Current Projects

Canine Cognition

Object Permanence in Canines
Leads: Dr. Jessica C. Hill
Assistants: Tasha, Peter, Jared, Bryan, Jordan, John
Replicating two studies on object permanence in dogs. 

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
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.

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.

Neuroscience Projects

Psychopharmacology Blog
Lead: Dr. Lieberwirth
Assistant: Chase J. Jenson

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: Michaella, Tyler, Peter

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

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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

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: Chantelle
Assistants: Justin
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. 


Utah, Women, and Leadership in Higher Education

Perceptions of Leadership in USHE Institutions
Lead: Chantelle
Assistants: Justin, Gretchen
How do USHE employees view their opportunities to lead?

Perceptions of Women Breadwinners in Utah
Lead: Gretchen
Assistants: Justin, Chantelle
What are the perceptions of women breadwinners in Utah?