Possible Thesis Topics

Clinical Psychology. Emotional and cognitive development.

  • Gender-emotion stereotyping and nonverbal communication
  • Preschooler's peer standing and social skills in relation to nonverbal decoding ability
  • Children's encoding and decoding of emotion in music
  • A review of gender differences in emotion regulation
  • Gender Differences in Social and Emotional Functioning (including Psychopathology)
  • Gender Differences in Social and Emotional Development
  • Risk Factors for Depression
  • Depression Prevention
Life-span development. Emotion in adulthood and old age
  • Life-span development. Emotion in adulthood and old age
  • Emotional processing (attention, memory)
  • Emotion recognition
  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotional experience
  • Cultural differences in emotion/attention
  • Automatic vs. controlled processes in emotion
Neural Dynamics of gustatory perception and learning.
  • The brain substrates of emotion and emotional learning
Life-span development. Culture, aging, and memory.
  • The influence of culture (including biculturalism) on cognitive or social processes
  • (including memory, categorization, attention to context, interpersonal interactions,
  • stereotypes, and the self). For populations on which there is little empirical data it
  • might be possible to take a broader approach researching how a culture might differ from
  • the majority American culture on cognitive or social processes.
  • The influence of normal aging (or development from childhood through old age) on
  • cognitive, social, or neural processes (including memory, self-concept, interpersonal
  • interactions, stereotyping, the engagement of prefrontal cortex, amygdala, or and medial
  • temporal lobes).
  • Beneficial and harmful contributions of context to memory processes with age (spanning verbal, visual, and spatial contexts).
  • The effects of individualism vs. collectivism (independence and interdependence) on cognitive and social processes.
  • Normal and/or abnormal memory processes (e.g., memory errors, organization of memory, the neural substrates of memory).
Adult personality and cognition
  • Midlife development
  • Control beliefs and memory
  • Stress and memory
  • Health and well-being
Develop­mental pathways leading to aggression in children and adolescents
  • The impacts of familial, communal, and school environments on internalizing and/or externalizing problems among child and adolescent
  • Risk and resilience, child development
  • Gender and ethnic differences and similarities in psychological adjustment and/or academic achievement from early childhood to adolescence
Social Psychology. Person perception.
  • First impressions of moving faces
  • Within and between-culture accuracy in first impressions from facial photographs
  • Using connectionist models to predict impressions of faces from their similarity to different categories of faces
  • Using virtual reality methods to study facial stereotypes (the student should have a good deal of computer expertise for this topic)
  • Individual differences in first impressions of faces
Health Psychology. Molecular mechanisms linking psychosocial states and health.
  • Determinants of the cortisol awakening response
  • Endocrinological and immunological processes associated with depressive versus anxious mood
  • Endocrinological and immunological changes associated with transition from adolescence to adulthood in childhood asthma
Health Psychology. Health effects of acute and chronic psychosocial stress.
  • Association of daily salivary alpha-amylase activity with heart rate variability
  • Age-difference in wake-up response and daily activity of salivary alpha-amylase activity
  • Impact of sleep quality on wake-up responses of salivary alpha-amylase
Assessment of and the taxonomic differentiation among sexually aggressive males (both juveniles and adults) and the assessment of and the identification of core features of psychopathy
  • Creating actuarial assessments for juvenile sexual offenders
  • Typological issues in child molestation
  • Causal models for the etiology of rape
  • Causal models for the etiology of child molestation
  • Role of cumulative abuse in predicting sexually coercive behavior
  • Comparing actuarials designed to predict sexual recidivism
  • Cognitive neuroscience assessments of the proclivity for sexual coercion
  • Taxometric analyses of hypersexuality
  • Role of psychopathy in sadism
  • Role of substance abuse in rape and child molestation
  • Role of criminal specialization and generalization in sexual aggression
Human spatial orientation and motor control
  • Mechanisms of learning to interact with a a robotic manipulanadum
  • Perceptual-motor side effects of haptic exploration of objects in a virtual environment
  • Mechanisms of perception of the weight of hefted objects, in children and adults
  • Mechanisms of perception of the subjective vertical in normal, hypo- and hyper-gravity environments
  • Coordination of movement control between individuals
Depression risks and protective factors, including gender, puberty and other developmental processes
  • Gender differences in social and emotional functioning (including Psychopathology)
  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Gender differences in social and emotional development
  • Emotion regulation
  • Risk factors for depression
  • Depression prevention
The psychological and neural bases of visual perception and learning

Spatial orientation. Human movement control. Adaptation to unusual force environments

Visual perception. Cognitive processes

Human Memory

Comparative psychology. Learning theory. Sensory physiology