From the lab to the sidewalk: Opening minds with psychology at ASU Open Door


Robert Ewing

Last Saturday, Feb 24, Arizona State University’s Department of Psychology brought research from the laboratory to the sidewalk for the final installment of the ASU Open Door event series. The Tempe campus hosted over 15,000 participants of all ages and from all over the valley who experienced innovation first-hand.

The Department of Psychology hosted the “Psych Zone,” which included eight research groups. Visitors handled real brains, experienced challenges to how they thought about emotions and even had their brain’s electrical activity measured with electroencephalography (EEG).

In total, eight psychology research groups participated in Open Door:

• The Human Generosity Project, led by Athena Aktipis, assistant professor of psychology

• The Arizona Twin Project/Child Emotion Center, led by Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant, professor of psychology

• The Perception Ecological Action and Learning Lab, led by Michael McBeath, professor of psychology

• The new Learning and Development Lab, led by Viridiana Benitez, assistant professor of psychology

• The ASU Child Study Lab, led by Anne Kupfer, interim director

• The Shiota Psychophysiology Laboratory for Affective Testing (SPLAT) Lab, led by Lani Shiota, associate professor of psychology

• The Culture and Ecology Lab, led by Michael Varnum, assistant professor of psychology

• The Neuroscience of Memory and Aging Lab, led by Heather-Bimonte Nelson, professor of psychology

“We love being an active participant in our Arizona community,” said Steve Neuberg, Foundation Professor of psychology and chair of the ASU Department of Psychology. “We hope that through events like ASU Open Door, more people can become involved with and experience the wonderful world of psychology!”