/ Psychology Department


Take part in our research program — a hallmark of the psychology department at Hope.

Our research opportunities are broad and varied, and our award-winning faculty offers encouragement and innovative analysis throughout your time at Hope. Because our faculty presents at conferences, publishes research articles and writes books, our student research assistants are well-prepared for advanced study after graduation.

Many of our students who pursue supervised research go on to present at conferences themselves and some are even published!

Find a faculty member (or two) you’d like to work with? Fill out the Common Application to apply to be a research assistant in their lab!

Not sure yet about getting involved? Fill out this short Research Interest Form to get connected with a psychology faculty member who can tell you more about undergraduate research at Hope.

Take a look at the research opportunities our faculty provides:

Dr. Carrie Bredow

Broadly speaking, Dr. Bredow’s current research is focused on examining the question: Do people’s standards and preferences for a marriage partner “matter”? One of the major projects that her lab is working on is a longitudinal study examining how people’s cognitions and criteria for a marriage partner interact with other factors in the mate selection process to influence their romantic behaviors and experiences. In addition to this project, there are opportunities for students to get involved in a new line of work examining people’s implicit (unconscious) preferences for a romantic partner and how these preferences interact with explicit (reported) preferences to influence dating (and ultimately marital) behavior.

Opportunities at a glance: Dr. Bredow is always looking for motivated students and generally can take on at least two new students per year. Preference is given to students who have already taken PSY 200 and statistics. Email bredow@hope.edu if you’re interested in joining the lab.

Dr. Alyssa Cheadle

Dr. Cheadle’s research focuses on how religiousness and spirituality are associated with health. Her methods include correlational and longitudinal studies involving interviews and surveys and physiological assessments of stress hormones and inflammation. She has ongoing projects in which students can get involved, including studies of religiousness and spirituality in pregnant and postpartum women and diverse college-aged young adults. In addition, students can become involved in the early stages of her newest project at Hope, a daily diary study that will investigate health behaviors and religiousness and spirituality.

Opportunities at a glance: Students interested in health psychology and particularly religiousness and spirituality are welcome to apply. Email cheadle@hope.edu if you’re interested in joining the lab.

Dr. Andrew Gall

Dr. Andrew Gall's research is focused on understanding the neural mechanisms and functions of sleep and circadian rhythms. Dr. Gall is especially interested in species-differences in the brain between animals that are diurnal (day-active) and those that are nocturnal (night-active), and how these differences emerge over development. Currently, Dr. Gall and his students are examining the mechanisms responsible for supporting a diurnal profile of activity in species like our own by performing brain lesions in a diurnal species, the Nile grass rat. In addition, his research team is collaborating with Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown to examine the importance of sleep in preschoolers, and the influences of environmental factors (such as light and diet) on the development of sleep patterns in children.

Opportunities at a glance: Email gall@hope.edu if you’re interested in joining the lab.

Dr. Charles Green

Dr. Charles Green's interests involve making social science research on race, culture and ethnicity available to a broader audience. He does this in a variety of ways, including the Getting Race Right website he maintains with his Race in America students and their related Twitter account, @getraceright. Dr. Green would be happy to work with students who are interested in the topic and enjoy writing.

Dr. Mary Inman

Dr. Mary Inman will continue her work on body image and body attitudes. Some semesters she continues her other line of research on perceptions of discrimination. The students who are selected to work with her usually sign up for Supervised Research PSY 290 for 1 credit. Depending on which phase the project is in, students will help design the study, learn the ethics of doing research, learn about the ethics proposal, conduct the study, code the data, enter the data, write up portions of an APA style paper that pertains to the work, present the research and receive career advice and writing suggestions.

Opportunities at a glance: Usually 1 or 2 slots are available. Students must have taken PSY 200 and a statistics course to apply. Email inman@hope.edu if you’re interested in joining the lab.

Dr. Lindsey Root Luna

Dr. Root Luna’s research focuses on virtue, emotion, psychophysiology and flourishing. Current projects include physiological data collection examining the relationship between personality traits and engagement, and survey methodology investigating the relationship between virtues and well-being. Additionally, she has interests in forgiveness seeking, as well as the impact of other specific virtues (e.g., gratitude, hope, humility), emotion regulation, and the study of faith and religion.

Opportunities at a glance: Dr. Root Luna finds collaborating with students an exciting and rewarding component of the research process. At any given time, she is usually working with 4–6 students. Email rootluna@hope.edu if you’re interested in joining the lab.

Dr. Benjamin Meagher

Dr. Meagher's primary research focus is in the area of ecological social psychology, investigating the relationship between physical environments, social environments and individual differences in personality. For example, his work has explored the influence of personality traits on preferences for particular physical settings, the effect of social context on judgments of distance and spaciousness, and the connection between ideological beliefs and perception-action processes (e.g., how sexism impacts our behaviors towards highly gendered physical objects). His most recent projects have centered around the design and layout of religious settings, the use of home environments to cope with stress and the personality trait of hospitality. You can read more about his research at his website.

Opportunities at a glance: Any student interested in talking more about the topic of environmental psychology are encouraged to contact Dr. Meagher. Email meagher@hope.edu you’re interested in joining the lab. 

Dr. Lauren Slone

Dr. Lauren Slone specializes in eye-tracking research with young children and their parents, including both remote eye-tracking (e.g., tracking where a child looks on a computer screen) and head-mounted eye-tracking (e.g., tracking where a baby looks as they play with toys and move around their environment). These methods yield high-density data that help us understand both the learning problems faced by young children (e.g., just how ambiguous is it from the infants’ perspective what the label “dog” refers to?), and how the statistical structure of their early visual and auditory environments help children learn about words, objects and people.

Opportunities at a glance: Email slone@hope.edu if you’re interested in joining the lab

Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren

Dr. Van Tongeren conducts research on the social motivation for meaning in life, the function and nature of religious beliefs, and relationship-enhancing features of virtues, such as humility and forgiveness. His research is currently funded by the John Templeton Foundation, and he and his lab group conduct research on how individuals respond to challenges to their sense of meaning, as well as the interplay between virtues and a sense of meaning in life.

Opportunities at a glance: Dr. Van Tongeren is always looking for eager students and usually has a lab of approximately 3–5 students (though availability varies depending on projects). Email vantongeren@hope.edu if you’re interested in joining the lab. (Download the application on his lab’s website.)

Dr. Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet

Dr. vanOyen Witvliet conducts research at the interface of clinical psychology, emotion regulation and positive psychology. Current topics include accountability, forgiveness and gratitude. Her methods include experiments and correlational studies examining psychophysiology, linguistic analyses and self-report measures.

Opportunities at a glance: Ideal students will have taken PSY 100, 200, 370, and Math 210 or 311 and have a two-year commitment to the lab, particularly when psychophysiology is involved. Email witvliet@hope.edu if you’re interested in joining the lab.