Prospective Research Assistants

Research in our lab requires help from a lot of people. In a typical semester about 20 research assistants work with 3-4 graduate students and Dr. O’Brien to conduct studies investigating prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination, and stigma. Most of our research takes place in a social psychology laboratory, and research assistants work in a variety of roles, including: conducting experiments and post-experiment debriefing sessions, acting as research confederates, helping with the development and piloting of study materials, recruiting participants, entering and managing data, and helping organize studies. Advanced research assistants sometimes have the opportunity to complete capstone projects and honors thesis projects.

As part of working in the lab, research assistants attend a weekly meeting with Dr. O’Brien and the graduate students. During research meetings we discuss new studies published in psychology journals, listen to presentations about projects in the lab, and learn about research methods and theories relevant to experiments occurring in the lab.

Working as a research assistant requires a commitment of 9 hours per week during the semester. Preference is given to applicants who have completed or are enrolled in social psychology (Psyc 3210), univariate statistics (Psyc 3090), and experimental psychology (Psyc 3130). In addition, we seek research assistants who are: interested in learning about research, knowledgeable working with computer programs, comfortable interacting with strangers, interested in working more than one semester in the lab, and willing to work hard.

We usually hire new research assistants at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters. If you are interested in applying to work as a research assistant, download the application below and return it to Aaron Moss ( or Amanda Van Camp (

Application to do Research