Healthy Emotions and Relationship Theories (HEART) Laboratory

Research in the HEART Lab focuses on romantic relationships and health-risk behavior (e.g., heavy alcohol use, gambling, risky sex, intimate partner violence). Research incorporates social cognitive theories and health psychology to broadly focus on understanding and improving romantic relationships, including how relationships are influenced by alcohol and other addictive behaviors, intimate partner violence, jealousy, perceptions of others’ behavior and other factors.

Projects involve expressive writing, social norms, social media, and how all of these things impact close relationships.

The mission of the HEART Lab is to conduct cutting-edge research that will ultimately be used in to design, develop, and evaluate empirically-based interventions to help individuals and couples struggling with addictive behaviors or other relationship-related stressors.

Information for Prospective Research Assistants

Psychological research cannot be done without Research Assistants (RAs) who work “behind the scenes” to make the magic happen! I am always looking for high-quality RAs to join my lab. Research experience is critical to learning what really drives your interests and is highly encouraged for those considering applying to graduate school.

As part of your HEART Lab RA experience, you will:

  •  Run studies with introductory psychology students in our lab
  • Attend a biweekly lab meeting where we discuss research ideas, lab issues, graduate school, and career opportunities
  • Pilot test measures and study procedures
  • Design new studies
  • Assist with data entry, coding, human subjects application preparation
  • Potentially pursue your own research ideas with existing data or a senior thesis

If you are interested in applying, please fill out the application and send to Lindsey Rodriguez at  or drop off your application in the psychology department to be placed in Dr. Rodriguez’ mailbox.