic analysis, and congressional records.

    Dr. Erik Asp aims to understand the psychological and neural mechanisms of belief and doubt. Why do our beliefs go awry sometimes? How can delusional individuals think they are Napoleon or Jesus? Why are some people so susceptible to deception and propaganda? How do false memories form? Asp is fascinated that people can believe such weird things, even when these beliefs produce behavior that is detrimental to themselves. Asp's primary research methodologies include the human lesion method and event-related potentials (ERPs). Professor Asp examines several areas related to belief: egocentrism, prejudice, religious cognition, social pain, moral neuropsychology, prefrontal cortex function, dual-processing cognitive models, and delusions in schizophrenia. While his interests are broad, they tend to revolve around the FTT’s view of the prefrontal cortex mediating doubt.


    Dr. Serena King has won a prestigious Harvard Institute Grant and a New Investigator Grant Award (Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders) to study gambling behaviors among youth from a behavioral genetic perspective. She often collaborates with undergraduate students on their own projects or takes them as research apprentices. She is currently supervising Emmy Kelly, who is studying the effects of Mindfulness Practices on substance abuse.

    Dr. Paula Mullineaux examines the role of genetic and environmental influences on child and adolescent social-emotional and cognitive development. The Family Interaction and Development Lab uses a family-design to explore the role of parenting behavior and cognition and sibling relationships on a variety of developmental outcomes across middle childhood through early adolescence. In a new research initiative, The Emerging Adulthood Project, she will explore the role of sibling relationship quality on social-emotional development during this developmental period. Students who are interested in research apprenticeships related to these projects are encouraged to contact Dr. Mullineaux. 

    Dr. Robin Parritz's area of expertise is developmental psychopathology, with additional interests in the psychology of emotion and the stigma of mental illness. She has worked with students on a variety of research projects in clinical psychology, increasing knowledge and reducing stigma related to mental illness, and age-and individual difference factors in emotion experience. Some of her most recent studies involve stigmatization of children who have been diagnosed with psychological disorders. Her successful research program has often included undergraduate collaborators and apprentices. She is currently supervising Tate Halverson as she studies pre-frontal lobe activity and the development of empathy.