Research Areas by Faculty

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Our department houses some of the top researchers in the their field. There are many opportunities for students to get involved in research. Use the Search below to browse research areas by Faculty

My research deals with the psychosocial determinants that influence women’s health and wellbeing. In particular, I am interested in how women are broadly impacted by sexual and physical violence, and what we can do to ameliorate that violence.  Currently, I am working on projects dealing with the evaluation and implementation of a sexual assault prevention program, housing discrimination against battered women, and the evaluation of a program for children who have witnessed intimate partner violence.  I have also done work on the incorporation of HPV technologies into cervical cancer prevention.

Research Areas: aggression / conflict / violence, Applied Social, feminist psychology, health and well-being, justice
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: No

Pat Barclay is an evolutionary psychologist whose research combines the fields of evolutionary biology, animal behaviour, social psychology, mathematical game theory, and experimental economics to study topics such as: cooperation, altruism, reputation, punishment, friendship, partner choice, trust, biological markets, costly signaling, and risk-taking.

Research Areas: Applied Social, decision making, evolution, groups and teams, risk-taking, social behavior, trust
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: Yes

Broadly speaking, I conduct research that aims to further our understanding of the role of socio-cultural influences on human motivation and behaviour, particularly in the contexts of (mental) health, immigration and biculturalism, as well as intergroup relations.

For the most part, my research examines (a) some of the social cognitive processes through which individuals derive identities and norms from sociocultural groups, (b) the impact of group membership on human motivation, particularly regarding the acquisition and maintenance of functional and dysfunctional behaviours, and (c) approaches to change group processes that foster social dysfunction. These interests have led to projects illustrating the powerful influence of socio-cultural groups on various behaviours (e.g., binge drinking, addictive-impulsive behaviours, physical activity, procrastination, political demonstration) and mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety).

My research has traditionally focused on the influence of social groups on the well-being and mental health of immigrants and their children or health-related behaviours among high school, college, and university students. I also have a few niche interests, such as political psychology (e.g., collective action) and teaching/education practices.


Interested in working with me?

I am looking for a student interested in the practice of program evaluation, particularly for programs tied to my traditional research interests. I also have a nascent line of research on Franco-Ontarian identity in need of someone with much enthusiasm for the issue of minority language groups.  Finally, I have recently joined a group working on online fandom for which there might be research opportunities. 


Research Areas: Applied Social, cross-cultural psychology, groups and teams, health and well-being, motivation
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: No

My research involves qualitative and theoretical methods applied to social issues. I focus mainly on social aspects of health, and ethical implications of science and technology. I also have a strong interest in public deliberation as a method for involving broader publics in research. I am also particularly interested in developing qualitative methods in psychology, across a range of topics.

Community engagement & public deliberation; social & ethical implications of genetics/genomics; qualitative methods; discourse analysis; risk & uncertainty; human agency.

Research Areas: Applied Social, health and well-being, qualitative methods, science & technology, theoretical psychology
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: Yes

My research and scholarship covers the following broad topics:

  • public engagement with psychological science, particularly the psychology of implicit bias;
  • historical and theoretical investigations of psychological science;
  • impact of digitalization and big data in psychology;
  • psychological perspectives on science and technology, including the technoscience of health and mental health;
  • society, culture and (mental) health, including critical studies of disability.
Research Areas: Applied Social, critical psychology, prejudice and discrimination, science & technology, theoretical psychology
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: No

Dr. Sparling's research primarily focuses on motivated reasoning and how intra- and interpersonal factors influence sexual health decision-making and negotiation with new sex partners. In particular, her work examines the need to belong, with a current focus on the roles of loneliness and social support in the health and well-being of marginalized populations such as gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.

Research Areas: Applied Social, decision making, health and well-being, prejudice and discrimination, risk-taking, romantic relationships