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Faculty Research

Below is a list of our faculty research areas.

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  • Clinical Psychology

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      Research Info:

      In the Neuropsychology & Psychopathology Lab (NPL) we utilize cognitive neuropsychology, experimental psychopathology, and meta-analytic research methodologies to gain insight into the association between psychopathological processes, cognitive functioning, and real-life daily functioning.

      We are currently interested in:

      1. Cognitive functioning in obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, as well as related psychological constructs.

      2. Transdiagnostic patterns of cognitive dysfunction associated with psychological disorders, and psychopathological processes. We are particularly interested in factors associated with underperformance on neuropsychological tests, including motivational factors, self-perceptions, and self-efficacy.

      3. Ecological and predictive validity of neuropsychological tests/functions/deficits in the context of real-life daily functions across clinical and non-clinical populations.

      4. The definition and quantification of cognitive dysfunction, and particularly the terms ‘impairment’ and ‘deficit’.

      5. The translational value and legitimacy of cognitive ‘endophenotypes’ and disorder-specific ‘markers’.

      6. Psychopathological mechanisms and neuropsychological correlates of Misophonia.

      7. Impulsivity and response inhibition in the context of the impulsive-compulsive continuum.

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      Dr. De Nadai's research focuses on two core questions:

      1. How can we make significant advances in treatment efficacy for anxiety and related conditions such as OCD and PTSD? At present there are effective treatments, but much progress remains to be made.
        • Methods to investigate this question include developmental, mechanistic, quantitative, and theoretical approaches.
      2. How can high-quality mental health care be made available to everyone? While effective treatments exist, relatively few patients receive treatments that have the strongest evidence base.
        • Methods to address this question include epidemiological and economic approaches.
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      One of my main research interests has involved different factors that affect functional abilities, such as work performance, cognitive performance, and neuropsychological functioning. Previous studies have examined whether induced pain reduces performance on measures of memory, attention, and other cognitive abilities. To date, we have found little to no impact of pain on several cognitive measures. A related research interest has involved the influence of disability exaggeration, including malingering, on different psychometric instruments, and the ability of validity measures to detect malingering. In addition, I am interested in the ways that different forms of psychopathology may impair neuropsychological functioning, and to what extent such deficits may be explained by self-fulfilling expectations of poorer performance. Although in the early stages currently, I am also interested in the efficacy of a low-intensity Behavioral Activation approach as a lower-cost and more accessible treatment for depression as well as PTSD. 

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      Dr. Schepis’ main research is on prescription misuse, with three primary ongoing projects.  The first two are analyses of large, nationally representative surveys of substance use in the US.  One of these projects looks at factors in adolescents and young adults that are related to prescription misuse, including school status, medication sources for misuse and psychopathology.  The second project examines similar factors in older adults, with greater focus on physical and mental health and lifespan factors.  The third major project assesses real-time factors related to prescription stimulant misuse in college students, with recruitment of participants for this research occurring at Texas State.  This work will examine stress- (including academic stress) and emotion-related influences on stimulant misuse by use of three daily surveys sent to participants’ mobile phones (a technique called ecological momentary assessment).  All of these studies are funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and are in conjunction with researchers at the University of Michigan, University of New England and University of Maryland.  Finally, Dr. Schepis has collaborative projects on prescription stimulant diversion with researchers at Trinity College (Connecticut) and e-cigarette use with researchers at the School Safety Center at Texas State University.

  • Neuropsychology

    • Directory Page

      Vita

      Research Site

      Research Info:

      In the Neuropsychology & Psychopathology Lab (NPL) we utilize cognitive neuropsychology, experimental psychopathology, and meta-analytic research methodologies to gain insight into the association between psychopathological processes, cognitive functioning, and real-life daily functioning.

      We are currently interested in:

      1. Cognitive functioning in obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, as well as related psychological constructs.

      2. Transdiagnostic patterns of cognitive dysfunction associated with psychological disorders, and psychopathological processes. We are particularly interested in factors associated with underperformance on neuropsychological tests, including motivational factors, self-perceptions, and self-efficacy.

      3. Ecological and predictive validity of neuropsychological tests/functions/deficits in the context of real-life daily functions across clinical and non-clinical populations.

      4. The definition and quantification of cognitive dysfunction, and particularly the terms ‘impairment’ and ‘deficit’.

      5. The translational value and legitimacy of cognitive ‘endophenotypes’ and disorder-specific ‘markers’.

      6. Psychopathological mechanisms and neuropsychological correlates of Misophonia.

      7. Impulsivity and response inhibition in the context of the impulsive-compulsive continuum.

    • Directory Page

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      Research Site

      Research Info:

      The overall goal of our research is to understand how we learn and remember items, how these memorial processes are altered or impaired by aging and disease, and how we can use preserved memorial processes to improve the daily lives of older adults and patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  In our lab, we use both behavioral and event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine these questions.

    • Directory Page

      Vita

      Research Info:

      One of my main research interests has involved different factors that affect functional abilities, such as work performance, cognitive performance, and neuropsychological functioning. Previous studies have examined whether induced pain reduces performance on measures of memory, attention, and other cognitive abilities. To date, we have found little to no impact of pain on several cognitive measures. A related research interest has involved the influence of disability exaggeration, including malingering, on different psychometric instruments, and the ability of validity measures to detect malingering. In addition, I am interested in the ways that different forms of psychopathology may impair neuropsychological functioning, and to what extent such deficits may be explained by self-fulfilling expectations of poorer performance. Although in the early stages currently, I am also interested in the efficacy of a low-intensity Behavioral Activation approach as a lower-cost and more accessible treatment for depression as well as PTSD. 

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      Coming Soon

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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      Directory Page

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      Research Site

      Research Info:

      The overall goal of our research is to understand how we learn and remember items, how these memorial processes are altered or impaired by aging and disease, and how we can use preserved memorial processes to improve the daily lives of older adults and patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  In our lab, we use both behavioral and event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine these questions.

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      Dr. Graham's research is in the area of social/affective neuroscience; in particular, the electrophysiological and behavioral correlates of visual processing evoked in response to stimuli of motivational significance (e.g., social and appetitive stimuli). Current research interests lie in understanding how individual differences in attitudes and exposure to target stimuli moderate attentional processes and event-related potentials (ERPs) to appetitive and motivationally relevant stimuli like faces, bodies, food, alcohol, and tobacco. This research enriches our understanding of motivation from a basic science perspective, with implications for our understanding of phenomena such as social anxiety and prejudice, as well as health-risk behaviors.

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      My research spans two major areas. First, in the field of Cognitive Psychology, I investigate how student learning is affected by such factors as music, memory training, anxiety, and personal biases. Second, in the field of Health Psychology, I investigate various reasons for both healthy and disordered behaviors in eating, exercising, sexual activity, and substance use.

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      My research seeks to discover how structural (especially grammatical) knowledge is represented and accessed during normal language use. Specifically, I address the following questions: How do comprehenders group up incoming words into understandable phrases? Does this process relate directly to how a speaker chooses to structure his/her utterances? What cognitive mechanisms facilitate structural processing during language use, and do these mechanisms also guide acquisition of structure? I investigate these questions via research on structural priming effects during online comprehension and production of sentences, using measures such as eye tracking, reading times, and elicited speech. I also apply structural priming paradigms to investigate how aspects of prosody (e.g., rate, intonation, and pitch) are represented and planned during language production.

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      Dr. Logan Trujillo Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Texas State University and a research consultant at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas. He holds degrees in mathematics, physics and psychology (B.S., M.A., B.S./Ph.D.) from the University of Arizona. Dr. Trujillo’s research interests are highly interdisciplinary and provide basic and applied insight into the physical, neural, and psychological mechanisms underlying human information processing (including sensation & perception, attention & mental workload, cognitive control, social preferences, and consciousness). He accomplishes this via measurement and computational modeling of behavior, subjective reports, and non-invasive electroencephalographic (EEG) and event-related potential (ERP) signals of bioelectric brain activity.

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      Dr. Warnell directs the Social Cognition Across Development (SCAD) Lab at Texas State. The SCAD Lab uses a combination of neural, eye-tracking, and behavioral measures to study social cognition and social behaviors in preschoolers, school-aged children, and adults. The lab's overarching research goal is to quantify the complex cognitive mechanisms underlying real-world social behaviors across development. Some representative research questions include: (1) How do we understand other people’s thoughts and emotions? (2) What motivates human to interact with each other? (3) How are social thoughts and behaviors different in kids and adults? (4) What explains social behaviors in autism?

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  • Health Psychology

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      In my research, I have applied social psychological principles to the understanding of interpersonal factors in health and the process of medical care. My work deals with two main areas: (1) patients' adherence to medical recommendations for healthy behavior and the prevention and treatment of disease and (2) medical visit communication in the dyadic health professional-patient relationship. I am particularly interested in psychosocial factors that predict adherence and health behavior change as well as interventions to improve adherence and healthy behavior in patients with chronic illnesses. Current research involves development and testing of mobile health interventions.

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      The primary focus of my research is to use a biopsychosocial approach to identify risk factors associated with poor outcomes for various chronic health conditions.  I collaborate with orthopaedic surgeons and a functional restoration clinic to assess treatment outcomes for patients with chronic musculoskeletal disorders.  I research and develop interventions to improve treatment and medication adherence. I’m also interested in psychoneuroendocrinology, focusing on patients with hypothyroidism, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

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      My research focuses on human dynamics. Specifically, I am trying to develop statistical methods to model the dynamic relationship between human behaviors using within-person variation in longitudinal data and repeated measures. Besides, I am also interested in applying advanced statistical methods to health-related fields, and I am particularly interested in how habitual sleep is influenced by daily variables including eating, drinking, exercise, emotion fluctuation and stress coping.

    • Directory Page

      Vita

      Research Info:

      My research spans two major areas. First, in the field of Cognitive Psychology, I investigate how student learning is affected by such factors as music, memory training, anxiety, and personal biases. Second, in the field of Health Psychology, I investigate various reasons for both healthy and disordered behaviors in eating, exercising, sexual activity, and substance use.

  • Quantitative Psychology

    • Directory Page

      Vita

      Research Info:

      Dr. De Nadai's research focuses on two core questions:

      1. How can we make significant advances in treatment efficacy for anxiety and related conditions such as OCD and PTSD? At present there are effective treatments, but much progress remains to be made.
        • Methods to investigate this question include developmental, mechanistic, quantitative, and theoretical approaches.
      2. How can high-quality mental health care be made available to everyone? While effective treatments exist, relatively few patients receive treatments that have the strongest evidence base.
        • Methods to address this question include epidemiological and economic approaches.
    • Directory Page

      Vita

      Research Info:

      My research focuses on human dynamics. Specifically, I am trying to develop statistical methods to model the dynamic relationship between human behaviors using within-person variation in longitudinal data and repeated measures. Besides, I am also interested in applying advanced statistical methods to health-related fields, and I am particularly interested in how habitual sleep is influenced by daily variables including eating, drinking, exercise, emotion fluctuation and stress coping.

    • Directory Page

      Vita

      Research Info:

      Dr. Logan Trujillo Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Texas State University and a research consultant at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas. He holds degrees in mathematics, physics and psychology (B.S., M.A., B.S./Ph.D.) from the University of Arizona. Dr. Trujillo’s research interests are highly interdisciplinary and provide basic and applied insight into the physical, neural, and psychological mechanisms underlying human information processing (including sensation & perception, attention & mental workload, cognitive control, social preferences, and consciousness). He accomplishes this via measurement and computational modeling of behavior, subjective reports, and non-invasive electroencephalographic (EEG) and event-related potential (ERP) signals of bioelectric brain activity.

  • General Psychology

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      Dr. Kelemen’s research focuses on metacognition, which includes the monitoring and control of one’s own cognitive processes. Specifically, Dr. Kelemen focuses on individuals’ judgments of learning (JOLs) about their future memory performance. He has examined factors that influence JOL accuracy, that is, the relationship between JOLs and subsequent memory performance. These factors include characteristics of the items themselves, study procedures, and the influence of mild stimulants including caffeine and nicotine. Most recently, he has collaborated on research focused on the role of exercise on memory and JOLs.

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      Broadly, my research interests are in social, personality, cultural and health psychology areas. Specifically, I investigate how personality factors interact with social and cultural factors to influence personal health decisions. My aim in research is also the improvement of health behaviors and outcomes for at risk populations. I have examined women’s adherence to following medical advice, e.g. taking folic acid, to prevent neural tube defects and couple’s engagement of high risk sexual behaviors in interpersonal relationships that place individuals at risk for HIV. The research in these areas has identified key risk factors and has advanced recommendations to reduce such risks.

      More recently my interests have turned to emotion recognition research. Individuals differ in their abilities to detect emotions in others. My research explores psychological states and physical conditions that impair or facilitate emotional recognition in others. Also recently, a colleague and I have investigated the psychology of the treatment of immigrants in this country. Specifically, we examined immigrant characteristics and key psychological factors, and their links to perceivers’ feelings and behaviors toward immigrants.

      Though the search for human universals is important, I have discovered that emotions, cognitions and behaviors cannot be fully understood unless their culture, is taken into account. We are embedded in contexts that shape and give meaning to our thoughts and behaviors. Thus, it is my belief that the key to understanding human behavior is knowing culture.

      These are the areas of research that are of great interest to me.

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      At this time, I have three main areas of research interest. First, I engage in Scholarship of Teaching research on how what faculty do (and teach) in the classroom has an impact student tolerance for ambiguity in dealing with diverse others. Second, I have conducted several large-scale studies (across multiple cities) assessing cynicism in police officers. I am especially interested in what factors lead to the development of cynicism in officers, the impact of cynicism in officers (in terms of their personal lives and how they conduct themselves as officers) and what agencies might do to reduce the negative effects of cynicism in officers. Lastly, I have worked with athletes and athletic programs at the university level to assess the relationships between personality characteristics and vulnerability to and recovery from injury and how athletes attribute their own injuries and those of their teammates.

    • Directory Page

      Vita

      Research Site

      Research Info:

      Dr. Warnell directs the Social Cognition Across Development (SCAD) Lab at Texas State. The SCAD Lab uses a combination of neural, eye-tracking, and behavioral measures to study social cognition and social behaviors in preschoolers, school-aged children, and adults. The lab's overarching research goal is to quantify the complex cognitive mechanisms underlying real-world social behaviors across development. Some representative research questions include: (1) How do we understand other people’s thoughts and emotions? (2) What motivates human to interact with each other? (3) How are social thoughts and behaviors different in kids and adults? (4) What explains social behaviors in autism?