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What it is that we do

In the Perception-Action Lab, we investigate how the perceptual systems enable the performance of everyday (and not so everyday) behaviors. Our approach to ​these problems is firmly rooted in the theoretical foundation of ecological psychology, initially developed by James Gibson. In this approach, perception and action are treated as continuous processes that put a perceiver into direct epistemic contact with (i.e., in direct awareness of) the environment. 

Why you might want research experience

Research experience is valuable for students for many reason. First, research is how the “business” of psychology gets done. Anything ​you have ever read about or discussed in any your psychology classes has its roots in someone’s research lab. Collaborating on research projects will give you the opportunity to be a part of the business of psychology. Along these lines, some students have the opportunity to present their research findings at local, regional, national, or even international conferences. Below, Tyler Duffrin and Maisha Orthy present their research findings at the ISU Research Symposium.

Second, collaborating on research allows for the practical application of the skills you have developed as a psychology major including critical thinking, research design, data analysis, writing, and presentation skills.

Third, research experience is one the most important skills considered by graduate programs in psychology or other sciences. In addition to demonstrating interest, aptitude, and conscientiousness, collaborating on research with a faculty member will enable them to write a more complete letter of recommendation on your behalf.

If you are interested in collaborating on research in the Perception-Action Lab, please email me at

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