What is Directed Independent Research (DIR)?

In a 1 to 3 credit DIR with  our  lab, you will have the opportunity to be a member of a dynamical research team. As a Research Assistant in the WAVES Lab, you will learn about conducting research in the behavioral sciences, and will be involved in aspects of our studies that match your interests and educational goals.



What are the benefits of doing a DIR?

  • Learn more about topics that interest you such as child development, neuropsychology, psychophysiology, cardiovascular response, emotions, depression, mother-infant interactions and attachment.
  • Get hands-on experience conducting scientific research.
  • Improve your chances of getting into graduate school.
  • Get work experience and training that will benefit your future job searches.
  • Learn more about the different professions in psychology and decide if this field is right for your career.
  • Have the satisfaction of knowing that you contributed directly to increase the scientific knowledge base in psychology.
  • Work flexible hours that fit your schedule.

Who is eligible for DIR?

Any FAU undergraduate (upper division) or graduate student who has taken some psychology courses and has a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Contact us to determine if a DIR with our lab is right for you.

How much work is involved?

Doing a DIR is like having a job. You are expected to be responsible and professional in your attitude toward your work in our lab. DIR students are required to work 3 hours per week per credit.

What is an Honor's Thesis?

Select students may complete an honor's seminar and an honor's thesis with the WAVES Emotion Lab. As a thesis student, you will be intensely involved in managing your own research project and writing a scientific paper. Completing an honor's thesis project will allow you to experience research in more depth than a DIR and it may give your graduate school applications an edge over your competition.

Who is eligible to participate in the Honor's Program?

As indicated by the Department, students may apply for and be admitted to the Honors Program after completion of 60 credit hours and prior to the completion of 105 hours. Students must have a grade point average of 3.2 overall and in psychology for all college-level coursework to be admitted to and to be retained in the honors track. Both BA Psychology and BS Neuroscience and Behavior students are eligible to participate in the Honors Program. Student must enroll in PSY 4932 Honor's Seminar prior to enrolling in PSY 4970 Honor's Thesis.

How much work is involved?

There is not a set amount of work associated with a thesis project because all projects are different. Students who are in the Honor's Track are expected to complete as many hours as needed to complete their thesis project.

How do I sign up?

If you are interested in a DIR or Honor's Thesis opportunity with our lab, simply email Dr. Jones at ""



Former Doctoral Students

Chantal Gagnon, Ph. D.
Bullying in Schools: The Role of Empathy, Temperament, and Emotion Regulation 
May 2012

Krystal D. Mize, Ph. D.
Infant Jealousy Responses: Temperament and EEG
August 2008
Instructor and Undergraduate Coordinator of Psychology at FAU

Miguel Diego, Ph.D.
Maternal Neuroendocrine Function and Fetal Development 
August 2004
Assistant Resident Professor at University of Miami

Former Master's Thesis Students

Joseph Cotler, M.A. 
Cardiac Patterns During Another Infant's Cry Sound in Neonates of Depressed Mothers 
May 2013

Christopher Aults, M.A.
Psychophysiological Measures of Agression and Victimization in Early Adolescence 
December 2012

Maria L. Corbett, M.A.
The Effect of a Mindfulness Meditation Intervention on Attention, Affect, Anxiety, Mindfulness, and Salivary Cortisol in School Aged Children
December 2011

Jillian Sader, M.A.
The Development of Mother-Infant Communciation through Touch and Gaze Patterns in Depressed and Non-Depressed Breast- and Bottle-Feeding Dyads
July 2011

Alexis Blau, M.A.
The Development of Jealousy 
December 2010

Aviva R. Kadin-Pessoa, M.A.
Developing Mechanisms of Self-Regulation: An Intergrative Perspective 
August 2010

Sara Klco, M.A.
A Neuropsychological Examination of the Effects of 
Mindfulness Meditation in Elementary School Children 
June 2010

Amanda Almeida, M.A. 
EEG in Preschool Aged Children and the Development of Empathy
August 2009

Miguel Diego, Ph.D.
EEG in 1-week, 1-month and 3-month-old Infants
of Depressed and Non-depressed Mothers

Current Honor's Theses Students


Former Honor's Theses Students

Traci Ingersoll
Literature Review on Emotional Well-Being and Alternative Therapuetic Interventions in Children and Adolescents
August 2013

Melannie Pineda 
The Longitudinal Stability of Jealousy in Infancy
May 2012

Chloe Barrera
Feeding Patterns Effect Brain Activity Patterns in Infancy
May 2012

Darcel Craft
The Effects of Empathy Development in Preschoolers of Depressed Parents
May 2011

Jamie Eggenberger
An EEG Coherence Analysis of the Effects of 
Mindfulness Meditation in School-aged Children
December 2010

Joseph Salvatore
Behavioral and Physiological Indices of Emotion in Preschoolers
August 2010

Dayana Sanchez
The Effects of Mindfulness Mediation on 
Children's Brain Electrical Activity and Creativity
August 2008

Jessica Wassung
Effects of Parental Depression on Empathy Development in Preschoolers
August 2006

Angeliqua Dubecky
Touch Behaviors
December 2005

Samantha Kane
Familial Patterns of Empathy in Preschoolers
May 2004

Moran Amrani
Breast-feeding: Its Effects on Mother and Child
May 2001