Dr. Prior’s Research Statement (2022-2023)

     I became a work psychologist because I believe that work is a gift. I consider it an honor to do research that can potentially help improve the fit between the worker and the workplace.

     My work-related research has been inspired by the work of Paul Muchinsky (2008) and many others.  Past research has examined rewards management, leadership styles, generational differences, cognitive appraisals, and invisible disabilities in the workplace. A current research project, which is a mixed-methods study conducted with Dr. West, explored how technology changes impacted workers’ employment in organizations. The purpose was to learn more about job quality, for Gen Z workers, facilitated by advancing technological systems in the workplace. I am also working on my first longitudinal study, which will follow entry-level workers during their first five years of employment. The purpose of this study is to understand behavior in work settings while exploring time management, motivation, and work-life balance among entry level workers. We will also examine onboarding, performance appraisals, turnover, and technology as it relates to these workers.

     My experience with teaching about research involves helping students across a variety of subjects and projects (i.e. Research for classes, Master’s Degree Theses, Dissertation Chapters, etc.). My role as an advisor has included helping students with concept papers and proposals, method, problem statement development, formatting and alignment, lit review, and data collection and analyses. I have also helped learners demystify SPSS by highlighting underlying assumptions for the various statistical tests and demonstrating how to use specific instructions for conducting appropriate tests.

     The approach I have for teaching about research methodology developed from Creswell’s (2013) triad of frameworks: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches. The research problem is what determines design choice (as well as researcher experience and audience) and my approach to helping students developed from Trochim and Donnelly’s (2008) questions for designing a research proposal. This includes strategies for determining epistemology (theory of knowledge that informs the research); theoretical perspective (positivism and post- positivism, constructivism, interpretivism, critical theory, etc.); methodology (experiment, survey, ethnography, etc.); and appropriate methods and techniques (questionnaire, interview, focus group, etc.). I also enjoy creating customized pdfs and short videos to help students understand the validity strategies that make research trustworthy and defensible.

    While working on my dissertation (defended in October 2015), during some of the waiting times, I found myself mentoring fellow classmates via forums. For example, one student posted about trying to understand the difference between quantitative and qualitative research and I shared some of the lessons I had learned. I did not realize it at the time, but this was my passion for teaching coming out and that student and I still keep in touch. I am a life-long student and I enjoy sharing what I have learned by teaching in different roles. 


Creswell, J. W. (2012). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage. 

Muchinsky, P. (2008). Psychology applied to work. Wadsworth 

Trochim, W. & Donnelly, J. (2008). The research methods knowledge base (3rd ed.) Cengage. 

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