Psychological Research

Participating in Psychological Research

Students participate in research studies as one way to satisfy their course requirements. The psychology department uses an online research participant recruitment system. You can visit the Sona site to sign up for research studies as participants.

Conducting Research in Psychology

The faculty of the Psychology Department at Elon University is actively engaged in research. Students who register for Psychology 4999 may conduct research with individual faculty members for 1-4 hours of credit per semester. Arrangements must be made with an individual faculty member before registering. Forty hours of research supervised by a faculty member may be used to satisfy the experiential learning requirement (ELR). Students are encouraged to present the results of their research projects at the annual Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF).

Read the Steps for setting up your research experience and visit the Undergraduate Research Program page to get general information about UR at Elon, information on research grants, SURF, and other UR programs. Once there, click on 4999 registration to get to the form you will need to register for 4999 (pay attention to the deadlines).

Click here to read information that faculty want students to think about before they start their first research experience. This resource gives information about research expectations.

Why Do Research in Psychology?

As a behavioral science, psychology relies on empirical research to explain human behavior, thought and emotions. Consequently, the department believes that research experience is an invaluable part of a psychology major’s education.

The Benefits

Research experience is an excellent way to develop the following skills:

  • critical thinking
  • integration of diverse perspectives
  • written and oral communication
  • problem solving
  • ability to collaborate with others
  • independent work
  • computer and data analysis skills

These skills are particularly important for many careers in psychology, business, education and government. Students interested in graduate school in psychology or closely related fields are strongly encouraged to participate in independent research as one component of a strong undergraduate record.

Presenting Research

There are several opportunities to present research. Some conferences are open to all disciplines like Elon’s Spring Undergraduate Research Forum, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and the State of North Carolina Research and Creativity Symposium. There are also multiple opportunities to present at psychology conferences like the Southeast Psychological Association conference, the American Psychological Association conference, and the Carolinas Psychology Conference. Talk to your mentor about other sub-discipline presentation opportunities.