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Joining the Lab

Students who work in my lab for at least two semesters will likely participate in several types of research methodology (e.g., online survey research, lab-based experiments, longitudinal studies), as well as many of the major steps of conducting research (e.g., planning studies, collecting data, analyzing data, and writing up results).  This experience will help you develop skills that are valuable for most jobs and invaluable for graduate school.  It may even lead to published articles and conference presentations.  My knowing you outside of the classroom and working with you on research means that I can write you a much stronger letter of reference for a job or postgraduate work, should you want one. You will also get to know other students who may be pursuing similar career and grad school pathways.  We may all attend conferences together, talk about grad school issues, and give other kinds of advice to each other, so you will hopefully find an automatic support system here.  Finally, for students who have been in the lab for more than two semesters, there may be opportunities to design and conduct your own research project.

Students generally receive course credit for this experience in the form of PSY 390 Laboratory Learning, which is a 1-unit course and requires my permission to enroll.  The course requirements may include data collection, data processing, data analysis, reading research articles (and discussing them together), conducting literature searches, designing and preparing future research projects, and/or participating in weekly lab meetings. Grading is based on your individual learning and responsible involvement in lab activities.  There are no tests, just the weekly/daily lab activities and a final paper.

I select students based on several factors, including academic achievement, career goals, demonstrated responsibility, familiarity with and interest in research, and the ability to get along and work well with others.  If you are interested, email me and ask for a lab application.  If I have openings and think you would be a good fit for the lab, I will ask you to come meet with me in person so we can discuss your potential involvement.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions about my lab or about the process of applying.

NOTE: I strongly prefer a probable commitment of two semesters’ involvement in the COP lab.  I also strongly prefer that students have successfully taken PSY 121 and 203 before joining the lab.

If you are interested in applying to the lab, please contact Dr. Ashley Borders (SSB 117, borders@tcnj.edu).

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