Faculty Research Interests

Maya Aloni, Ph.D.

I earned my Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. My research interests are in the area of motivated cognition within the context of close romantic relationships. Most recently I have examined how approach and avoidance goals for engaging in pro-relationship behaviors (such as sacrificing for one's romantic partner) influence expectations of reciprocity and relationship evaluations. In a separate line of research I have examined how people's need to feel certain about their romantic relationship underlies positive illusions. In another line of research I have been collaborating with a colleague on a series of studies exploring men’s motivations for objectifying women.

I teach Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychology of Personality, Advanced Personality-Social Psychology, and will soon be offering a course on Close Relationships.


Daniel W. Barrett, Ph.D.

I earned my Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Arizona State University and spent the two years prior to coming to WCSU as a post-doctoral fellow in health communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.   My primary research interests are persuasion, social influence, and cross-cultural psychology.  More specifically, I have been investigating how people assess the validity of persuasive messages (i.e., why do we accept or reject messages?), how norms impact behavior, and how cultural affects the social influence process.  I have published or am in the process of publishing research on these topics, and co-edited a book on social influence and culture called The Practice of Social Influence in Multiple Cultures with Robert Cialdini, Wilhelmina Wosinska, and Janusz Reykowski.
I teach or will soon be teaching Introduction to Psychology, Personality, Social Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology, and the Psychology of Persuasion.


Robin Flanagan, Ph.D.

I have a Ph.D. in Human Cognition and Learning from Columbia University. I usually teach Psychology of Cognition, Experimental Psychology, Physiological Psychology, and Introduction to Psychology. My research interests include instructional media effects, math learning, the ecological context of cognition, and non-declarative learning in general. I have two research articles on “Dr. Flanagan’s General Information” ERES page if you want to read more about my research. I am especially interested in working with students on research that focuses on learning, cognition, or media effects.


Nicholas T. Gallucci, Ph.D.

My area of specialization is clinical psychology and my areas of interest include psychological assessment, substance abuse counseling and assessment, sport psychology, and gifted children. I welcome student participation in my research projects in these areas. Among the courses that I teach are Community Psychology and Substance Abuse Counseling: Applied Counseling. These courses have practicum requirements and interested students should plan their schedules to accommodate these placements.


Rondall Khoo, Ph.D.

I completed my graduate training in experimental/cognitive psychology with specialties in attention, reasoning, thinking, problem solving, statistics, human factors, and human computer interactions. My research interests are in thinking, reasoning, problem solving, and visual and auditory perception. I teach Introductory Psychology, Research Methods in Psychology, Psychological Statistics, Experimental Psychology, Psychology of Perception, Psychology of Cognition, and Senior Seminar. My interests outside of school include music (especially the blues), audio equipment, photography and video, bad cartoons and movies, traveling, fantasy books, and science fiction books. Lately, I have been building loudspeakers for fun.

Tara Kuther, Ph.D.

My PhD is in Developmental Psychology (Fordham University) and I have taught the following courses at WCSU since 1998: Child Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Adult Years, Advanced Developmental Psychology, Moral Development.

My research examines how people make decisions about whether to engage in risky behaviors such as substance use, delinquent activity, and sexual activity. My most recent work focuses on alcohol use and social cognitive variables thought to play a role in drinking by adolescents and young adults. A second line of research concerns the effects of exposure to violence during childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood. A third area of work examines moral reasoning from a theoretical perspective, as well as its association with exposure to violence and risky activity. Ethics is a final area in which I have written, specifically, ethical issues that arise in practice and applied research with children, adolescents, and older adults, as well as ethical issues in teaching. Over the years I have worked closely with many WCSU students, inviting them to work on my research and scholarly activities, and helping them develop and test their own ideas.

I have written and edited several books including: The Psychology Major’s Handbook, Careers in Psychology: Opportunities in a Changing World, Graduate Study in Psychology: Your Guide to Success, and the Your Career in Psychology Series.


Shane Murphy, Ph.D.

Specializes in health and sport psychology. Active research interests include:

• Imagery and visualization and human performance
• The assessment and measurement of psychological skills used in human performance
• The effectiveness of interventions to change lifestyle behaviors to promote better health
I am an active writer in the field of sport psychology and have edited a number of books on sport psychology, including the textbook Sport Psychology Interventions, the new trade book The Handbook of Sport Psych, and the popular Sport Psychology Library series. In addition I have written the books The Achievement Zone, The Cheers and the Tears, and The Trading Athlete. I welcome students who would like to receive mentoring and guidance in research and literature review and in writing for both academic and lay audiences.

Courses taught at WCSU: PSY 100, Introductory Psychology; PSY 202, Abnormal Psychology; PSY 241, Childhood Psychopathology; PSY 260, Health Psychology; PSY 262, Sport Psychology.


Patricia O’Neill, Ph.D.

I am interested in cognitive psychology and evolutionary psychology. More specifically, my research centers around decision-making, and evolutionary influences on decision making. I explore the types of decisions that people make in hypothetical life-and-death situations. I have published in such journals as Perception and Psychophysics, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Evolution and Human Behavior. I like teaching intro, cognition, perception and experimental psychology (I and II). Some day, I hope to offer a course in evolutionary psychology, and I also hope to offer a course on how society has created a mythology of psychology. I am interested in having students work with me on ongoing research projects.


Mary Nelson, Ph.D.


David Sheskin, Ph.D.

My major areas of interest are personality and abnormal behavior, statistics and experimental design, and anomalistic psychology (which encompasses what is generally considered to be extraordinary behavior). I teach the following psychology courses: Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Personality, Clinical Psychology, Anomalistic Psychology, Environmental Psychology, Principles of Research in Psychology, and Psychological Statistics. I am the author of the following two books in the area of statistics and experimental design: Statistical Tests and Experimental Design (1984, Gardner Press); Handbook of Parametric and Nonparametric Statistical Procedures (2011, CRC Press) which is currently in its fifth edition.

Bernard P. Gee, Ph.D.

I earned bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Biology at San Jose State University, and received my doctorate in Neuroscience at the University of Rochester. Courses routinely taught at WCSU are Introduction to Psychology and Brain and Behavior. My research focuses on investigating the brain circuits and cognitive processes related to vision. Specific studies address various aspects of visual experience, including perception, learning, memory, and eye movements.

Carol O'Connor
Department Secretary

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