Research Profile 6: Dr. Nicole Campione-Barr

Have you ever been in a fight with your sibling? Sibling squabbles can be about all sorts of different things, from fighting about who gets to use the TV to getting mad about your sibling eating all the snacks you left on that specific shelf in the fridge that no one else is supposed to touch. Disagreements between siblings is the focus of University of Missouri professor Dr. Nicole Campione-Barr. “Parenting adolescence is often a stressful experience for a lot of parents,” she says.  “I’m particularly interested in trying to find ways that families can do a better job of functioning through a time that does have its ups and downs.” Dr. Campione-Barr leads the Family Relationships and Adolescent Development Lab at Mizzou, in addition to teaching multiple classes and directing the psychology honors capstone program.  

Here at Mizzou, psychology research explores many different fields. Some faculty are investigating memory and aging, the differences in how individuals process and remember the world as they age. Others may work on human-computer interactions, neuroscience and cognition, or, like Dr. Campione-Barr, social relationships and human development. Mizzou’s addiction science research group has even been recognized as one of the top in the nation. The new Missouri Center for Addiction Research and Engagement (MO-CARE) is providing new insight into addiction science and helping meet the needs of Missourians affected by addiction, serving as a center for interdisciplinary collaboration and training for addiction counselors and specialists.  

Students from all majors may get involved in research in psychology. The demand for student assistants varies from lab to lab and if the group is collecting data or not, but Dr. Campione-Barr believes the best time to reach out is around spring break. That way, students can learn the basics of the research over summer and start participating  the next fall. “Starting to reach out to faculty, emailing multiple of them to say ‘I’m really interested in the work that you do based on what I read on your website’ or ‘I’ve taken this class with you already do you have any openings?’” Dr. Campione-Barr says.  

For students looking to get deeply involved in the research process to the point of earning an authorship, the Psychology departmental capstone may be the best option. In this program, a student collaborates with faculty to develop and complete a year-long research project culminating in a journal-length manuscript. Freshmen and sophomores who are first-generation college students or from underrepresented backgrounds in psychology may also check out the Psychology Scholars program. This program places students on a rotation between three labs in their first semester with the opportunity to join permanently the semester following. 

Psychology research looks into the core of human behavior. Topics range from social interactions and human development to neuroscience and machine interactions. Undergraduates are essential to the functioning of many psychology research labs at Mizzou, and are encouraged to participate through a variety of programs or just through credit. If you have an interest in how the brain works, undergraduate research in psychology may be for you! 

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