Psychology Experiments & Studies

Study 1: naturalistic assessment of sleep - comparison of actigraphy and fitbit methodology

Irb approval number: irb-2017-130 
Experimenter's name: Dr. Kate Gunthert 
Contact info:

Time commitment: 1 week 
Number of credits: up to 2.5 research credits 
Eligibility requirements: English-speaking, 18+ years of age

Description of study: we are recruiting undergraduate students to participate in a naturalistic study on sleep. Participation will last one week and will involve wearing popular sleep monitoring devices (fitbit and actigraph) and completing brief surveys.

Study 2: college male perspectives

Irb approval number: irb-2017-248 
Experimenter's name: Alex Long and dr. Nathaniel Herr 
Contact info: alex at

Time commitment: approximately 1 hour 
Number of credits (1 credit = approx. 1 hour commitment): 1 credit 
Eligibility requirements: must be male college student, 18 years or older.

Description of study: this study seeks to learn more about the ways in which people differ in their perspectives on college situations. Participation includes first completing a very brief online screening questionnaire. Eligible participants will then come into the lab to complete the study. The in-lab session involves completing some personality surveys, as well as a brief reading and writing exercise. The study will take approximately one hour total.

Study 3: neurocognitive sequelae of closed head injuries

Irb approval number: protocol #:12213 
Experimenter's name: Bryan D. Fantie, Ph.D. 
Contact info: or 202-885-1745 (leave message)

Time commitment: approximately 1-2 hours (requires 2 testing sessions on separate days) 
Number of credits (1 credit = approx. 1 hour commitment): for each hour of participation, a choice of: $10 or 1 research credit. Most people will earn 1-3 credits. 
Eligibility requirements: although we also need people for the uninjured control groups, we are looking especially for people who, in the last 5 years, have had their heads banged (or banged their heads) hard enough to leave them dizzy, disoriented, nauseous, or even unconscious.

Description of study: this study involves simple paper & pencil and/or computerized tasks (e.g., make judgments about pictures of faces and names). No needles, no drugs, no shocks, no pain, no math.

Study 4: peer support study

Irb approval number: irb-2017-187 
Experimenter's name: Madison Guter and Dr. Nathaniel Herr 
Contact info: madison at

Time commitment: 2 hours 
Number of credits: 2 
Eligibility requirements: at least 18 years old, english-speaking

Description of study: this study involves writing about ongoing problems and receiving peer support for those problems throughout the week.

Study 5: vocabulary study habits

Irb approval number: irb approval protocol #12614 
Experimenters: Joshua Tatz; Zehra Peynircioglu; and Jose Muniz (undergraduate researcher) 
Contact info: email ;

Time commitment: approximately 22 minutes 
Number of credits: 0.5 credit 
Eligibility requirements: must be at least 18 years old and english proficient 

Description of study: participants will be presented with a list of several words. Following presentation, participants will provide responses about their likelihood of recalling that word later. Students are asked to email joshua tatz at to coordinate a meeting time for research experience.

Study 6: piano experiment

Irb approval number: irb-2017-101 
Experimenters: Joshua Tatz; Zehra Peynircioglu 
Contact info: email

Time commitment: approximately 40 minutes 
Number of credits: 1.0 credits 
Eligibility requirements: people over 18 who can read music proficiently and have played the piano for at least 3 years.

Description of study: you will be asked to sight read short, single bars of music on either treble or bass cleff. This study seeks students of elementary through intermediate sight reading ability. Students with expert sight reading ability will be recruited later in the semester. Interested students are asked to email joshua tatz at to coordinate a meeting time for research experience.

Study 7: daily thoughts and emotions

Irb approval number: irb-2016-235 
Contact info: Hilary Hoagwood

Time commitment: two 60-minute sessions and seven daily 15-minute sessions 
Number of credits: up to 2 credits (1 credit or $5 for each lab visit) plus up to $10 dollars for completing all 7 diary entries 
Eligibility requirements: must be 18 years or older

Description of study: this study examines the relationship between daily thoughts and emotions. Participants will complete questionnaires during an initial visit to the lab. For the following week, participants will complete brief daily diary entries electronically. Participants will then complete final questionnaires at the lab.

Study 8: memory & interference

Irb approval number: irb-2018-17 
Contact info: Tommy Gunawan; 
Time commitment: two 15 minute sessions on two consecutive days (30 minutes total).

Number of credits: 0.5 
Eligibility requirements: n/a

Description of study: the purpose of this study is to learn more about how memory can be affected by manipulations after the learning phase. Subjects will be asked to memorize a list of word in the first session and then recall the list in the second session.

Study 9: cerebellum and autism: neural mechanisms and modulation of motor and cognitive tasks

Irb approval number: irb-2016-188 
Experimenter's name: Laura Blevins (graduate student), Dr. Catherine Stoodley (principal investigator/faculty supervisor) 
Contact info:, (202) 885-1723

Time commitment: 4 hours 
Number of credits (1 credit = approx. 1 hour commitment): 4 credits 
Eligibility requirements: an adult aged 18-40, male, right-handed, native english speaker, do not have any implanted medical devices (e.g. pacemakers, cochlear implants), not taking medications that act on the central nervous system (anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, sedatives/hypnotics), no history of neurological or developmental disorder

Description of study: the purpose of this study is to investigate the function of a part of the brain called the cerebellum. To do this, we will use a non-invasive method called transcranial direct current stimulation (tdcs). For some participants, we will also use brain imaging. Participants will attend 3 sessions scheduled one week apart, and perform motor and cognitive tasks following tdcs application. Each session will take 1-2 hours, and compensation is in the form of psychology research credits or cash. For the study taking place on campus, participants can receive $25 per session ($75 total); for the brain imaging study, which takes place at georgetown university's center for functional and molecular imaging, participants will receive $50 per session ($150 total). Participants can choose to receive a combination of research credit and cash.

Study 10: attitudes towards individuals with mental illness

Irb approval title: irb-2018-31 
Experimenter's name: Allison Cunning 
Contact info: or (585) 406-6249 (cell number)

Time commitment: approx. 1 hour 
Eligibility requirements: psychology undergraduate students

Description of study: we are looking for undergraduate students to participate in a research study. The study explores perceptions college students have of individuals with mental illness. The duration of the study is approximately 1 hour, and involves a short reading and subsequent completion of a computer questionnaire. Participants will receive 1 hour of research credit.

Study 11: the social media content effects study

Irb approval number: irb-2017-298 
Experimenter's name: Faith Stoneking 
Contact info:

Time commitment: one ~20-minute session and one ~40-minute session. 
Number of credits: 1 credit 
Eligibility requirements: undergraduate females between the ages of 18-24

Description of study: we are looking to better understand the effects of social media content on its viewers. The study takes about 1 hour total and involved completing questionnaires and viewing a social media website.

Study 12: diagnostic measurement of visual acuity and contrast sensitivity 

Irb approval number: 11222 
Experimenter's name: Divya Nigam (graduate student), Arthur Shapiro (advisor) 
Contact info:

Time commitment: 2 hours 
Number of credits (1 credit = approx. 1 hour commitment): 2 credits 
Eligibility requirements: no extraordinary visual ailments

Description of study: an analysis utilizing several visual tests that are currently used (pelli robson and etdrs chart) clinically in comparison to our computer tasks. Subjects will be given computer tasks as well as two clinical visual tests (measuring visual acuity and contrast sensitivity).

Study 13: pilot research to inform the development of an health hazardous drinking intervention

Irb approval number: irb-2018-38 
Experimenter's name: Dr. Elizabeth Cotter 
Contact info:; 202-885-3703

Time commitment: 60 minutes 
Number of credits (1 credit = approx. 1 hour commitment): 1 
Eligibility requirements: eligible participants must: 1) be a current au undergraduate student; 2) be age 18 or older; and 3) have consumed drinks containing alcohol within the last two weeks. (note: all information is 100% confidential)

Description of study: the purpose of this study is to learn students' opinions about health-related apps and text messaging that can promote moderate drinking habits. Interested participants will complete a brief phone screen with dr. Cotter and eligible participants will then be scheduled for a focus group. After the focus group, participants have the option of either receiving 1) research credit, or 2) a $10 incentive. Please note: students can receive one or the other, not both. Please contact Dr. Cotter at or 202-885-3703 if interested.

Study 14: effect of dynamic information in material perception

Irb approval number: irb-2017-312 
Experimenter's name: Wenyan Bi 
Contact info:

Time commitment: 50 - 60 min 
Number of credits: 1 
Eligibility requirements: none

Description of study: in the current study we will look at the effect of dynamic information on human material perception. During the experiment, participants will watch paired videos of cloths on the computer screen. The task is to rate the similarity between the cloths.

Study 15: interplay between revelation and aha effects in memory

Irb approval number: irb-2018-25 
Experimenter's names: Katie Bates 
Contact info:

Time commitment: 25 minutes 
Number of credits (1 credit = approx. 1 hour commitment): 0.5 credit 
Eligibility requirements: participants must be fluent in written English

Description of study: you will study a list of words and be tested on your memory for them.