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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Intro to Research in Psychology: Kwak Lab

This winter, high school students interested in psychology are invited to join the research lab of Prof. Youngbin Kwak in the UMass Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences for an interactive online program. During this 4-week program, students will gain hands-on research experience by assisting Prof. Kwak and her team of graduate students in conducting online psychology experiments focused on how we make economic decisions. The online experiments will address research questions like, how financial decisions change around presidential elections and how adolescents’ use of decision strategy differs from adults. Through attending weekly lab meetings, small-group Zoom sessions with the lab team, and independent data collection, students will be closely engaged with the current study, while learning about contemporary research methodologies.

Students will also learn more broadly about the kinds of research being conducted at a major R1 university and the opportunities that exist for undergraduate students. The program will culminate with a formal lab presentation.

Students will come away with an introduction to the field of neuroscience, firsthand experience with university-level research, and an increased understanding of associated educational pathways.


About the Kwak Lab: Neuro Learning and Performance Lab

How do we learn adapt to the different stimuli in our environment? What makes us choose one thing versus another? Our lab focuses on investigating the neural bases of decision making, how it changes during development, and the sociocultural factors influencing the behavior.

During this program, students will be exposed to the latest research efforts in the field of decision neuroscience. Students will be involved in every aspect of daily laboratory activities, including recruiting participants, conducting experiment sessions, processing data and discussing scientific findings in lab meetings.

The Kwak lab can host up to 8 students. Learn more.

Schedule: Live Zoom sessions will take place approximately 6 hours/week. Accepted students will be contacted to determine availability.

Sessions will begin December 7 - 18, break for the holidays, and resume January 4 - 15.