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Research Opportunities

research

Take advantage of the different kinds of academic experiences the Department offers by becoming an active member of our intellectual community.

  • Get to know the faculty. Our faculty is accessible to undergraduates, but you must seek them out. Doing so is worth the effort. Professors often serve as unofficial advisors and provide letters of recommendation for jobs or graduate programs.
  • One of the best ways to get to know the faculty is get involved in one of our research labs early in your undergraduate career.
  • Work with a faculty member as a research assistant, or take an independent study course.
  • Get to know some of the graduate students, many of whom you will meet as Teaching Assistants or Teaching Fellows or by taking advanced courses. Graduate students can give you advice about applying to graduate school.
  • Undergraduates are welcome at our colloquia; see the calendar of invited speakers.

Earn Money or Research Credits

Interested in contributing to scientific research and earning money at the same time? The Psychology Department at Boston College frequently conducts research studies on a variety of topics. Find a list of active studies or read about our research credit system through the Research Participation Credits page, or visit a lab page to see current studies.

Lab Positions


The Language Learning Lab, led by Prof. Joshua Hartshorne, welcomes applications for school-year or summer research assistants who are interested in language acquisition, linguistics, computational models of cognition, or all of the above. For more information, see http://l3atbc.org/Join.html.


The Morality Lab is looking for volunteers who are interested in gaining research experience in psychology and neuroscience. Positions are available for the summer and/or the next academic year.

Research questions include but are not limited to:

  • How do people reason about the minds of others? Do the way people reason about the minds of others differ across social contexts (e.g., whether the situation is a cooperative or competitive one)?
  • How does perspective-taking influence different social behaviors? Examples of social behaviors include acting fairly, cooperating with strangers and friends, and punishing others for their misdeeds.
  • How do people determine whether a person is a friend or foe based on perceptual cues and behavioral patterns?

Responsibilities may include helping design experiments, recruiting participants, collecting data, processing and analyzing data, reading papers, and attending lab meetings. Preference will be given to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors interested in being a part of the lab for more than a semester. Please visit the lab website for details on applying for a volunteer position in the lab.


Dr. Sara Cordes’ Infant and Child Cognition Lab is looking for undergraduates who are interested in a work study position in our cognition lab on the Chestnut Hill Campus in McGuinn Hall. The lab’s main focus is examining how infants and children keep track of numbers and other quantities. Work study students focus on recruiting new subjects to participate in studies and come into the lab.  Responsibilities include finding contact information for local families, sending out mailings, posting flyers in nearby communities, contacting off-site locations such as preschools and after-school camps, and potentially attending local recruiting events such as fairs and festivals. There is an 8 hour a week minimum time commitment, but more time is preferred. If you would like to join our lab or have any questions, feel free to contact Emma Lazaroff at emma.lazaroff@bc.edu. If you want to become part of our team, please include a resume and an idea of what hours you can work along with your email. Psychology majors preferred.


The Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory (CANLAB; PI: Dr. Elizabeth Kensinger) is seeking a motivated, dedicated, and passionate psychology student (thesis student or volunteer) interested in studying the effects of psychophysiological arousal on long-term emotional memory (after a week or month, for example). The project involves collecting psychophysiological data (heart rate, sweating on the palms) while participants view emotional and neutral video clips. Participants will later retrieve details of the videos and rate their subjective sense of memory. Students will have the opportunity to tailor the project their individual interests. The research would take place during the 2016-2017 academic year (2 semesters required for data collection and analysis). To apply and learn more, please fill out the general CANLAB online application (https://www2.bc.edu/elizabeth-kensinger/RA_application.htm) and email Sarah Kark (kark@bc.edu) to indicate that you are interested in the project outlined above.