Current Projects

Cognition and Eye Movement Projects


Ocular Motor Differences between Expert and Novice Viewers of Two Dimensional Art
Leads: Dr. Jessica C. Hill and Caroline Connelly

Assistant: Chase J. Jenson, Josh Brown, and Maddie Hanks
The observation of art causes a variety of cognitive and psychological responses, such as pupil dilation. The main aim of this study is to compare individual’s physiological response and preference towards two-dimensional art. The study is mainly focused on the difference between individuals with formal art training compared to individuals with no formal art training.

Parafoveal Preview Effect Meta-Analysis (in manuscript preparation)
Lead: Dr. Hill
Assistant: Brandon Hansen

Although the shape of a word was thought to facilitate reading, a significant paper by Paap, Newsome, and Noel (1984) suggested that word shape does not contribute to reading in a meaningful way. Since then, several empirical papers suggest word shape may matter–it just depends on the type of reading task. We investigate whether this claim is true through meta-analysis.

Eye Movement & IQ
Leads: Drs. Hill and Warne
Assistant: Parker Sorenson

Understanding why individuals score differently on intelligence tests would significantly contribute to the literature on intelligence.  Unfortunately, due to the complexity of intelligence and the limited nature of psychometric testing, there are a wide range of theories.  Our present study seeks to not only provide further support for Snow’s (1980) hypothesis of constructive matching vs. response elimination but also account for a greater portion of the variance in individual scores

Intro Psychology Textbooks and Eye Movements
Assistants Needed

Statistics and Eye Movements
Assistants Needed

Music and Cognition among Older Adults
Leads: Dr. Lieberwirth
Assistant: Lee

Investigates the role of music in cognitive decline among older adults with and without dementia.

Evaluation Fashion Through Social Identity
Leads: Dr. Clark
Assistant: Josh Brown

The Fashion Fluency Scale was developed to measure how knowledge about fashion relates to one’s fashion fluency. This instrument is the first of its kind. Despite the exploratory nature of the study, strong relationships have been identified among the results. This project has been presented in a defense and will be presented at a number of academic conferences during the following year, including at UCUR and AABSS.


Neuroscience Projects



Neuroscience Outreach

Lead: Dr. Lieberwirth
Assistant: Chase J. Jenson & Shea Smart
It is not strange fact that member of BACN enjoy science; however, not everyone in Utah County have been exposed to psychology and science in the enjoyable way we have. In order to help solve this dilemma, we are reaching out to local high schools to demonstrate neuroscience in their classrooms. We are collecting data on the effectiveness of the outreach on student interest of science to find new ways to increase student understanding of the growing field of neuroscience.

Meta-Analysis of Scopolamine as a Pharmacodynamic Marker
Lead: Chase J. Jenson
Assistant: Jacob Petersen
Scopolamine is a drug with a variety of uses, such as an antidepressant and medicine to alienate post-operative nausea. However, current studies examine scopolamine as a possible pharmacodynamic marker, a point of comparison of effectiveness of drugs during trail stages. By comparing scholarly articles through a meta-analysis, it is possible to better understand the usefulness of scopolamine as a pharmacodynamic marker as well as lay foundation for future research.

Biopack & Criticism
Lead: Student leader needed
Investigates whether individuals react more strongly to criticism received by a friend or from a stranger as revealed through physiological measurements like heart rate, respiration rate, and galvanic skin response.

Psychopharmacology Blog
Lead: Dr. Lieberwirth
Assistant: Josh Brown, Brynna Boettcher, and Camille Knaphus

The evaluation of a blogging assignment as a tool for assessing learning in a psychopharmacology course. We are concerned with the use of blog-type assignments within a course. We are currently completing a rubric which will be used to judge the depth of processing within the completed assignments. We are also evaluating the qualitative statements made by students who’ve worked with blog-type assignments in their classes. We plan to present our findings at academic conferences during the following year.

Yoga and Stress Response
Lead: Dr. Lieberwirth
Assistant: Stephanie Keith

Exploration of stress responses of those who practice yoga and those who do not.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


Academic Entitlement (manuscript in preparation)
Lead: Shea Smart
Assistant: Scott May

From 2000 to 2010, both student enrollment, adjunct faculty enrollment, and tuition cost has increased. With these increases, many students demonstrated feeling of grade entitlement. In order to understand this entitlement we are conducting surveys of adjunct, full-time faculty and students to determine the level of entitlement and what faculty members are doing to increased entitled behavior in the classroom setting.

Hybrid Scheduling
Lead: Dr. Hill
Assistant: Jessica Olsen
Hybrid the future of education. Hybrid classes divide the time spent with an educator with time online spent to accomplish the distribution and understanding of information that is required for the course. We are currently looking into whether the students at Utah Valley University understand what a hybrid course is, if they understand what kind of course they are signing up for and how this knowledge is affecting their perceived performance. Our goal is to design a better set up of the current interface that deals with layout of courses available to students when signing up for classes. Is the information that is currently available enough for the students to know what a hybrid course is when signing up and is that enough information to decided if a hybrid course is the best option for them? We hoped to be able to find insight needed for these questions from the research we currently are performing. 

Adjunct Intervention
Leads: Drs. Anderson and Hill
Evaluation of an evidence-based goal-setting tool to promote professional development for adjunct instructors.

Clicker Meta-Analysis
Lead: Dr. Hill
Assistant: Josh Brown, Jacob Peterson, and Bo Buchanan

Tests the claim that there are a limited amount of ways that classroom responses systems, clickers, are useful in student learning in the college classroom. In particular, this study aims at determining the most efficient ways of utilizing the clicker technology.

Essential Skills for First Time Graduate Instructors (multiple projects)
(1) Evolution of Grad Syllabi: Currently in development. Longitudinally track changes in policy, tone, and content of graduate instructor syllabi.
(2) Qualitative Analysis of Essential Pedagogical Skills: In IRB. Rank ordering of pedagogical skills in terms of importance for first-time graduate instructors.
(3) Observation Tool: Currently in development. Creation of a skills-based classroom observation tool for first-time graduate instructors

Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard–a Rebuttal
Lead: Keifer Weiland
Assistants: Bo, Brynna, Camille, Jessica, and Parker
A replication and extension of Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014). Will alternative typing strategies change the depth of processing during note taking?

The Effect of Being a Breakout Session Leader Associated with PSY1010: General Psychology
Lead: Chase Jenson
Assistants: Josh and Stephanie
During spring 2015, Utah Valley University created a new program where students are trained in undergraduate pedagogy and have the opportunity to lead a breakout session. We are currently conducting a longitudinal study to determine the effect that participating in this program has on grades, knowledge of psychology, and development of career focused skills. 


Undergraduate Research as an Intervention for At-Risk Students Enrolled in PSY1010: General Psychology
Lead: Josh Brown
Assistants: Chase and Stephanie
Undergraduate research is often cited as an effective mechanism to reduce course failure, course withdrawal, and university withdrawal while also increasing students’ sense of community, connection with faculty, and important academic skills. This project explores undergraduate research as an intervention for at-risk students in PSY1010: General Psychology. 

Differences within Undergraduate Preformance of Hybrid Versus Traditional Face to Face Cources
Lead: Parker Sorenson
Assistants: Josh Brown, Chase J. Jenson, and Stephanie Keith

Massification has become an issue affecting most educational postsecondary institutions.  Despite research indicated the negative effects, institutions have addressed this issue with large class sizes, hybrid or online classes, and distance education.  Our study addresses the feasibility of an alternative that can potentially mitigate some of the negative effects of these adjustments; breakout sessions.



Student Ratings of Instructor and Personality
Lead: Maddie Hanks
Assistants: Brynna, Camille, Derick, Ivan, and Jessica
A replication and extension of a + (b1) Professor–Student Rapport + (b2) Humor + (b3) Student Engagement = (Ŷ) Student Ratings of Instructors by Richmond, Berglund, Epelbaum, and Klein (2015). They researched professor-student rapport, humor, and student engagement and how these factors played into student ratings of instruction. We will be expounding on their research by examining the personality traits (introvert/extrovert) of the professors and the students. We will be inquiring if the personality traits of students affect the SRIs of the professor who may have a different personality style than that of the student.