About the Lab

The successful attainment of goals is a multi-determined process. At several stages along the road to goal achievement, people face self-regulatory challenges that threaten to hinder progress. How do people overcome obstacles and difficulties in order to successfully meet the goals they set? How do they resist temptations, regulate emotions, ignore distractions, and disengage from unworthy pursuits?

The Regulation, Action, and Motivated Perception (RAMP) Lab explores the social cognitive and perceptual processes that predict and promote effective goal pursuit. Using a multi-method approach that incorporates perceptual, behavioral, and psychophysiological methods, we test the conscious and nonconscious processes that assist people in mitigating threats, attaining rewards, and resisting temptations. Our exploration cuts across multiple domains, testing self-regulatory tools that are implicated in dieting, relationships, smoking, exercise, politics, race, gender, and climate change. Across these various pursuits, we seek to both better understand the self-regulatory strategies that people spontaneously employ as well as to develop interventions that can assist in combating some of society's most complex self-regulatory problems. 

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LAB News & EventS

Upcoming 6/29/18: Come see Kristina present a talk at SPSSI in Pittsburgh: 'Perceptual misgendering: Perceptual biases contribute to classification of transgender individuals'.

5/2/18: Congratulations to Kristina Howansky for winning the 2018 Social Area Award for Exceptional Teaching!

4/26/18: Congratulations to Brooke Schleyer and Darla Bonagura for receiving prestigious Henry Rutgers Scholar Awards for their outstanding honors theses! So proud!

4/26/18: Congratulations to Shana for receiving the 2018 SAS Award for Distinguished Contribution to Undergraduate Education!

4/18/18: Congratulations to Brooke Schleyer for receiving the Abella Award for Excellence in Research in Clinical Psychology for her honors thesis, "Co-failing at self-control: Indulging with peers diminishes feelings of goal failure"!

4/18/18: Congratulations to Amalia Hubal for her acceptance into La Salle's Clinical Psy.D. program!

4/9/18: Congratulations to Sam Klein for receiving a prestigious Research Excellence Award from the Chancellor of Rutgers New Brunswick! This award is given annually to only THREE undergraduates from the entire Rutgers community, and Sam is the first psychology major to win the award. Go Sam!

3/23/18: Congratulations to Kelly Love for her acceptance into graduate school! Kelly will be attending Sacred Heart University and pursuing a M.S. in Applied Psychology- I/O.

3/13/18: Congratulations to Sam Klein for his acceptance into graduate school! Sam will be pursuing a Clinical PhD at the University of Minnesota in Fall 2018.

3/1/18: Janna Kline is presenting a poster at SPSP in Atlanta: 'Co-failing at self-control: Shared indulgence predicts minimized guilt and biased food representation'

3/1/18: Kristina is presenting a Data Blitz at the Gender pre-conference for SPSP: 'Perceptual misgendering: Perceptual biases contribute to prejudice against transgender individuals'.

2/19/18: Kristina was featured as an Instructor Spotlight in the Rutgers 2017 Annual Summer Report for her hybrid Quantitative Methods course.

1/28/18: Check out our new paper in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology. Political opposites do not attract: The effects of ideological dissimilarity on impression formation.

10/13/17: Shana is giving a talk at SESP in Boston: 'The look of success: Biased self-perceptions act as informational feedback during goal pursuit.

9/1/17: Congratulations to Kristina Howansky and Janna Kline who both received Graduate Student Travel Awards from SPSP!

8/10/17: Congratulations to Janna for successfully defending her M.S. thesis: 'Goals as identities: Exploring the link between goal-centrality and self-control.'

5/4/17: Congratulations to Brooke Schleyer and Shreya Bajpai who both received Cooper Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships!

5/3/17: A big congratulations to Samantha Bruno for her acceptance into the Rutgers Graduate School of Education!

5/1/17: Congratulations to Kristina Howansky for receiving a Student Travel Award from SITAR.

4/20/17: Caitlyn Smith is going to graduate school! Congrats to Caitlyn on her acceptance into the Occupational Therapy program at Kean University.

4/17/17: Congratulations to Pamela Gomez for her acceptance into the Social Psychology PhD program at Rutgers-Newark!

4/15/17: Shana is co-organizing a conference on self-regulation entitled, New Insights into Affective and Behavioral Regulatory Processes. Check it out here!

4/6/17: Congratulations to Janna Kline who won both the Social Area Award for Departmental Service AND the Social Area Award for Exceptional Teaching!

4/6/17: Congratulations to Annie Albuja and Kim Chaney who were co-recipients of the Social Area Award for Exceptional Research!

4/28/17: Congratulations to Daniel Robinson for receiving honorable mention for his poster at the Aresty Undergraduate Research Conference!

2/1/17: Congratulations to Sam Klein for receiving the Eastern Regional Research Award at the Eastern Psychological Association conference!

1/19/17: Congratulations to Kristina Howansky for winning the Outstanding Student Poster Award at SPSP!

12/1/16: Shana is giving a talk at the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science: 'Goal promoting perception: How biases in attention and perception aid goal pursuit.

9/20/16: Shana is giving a talk at SESP in Santa Monica: '"If they gunned me down: "Street" clothes and posture activate negative stereotypes and influence attributions of blame'

8/6/16: Congratulations to Shana Cole, Kristina Howansky, & Analia Albuja for receiving the Wayne F. Placek Grant for LGBT research from the American Psychological Foundation!

7/19/16: Shana is giving a talk at the Conference on Motivation and Social Cognition in Gdansk, Poland: 'Seeing is for self-control: Motivated perceptual processes aid temptation resistance.

5/26/16: Shana is giving a talk at APS in Chicago: 'Out of reach and under control: Perceptual distancing during dieting self-control conflicts'

5/25/16: Shana is giving a talk at the Society for the Study of Motivation conference: 'Near and nothing to it: Perceived proximity increases feasibility and promotes goal-directed action.

5/25/16: Congratulations to Kristina Howansky for winning the Social Area Award for Exceptional Teaching!

5/25/16: Congratulations to Annie Albuja and Kim Chaney who were co-recipients of the Social Area Award for Exceptional Departmental Service!

5/20/16: Check out our new paper in Personality and Social Psychology. In the eye of the betrothed: Perceptual downgrading of attractive alternative romantic partners

5/5/16: Congratulations to Sam Klein and Caitlyn Smith who both received Cooper Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships!

5/5/16: Congratulations to Ankita Huckoo for receiving the Phillips Award for Outstanding honors thesis and being named a Henry Rutgers Scholar!

5/4/16: Congratulations to Janna Kline for winning the Young Scientist Poster award at the Society for the Study of Motivation conference!

5/1/16: Congratulations to Samantha Bruno for publishing her paper in the Rutgers Research Review. Believing is seeing: The influence of a transgender label on visual perception and attitudes.

5/1/16: Congratulations to Sydney Gecha for publishing her paper in the Rutgers Research Review. Perceived and objective knowledge about politics as a predictor of political activism.

4/29/16: Congratulations to Arshneil Kaur for receiving the Best Poster Award at the Aresty Undergraduate Research Conference!

4/29/16: Congratulations to Caitlyn Smith for receiving honorable mention at the Aresty Undergraduate Research Conference!

4/20/16: Congratulations Alessa Natale for her acceptance into graduate school! Alessa will be pursuing an I/O PhD at CUNY in Fall 2016.

1/28/16: Congratulations to Annie Albuja for winning the Outstanding Student Poster Award at SPSP!

1/28/16: Congratulations to Kristina Howansky for being runner up for the Outstanding Student Poster Award at SPSP!

1/9/16: Check out our new paper in Motivation Science. Near and nothing to it: Perceived proximity improves exercise by increasing feasibility appraisals.

1/1/16: Check out our new paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Government instability shifts skin tone representations of and intentions to vote for political candidates.

12/23/15: Congratulations to Shana Cole for winning the Association for Psychological Science Rising Star Award!

9/28/15: Congratulations to Kristina for successfully defending her M.S. thesis: 'Getting warmer: The optimal distance for motivating climate change mitigation.'

11/25/15: Congratulations to Kristina Howansky for receiving the Rutgers University Hybrid Grant Course Conversion Award!

5/23/15: Shana is giving a talk at APS in NYC: 'Near and nothing to it: Perceived proximity increases goal-directed effort by increasing ease and efficacy.

5/21/15: Shana is giving a talk at the Society for the Study of Motivation conference in NYC: 'Out of reach and under control: Perceptual distancing during dieting self-control conflicts.

5/13/15: Congratulations to Kristina Howansky for winning the Social Area Award for Exceptional Departmental Service!

2/26/15: Shana is giving a talk at the Social Cognition Pre-Conference at SPSP in Long Beach, CA: 'Seeing is for self-regulating: Motivated perceptual processes aid goal pursuit

10/4/14: Shana is giving a talk at the SESP conference in Columbus, OH: 'Lead us not close to temptation: Perceptual distancing during self-control conflicts.'