Honors in Psychology

The honors designation in psychology offers a challenging and interesting research experience through which students work with a faculty member, write a thesis, and earn the recognition that comes with superior performance. Completion of the honors designation can offer valuable skills that will be helpful in applications to graduate school and for potential employers.

Honors in Psychology is a 2-term committment:

  1. Students will enroll in 3 credits of PSY 1973 Honors Directed Research.  This is the first term of research in preparation for the honors major in psychology and includes development of the research problem and approval of the thesis prospectus.  A weekly, one-hour seminar is required. 
  2. Students will also enroll in 3 credits of PSY 1975 Honors Thesis.  Undergraduate honors majors in psychology will register for this course for their second term when their thesis proposal has been approved and they are ready to conduct and write up the research. A weekly, one-hour seminar is required. 

These courses are designed to give students academic credits for working on their research project, writing a thesis based on this research in an APA-style manuscript, and presenting and defending this thesis before a faculty committee.

Students must also fill all of the remaining requirements for the psychology major as well as their Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences degree requirements. In addition, they must have a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.5 psychology GPA at the time of graduation to receive honors in psychology.

The first step in considering this opportunity is to discuss it with a psychology faculty member no later than the second term of your junior year.

Some students also pursue the BPhil degree through the Honors College. There are a number of funding opportunities available to students pursuing research.

Previous Honors Projects

Faculty Mentor Student Thesis Title
Aidan Wright, Ph.D. Borderline Personality Pathology and its Association with Risk for Cardiovascular Disease in Midlife
Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal, Ph.D. The Persisting Screentime Gap: Parents' Role in Preschoolers' Screentime
Ming-Te Wang, Ph.D. Science Identity: Predicting Career Aspirations Across Gender and Race in Middle School Students
Gretchen Haas, Ph.D. The Relationship Between Premorbid Adjustment and Emotional Intelligence in First-Episode Schizophrenia
Timothy Nokes-Malach, Ph.D. The Dynamic Relationship between Feedback and Self-Efficacy in the Classroom Setting
Jana Iverson, Ph.D. How Mothers’ Speech is Influenced by Infant Gender, Age, Risk Status, and Motor Milestone Attainment
Jennifer Silk, Ph.D. Gaze Avoidance in Mother-daughter Dyads: The Effects of Depressive Symptoms and Parent-child Relationship Quality
Erika Forbes, Ph.D. Social and Non-social Stressors in the Neural Response to Reward and the Prediction of Future Depression in Adolescent Girls
Jana Iverson, Ph.D. Contingent Maternal Responses to Infant Pre-speech Vocalizations in Infants at High and Low Risk For Autism Spectrum Disorder
Aidan Wright, Ph.D. Unpacking the Interrelationships Between Attachment, Emotion Regulation and Social Cognition and Their Impact on Borderline Personality Disorder
Mark Strauss, Ph.D. A Visual Attention Based Measure of Receptive Language and Categorization in Typically Developing Toddlers and Toddlers at a Heightened Familial Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Celia Brownell, Ph.D. From Feelings to Actions: The Effect of Emotion Understanding on Prosocial Behavior in Toddlers
Timothy Nokes-Malach, Ph.D. The Effects of Mindfulness on Emotion Regulation and Learning
Edward Orehek, Ph.D. Endorsement of "Safe is Sexy": Regulatory Focus and Expectancy that Safer Sex is More Pleasurable
Ming-Te Wang, Ph.D. Differential Teaching Styles as an Indicator of Implicit Racial Bias
Jeffrey Cohn, Ph.D. Nonverbal Indications of Acute Distress in Women with PTSD
Benjamin Handen, Ph.D. Changes in Child Social Responsiveness and Response to PCIT in Families of Children with Autism
Kirk Erickson, Ph.D. The Relationship Between Cortical Thinning and Neurocognitive Function in Adults with Parkinson’s Disease
Celia Brownell, Ph.D. Origins of Prosocial Behavior: The Roles of Affiliation and Compliance
Anna Marsland, Ph.D. A Longitudinal Examination of Chronic Distress as it Relates to Physical Health Symptoms in Mothers of Children Diagnosed with Cancer
Celia Brownell, Ph.D. Emotion Processing in Toddlers:  Relations Among Attention, Understanding, and Parent Talk About Emotions
Aidan Wright, Ph.D. Interpersonal Problems as a Mediator in the Relationship between Attachment and Borderline Personality Disorder
Gretchen Haas, Ph.D. An Investigation of Problem Behaviors and Social Skills in Non-Symptomatic Children with Familial Risk for Schizophrenia
Thomas Kamarck, Ph.D. The Effects of the Relationship Between Chronic Stress and Acute Stress Responses on Ambulatory Measures of Blood Pressure Reactivity in Daily Life
Natasha Tokowicz, Ph.D. Translation Ambiguity and Individual Differences in L2 Learning Between Mono - and Bilinguals
Jennifer Steel, Ph.D. Substance Use, Depression, and Illness:  Perception Among Advanced Cancer Patients
Jennifer Steel, Ph.D. Putting the Life in Lifestyle:  Lifestyle Choices After a Diagnosis of Cancer Predicts Mortality
Mark Strauss, Ph.D. Visual Attention to Dynamic Visual Scenes Among Infants at High and Low Genetic Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Jennifer Steel, Ph.D. An Assurance of Insurance:  Should Living Kidney Donors be Required to Have Health Insurance?
Ming-Te Wang, Ph.D. Relations Between Competence and The Dimensions of Engagement
Anna Marsland, Ph.D. Effects of Family Chaos and Routine on Children of Lower Socioeconomic Status with Asthma
Tessa Warren, Ph.D. Investigating the Effects of Transparency and Ambiguity on Idiom Learning
Jana Iverson, Ph.D. Assessing Motor Planning in Toddlers at Heightened Risk for ASD
Edward Orehek, Ph.D. When People Serve Many Goals:  Implications for Close Relationships
Kirk Erickson, Ph.D. The Moderating Effects of Lifestyle on The Relationship Between Obesity and Executive Function in Younger and Older Adults
Ming-Te Wang, Ed.D. The Effects of Social Anxiety on Science Achievement with the Mediating Pathways of Social Engagement and Peer Social Support
Kathryn Roecklein, Ph.D. Actigraphic Measures of Sleep Architecture in SAD
Jeffrey Cohn, Ph.D. Re-Examining the Kuleshov Effect
Kathryn Monahan, Ph.D.  Helping or Hovering, The Over-parenting Effect: Bad Neighborhoods and Impulsive Kids
Jennifer Steel, Ph.D. Socioeconomic Disparities in Depression and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients
Kathryn Roecklein. Ph.D. Circadian Rhythms and Age: An Indicator of Cognitive Functions
Mark Strauss, Ph.D. Distribution of Visual Attention to Paired Faces Across Late Infancy: A Study of Infants at Risk of Developing Autism
Mark Strauss, Ph.D. How Typically-Developing Infants and Infants At-Risk For Autism Process Faces
Jana Iverson, Ph.D. Longitudinal Examination of Play in Infants at Heightened Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders 
Jana Iverson, Ph.D. The Effect of Walking Status on Maternal Responses to Communication in Infants at High vs. Low Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders 
Jennifer Silk, Ph.D. Parenting and Positive Affect in Adolescence
Susan Campbell, Ph.D. Parent Emotional/Mental State Talk and Child Empathy in Toddlers at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Jana Iverson, Ph.D. The Development of Joint Attention and Vocalization in Infants at Heightened Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Thomas Kamarck, Ph.D. Childhood Adversity and Physical Health Outcomes: Mediation or Moderation via Environmental Stress
Ming-Te Wang, Ed.D. Attribution of Affective Disengagement by Achievement Level
Natasha Tokowicz, Ph.D. Investigating Second Language Learning and Musical Ability: An ERP Study
Jennifer L. Steel, Ph.D. Predictors and Consequences of Trauma in African Refugees Resettled in Sweden
Jennifer Wildes, Ph.D. Childhood Anxiety and Eating Disorder Symptoms Among Patients with Anorexia Nervosa:  Does Childhood Trauma Have a Moderating Effect?
Kathryn Roecklein, Ph.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder and Rumination: A Predictable Model for Depression
Jennifer Steel, Ph.D. Mental Health and Activities of Daily Living in Patients with Traumatic Injury