Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Diversity-Related Research

A number of psychology faculty members and graduate students conduct diversity-related research. Some examples are listed below.

 

Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab

Director: Yvon Delville, Ph.D.

Lab projects focus on negative social experiences during puberty.  We particularly interested in the behavioral and neuroendocrine development of individuals exposed to social rejection, bullying, violence, and discrimination.  The laboratory uses hamsters as an animal model of early exposure to abuse in the form of social subjugation in order to obtain an full repertoire of behavioral, neuroendocrine and neurobiological variables.  Some studies are translated to humans to test the validity of the animal model.

Example Publications

González-Martínez, L.F., D’Aigle, J., Lee, S.M., Lee, H.-J., and Delville, Y.  (2017). Stress in early puberty has long-term impacts on impulsive action. Behavioral Neuroscience, 131, 249-261.

Bastida, C.C., Puga, F., Gonzalez-Lima, F., Jennings, K.J., Wommack, J.C., and Delville, Y.  (2014). Chronic social stress in puberty alters appetitive male sexual behavior and neural metabolic activity.  Hormones and Behavior, 66, 220-227.

Hamilton, L.D., Newman, M.L., Delville, C.L., and Delville, Y. (2008). Physiological stress response of young adults exposed to bullying during adolescence. Physiology and Behavior, 95, 617-624.

Newman, M.L., Holden, G.W., and Delville, Y. (2005). Isolation and the stress of being bullied. Journal of Adolescence, 28, 343-357.

Wommack, J.C, Salinas, A., Melloni, R.H., and Delville, Y.. (2004). Behavioural and neuroendocrine adaptations to repeated social stress during puberty in male golden hamsters. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 16, 767-775.

Delville, Y., Melloni, R.H., and Ferris, C.F.. (1998). Behavioral and neurobiological consequences of social subjugation during puberty in golden hamsters. Journal of Neuroscience, 18, 2667-2672.


Cognition and Communication Lab

Director: Zenzi M. Griffin, PhD

Lab projects examine language processing in Spanish-English and ASL-English bilingual children and adults, a variety of second language learners, and people with acquired or developmental language disorders. Dr. Griffin is also interested in how cultural differences in naming practices and forms of address affect learning and retrieval of people's names.

Example Publications

Grasso, S., Peña, E. D., Bedore, L. M., Hixon, J. G., & Griffin, Z. M. (in press). Cross-Linguistic Cognate Production in Spanish-English Bilingual Children with and without Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Bedore, L. M., Peña, E. D., Griffin, Z. M., & Hixon, J. G. (2016). Effects of age of English exposure, current input/output, and grade on bilingual language performance. Journal of Child Language, 43(3), 687-706. doi:10.1017/S0305000915000811

Lam, B. P. W., Nguyen, T. M., Sheng, L., Griffin, Z., Vargas, M., Xu, C., & Sun, E. (2017, June). Bilingual “disadvantage” in verbal fluency does not imply greater effort for lexical retrieval. Poster presented at the 11th International Symposium of Bilingualism, Ireland.

Baron, A., Hidalgo-Sotelo, B., & Griffin, Z. (2017, July). Predictive use of gender-marked articles in Spanish-English bilingual children. 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language, Lyon, France.

Gkalitsiou, Z., Griffin, Z., & Byrd, C. (2016, Nov.). Word preparation and production in adults who do and do not stutter. Poster presented at the annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Philadelphia, PA.

Griffin, Z. M. (2010). Retrieving personal names, referring expressions, and terms of address. In B. Ross (Ed.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation (Vol. 53, pp. 345-387). San Diego, CA: Elsevier.  


Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

Director: David M Schnyer, PhD
Graduate Student: Guadalupe D.S. Gonzalez

One line of research in the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab investigates racial biases in cognitive processes, particularly in attention and memory. Current research in the lab examines how attention and memory are affected during contexts in which faces from multiple races are presented simultaneously. To understand the relationship between racial bias and cognition, behavioral measures and neuroimaging methods such as electroencephalography (EEG) are used.

Example Publications 

Gonzalez, G.D.S., & Schnyer, D.M. Attention to Race: The Neurocognitive Dynamics of Competition for Attention in a Working Memory Task. Manuscript in preparation.

Gonzalez, G.D.S., & Schnyer, D.M. (2018, March). Race for Attention: Competing Racial Stimuli and Working Memory. Poster presented at the 2018 Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference, Atlanta, GA. 

Gonzalez, G.D.S., & Schnyer, D.M. (2018, March). Not All Racial Minorities are Created Equal: Evidence from a Working Memory Paradigm. Poster presented at the 2018 Society for Personality and Social Psychology - Social Cognition Preconference Atlanta, GA.

Gonzalez, G.D.S., & Schnyer, D.M. (2017, September). Racial Bias and Working Memory. Oral presentation at the Dallas and Austin Area Memory Meeting (DAAMM), Austin, TX.

Gonzalez, G.D.S., & Schnyer, D.M. (2017, June). Effects of Racial Bias on Working Memory During Competition for Attention: An ERP Study. Poster presented at the 2017 Organization for Human Brain Mapping Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 

Gonzalez, G.D.S., & Schnyer, D.M. (2016, September). Why Does the World Seem Whiter than it is: Examining Racial Bias Using a VSTM Task. Poster presented at the 2016 Ford Conference, Washington D.C.


Multicultural Psychology Lab

DirectorManuel Ramirez III, PhD.

Current Research Projects

R21 With Yessenia Castro, Ph.D., School of Social Work, "Assessing Smoking Dependence among Spanish-speaking Latino Smokers," funded by the Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities of NIMH. Data collection is in progress. The objective is to develop an assessment instrument for smoking dependence in Latinas and Latinos who are Spanish dominant. The data is being collected with people of Mexican descent who are primary Spanish speakers in the Austin area.

Collaborative Research with Faculty Members in Mexican and Other U.S. Universities

Relation of culture in Mexican and American adolescents and young adults to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and emotional regulation. I am collaborating with Dr. Julia Gallegos Guajardo of the Psychology Department, University of Monterrey), Dr. Noah Berman of Harvard Medical School and Dr. Jonathan Abramowitz at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Data collection is complete, and Dr. Gallegos Guajardo has received a Matais Romero Fellowship from the Mexico Center of the Institute of Latin American Studies to visit my lab during Spring of 2018 so that we can collaborate on writing manuscripts based on the data. Data collection has been completed in both Mexico and the U.S.

Publications

Ramirez, M., Argueta, N.L., Castro, Y. Perez, R. & Dawson, D.B. (2016). The relation of drug trafficking fears and cultural identity to attitudes toward Mexican immigrants in five South Texas communities. Journal of Borderland Studies, Vol 31, No.1, 91-105.

Ramirez, M. Argueta, N.L. & Grasso, J.R. (2013). Drug trafficking and immigration: Impact on the borderlands culture of South Texas. Journal of Latina(o) Psychology 1, (2), 69-84.

Ramirez, M., Perez, M., Valdez, G. & Hall, B. (2009). Assessing the long-term effects of an experimental bilingual-multicultural programme: Implications for drop-out prevention, multicultural development and immigration policy. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 17, (1), 47-59.

Ramirez, M. (2006). Assessment of the long-term effects of an experimental bilingual-multicultural program: Implications for drop-out prevention, multicultural development, and immigration policy. A Proceedings of the 2006 Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Linguistics, Behavioral, and Social Sciences, 17.

Ramirez, M., Valdez, G. & Perez, M. (2003). Applying the APA cultural competency guidelines: A cultural and cognitive flex perspective. The Clinical Psychologist, 56 (4), 17-23.


Pennebaker Language Lab

DirectorJames Pennebaker, PhD

Over the past 2 decades, the Pennebaker lab has found that the ways that we write and talk are powerful clues as to our emotions, personalities, motivations, and other parts of our mental universes. By using automated text analysis, it is possible to discover things like whether or not someone is depressed, what their social status is, and even if they’re telling the truth. Language is deeply psychological, and we’re aiming to find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Example Publication

Pennebaker, J.W., Gosling, S.D., & Ferrell, J.D. (2013). Daily online testing in large classes: Boosting college performance while reducing achievement gaps. PLoS ONE, November 20, 2013. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.007977.


Studies on Alcohol, Health, and Risky Activities (SAHARA) Lab

Director: Kim Fromme, Ph.D. 

Our focus is on the developmental patterns of behavioral risks, as well as the mechanisms of risk and protection, among diverse samples of emerging adults.

Recent and Ongoing Publications and Projects

Martin-Storey, A., & Fromme, K. (2016). Trajectories of dating violence: Differences by sexual minority status and gender. Journal of Adolescence, 49, 28-37.

Wilhite, E.R., Arriaga, A.S., & Fromme, K. (2017, August). The effect of the parent-child relationship on alcohol use among sexual minority college students. Poster presentation at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, D.C. 

NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism grant (2018-2021), “Problematic drinking in Latina/o college students” Perrotte (at UT San Antonio) is the PI; Dr. Fromme is a Consultant on the project.


Swann Lab

Director: Bill Swann, PhD
Graduate Student: 
Leah Fredman

Women in online gaming are a minority (especially in games involving some type of combat), and anecdotally report horrific sexual harassment (e.g., https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/13/gtfo-sexism-in-gaming_n_6804106.html) in gaming (also know as sexual toxicity, as opposed to general toxicity). However, very little is know about women's experiences in gaming in general, let alone as victims of sexual harassment. Even less research has done a systematic analysis comparing the outcomes of women to that of men, and the outcomes of differences in sexual and general toxicities victimization outcomes. Most of the research is qualitative, and only interviews women about their sexual toxicity experiences. For my dissertation I am collecting correlational data from female and male gamers, and running online experiments as well. I am looking to see how gender and toxicity type interact to impact both mental health and withdrawal from gaming (i.e., quitting).


  •   Map
  • Department of Psychology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043
    512-471-1157