I am currently investigating ways to diffuse prejudice and sexism,  and unpacking the factors that can increase learning.  In my Applied Social Cognition (ASC) Lab we ASC the tough questions. If you are interested in working in my lab, click on this link to complete the application: ASC Gurung Lab App.  I accept undergraduates every term and will accept graduate students starting Fall 2020. I also support URSA Engage students as well as Honors College students.

I have two main areas of interest with different projects underway within each major area:

Prejudice, Sexism, Impression Formation, and Clothing
Perceptions of people depend on what it is they are wearing and job status, sociability, income, health and fitness can be perceived from clothing.  People use categories when describing others and learn what types of clothing are associated with categories or labels.  Different types of clothing send different messages. For example, men perceived women in revealing clothing as being more flirtatious, seductive, and promiscuous and less capable.  African American men in sweatpants are viewed more negatively than when dressed formally. A model dressed in provocative clothing is viewed as more attractive and sexually appealing, but less intelligent and competent.  Can we reduce prejudice by changing what people wear? For recent work on this topic see this piece on T-shirt logos or this one working women.  

Pedagogical Psychology
How can we optimize student learning?  There are many factors that influence learning.  Any examination of how students learn necessitates a focus on three major components: Student behaviors (e.g., study techniques), Instructor behaviors (how is learning facilitated?), and the means content is transferred (textbooks and technology).  Studies in progress address each of these areas.  I am particularly interested in learning in large classes and how student-faculty rapport can increase learning. I especially focus on the relationship between student mental health and learning. I am curious if mindfulness can influence learning and better behaviors and also study student-athlete mental-health here at Oregon State University and how faculty behaviors can influence learning. I coordinate the General Psychology Program at OSU and direct the Hub for Intro Psych and Pedagogical Research which serves to coordinate research on teaching across the nation.

Other Interests?
I have to admit I love asking tough questions: How do we help people get on track with health behaviors?  What is the role of stress in well-being?  I can be tempted into designing a study on timely topics that catch my interests.