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PhD Doctor of Philosophy

Clinical psychology, geropsychology, mental health, dementia, research methods & statistics, integration of psychology and philosophy

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Cognitive Compensation Strategies for Individuals with Cognitive Impairment

This project could be a review paper on research-based strategies to help people compensate for cognitive difficulties that may be a result of different physical or mental health conditions. Tasks involved in this project would include exploring current research studies in fields such as clinical psychology, rehabilitation psychology, or others that apply these kinds of interventions and discuss their effectiveness. This could be specialized to a certain population or diagnosis, such as dementia, traumatic brain injury, or others. Ideally, the findings of these studies would be summarized and discussed in a written review, with the goals of professional presentation or publication in a peer-reviewed journal. This could also be a more practically focused piece that could be published in an academic blog or other formats more easily accessible to the general public.

Social Psychology In The Modern World

This project could take multiple forms, such as a theoretical paper conceptualizing current events/issues (e.g. mass shootings, COVID-19 impacts on social behavior, etc.) based on social psychological theories or a review article on recent social psychology research/theory. Any paper format would involve some form of literature review, and could be written in different frames (e.g. narrative, persuasive, etc.). Ideally, the goal would be to publish this paper in a peer-reviewed journal or similar forum.

The Impact of Tolerance on Mental Health

This project could take the form of a research study proposal with goals of looking at how being generally tolerant or intolerant (e.g. of differing viewpoints, of certain experiences) could influence depression, anxiety, anger, or other areas of mental health. Some examples of how this study could look is: -An online survey that included measures of tolerance and mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, anger, or others. -A study with an experimental design where, after degree of tolerance is measured at the beginning of the experiment, a person is exposed to a newspaper article or some other stimulus that reflects a view they oppose. Mental health symptoms could be measured before and after the person is presented with this stimulus, and statistical analysis could be conducted to see if people with higher degrees of tolerance experienced less distress/mental health symptoms than those with lower degrees of tolerance. The goal of this project would be to produce a complete research study proposal that would be ready to submit for review by an institutional review board/ethics committee (which is a requirement for all research studies involving human participants). This could then be used by the project leader (you #:) ) in the future to conduct this study, and provide an opportunity to learn skills essential to creating and carrying out research.

What Does Normal Aging Look Like?

This project could take multiple forms, with the main focus being to discuss what makes up a normal aging process (e.g. Physical, cognitive, social, and other changes) and challenging aging myths and stereotypes). A project could look like: -A post on an academic or professional blog (Ex. the American Psychological Association Aging Blog, etc.) -A presentation/talk that could be given to members of the scientific community, fellow peers, or to members of one's local community -A review article discussing the differences between normal aging and pathology-affected aging -A Youtube video for a general or targeted audience, or other technology-based formats (e.g. a TikTok video series, a digital feature for a CV/resume) And many more!

A Professional Development Project

This project could pertain to anything related to developing your professional and academic identity and skills in psychology, research, statistics, or other areas that align with my expertise. Some examples could include: 1) Learning how to use a certain statistics program you have access to (Ex. R & Rstudio, which are free) to better understand what can be involved in statistical analysis. This would involve independent reading on basic descriptive or inferential statistical analyses and practicing writing syntax with data you have access to or a generated dataset. End products of this project could include saved syntax templates or files that you plan to use in future projects, or being able to demonstrate live how to run and interpret a specific statistical analysis. 2) Writing a scholarly paper on a topic in psychology you have interest or passion in, or a topic you hope to engage with in the future through research, clinical practice, or other methods. This paper would be an opportunity for you to build your knowledge and expertise around a specific subject in psychology, and could be turned into a publishable manuscript if that is of interest. 3) Developing a 1-hour long talk or presentation that could be presented to your local community on a topic of psychology. Ideally, this would be an opportunity for you to build your knowledge and expertise while also providing practical and tangible information that would benefit your target audience. Skills built in this project could include presentation development, learning how to search and review scientific articles, public speaking, and learning how to discuss psychological concepts in layman's terms. Time during sessions may be used setting and reviewing progress on goals, troubleshooting barriers (ex. syntax errors, etc.), discussing literature that you read independently, getting feedback on products of project, and practicing skills (ex. presenting skills, etc.).

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