Ph.D. Program - Experimental Psychology

The UNLV experimental psychology doctoral program trains students to become psychological scientists capable of conducting independent research that meets international standards of scientific excellence. Upon completing the degree, students will be qualified to seek careers conducting research in academia and in other institutional and applied settings. Areas of research in which faculty supervise students are: cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, neuroscience, and quantitative/experimental. The program operates on a mentor model in which students work under the supervision of an identified faculty mentor. We welcome students from diverse backgrounds and encourage research in topics related to multiculturalism and diversity.

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Areas of Study

The experimental graduate program currently has four areas of study: cognitive, developmental, neuroscience, quantitative/experimental.

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology at UNLV covers the major topics in the field, such as perception, attention, memory, higher-level cognition, and applications to other areas of psychology. Researchers examine specific topics such as auditory and visual perception, cognitive aging, face processing, language comprehension, math cognition, mental models, music perception, and signal detection. These topics are examined using traditional cognitive behavioral methods and analyses, computational modeling, eye tracking, and event-related potentials.

Faculty: Mark H. Ashcraft, David Copeland, Erin E. Hannon, Marta Meana, Colleen M. Parks, Jennifer L. Rennels, N. Clayton Silver, Joel S. Snyder

Developmental Psychology

Training in developmental psychology at UNLV involves a strong emphasis on research and use of age-appropriate methods for investigating cognitive, social, and physiological development. Faculty members study how early and later-life experiences affect development of language and music abilities, face processing, biases and stereotypes, identity, career paths, and developmental disorders at the cellular and synaptic level. Efforts are made in much of the developmental research to include members of different cultural groups.

Faculty: Erin E. Hannon, Rochelle HinesJennifer L. Rennels, Rachael Robnett, Felix Wang


Neuroscience within the Department of Psychology at UNLV provides interdisciplinary training for research on the neural basis of behavior. Faculty research includes approaches from neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, and psychopharmacology. Faculty members in the department are also a part of a growing network of neuroscience researchers within UNLV and the Las Vegas area.

Faculty: Daniel N. AllenDustin Hines, Rochelle Hines, James Hyman, Joel S. Snyder


Psychological research uses a wide variety of data-collection and data-analysis techniques. The faculty members in the quantitative/experimental area provide courses and individual mentoring in the use and/or development of advanced data-collection techniques and qualitative and quantitative analyses. These include the development and evaluation of tests of personality, intellectual abilities, and neuropsychological functioning; hypothesis tests for correlations; data checking methods; descriptive experience sampling, evolutionary approaches, psychopharmacological, behavioral genetic, and molecular biology techniques; and substantive topics including health behaviors, warning labels, microaggressions, and gambling addictions.

Faculty: Daniel N. Allen, Kimberly Barchard, Andrew FreemanRussell T. Hurlburt, Murray Millar, Rachael RobnettN. Clayton Silver, Gloria Wong-Padoongpatt