Faculty & Student Research

Faculty within the department of psychology maintain active research programs and students are involved at all levels.  Hands on experiences allow students to ask their own research questions, develop hypotheses and design studies to test those hypotheses. 

The effects of such experiences have been widely studied and we know that students who participate:

  • improve critical thought
  • learn tolerance for obstacles
  • develop understanding for how knowledge is constructed
  • increase self-confidence
  • develop independence
  • are prepared for more demanding work

These benefits are an advantage in any career path.  Importantly, these experiences make them better students, thus increasing student persistence and retention. Research conducted by the National office of Psi Chi (Psychology Honorary) also suggests that the independent research experience is the critical factor that sets students apart on graduate school applications.

 

Below, you will find information about faculty research and opportunities for students to engage in research. 

Dr. Horgan's Social Cognition Lab

Research topics in the lab include:

  • Social Cognition
  • Appearance accuracy                                          
  • Accuracy in interpersonal perception                                  
  • Gender differences in interpersonal sensitivity
  • Nonverbal behavior and person perception/memory 
  • Sexual Objectification
  • Evolutionary Psychology: Adaptive memory

We are currently exploring the verbal and nonverbal cues used to signal romantic interest in mixed-sex and same-sex relationships. We also are examining the factors that enhance and depress perceivers’ memory for appearance and verbal statements of others.

For more information on joining the lab, please email Dr. Horgan at thorgan@umich.edu

 

Students from the lab presenting their research:

 

Recent publications and presentations (since 2015):

Knapp, M. L., Hall, J. A., & Horgan, T. G. (expected 2020). Nonverbal communication in human interaction (9th ed.). Kendall/Hunt

Horgan, T.G. (2020) A New Look at Person Memory. In: Sternberg R., Kostić A. (eds) Social Intelligence and Nonverbal Communication. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-34964-6_7

Hall, J. A., Gunnery, S. D., & Horgan, T. G. (2016). Gender differences in interpersonal accuracy.  In Hall, J. A., Schmid Mast, M., & West, T. V. (Eds.), The social psychology of perceiving others accurately (pp. 309-327). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press 

Horgan, T. G., Herzog, N.L., & Dyszlewski, S. (2019). Does your messy office make your mind look cluttered? Office appearance and perceivers' judgments about the owner's personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 138, 370-379.

Hall, J. A., Horgan, T. G., & Murphy, N. (2019). Nonverbal communication in the 21st century. Annual Review of Psychology, 70, 271-294.

Horgan, T.G., McGrath, M. P., Bastien, C., Wegman, P. A. (2017). Gender and appearance accuracy: Women’s advantage over men is restricted to dress items. The Journal of Social Psychology, 19, 1-12. doi: 10.1080/00224545.2017.1282848

Horgan, T. G., Grey, M., Looney, N. L., Long, T., & Lindenmulder, J. (2017). Sex doesn’t always sell: The effects of objectifying images on perceivers’ judgments of a female speaker. Psychology of Popular Media Culture. doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000145

Fitzgerald, C. J., Horgan, T.G., & Himes, S. M. (2016). Shaping men’s memory: The effects of a female’s waist-to-hip ratio on men’s memory for her appearance and biographical information. Evolution and Human Behavior, 37, 510-516.

Horgan, T. G., Broadbent, J., McKibbin, W. F., & Duehring, A. J. (2015). Show versus Tell? The effects of mating context on women’s memory for a man’s physical features and  verbal statements. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32, 1-18.

Grey, M. J., Horgan, T. G., Long, T. A., Looney, N. K., Lindenmulder, J. R. (2015). Contrasting objectification and competence: Body competent images of women relieve women of self-objectification. Journal of Media Psychology, 28, 88-93. http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/1864-1105/a000159
 

Dr. Miller's Research Lab

For information about the lab and opportunities to join, please contact Dr. Miller at natmille@umich.edu.

Dr. Sela's Recent Publications and Presentations

Dr. Sela is an experimental psychologist focused on applying an evolutionary perspective to the study of romantic relationships, sexual conflict, and religiosity.

Dr. Sela is happy to talk to students about their research interests and graduate school. To schedule an appointment with her, please email yaelsela@umich.edu.

Recent publications and presentations (since 2015):

Refereed Journal Articles

Otterbring, T., & Sela, Y. (2020). Sexually Arousing Ads Induce Sex-Specific Financial Decisions in Hungry Individuals. Personality and Individual Differences, 152. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2019.109576

Tratner, A. E., Sela, Y., Lopes, G. S., Shackelford, T. K., McDonald, M. M., Weekes-Shackelford, V.A., & Abed, M.G. (2020). Childhood religious experiences with peers and primary caregivers: Associations with individual differences in adult religiosity. Personality and Individual Differences, 158, 109802.

Barbaro, N., Sela, Y., Atari, M., Shackelford, T. K., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2019). Romantic attachment and mate retention behavior: The mediating role of perceived risk of partner infidelity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36, 940-956.

Pham, M. N., Barbaro, N., Holub, A., Holden, C. J., Mogilski, J. K., Lopes, G. S., Nicolas, S. C. A., Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., Zeigler-Hill, V., & Welling L. L. M. (2018). Do men produce higher-quality ejaculates when primed with thoughts of partner infidelity? Evolutionary Psychology. doi: 10.1177/1474704918757551

Sela, Y., Pham, M. N., Mogilski, J. K., Lopes, G. S., Shackelford, T. K., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2018). Why do people disparage May-December romances? Condemnation of age-discrepant romantic relationships as strategic moralization. Personality and Individual Differences, 130, 6-10.

Atari, M., Barbaro, N., Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., & Chegeni, R. (2017). Consideration of cosmetic surgery as part of women's Benefit-Provisioning mate retention strategy. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1-7. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01389

Atari, M., Barbaro, N., Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., & Chegeni, R. (2017). The Big Five personality dimensions and mate retention behaviors in Iran. Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 286-290.

Barbaro, N., Sela, Y., Lopes, G. S., & Shackelford, T. K. (2017). Confirmatory factor analysis of the Coalitional Mate Retention Inventory (CMRI) and evidence for two superordinate domains. European Journal of Psychological Assessment. doi: 10.1027/1015-5759/a000439

Fink, B., Wübker, M., Ostner, J., Butovskaya, M. L., Mezentseva, A., Muñoz-Reyes, J. A., Sela, Y., and Shackelford, T. K. (2017) Cross-Cultural Investigation of Male Gait Perception in Relation to Physical Strength and Speed. Frontiers in Psychology, 8. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01427

Lopes, G. S., Barbaro, N., Sela, Y., Jeffrey, A. J., Pham, M. N., Shackelford, T. K., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (in press). Endorsement of social and personal values predicts the desirability of men and women as long-term partners. Evolutionary Psychology. doi: 10.1177/1474704917742384

Lopes, G. S., Sela, Y., Cataldo, Q., Shackelford, T. K., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2017). Sex differences in performance frequency of online mate retention behaviors. Personality and Individual Differences, 114, 82-85.

Lopes, G. S., Sela, Y., & Shackelford, T. K. (2017). Endorsement of existence values predicts mate retention behaviors. Personality and Individual Differences, 113, 184-186.

Pham, M. N., Barbaro, N., Noser, A. E., Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., Zeigler-Hill, V., Weege, B., Fink, B. (2017). Dishonest individuals request more frequent mate retention from friends. Personal Relationships, 24, 102-113. doi: 10.1111/pere.12170

Sela, Y., Mogilski, J. K., Shackelford, T. K., Zeigler-Hill, V., & Fink, B. (2017). Mate value discrepancy and mate retention behaviors of self and partner. Journal of Personality, 85, 730-740.  doi: 10.1111/jopy.12281

Tratner, A. E., Sela, Y., Lopes, G. S., Ehrke, A., Weekes-Shackelford, V. A., & Shackelford, T. K. (2017). Development and initial psychometric assessment of the Childhood Religious Experiences with a Primary Caregiver Inventory. Personality and Individual Differences, 114, 5-9.

Tratner, A. E., Sela, Y., Lopes, G. S., Ehrke, A., & Weekes-Shackelford, V. A., & Shackelford, T. K. (2017). Individual Differences in Childhood Religious Experiences with Peers. Personality and Individual Differences, 119, 73-77.

Pham, M. N., Jeffery, A. J., Sela, Y., Lynn, J. T., Trevino, S., Willockx, Z., Tratner A., Itchue, P., Shackelford, T. K., Fink, B., McDonald, M. M. (2016). Duration of cunnilingus predicts estimated ejaculate volume in humans: A content analysis of pornography. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 2, 220-227.

Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., Pham, M. N., & Euler, H. A. (2015). Do women perform fellatio as a mate retention behavior? Personality and Individual Differences, 73, 61-66.

Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., Pham, M. N., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2015). Women’s mate retention behaviors, personality traits, and fellatio. Personality and Individual Differences, 85, 187-191.

Sela, Y., Weekes-Shackelford, V. A., Shackelford, T. K., & Pham, M. N. (2015). Female copulatory orgasm and male partner’s attractiveness to his partner and other women. Personality and Individual Differences, 79, 152-156.

 

Book Chapters

Sela, Y., & Barbaro, N. (2017). Evolutionary perspectives on personality and individual differences. In V. Zeigler-Hill, and T.K. Shackelford, The SAGE handbook of personality and individual differences (pp. 1-29). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199397747.013.22

Sela, Y., & Barbaro, N. (2017). Selected to kill in his name: Evolutionary perspectives on religiously-motivated violence. In J. Liddle, and T.K. Shackelford, The Oxford handbook of evolutionary perspectives on religion. Oxford University Press, USA.

Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., & Liddle, J. R. (2016). A moral guide to depravity: Religiously-motivated violence and sexual selection. In T.K. Shackelford & R.D. Hansen (Eds.), The evolution of morality (pp. 197-216). New York: Springer.

Sela, Y., Pham, M. N., & Shackelford, T. K. (2015). Do men and women perform oral sex as mate retention behavior? In T.K. Shackelford and R.D. Hansen (Eds.), The evolution of sexuality. (pp. 69-79). New York: Springer.

Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., & Liddle, J. R. (2015). When religion makes it worse: Religiously-motivated violence as a sexual selection weapon. In J. Slone & J. Van Slyke (Eds.), The attraction of religion (pp. 111-131). New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

 

Encyclopedia Entries

Sela, Y., & Brewer, G. Women pretending orgasm. (2018). In T.K. Shackelford and V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. New-York: Springer.

Lopes, G. S., & Sela, Y. (2017). Human Genome Project. In V. Zeigler-Hill and T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. New-York: Springer.

Sela, Y., & Pham, M. N. Oral sex and human sexual behavior. (2016). In T.K. Shackelford and V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. New-York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3624-1

Sela, Y., & Pham, M. N. Oral sex as mate retention. (2016). In T.K. Shackelford and V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. New-York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_143-1

Sela, Y. (2016). Mate retention. In T. K. Shackelford & V. A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_139-1

Sela, Y., & Shackelford, T. K. (2015). Evolution. In R. Cautin and S. Lilienfeld (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology (pp. 1-7). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

 

Paper Presentations

Tratner, A. E., Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2018). Do religious people perform more mate retention behaviors? Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Otterbring, T., & Sela, Y. (2018, May). Sexy ads make hungry men financially impatient. European Marketing Academy Conference. Glasgow, UK.

Shackelford, T. K., Pham, M. N., Jeffery, A. J., Sela, Y., Lynn, J. T., Trevino, S., Willockx, Z., Fink, B., & McDonald, M. M. (2016). Duration of cunnilingus predicts estimated ejaculate volume in humans: A content analysis of pornography. Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Sela, Y., Barbaro, N., Lopes, G. S., Shackelford, T. K., Zeigler-Hill, V., & McDonald, M. M. (2017). Satisfied mates provision benefits to loyal romantic partners: Roles of mate value, risk of infidelity, and personality. Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference. Boise, ID.

Sela, Y., Weekes-Shackelford, V. A., Shackelford, T. K., & Pham, M. N. (2015). Female copulatory orgasm and male partner’s attractiveness to his partner and other women. American Psychological Association Annual Convention. Toronto, Canada.

Sela, Y., Mogilski, J. K., & Shackelford, T. K. (2015). Mate retention discrepancy and mate value discrepancy in long-term relationships. Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference. Columbia, MO.

 

Poster Presentations

Otterbring, T., & Sela, Y. (2020, April). Sexually arousing ads induce sex-specific financial decisions in hungry individuals. Midwestern Psychological Association Annual Conference. Chicago, IL.

Otterbring, T., & Sela, Y. (2017, January). Sexy ads make mated men financially impatient. Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Conference. San Antonio, TX.

Sela Y., Barbaro, N., Shackelford, T. K., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2016, June). Perceived risk of infidelity, mate value, and mate retention in women. Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K. (2016, May). Personality moderates the relationship between perceived risk of partner’s infidelity and women’s mate retention behaviors. 28th American Psychological Society Annual Convention. Chicago, IL.

Sela Y., Barbaro, N., Shackelford, T. K., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2016, April). Mate value of self and partner, perceived risk of infidelity, women’s personality, and mate retention. Evolution of Psychopathology Conference. Rochester, MI.

Tratner, A. Sela., Y., Ehrke, A. D., Lopes, G. S., Weekes-Shackelford, V. A. (2016, April). Development and initial psychometric assessment of the Childhood Religious Experiences Inventory – Peers Version. Evolution of Psychopathology Conference. Rochester, MI.

 

 

Dr. Stein's Recent Publications and Presentations

Dr. Stein's primary research interests include functions of the right hemisphere, asymmetry in decision making, belief updating and handedness. She is also interested in language processing and gender differences in memory. Her current research involves studying how brain differences (particularly differences in access to the right hemisphere) affect acceptance of BS.

Stein, J.M. (under review) Individual Differences in the Reception of Pseudo-profundity: Consistent-handers may be more susceptible to bullshit, Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain & Cognition.

Stein, J.M., Heinze, H & Altheide, N. (2019) Symposium: Improving retention strategies in undergraduate psychology programs. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Teaching Psychology, Chicago, IL.

Stein, J.M. & Miller, N.S. (2018) Individual Differences in Apology Acceptance & Forgiveness: The Influence of Handedness. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain & Cognition.

Stein, J.M. & Eidelsafy, A. (2017) Individual differences in handedness are associated with perceptions of pseudoprofundity. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) is designed to support collaborations between UM-Flint undergraduate students and faculty researchers. UROP allows students to earn paid (or volunteer), hands-on research experiences working along faculty on cutting-edge projects. Additionally, faculty are afforded the opportunity to mentor enthusiastic and talented students.

Because of the diverse nature of the research conducted at UM-Flint, undergraduate students at any level and from any academic discipline can participate in UROP. Sign up today!

Arkum Eidelsafy's (BS, 2017) UROP experience involved a collaboration with department chair, Dr. Jeannette Stein. Their work was presented at the annual meetings of the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago.


 
 

Additional Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Please click here for information regarding internships and undergraduate research opportunities at universities and government agencies.