Regulation, Action, and

Motivated Perception Lab

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 processes that are implicated in dieting, romantic relationships, smoking, exercise, politics, gender, pro-environmental behaviors, and intergroup interactions. 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. 

The RAMP Lab is firmly committed to fostering a safe and inclusive space for members of minority groups. We value the diverse perspectives of all individuals, across race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, disability, religion, and national origin. We actively seek to support individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in psychology and the sciences. Students of color, women, first generation students, and members of other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Lab News & Events

Fall 2018


12/28/18: Congratulations to Kristina Howansky for accepting a position as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at St. Mary's College of Maryland. We couldn't be more proud of you!!

12/6/18: How does engaging in goal-consistent or -inconsistent behavior affect the way people see themselves? Check out our lab's new paper in Motivation Science.

11/24/18: Introducing the newest member of the RAMP Lab family! Josie Jane Cole was born at 8:36pm on 11/24/18 (Shana's birthday!). Welcome, little one!

11/19/18: Congratulations to Brooke Schleyer for publishing her paper in the Rutgers Research Review: Joint self-control failures: Sharing goals with peers diminishes feelings of goal failure.

11/9/18: Congratulations to Kristina Howansky for winning an APA Dissertation Award for her dissertation work on perceptions of and attention to transgender individuals!




Fall 2017


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.'




Spring 2019


04/23/19: Janna presented a talk at the annual Society for the Study of Motivation Conference in Washington D.C., 'Goals as identities: Boosting healthy-eater identity for easier goal pursuit.'

03/20/19: Congratulations to Kristina for winning the 2019 Wilbert J. McKeachie Teaching Excellence Award given by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (Division 2 of the American Psychological Association). Kristina will be presented with a plaque at the STP's 18th Annual Conference on Teaching (ACT) October 17 -19, 2019, in Denver, Colorado. Go, Kristina!

03/08/19: HUGE congratulations to Kristina Howansky (or should we say, DOCTOR Kristina Howansky)! Kristina successfully defended her dissertation and has officially earned her PhD! We are so proud of you, Dr. Kristina!
03/01/19: Congratulations to Josephine Kim for presenting a poster at the 2019 Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) conference: 'Making excuses: Rationalizing self-control failures impacts feelings about the indulgence and subsequent motivation.'

02/08/19: Janna presented a poster at SPSP: 'Goals as identities: Boosting healthy-eater identity for easier goal pursuit.'
02/07/19: Janna presented a data-blitz at the Motivation Science pre-conference at SPSP: 'When doing wrong feels right: The impact of joint self-control failures on post-indulgence emotions and motivation.'




Spring 2018


6/29/18: Kristina presented 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 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.




Spring 2017


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!




Fall 2016


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!




Spring 2016


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.




Fall 2015


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!




Spring 2015


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.'




Spring 2020


06/10/20: Congratulations to Dr. Janna Dominick who--despite a global pandemic and an extraordinarily tough job market--landed an amazing position as a Senior UX Researcher at Vanguard!! Janna, you'll leave a hole in this lab that could never be filled, but we couldn't be more proud of all you've accomplished. Can't wait to watch your next journey unfold!

05/20/20: Several of our undergraduate alumni have accepted graduate school positions! Devin Barzallo will be attending medical school at Case Western in the Fall, and Brooke Schleyer will begin her Clinical Psychology PhD at Temple University. Best of luck to Devin and Brooke as they start their next chapters!

05/15/20: Our amazing honors student, Devin Barzallo, received the Charles Flaherty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research from the Psychology Department and was awarded a Henry Rutgers Scholar Award from the Rutgers School of Arts & Sciences. Congratulations, Devin! You're a rockstar!

03/25/20: RAMP Lab has a new doctor in the house!! Janna defended her dissertation (virtually) today! Congratulations, Dr. Dominick--we could not be more proud of you! And congratulations to Dr. Analia Albuja and Dr. Kim Chaney (RAMP Lab affiliates) who also defended their dissertations this month!

02/15/20: Check out our lab's new paper on boosting healthy-eater identity for easier goal pursuit, out in Motivation and Emotion this month!




Fall 2019


09/26/19: Check out the lab's new paper on representations of transgender individuals, out in SPPS this month!

09/03/19: This Fall we will welcome two new graduate students to our lab: Kyle Brennan and Maggie Albright-Pierce. Looking forward to starting our adventure together!





Rutgers University

Regulation, Action, & Motivated Perception Lab