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Personality & Relationship
Welcome to the Personality & Relationship Development/Dynamics Research Group
Directed by Dr. Grace White, Ph.D.
The Personality & Relationship Development/Dynamics Research Group was established at The University of Central Florida-Cocoa in 2011 by Grace White, Ph.D. Dr. White sought to fulfill a need to introduce undergraduate students to the process of research while continuing to engage in scholarly work which was related to her own interests and passion in Psychology.
Dr. White has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and achieved a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology, with an emphasis in Personality and Social Psychology. Dr. White's graduate study emphasized research which examined personality and romantic, interpersonal relationships. Specifically, she studied personality assessment, the dyadic process of relationship and marital functioning, and the social psychological constructs which affect how a person interacts with and views his or her world. This research culminated in her dissertation thesis, which is now a published academic work.
Dr. White's primary research interests continue to integrate personality assessment with romantic relationship development and relationship dynamics. These developmental components include factors leading to the initiation of a relationship, such as friendship and sexual attraction, as well as the behavioral dynamics or components of relationship maintenance which can influence overall relationship outcomes like relationship satisfaction and dissolution.
As a faculty mentor to many undergraduate students, Dr. White is passionate about extending research in PRDD to include additional ideas and concepts that interest the student researchers. Overall, her active research projects continue to investigate the links between an individual's personality and a variety of behaviors he or she may engage in within the context of both dating and marital relationships.
As the principal investigator and director of PRDD, Dr. White takes a supervisory and mentoring role to the many undergraduate students who engage in collaborative and independent research.
Research assistants for the PRDD research group are primarily undergraduate Psychology majors. PRDD RAs gain extensive experiences in the process of research, the opportunity to cultivate skills in critical thinking as well as engage in both leadership opportunities and collaborative interpersonal tasks. These types of experiences are essential to Psychology majors seeking admission to graduate programs.
Undergraduate students who become research assistants for PRDD are expected to assist with hypothesis development, literature searches, data collection, data analysis, scholarly presentations and publication of completed research.
Students interested in completing an independent research project hold the primary responsibility for the development of the study hypotheses, submission to IRB for approval and completion of data analysis. In all of these aforementioned areas, as the supervising faculty, Dr. White is available for assistance and guidance.
Dr. White has also been a committee member for Honors in the Major (HIM) research projects. Students are encouraged to develop projects primarily in the student's area of interest but also relevant to domains of personality psychology or social psychology broadly, as these are areas of expertise and research areas in which Dr. White can be of the greatest assistance.
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