Families, Emotions, Neuroscience and Development

"This experience is contributing my psychology major and overall undergraduate degree by giving me real life experience. This has allowed me to take what I have learned in the classroom and apply it. Also, I feel that I am getting an opportunity to see what my life would be like as a graduate student and what can be in store for me in my future. Throughout my Directed Research I am seeing what psychology actually is and how to prove cause and effect through experiments."

Supervising Faculty: Dr. Jennifer Silk 

Contact: Jennifer Silk, jss4@pitt.edu ,(412) 624-1312

Area of Research:  Clinical Psychology/Developmental Psychology

Description of Research: Directed research students are needed to assist with a research study focused on understanding how adolescents’ social media experiences, other social interactions, and the brain influence emotional health, including daily mood, potential suicidal thoughts, and symptoms of depression. The study involves clinical assessments of psychological and social functioning, functional neuroimaging, lab assessments involving psychophysiological measurements during live discussions with a parent, and a smartphone-delivered ecological momentary assessment (EMA) measure of mood and behavior in natural environments.

Duties of Students: The primary responsibility will involve attending and assisting on participant lab visits. This could include: filming parent-adolescent interactions, collecting psychophysiological data, and assisting in the pupil/eye tracking labs during study visits. Training will be provided in administering the psychophysiological protocol. Students may also be involved in entering and managing data, as well as coding psychophysiological and eye-tracking data and filming parent-adolescent interactions. Students will be involved in research meetings specific to this project, and will also have the opportunity to gain a range of other research experiences as part of the larger research group.

Additional Requirements:

  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100 Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0037 Research Methods Lab
  • GPA of 3.3 or higher (no exceptions)
  • Experience working with children or adolescents
  • 2 semester commitment required

Terms offered: fall, spring and summer

Number of Students: 2-4 

Please complete the application when applying: https://forms.gle/VdAb1ZzELK4GkQ57A .Due by April 12.