This semester I am doing research in two labs in HDFS. The first lab deals with family physiology. We bring couples who have a six month old baby into the lab and they have a discussion that is either positive or negative. We then see how the mothers interact with their babies, after their babies have gone through a stress task. We expect to see different results depending on the type of discussion that the couple had. We collect saliva samples from the family throughout the visit to see how their bodies are reacting. There is a lot that I get to do on this project as an undergraduate. I get to be one of the experimenters during the visit. I either watch the baby and then help with the stress task, or I give instructions to the parents and help with the saliva samples. There is also a lot of behind the scenes work. I transcribe narratives that the parents tell. I have also been trained on how to code the couples for different behaviors. It is a lot of fun and I have been doing this project since my sophomore year and I am now a senior. The other research project is one that I just got involved with this semester. We are looking at attachment relationships between mothers and their children. My role is that on visits I will observe the mother and then later code her behaviors. I was trained on how to do this and I am anxious to go on my first visit. Research is a great way to earn extra credits and it gives you great experience. Research experience is really important if you plan on going to grad school. It is also a great way to get to know a professor. It is nice having a professor who knows you a little better than just someone who took their class. They can then help you with career and academic advice and it is just nice to chat with them, too.
— David Rubio, Psychological Sciences/Human Development & Family Studies