Welcome to the March Research Laboratory

The conventional wisdom in psychology is that humans have two distinct information processing systems, one more controlled (relatively slow) and another that is more automatic (relatively fast). In the March Lab, we move beyond these “dual process” models to study social psychological phenomena from the perspective of the Dual Implicit Process (DIP) Model. The DIP model is a theoretical model proposing that the currently understood automatic evaluative processing mode (i.e., automatically assessing the goodness/badness of an object) is preceded by an implicit threat assessment (i.e., does the object pose a survival threat). From this perspective, these unique processes are the products of distinct evaluations that both meet criteria for being labeled ‘automatic,’ yet have unique causes and consequences, and potentially different analogues in the brain.

 

We use this distinction between two modes of implicit processing to advance our understanding of information processing. In doing so, we apply the threat versus valence distinction to various research areas that involve arguable separate threat and valence processes, such as prejudice, addiction, phobias, police-civilian interaction, political partisanship, and even suicide. By disentangling the roles of these arguably distinct processes, we provide a more accurate window into not only their underlying nature.

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So many graduates! Congrats to all of you!

Jalen Blocker – University of Houston, Ph.D., School Psychology; Sarah Ferguson – University of Pittsburgh Law School; Gustavo Capone – perfect MCAT score; Lauren Serra – Florida Southern, M.S., I/O Psychology; Lea Savoy – Lab manager position at University of Miami; Bernadyne Thelemaque – Working at Roblox; Mercedes Jorge – Texas A&M, Ph.D., I/O Psychology; Morgan Kirwan – Research Assistant at Early Emory Center

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Sarah Ferguson 2022