Research

Psychological inquiry is characterised by the quest to understand human behaviour. It is an integral aspect of the School of Social Sciences at NTU, and students are actively encouraged to become involved in research projects. In general, psychological research is driven by three primary goals: to describe, to predict, and to control behaviour.

All faculty members are actively involved in research work. The School welcomes dedicated and experienced researchers to join its ranks and carry out internationally accredited projects. We have several academic staff who have received international and national distinctions and awards.

The School of Social Sciences (SSS) believes that the most interesting way for students majoring in psychology to earn credits  during a semester is through participation in psychological experiments and studies. It is a unique educational experience that enables students to understand the nature of psychological research and contribute to the advancement of the field. Students, thereby, get first hand exposure to the procedures and methods used by psychologists. Currently, the programme is open only to students who are taking HP1000 Introduction to Psychology. Eligible students can log in here.

Paid Psychology Experiments
We welcome students from various other programmes in NTU to contribute as human subject participants in our studies.

For the ethics form, please click here​​.
For informed consent template, please click here​.  
Review the Check-list here​​ before submitting the proposal.

There are certain ethical principles for conducting research with human subjects, that must be adhered to:

    1. Competence of the psychologist/researcher: In this context, the term "psychologist" refers to a person who functions as a professional psychologist as well as a psychology student conducting psychological research using human or non-human subjects. A psychologist should only conduct psychological research in areas where the psychologist has had proper training with demonstrated competence or working under the supervision of a psychologist with relevant competence.

    2. Consent of the participant: Where human participants are involved, informed consent has to be obtained from the participant. By informed consent, it is meant to thoroughly brief the participant about the nature of the empirical study, the psychological diagnosis and intervention. Effort should be made to ensure that the participant fully understands the nature of the participation. A debriefing about the study should be conducted at the conclusion of the study, especially where deception has been used as a part of the study.

    3. Protection of participant's welfare: Effort has to be made to ensure that no harm, either psychological or physical, could be caused by the participation in the psychological experiment, diagnosis, and intervention.

    4. Confidentiality: The psychologist/researcher keeps confidential any information generated from the professional interaction with the participant. This includes empirical study data, diagnostic results and the nature and progress of intervention.

Ethics Committee
In order to ensure adherence to these principles, the Ethics Committee examines all research proposals and projects undertaken by faculty members in Psychology. This administrative body oversees research activities in Psychology and comprises:

  • ​Nanyang Assistant Professor, Psychology: Gianluca Esposito (Chair and Convener)
  • Nanyang Assistant Professor, Psychology: Bobby Cheon
  • Assistant Professor, Psychology: Charles Or
  • Nanyang Assistant Professor, Psychology: Gerrit Maus
  • Assistant Professor, Psychology: Olivia Choy
  • Associate Professor, Psychology: Ryo Kitada
     
<Updated 22 January 2019>

Research in Psychology at the SSS is divided into five major areas:

1) Cultural Processes

This area of research examines the dynamic relation between culture and individual psychological processes. Examples of research conducted in SSS are the role of culture in the construction of self, the influence of cultural values on psychological resilience, and the role of shared representations of culture and cultural value endorsement in cultural identification processes.

2) Social Cognition

This area of research examines human thought processes in social contexts. The relevant social contexts could be the perceived presence of social others, situations of interpersonal interaction, and the presence of social groups. Examples of research conducted in SSS are the influence of cognitive processes such as categorisation and framing on social behavior and group decision making, knowledge estimation and its role in interpersonal communication, and mathematical models of individual and collective decision making.

3) Personality & Motive Assessment

This area of research deals with both theoretical and applied aspects of personality and motive assessment. Examples of research conducted in the Programme are the development and validation of questionnaire and non-questionnaire measures of achievement motivation, examination of culturally-specific factors in assessment of personality, and the establishment of "best practices" for using standard motive-assessment measures.

4) Developmental Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

Researchers in this area deal with a variety of issues including internalising disorders and conditions such as depression, anxiety, hopelessness and stress, as well as externalising disorders and conditions such as aggression, conduct problems and juvenile delinquency, and the inter-relationship among them using both cross-sectional and longitudinal methods. Besides, researchers are actively engaged in the development and evaluation of effective interventions for aggressive children and adolescents.

5) Cognitive Neuroscience

Our area of research examines the neural basis of cognitive processes, with focus on memory use during sentence processing, representation in visual working memory, and types of manipulation used in verbal working memory. Additionally, it examines the use of semantic long-term memory to supplement verbal short-term memory and the relation between working memory, practice, and intelligence. Researchers are also active in developing new methodological tools to analyse and extract meaningful patterns from high dimensional brain imaging data.

URECA
The School encourages undergraduate students to take advantage of the Undergraduate Rsearch Experience on CAmpus (URECA), a university wide scholarship research programme. For more information on URECA, click here.

Research Assistant Opportunities
Faculty members carry out research projects that often require research assistant help. See below for research assistant openings.

Research Funding Opportunities

1) National Council On Problem Gambling (NCPG) Student Grants
 
Among the National Council on Problem Gambling’s (NCPG) key priorities are to build local research capabilities in the areas of gambling and problem gambling and to encourage student interest in the area of problem gambling prevention. In support of these aims, the NCPG has established the NCPG Student Grant with two grants types to aid students in research and project development.
 
NCPG Research Grant
 
This grant encourages original empirical research examining issues directly related to problem gambling.  Students interested in researching issues such as gambling behaviours and mindsets, risk/protective factors, as well as the prevention, treatment, impact, harms of gambling can apply for this grant category.
 
NCPG Project Development Grant 
 
This grant encourages the development of projects that can prevent or reduce the social harms associated with gambling. These include projects that could raise awareness about the dangers of gambling, educate the general public on how they can avoid gambling addiction and provide information on the sources of help available for gambling related issues. Students who are keen on developing awareness programmes, short films, digital stories, resource materials etc. can apply for this grant category. 
 
Grant Eligibility
 
The NCPG Student Grant can be used to cover part or all of the research or development costs of their project. To qualify for the grants, students must:
 
•         Be pursuing an education in a local Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) such as the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Polytechnics and Universities in Singapore.
•         Submit a proposal for a research or original project that is approved and will be supervised by the student’s academic supervisor (who must be a faculty member of the academic institute).
 
Applications are open all year round and successful applicants will be notified within 2 months of receipt of their application.  If successful, the research grant can be used to cover expenses incurred for up to a maximum of $1,000 for National ITE Certificates (Nitec), Diploma and Bachelor degree students and $2,000 for Post-graduate students (Masters degree and above). 
 
Interested students can gather more information on the grants using the following link: http://www.ncpg.org.sg/en/Pages/LearnAboutProblemGambling.aspx?category=4 or refer to the PDFs below.

NCPG Student Grant (Research) June 2014.pdfNCPG Student Grant (Research) June 2014.pdf
NCPG Student Grant (Project Development) June 2014.pdfNCPG Student Grant (Project Development) June 2014.pdf

Alternatively, students can contact Ms Quek Shi Ping (NCPG) at quek_shi_ping@msf.gov.sg or Tel: 6354 9096.

2) Children's Society Research Grant
Singapore Children's Society, a voluntary welfare organisation has been actively caring for children since 1952. It encourages research projects related to family, children and youth and provide a one time grant normally not exceeding $1000 per applicant to support students pursuing research on the above mentioned issues.

3) Youth Research Fund (YRF)
The YRF is administered by the National Youth Council (NYC), the national coordinating body for youth affairs in Singapore. The YRF supports issue-specific studies that add to current understanding of youth trends and issues, and preferably help inform policy-making and programme design for effective youth development. Faculty members and students (especially Honours undergraduates and postgraduates) are welcome to apply. YRF grant amounts vary depending on the relevance, rigour and scale of research projects, and may range from $500 to $8,000 for each research project lasting up to one year.