The faculty members in the department of psychology actively pursue various research projects to further the field. Many of these research projects incorporate student researchers in the planning, data collection and analysis stages. Three such research projects are highlighted below. If you are interested in participating in or planning a research study in a particular area of psychology, visit the Faculty and Staff page to contact a faculty member who specializes in that area.
The effectiveness of blended courses
Dr. Shoptaugh completed a study exploring the effectiveness of blended courses. Past studies have shown that students are more engaged in online courses, but these psychology faculty members wanted to know if and how blended courses helped students. For the study, the professors implemented a blended format for the introductory psychology course, PSY 121, at Missouri State. Some graduate students assisted in the study, conducting data analysis for their thesis projects.
Nutrition and development in Haiti
Developed in conjunction with a local physician, Dr. Mitchell’s research explores the effects of supplemental food on the development of a child’s physical, mental and motor skills. After two trips to Haiti, Dr. Mitchell and others have developed a clear picture of the Haitian child for use in understanding their developmental processes and potentially creating interventions to promote healthy development.
Visual learning in infants
Through the visual scanning equipment available in the eye/heart lab, Dr. Mitchell and others have developed a heart rate model of adult visual learning. Also, by monitoring the visual fixations of infants, they are able to predict potential developmental issues. Currently, they are attempting to further expand the short-term interventions that promote visual learning in the lab setting to at-home exercises that can promote positive development.