Research & SoTLP Lab

The Laboratory for SoTL in Psychology (Room 2432 Lagomarcino Hall)

Dr. Loreto Prieto is always looking for individuals who are highly responsible, motivated, and willing to commit time to learning basic research skills that can be applied to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology (SoTLP). Experience in the SoTLP lab would be ideal for individuals whose future plans include teaching psychology students. Most research out of the lab is based on social cognitive theory, and currently focuses on improving the research and statistical training of undergraduate psychology students. Undergraduate psychology students who are willing to spend at least one year, preferably two years, to work in my lab are especially encouraged to apply. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Prieto ( to submit application materials and set up an appointment for an interview.


E. Schaefer


Elijah entered with the Class of 2022. He earned a Master's Degree in Psychology at Northern Iowa University. His research interests center around the intersection of religious beliefs, attachment styles and general psychopathology.







Cedar entered with the Class of 2023. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Neuroscience at Coe College in Iowa. His research interests center around factors that affect men's help seeking behavior.







Allison is a junior, majoring in psychology at ISU. This is her second year as a research assistant in the SoTLP Lab, and she has worked on various projects. She performs literature searches, creates Qualtrics data collection tools, and helps with writing and creating the final products of research (i.e., poster presentations, articles for publication). 

Allison plans on attending graduate school in an applied psychology program.




PROSPECTIVE DOCTORAL STUDENT APPLICANTS: Please also view Student Theses and Dissertations to see other non-SoTLP areas of research in which I have mentored doctoral students in my lab within our APA-approved Counseling Psychology program.

Select SoTLP publications out of the lab (Bold print identifies student authors):

Prieto, L. (2023). Concerns about teaching culturally diverse students in a cross-disciplinary sample of higher education faculty. Teaching in Higher Education: Critical Perspectives, 28, 772-783.

I examined concerns surrounding teaching culturally diverse students held by a cross-disciplinary sample of higher education faculty. Findings indicated as faculty levels of acceptance of culturally diverse students increased, negative faculty attitudes toward these students decreased, as did faculty concerns that these students might hold negative perceptions toward them. A greater acceptance of culturally diverse students was also associated with a faculty assigning greater importance to incorporating content regarding cultural diversity into their courses, and spending more time discussing diversity issues in class. Faculty identified chief barriers concerning the incorporation of diversity issues into their course content as: (1) not finding diversity issues relevant to their course content; (2) time constraints; and, (3) student apprehension about faculty including diversity content in courses.

Prieto, L., Siegel, Z., & Kaiser, D. (2021). One fish, two fish, red fish (or green fish?): Assisting students with color vision deficiency. Teaching of Psychology, 48, 90-94.

We discuss the ways in which psychology educators can assist students who have color vision deficiency (CVD). We outline basic information concerning CVD, offer tips for instructors to help students with CVD access content materials in the classroom, and suggest class activities to help all psychology students learn about CVD.

Burke, K., & Prieto, L. (2019). High-quality research training environments and undergraduate psychology students. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 5, 3, 223-235.

We examined the ratings of students on the quality of their research training environments and the relation these ratings had to their reported research self-efficacy as well as their willingness to engage in future research activities. Students who reported higher ratings of the quality of their research training environments also reported higher research self-efficacy, (r = .31, p < .01). In line with Social Cognitive Career Theory, we also found that student research self-efficacy partially mediated the direct effect of high-quality research training environments on student willingness to engage in future research activities (t = 2.63; p < .01). We discuss the implications of our findings for training and future research.

Boysen, G., Prieto, L., Holmes, J., Landrum, R. E., Miller, R., Taylor, A., White, J. N., & Kaiser, D. (2018). Trigger warnings in psychology classes: What do students think? Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 4, 2, 69–80.

Sensitive topics are an inherent part of psychology education, but some college students have begun to demand prior notification before the coverage of potentially disturbing content. This call from students for “trigger warnings” has been controversial among faculty, and no research has documented psychology students’ perspectives on the topic. In order to fill this gap in knowledge, we collected data from six different psychology departments across the United States. Undergraduate psychology students (N = 751) reported their attitudes toward, and experiences with, trigger warnings in the psychology classroom. Results indicated that many psychology students held favorable views about the use of trigger warnings, viewing such warnings as necessary for topics such as sexual assault, child abuse, and suicide. Despite this, the overwhelming majority of psychology students reported little discomfort with discussing sensitive topics in class and indicated that any discomfort they felt had little or no effect on their learning. Most psychology students also agreed that potentially distressing topics have an appropriate role in the pedagogy of psychological science; that students should expect to encounter potentially disturbing content during psychology classes; and, that experienced distress does not warrant student avoidance of sensitive topics. The implications of our findings for teaching are that relatively few students report the type of distress that trigger warnings are intended to prevent, but students are generally supportive should teachers choose to provide trigger warnings. However, these implications may not generalize across all types of students or institutions of higher learning.

Prieto, L. (2018). Incorporating diversity content into courses and concerns about teaching culturally diverse students. Teaching of Psychology, 45, 2,146-153.

I examined concerns surrounding teaching culturally diverse students and attitudes toward incorporating diversity content into courses, held by a national sample of psychology educators (N = 91). Findings indicated that as instructors’ personal acceptance of culturally diverse students increased, instructors’ level of “backlash” attitudes toward those students decreased, and instructors attached a greater level of importance to incorporating diversity issues into their course content. Lower levels of instructor concern surrounding managing cultural differences in the classroom was associated with instructors attaching a greater level of importance to incorporating diversity issues into course content. Instructors of color spent a significantly greater amount of class time teaching about diversity issues in their psychology courses than their European American counterparts. I discuss implications of these findings for established and future psychology educators.

Boysen, G., & Prieto, L. (2017). Trigger warnings in psychology: Psychology teachers' perspectives and practices. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 4, 1, 16-26.

The content of psychology courses can include topics that may be sensitive to some students, especially those with personal histories of trauma. Increasingly, the news media has reported student requests for teachers to provide trigger warnings before covering sensitive topics in college classrooms. However, little empirical data has been published about the use of such content warnings in undergraduate education. The current research consisted of a national survey of psychology teachers (N = 284) assessing their attitudes and practices related to trigger warnings. Thirty-nine percent of the sample had given a trigger warning, but the frequency of warnings was rare. Few teachers had received requests from students for trigger warnings or accommodations related to sensitive topics. Although teachers’ attitudes about trigger warnings tended to be more positive than negative, they did not believe that teachers held primary responsibility for preventing student discomfort with content or that potentially distressing content should be avoided in the psychology classroom. Overall, the results of the study indicate that offering trigger warnings to students about potentially sensitive topics does not appear to be a typical practice in psychology.

Prieto, L., (2012). The Multicultural Teaching Competencies Inventory: Initial factor structure. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 5, 50-62.

The Multicultural Teaching Competencies Inventory (MTCI) contains items based on the tri-parte model of cultural competencies established by Sue and associates (Sue et al., 1992, 1982, 2003) that identify multicultural Awareness, Knowledge, and Skill as central characteristics of a culturally sensitive professional. The development and validation of this instrument will provide a measurement tool, not currently available, to assess higher educators’ cultural competency in dealing with the increasingly culturally diverse student body found in today’s collegiate classroom. Exploratory factor analyses of the Sue et al. competency domain elements failed to confirm a three-factor solution in line with the Sue et al. model. Instead, a two-factor model was suggested in conceptualizing educator cultural competencies: Acquired Cultural Knowledge and Sensitivity to Student Culture. A cross-validation study of this emergent two-factor structure, using confirmatory factor analysis, indicated that this new model had an adequate fit to a second sample of MTCI data.

Prieto, L., Whittlesey, V., Herbert, D., Ocampo, C., Schomburg, A., & So, D. (2009). Dealing with diversity issues in the classroom: A survey of the STP membership. Teaching of Psychology, 36, 77-83.

We examined how psychology educators regarded and addressed diversity issues in their classrooms. The approximately 650 psychology educators who took part in this survey indicated a high level of personal acceptance of diverse persons and acknowledged the importance of infusing diversity issues into courses across the psychology curriculum. Our findings indicated that the level of importance instructors attached to incorporating diversity issues into their course work accounted for the largest amount of variance in the time they reported discussing diversity issues in their classes. We discuss implications for teachers of psychology.

Buskist, W., Carlson, J., Christopher, A., Prieto, L., & Smith, R. (2008). Models and exemplars of scholarship in the teaching of psychology. Teaching of Psychology, 35, 267-277.

This article provides ideas for engaging in the scholarship of teaching in psychology. Topics covered include contributing to the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology and Teaching of Psychology. Writing and editing books also constitute scholarly work. Finally, teaching with intentionality and accountability can be productive in leading to scholarship opportunities. By providing models and exemplars of scholarship in the teaching of psychology, we hope to encourage more teachers to engage in such activities.

Prieto, L., & Scheel, K. R. (2008). Teaching assistant training in counseling psychology. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 21, 49-59.

We surveyed training directors and counseling psychology graduate teaching assistants at Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs to acquire information concerning Teaching Assistant (TA) training, supervision and teaching experiences, and the extent to which TAs believe their training and supervision helped them to feel competent in their teaching duties. TAs were most satisfied with those training methods related directly to the practice of teaching (e.g., role playing and receiving feedback on practice teaching). Implications for training counseling psychologists as educators are discussed.