Social Perception & Attitudes Lab

The Social Perception and Attitudes (SPA) Lab begins our scientific analysis of social problems and solutions by analyzing the fundamental dimensions of social thinking. This foundational premise supports our efforts to examine extremely fast, unintentional and at times pre-attentional responses to others’ faces, bodies and movements—or, in other words, the immediate perceptual, affective and cognitive responses to others’ nonverbal behavior, race and gender. We emphasize the early stages of social thought to help identify and solve social problems.

Aerial view of the campus at sunset.

Learn More About Our Research Findings

View Our Publications

The campus grounds in springtime.

Get Involved as a Research Assistant

Being a research assistant (RA) provides lab-based experience critical to exploring psychology as a career. RA positions in our lab are competitive, and require an application and an interview (about 25% of applicants are accepted).

RAs generally help with tasks such as data and stimulus coding, stimulus generation, running participants, and later in their time in the lab, more advanced and intellectually-enriched tasks, such as data analysis.

RAs spend 8–10 hours per week in the lab and are asked to commit for 3 quarters in total (the first quarter enables us to evaluate if this is a good fit for you).

  • Research Assistantship for Credit

    RAs learn a great deal about the basic elements of the research process and can therefore get class credit for their research assistantship (PSYC 2112 credits). PSYC 2112 credits can count towards your major or minor elective credits.

  • Research Assistantship as Work-Study

    If you have a work-study allowance, you can work as an RA as a work-study student. To complete work-study hours, you need to have been awarded a federal work-study award in your yearly FAFSA award package.

  • Requirements and Application Process

    If being an RA sounds like something that you are interested in and that you have room for in your schedule, please contact Spencer Dobbs ( or Lindsay Goolsby (

Campus view looking downtown

Learn More About the Social Perception & Attitudes Lab Members

Meet the Team