Communication in Close Relationships

"This Directed Research experience is helping me to develop a true understanding of the complex traits of dyads. Overall, my undergraduate degree is enriched because this experience allows me to apply my academic knowledge learned in the class to the discovery of cutting-edge thoughts in my interested field of psychology. "

Supervising Faculty: Dr. Amanda Forest

Contact: Kirby Sigler,

Area of Research:  Social Psychology: Close relationships

Description of Research: We are looking for highly organized, motivated, and ambitious Psychology students to join our Relationship Processes lab. Students should be eager to learn about and participate in the conduct of research on close relationships, and should be prepared to work collaboratively with other members of our lab as well as to work independently on particular tasks. Training and supervision will be provided.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about social psychology and close relationship processes while gaining hands-on research experience. Current projects in the lab examine how people communicate with others (e.g., how they express their emotions, how they provide support) and how people respond to events and situations that might make them feel that their romantic relationships are at risk. Some of our projects investigate the ways in which people communicate and maintain relationships using social media.

Duties of Students: Students will be trained and involved in various phases of the research process and will be given substantial responsibility. Tasks vary by semester and may include running participants in lab-based studies, assisting with the development of study materials and procedures, participating in the administration of online studies, coding written, audio-recorded, or video-recorded data, and performing data management and/or analysis.

Interested students should be available at least 2 (partial) days per week. Total number of hours of participation per week will be approximately 8 hours for 3 credits. Previous research experience is an asset but is not required. For some positions, preference will be given to students who can commit to 2 terms of Directed Research in the lab.

If you are interested in learning more about our lab, please visit our website:

If you have questions about positions in upcoming semesters or would like to apply, please contact the contact person listed above to inquire. 

Additional Requirements:

  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100 Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0037 Research Methods Lab
  • Prefer PSY 0105 (Social Psychology)
  • Strong motivation to learn about psychological research and interest in relationships research in particular
  • Dependability, ability to work collaboratively as well as independently

Terms offered: fall and spring

Number of Students: varies by term