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DR. MARGARET MCKINNON

Principal Investigator

Dr. Margaret McKinnon is Full Professor and Associate Chair, Research in Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, where she holds the Homewood Chair in Mental Health and Trauma. She is also the Research Lead for Mental Health and Addictions at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and a Senior Scientist at Homewood Research Institute. Work in Dr. McKinnon’s laboratory focuses on identifying the neural and behavioural correlates of PTSD and trauma-related illnesses and on translating this knowledge to the development and testing of novel treatment interventions aimed at reducing the cognitive and affective sequelae of these conditions. A licensed clinical psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. McKinnon has a special interest in military, veteran, and public safety populations (including healthcare workers), and has worked with these groups clinically and in her research program. She has published or in press nearly 150 scientific works. Work in Dr. McKinnon's lab is supported by federal and provincial funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veterans Health Research, Veterans Affairs Canada, Defence Canada, the PTSD Centre of Excellence, MITACS, and the Workers Safety Insurance Board of Ontario, by a generous donation to Homewood Research Institute from Homewood Health Inc., and by generous gifts from private foundations, including True Patriot Love, the Cowan Foundation, the Military Casualty Support Foundation, the FDC Foundation, and the AllOne Foundation.  Dr. McKinnon is a frequent commentator in the media on matters related to PTSD, moral injury, and the impact of trauma on special populations.

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CHRISTINA CHRYSLER

Clinical Research Lead

Christina Chrysler is a Clinical Research Lead and oversees the McMaster Trauma and Recovery Lab. She has spent 20 years at McMaster University working in clinical health research as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Senior Grants Advisor. She provides a comprehensive understanding of clinical research projects, study design, data management, grant administration, research finance and research contracts. The majority of Christina career was spent managing the Canadian arm (MSSNG) of the International Autism Genome Project. Christina is also a trained psychometrist and has a specialization in complex neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, anxiety, mood disorders, developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments. As the Clinical Research Lead, she oversees all the activities in the lab to ensure the projects are on track to meet deliverables and timelines.

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HEATHER MILLMAN

Clinical Research Co-Lead

I am a qualitative researcher with a special interest in PTSD among military and public safety personnel. I have worked with Dr. McKinnon since 2018 and have coordinated and managed a number of research projects related to mental health and cognitive remediation among military, veterans, and public safety personnel who have been impacted my trauma. My research in the mental health field has involved positions with McMaster University, Homewood Research Institute, and Homewood Health Centre. In addition, I have experience conducting health related research with diverse groups, including refugees to Canada and traditional herbalists in Paraguay. I am currently pursuing my MSc. in Psychotherapy at McMaster University, and I also hold a Master’s of Public Issues Anthropology from the University of Guelph.

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ASH IBBOTSON

Research Coordinator

Ash Ibbotson, MA, is a Research Coordinator working on multiple projects in the lab. Ash brings a breadth of experience and expertise in research grants and administration, research coordination, Community-Engaged Research, EDI, Sex and Gender-Based Analysis/GBA+, and qualitative research. Ash holds a Master's degree in Gender Studies and Feminist Research from McMaster University, and enjoys being an active member in her union local; previously serving as the student union LGBTQ Council Executive Chair (University of Guelph) and continuing to serve as a member of the Unifor 5555 Unit 1 Pride Committee (McMaster University).

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YASAMAN JABBARI

Research Coordinator

Yasaman (she/her/elle) is a research coordinator working in the Trauma and Recovery Lab at McMaster University. Yasaman is currently completing her doctorate in Cognitive Psychology at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Judith Shedden. Yasaman has more than 6 years of research experience and her research focus is on cognition and memory. Yasaman works as a part-time case manager at one of Hamilton's most important shelters. Supporting individuals who are experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis in the community allowed Yasaman to gain useful crisis management skills and valuable knowledge about truama and PTSD. Yasaman currently works on a project assessing the therapeutic effects of goal management training on the cognitive function of public safety personnel.

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DR. ANDREA BROWN

Research Associate

Dr. Andrea Brown obtained her PhD in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Guelph. In addition to her work in the Trauma and Recovery Lab, Dr. Brown has conducted applied research and program evaluation for not-for-profit organizations, regional government, the Department of National Defence, academe, and industry. Since 2015, Dr. Brown’s focus has been on mental health and addictions research and evaluation, with a specialty on military sexual trauma (MST) and post-traumatic stress disorder. She is also the Co-Director of the MiNDS Network for MST and the Director of Knowledge Exchange for the Canadian MST Community of Practice. In addition to this, Dr. Brown is currently completing a Masters in Psychotherapy at McMaster University.

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DR. LINNA TAM-SETO

Research Associate

Dr. Linna Tam-Seto is a Research Associate with the Trauma and Recovery Lab at McMaster University. Dr. Tam-Seto holds a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science and is a registered occupational therapist. Her research interests include understanding the health and well-being of Canada’s women military members and women Veterans during life transitions and changes.

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DR. KIM RITCHIE

Research Associate, Homewood Research Institute

Kim Ritchie is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, at McMaster University, working under the supervision of Dr. Margaret McKinnon. She holds a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from Queen’s University and is a registered nurse with extensive clinical experience in mental health, geriatric mental health, and professional practice.

Kim is involved in a project to understand the unique and shared lived experiences and psychological impacts among healthcare providers and public safety workers resulting from their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research will contribute towards the development of novel approaches to mental health assessment, prevention, and treatment to address the needs of healthcare providers and public safety personnel during and after the pandemic. Her areas of research interest include moral injury, PTSD and dementia, and the mental health of older adults, with a particular focus on aging veterans.

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DR. BRAEDEN TERPOU

Post-Doctoral Fellow

A recent graduate of Western University, Braeden Terpou uses multimodal imaging to identify the neural correlates underlying post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Braeden has worked extensively with fMRI, where he has published a number of papers analyzing the deepest parts of the brain, how they differ in PTSD, and how these differences contribute to symptomatology. More recently, Braeden has started to analyze electroencephalography (EEG) in participants with PTSD, where he has a keen interest in the very fast, time-varying dynamics captured by EEG microstates. Using these multimodal methods, Braeden hopes to identify biomarkers with high temporal and spatial precision. In turn, he hopes to use these biomarkers to improve therapy outcomes using neurotechnology-based approaches like neurofeedback.

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DR. KRYSTA ANDREWS

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Krysta Andrews received an undergraduate degree at Queen’s University in Biology and a Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Toronto. She completed her doctoral degree in Neuroscience at McMaster University and is currently pursuing a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences. Krysta’s research interests focus on using psychosocial (e.g. interpersonal relationships, family functioning), cognitive and neurobiological models (e.g. stress physiology, executive functions) to explore the mechanisms underlying the intergenerational transmission of trauma. Krysta is also interested in evaluating the efficacy of novel, evidence-based therapeutic programs for children, youth and adults with trauma histories.

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DR. ASHLEY C WILLIAMS

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Ashley completed a PhD in Rehabilitation Science at Queen’s University and she has a background in psychology and occupational therapy. Her research has been focused on using qualitative methods to better understand the transition to civilian life among military Veterans as well as mental health among military and Veteran families. She is a registered occupational therapist with six years of clinical experience in team-based primary care. As a clinician-researcher, Ashley has a deep appreciation for the critical responsibility that researchers have in producing trustworthy evidence that clinicians depend on to provide effective services. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys running and indulging in a cup of tea and a good book.

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MINA PICHTIKOVA

Clinical Research Coordinator

Mina is a graduate of McMaster University’s Honours BSC. Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour program, and is currently pursuing an MA in Clinical and Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto. She has 6 years of research experience conducting both quantitative and qualitative research on the topics of PTSD, concurrent disorders, moral injury, borderline personality disorder, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma. She currently works as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Trauma and Recovery Research Unit. 

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ISAAC BEECH

Research Assistant

Isaac is a research assistant (specialist) working in the Trauma and Recovery Lab at McMaster University. Isaac primarily works on two projects in the lab. The first project aims to understand the experiences of Healthcare Workers and Public Safety Personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second project aims to uncover the therapeutic impact of Goal Management Training (GMT) for Public Safety Personnel. Isaac coordinates the daily participant scheduling and recruitment for both studies, completes mental health screening & neuropsychological testing with participants for the GMT study, and works with the team to output research findings for both projects. Isaac hopes to complete graduate studies in clinical psychology in the near future.

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DANA WALDERN

Administrative Assistant

Dana graduated at the top of her class in Medical Administration in 2016 and has worked in healthcare and research at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University. She is a compassionate, self-directed, dedicated, results-oriented professional offering exceptional research office operations support. A dynamic team player with positive relationship and network-building skills, driven by department and organization goals, she routinely facilitates event planning and coordination of conferences and meetings (http://snapd.at/eew98pk ; https://research.stjoes.ca/news-events/news/~1668-Bienvenue-St-Joe-s-Neuroscience-Researchers-Hosting-International-Symposium-including-French-Delegation). Dana’s passions include faith, family, running, cycling, volunteering, partnering with undergraduate and graduate students within St. Joe’s and McMaster, and investing in others to become their best selves.

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BETHANY EASTERBROOK

Graduate Student (PhD)

Bethany (she/her) is currently completing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from McMaster University, supervised by Dr. Margaret McKinnon. She obtained an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from University of Toronto, and a Master’s degree in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University. She has previous research experience in a variety of settings including pediatric surgery, manual therapy, disability policy, schizophrenia, and military mental health. Bethany’s current research focuses on moral injury and posttraumatic stress in military and veteran populations. Her current research has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Doctoral Program, and the St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton Studentship Award.

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SHERAIN HARRICHARAN

Graduate Student (PhD)

Sherain Harricharan is currently pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Margaret McKinnon. She previously received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Medical Sciences at Western University, and then went on to complete her doctoral degree in Neuroscience at Western with Dr. Ruth Lanius. Her research focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder, using neuroimaging to study how pathways in the brain are altered as a function of trauma and dissociation. In particular, she studies how sensory processing in the mind and body impact cognitive functioning, including emotion regulation and social engagement. She is dedicated to help develop clinical sensorimotor treatments for traumatized individuals.

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HERRY PATEL

Graduate Student (PhD)

Herry is a PhD Candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at McMaster University being supervised by Dr. Margaret McKinnon and Dr. Ruth Lanius. Herry completed his Master’s with Dr. Michael Amlung at the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research looking at the effects of Episodic Future Thinking on delay discounting and alcohol demand among treatment seeking individuals with addictive disorders. His dissertation research focuses on investigating the intersection between simple vs. complex trauma, dissociation, and substance use. His current research is examining associations between trauma and alcohol/substance use and its related problems among various trauma exposed samples with differing levels of clinical severity. He is also involved with studies investigating the neurocorrelates of intersectional minority related stress and a minority stress related intervention for transgender and gender diverse youth.

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ALLISON MIZZI

Graduate Student (PhD)

I am a Clinical Psychology PhD Student in the lab, co-supervised by Dr. Margaret McKinnon and Dr. Sue Becker. My research examines how physical activity and movement impact mental health. More specifically, I study how body-based interventions, such as exercise and sensorimotor therapies, impact psychological and cognitive symptoms in those with posttraumtic stress disorder (PTSD). Clinically, I am interested in clinical neuropsychology and rehabilitation across the lifespan.

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BRAHM SANGER

Graduate Student (PhD)

Brahm (he/him) is a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Margaret McKinnon. His research interests include cognition and cognitive remediation in mental disorders, and Brahm's current work is evaluating the effectiveness of Goal Management Training (GMT), a cognitive remediation program, for PTSD. Brahm also has research experience in studying memory and cognition in aging and amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

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SARAH LADE

Graduate Student (PhD)

Ms. Sarah Lade is a Ph.D. candidate in the Trauma and Recovery Lab at McMaster University. She is also student in the Research and Clinical Training Stream of the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour. Her dissertation work focuses on qualitative dimensions of complex PTSD in multiple populations including first responders, personal support workers and military personelle. Her work examines how sexual misconduct impacts the experience of PTSD, as well as how gender identity and intersectional factors relate. She has significant applied clinical experience both in the assessment and treatment of complex trauma. She is in the final year of completing her degree in clinical psychology with an aim to specialize in both clinical neuropsychology and clinical psychology upon graduation.

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SOPHIA ROTH

Graduate Student (PhD)

Sophia (they/them) is a PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology at McMaster University and a Psychology Resident with the London Clinical Psychology Residency Consortium. Sophia's research interests centre around the psychological impact of trauma, moral injury, shame, and emotion dysregulation. Clinically, Sophia specializes in youth and young adult mental health and well-being with an emphasis on anxiety-related disorders and minority stress in 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

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ANNA PARK

Graduate Student (Ph.D.)

Anna (she/her) is a Ph.D. Candidate in Research and Clinical Psychology at McMaster University. She holds her M.Sc. in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology from the University of St. Andrews, UK, and her B.Sc. in Psychology from McGill University. She researches dissociation symptoms and their associations with cognitive and functional impairment in Canadian military, Veteran, and public safety personnel with PTSD. Her clinical experiences include working at the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic and Mood Disorders Program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, as well the Integrated Day Treatment, and Work, Stress, and Health Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.

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MEGAN LALL

Graduate Student (MSc)

I completed my undergraduate degree in neuroscience at University of Toronto. I also completed an undergraduate thesis within the biological sciences focusing on the characterization of fatty acid, cutin and cuticular wax accumulation in poplar species with varying beta-ketoacyl Coa synthase expression. I have experience working with those in the criminal justice system and currently an ABA therapist. Recently, I am now taking part in the moral injury project within the forensics population. This project is a multi site and multi phase study that involves the development and validation of the first tool to measure moral injury within the forensic psychiatric population. I often spend my spare time hiking, socializing, and reading.

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SANDHYA NARIKUZHY

Graduate Student (PhD)

Sandhya Narikuzhy is currently an PhD student in the Neuroscience program at McMaster University under the supervision of Drs. Andrew Nicholson and Margaret McKinnon. Her current research focuses on investigating the neural correlates of minority stress using fMRI and machine learning techniques. Sandhya completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University in the Life Sciences program, specializing in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour. Additionally, she worked extensively at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) examining the effects of culturally adapted cognitive behavioural therapy (CA-CBT).

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ANDREA D'ALESSANDRO

Graduate Student (MSc)

Andrea is a graduate student in the Neuroscience program at McMaster University where she is co-supervised by Dr. Margaret McKinnon and Dr. Randi McCabe. Her MSc thesis focuses on respiratory therapists' mental health and experiences with moral injury during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond her thesis work, she is a core member of the COVID-19-related moral injury in healthcare workers and public safety personnel research team in the Trauma and Recovery Lab.

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JILLIAN LOPES

Graduate Student (MSc)

Jillian recently completed her undergraduate degree in the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program at McMaster University and is now a Master’s student in psychology under the supervision of Dr. Margaret McKinnon. Her primary research focus is military sexual trauma and misconduct. Her thesis work surrounds the effect of sexual trauma on interpersonal relationships, specifically, intimate partner relationships. Jillian also works within the lab as a Research Assistant and is involved with numerous other projects related to PTSD as well as moral injury.

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MAUDA KARRAM

Undergraduate Student

Mauda is an undergraduate student in the (science honours) Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour (mental health specialization) program with a minor in Theatre and Film studies at McMaster University. Her broad research interests encompass the impact of various mental health difficulties on functionality, and related prevention and intervention styles. Her current research in the Trauma and Recovery Lab involves an exploration of the coping strategies utilized by Canadian healthcare workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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TANYA GHAI

Undergraduate Research Assistant

My name is Tanya Ghai and I am going into my 4th year of Honours Life Sciences. I am also minoring in Psychology. With a strong passion in this discipline, I took on this opportunity to work under Dr. Margaret as this will allow me to take on Masters later in the field of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Psychology. I will be working under the supervision of Dr. Krysta and Dr.Sherain for the upcoming project this year and then doing a research course. I have a wide array of interests outside of my major ambitions such as a passion for mental health advocacy, culture, and fitness. I am driven to make positive and impactful contributions in this lab and I am eager to expand my social network and build novel connections to discover new opportunities.

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STEPHANIE PENTA

Clinical Research Coordinator 

Stephanie graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University. Stephanie has 9 years of experience conducting psychological research, including 5 years managing observational studies and clinical trials on topics which pertain to substance use, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD. In the Trauma and Recovery Lab, Stephanie coordinates the SENSE-PTSD and EAL studies, which respectively evaluate the efficacy of Sensory Strategies Training and Equine Assisted Learning in various subpopulations with PTSD. In addition to her role in this lab, Stephanieis a Clinical Research Coordinator at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use and a Research Assistant in the Youth Wellness Centre at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. 

ALUMNI

Graduate Students

2017/09 – 2019/09 Aamna Quereshi, Master’s Thesis, McMaster University

2016/09 – 2017/08 Jessica Connolly, Master’s Thesis, McMaster University

2014/09 – 2019/09 Jenna Boyd, Doctorate, McMaster University

2014/09 – 2018/08 Duncan Henderson, Doctorate, McMaster University


2013/09 – 2018/08 Laura Keating, Doctorate, McMaster University

2009/9 – 2016/08 Carolina Oremus, Doctorate, McMaster University

2013/09 – 2015/09 Ryan Pyrke, Master's Thesis, McMaster University

2010/9 – 2015/09  Melissa Parlar, Doctorate, McMaster University

2010/9 – 2015/09  Anthony Nazarov, Doctorate, McMaster University

2009/9 – 2015/09 Maria Restivo, Doctorate, McMaster University

2013/9 – 2014/8 Jenna Boyd, Master's Thesis, McMaster University

2012/9 – 2014/06  Shera Hosseini, Master's Thesis, McMaster University

2008/9 – 2012/6 Andree Cusi, Doctorate, McMaster University

2007/9 – 2012/6 Liesel Ann Meusel, Doctorate, McMaster University


2008/9 – 2010/6 Matthew King, Master's Thesis, McMaster University

Undergraduate Students

2011-2012 - Karen Joseph, Psychology Honours Thesis

 

2011-2012 - Clarrisa Lau, Life Sciences Senior Project

 

2011-2012 - Isabella Zuchelkowski, Psychology Honours Thesis

 

2011-2012- Ruth Kim, Psychology Honours Thesis

 

2011 - Melanie Cochrane, Individual Library Study

 

2011 - Gagan Fervaha, Individual Library Stud.

 

2011 - Erica Tatham, Individual Library Study

 

2010-2011 - Moonyong Trista Kim, Psychology Honours Thesis

 

2009-2010 - Deeane Diagle, Psychology Honours Thesis

 

2009-2010 - Julia Smith, Psychology Honours Thesis

 

2009-2010 - Katherine Herdman, Psychology Honours Thesis

 

2009 - Jeffrey Mazurkewich, Psychology Independent Study

 

2009 - Sylvia Eleftheriou, Psychology Independent Study

 

2009 - Katherine Holhausen, Psychology Independent Study

 

2008-2009 - Andrea Silver, Psychology Honours Thesis

 

2008-2009 - Natalia Ziolkowski, Psychology Honours Thesis

 

2008-2009 - Mohammed Ali Abid, Life Sciences Independent Study

 

2008-2009 - Tatiana Ashkenazy, Life Sciences Senior Project

 

2008-2009 - Dilzayn Panjwani, Life Sciences Independent Study

 

2008-2009- Nosheen Chaudhry, Applied Life Sciences Placement

 

2008 - Liora Ginzburg, Psychology Independent Study

 

2007-2008-Anthony Nazarov, Psychology Independent Study

 

2007-2008 - Matthew King, Psychology Independent Study

 

2006-2007 - Elefteria Miskopolous, Psychology Independent Study

 

2005-2006 - Gurpreet Jaswal, Psychology Honours Thesis

 

2004-2005 - Saba Ul-Haq, Psychology Independent Study

 

2001-2002 - Jae-Jin Ryu, Psychology Independent Study