Department of Psychology Facilities

The Psychology Department is located on the second floor of Donahue Hall. In addition to faculty offices, the department houses computer laboratories, classrooms, general experimental laboratories, a student lounge, and a conference room. Additional special-purpose laboratories for student-faculty research collaborations include:

The Chemical Senses Laboratory at Wheeling University examines issues related to taste and odor processing, food preferences and eating disorders. Much of our work involves examining the factors influencing human food consumption, especially in relation to nutritional outcomes. The laboratory contains rooms for private studies as well as large data gathering areas. It is supplied with the necessary equipment for producing taste and odor stimuli, such as sinks, refrigerator, balances, stimulus preparation areas, odorant delivery system, and water distillation.
The Health Psychophysiology Laboratory at Wheeling University examines issues related to psychological-physiological interactions. Much of our work involves examining the factors influencing human physical performance, with the goals of maximizing human performance through non-pharmacological means. It is supplied with the necessary equipment for physiological investigations, such as a treadmill, monitoring equipment (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen consumption, biofeedback, EMG), and oxygen concentrator.
MediaLab is incredibly powerful and flexible research software that offers many advantages over the traditional paper and pencil approach. One advantage is the ability to personalize questionnaires and materials to the individual participant. For example, when doing research on relationships and asking participants questions about their dating partner, personalization is possible. In the traditional paper and pencil format, one would be limited to asking something like "how well do you think your partner understands your point of view."  But when using MediaLab, the program can ask participants "What is the name of your dating partner?" and use the answer in later questions. So if a person gives a dating partner's name of James, the software will ask "how well do you think James understands your point of view?"

There are several other advantages to using MediaLab in our classes at WU. One of those advantages is the ability to embed and present a variety of multimedia--sounds, images, even video. Participants can give verbal responses and have them recorded by this software. Another feature that psychology students like about the software is the fact that the software collects and writes the data for them. No more data entry! Also, when using the old paper and pencil questionnaires, sometimes questions get skipped--many times unintentionally or at times a question's answer literally cannot be read. MediaLab provides the increased likelihood that all questions will get answered.  Because participants are typing their answers to open ended questions, there is no more worry about legibility. At WU, we consider the use of MediaLab with our psychology students a key advantage because it is cutting edge research software typically available only at larger universities and colleges, such as Duke, UCLA, University of Michigan, Ohio State, and Boston College.

The Sensory Attenuation Laboratory examines how human performance is altered in the absence of sensory stimulation. The Laboratory contains a sensory deprivation floatation tank, in which all sensory stimulation can be eliminated. Auditory and visual images can be administered within the tank for specialized sensory studies.
The Sleep Performance Laboratory examines issues related to improving sleep patterns and subsequent cognitive functioning. Much of our work involves varying the parameters under which our participants sleep, to determine the best sleeping conditions. The laboratory contains beds, physiological monitoring equipment, infrared television monitoring system, as well as high end data analysis machines. 
The Pain Perception Laboratory examines the conditions under which pain can be attenuated, in hopes of increasing the quality of life for those individuals experiencing pain. Equipment to monitor physiological reactions to pain, as well as a device for pain administration, are available.