Honors in Psychology

The honors designation in psychology offers a challenging and interesting research experience, through which students work with a faculty member, write a thesis, and earn the recognition that comes with superior performance. Completion of the honors designation can offer valuable skills that will be helpful in applications to graduate school and for potential employers.

  • Students must complete an application, including all requested materials. You may find this thesis timeline worksheet helpful.
  • Students will enroll in 3 credits of PSY 1973 Honors Directed Research.  This is the first term of research in preparation for the honors major in psychology and includes development of the research problem and approval of the thesis prospectus.  A weekly, one-hour seminar is required. 
  • Students will also enroll in 3 credits of PSY 1975 Honors Thesis.  Undergraduate honors majors in psychology will register for this course for their second term when their thesis proposal has been approved and they are ready to conduct and write up the research. A weekly, one-hour seminar is required. 

These courses are designed to give students academic credits for working on their research project, writing a thesis based on this research in an APA-style manuscript, and presenting and defending this thesis before a faculty committee.


Students must also fill all of the remaining requirements for the psychology major as well as their Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences degree requirements. In addition, they must have a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.5 psychology GPA at the time of graduation to receive honors in psychology.

Some students also pursue the BPhil degree through the Honors College. In addition, there are a number of funding opportunities available to students pursuing research.


Previous Honors Projects

2016-2017 Barber Taylor Aidan Wright, Ph.D. Borderline Personality Pathology and its Association with Risk for Cardiovascular Disease in Midlife
2016-2017 Bianconi Franchessa Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal, Ph.D. The Persisting Screentime Gap: Parents' Role in Preschoolers' Screentime
2016-2017 Bodnar Kaitlin Ming-Te Wang, Ph.D. Science Identity: Predicting Career Aspirations Across Gender and Race in Middle School Students
2016-2017 Bridgwater Miranda Gretchen Haas, Ph.D. The Relationship Between Premorbid Adjustment and Emotional Intelligence in First-Episode Schizophrenia
2016-2017 Chaplin Merete Timothy Nokes-Malach, Ph.D. The Dynamic Relationship between Feedback and Self-Efficacy in the Classroom Setting
2016-2017 Fulcher Margaret Jana Iverson, Ph.D. How Mothers’ Speech is Influenced by Infant Gender, Age, Risk Status, and Motor Milestone Attainment
2016-2017 Hutchinson Emily Jennifer Silk, Ph.D. Gaze Avoidance in Mother-daughter Dyads: The Effects of Depressive Symptoms and Parent-child Relationship Quality
2016-2017 Lindenmuth Morgan Erika Forbes, Ph.D. Social and Non-social Stressors in the Neural Response to Reward and the Prediction of Future Depression in Adolescent Girls
2016-2017 Markert Sarah Jana Iverson, Ph.D. Contingent Maternal Responses to Infant Pre-speech Vocalizations in Infants at High and Low Risk For Autism Spectrum Disorder
2016-2017 Mattia Alexis Aidan Wright, Ph.D. Unpacking the Interrelationships Between Attachment, Emotion Regulation and Social Cognition and Their Impact on Borderline Personality Disorder
2016-2017 Pomales Anamiguel Mark Strauss, Ph.D. A Visual Attention Based Measure of Receptive Language and Categorization in Typically Developing Toddlers and Toddlers at a Heightened Familial Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder
2016-2017 Probst Sarah Celia Brownell, Ph.D. From Feelings to Actions: The Effect of Emotion Understanding on Prosocial Behavior in Toddlers
2016-2017 Russo Gabrielle Timothy Nokes-Malach, Ph.D. The Effects of Mindfulness on Emotion Regulation and Learning
2016-2017 Starnes Wesley Edward Orehek, Ph.D. Endorsement of "Safe is Sexy": Regulatory Focus and Expectancy that Safer Sex is More Pleasurable
2016-2017 Talbert Eli Ming-Te Wang, Ph.D. Differential Teaching Styles as an Indicator of Implicit Racial Bias
2016-2017 Wulf Taylor Jeffrey Cohn, Ph.D. Nonverbal Indications of Acute Distress in Women with PTSD
2015-2016 Benno Maria Benjamin Handen, Ph.D. Changes in Child Social Responsiveness and Response to PCIT in Families of Children with Autism
2015-2016 Burke Shelly Kirk Erickson, Ph.D. The Relationship Between Cortical Thinning and Neurocognitive Function in Adults with Parkinson’s Disease
2015-2016 Cenkner David Celia Brownell, Ph.D. Origins of Prosocial Behavior: The Roles of Affiliation and Compliance
2015-2016 Cleary Jennifer Anna Marsland, Ph.D. A Longitudinal Examination of Chronic Distress as it Relates to Physical Health Symptoms in Mothers of Children Diagnosed with Cancer
2015-2016 Daniels Jaxenne Celia Brownell, Ph.D. Emotion Processing in Toddlers:  Relations Among Attention, Understanding, and Parent Talk About Emotions
2015-2016 Giertych Rachel Aidan Wright, Ph.D. Interpersonal Problems as a Mediator in the Relationship between Attachment and Borderline Personality Disorder
2015-2016 Harrington Madeline Gretchen Haas, Ph.D. An Investigation of Problem Behaviors and Social Skills in Non-Symptomatic Children with Familial Risk for Schizophrenia
2015-2016 Johnson Nicholas Thomas Kamarck, Ph.D. The Effects of the Relationship Between Chronic Stress and Acute Stress Responses on Ambulatory Measures of Blood Pressure Reactivity in Daily Life
2015-2016 Koch Griffin Natasha Tokowicz, Ph.D. Translation Ambiguity and Individual Differences in L2 Learning Between Mono - and Bilinguals
2015-2016 Kosciusko Rachel Jennifer Steel, Ph.D. Substance Use, Depression, and Illness:  Perception Among Advanced Cancer Patients
2015-2016 Krane Andrew Jennifer Steel, Ph.D. Putting the Life in Lifestyle:  Lifestyle Choices After a Diagnosis of Cancer Predicts Mortality
2015-2016 Overton Morgan Mark Strauss, Ph.D. Visual Attention to Dynamic Visual Scenes Among Infants at High and Low Genetic Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
2015-2016 Siegel Jordan Jennifer Steel, Ph.D. An Assurance of Insurance:  Should Living Kidney Donors be Required to Have Health Insurance?
2015-2016 Tamir Ori Ming-Te Wang, Ph.D. Relations Between Competence and The Dimensions of Engagement
2015-2016 Tavares Amy Anna Marsland, Ph.D. Effects of Family Chaos and Routine on Children of Lower Socioeconomic Status with Asthma
2015-2016 Tiv Mehrgol Tessa Warren, Ph.D. Investigating the Effects of Transparency and Ambiguity on Idiom Learning
2015-2016 Wells Douglas Jana Iverson, Ph.D. Assessing Motor Planning in Toddlers at Heightened Risk for ASD
2015-2016 Wingrove Sara Edward Orehek, Ph.D. When People Serve Many Goals:  Implications for Close Relationships
2014-2015 Alessi Maria Grace Kirk Erickson, Ph.D. The Moderating Effects of Lifestyle on The Relationship Between Obesity and Executive Function in Younger and Older Adults
2014-2015 Altaras Caroline Sibel Ming-Te Wang, Ed.D. The Effects of Social Anxiety on Science Achievement with the Mediating Pathways of Social Engagement and Peer Social Support
2014-2015 Berry Alysse Kathryn Roecklein, Ph.D. Actigraphic Measures of Sleep Architecture in SAD
2014-2015 Bruni Pietra Jeffrey Cohn, Ph.D. Re-Examining the Kuleshov Effect
2014-2015 Carpio Kristen Kathryn Monahan, Ph.D.  Helping or Hovering, The Over-parenting Effect: Bad Neighborhoods and Impulsive Kids
2014-2015 Cheng Hoyee Hannah Jennifer Steel, Ph.D. Socioeconomic Disparities in Depression and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients
2014-2015 Dlugosz Katlin  Kathryn Roecklein. Ph.D. Circadian Rhythms and Age: An Indicator of Cognitive Functions
2014-2015 Faust  Emily Mark Strauss, Ph.D. Distribution of Visual Attention to Paired Faces Across Late Infancy: A Study of Infants at Risk of Developing Autism
2014-2015 Feghali Christopher Mark Strauss, Ph.D. How Typically-Developing Infants and Infants At-Risk For Autism Process Faces
2014-2015 Finkelstein Emily Jana Iverson, Ph.D. Longitudinal Examination of Play in Infants at Heightened Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders 
2014-2015 Flynn Emily  Jana Iverson, Ph.D. The Effect of Walking Status on Maternal Responses to Communication in Infants at High vs. Low Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders 
2014-2015 Griffith Julianne Jennifer Silk, Ph.D. Parenting and Positive Affect in Adolescence
2014-2015 Guinness Kendra Susan Campbell, Ph.D. Parent Emotional/Mental State Talk and Child Empathy in Toddlers at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders
2014-2015 Heymann Perrine Jana Iverson, Ph.D. The Development of Joint Attention and Vocalization in Infants at Heightened Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder
2014-2015 Hudson Mallory  Thomas Kamarck, Ph.D. Childhood Adversity and Physical Health Outcomes: Mediation or Moderation via Environmental Stress
2014-2015 Mortenson Elizabeth Ming-Te Wang, Ed.D. Attribution of Affective Disengagement by Achievement Level
2014-2015 Narzikul Kara Natasha Tokowicz, Ph.D. Investigating Second Language Learning and Musical Ability: An ERP Study
2014-2015 Perlack Steven Jennifer L. Steel, Ph.D. Predictors and Consequences of Trauma in African Refugees Resettled in Sweden
2014-2015 Schambura Megan Jennifer Wildes, Ph.D. Childhood Anxiety and Eating Disorder Symptoms Among Patients with Anorexia Nervosa:  Does Childhood Trauma Have a Moderating Effect?
2014-2015 Swann IV Frank Kathryn Roecklein, Ph.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder and Rumination: A Predictable Model for Depression
2014-2015 Volkert Ashley Jennifer Steel, Ph.D. Mental Health and Activities of Daily Living in Patients with Traumatic Injury