Human Research and IRB

Institutional Review Board

If participants or researchers are ACU faculty, staff or students, and the research -- whether external or internal -- involves human subjects, the project director or principal investigator (PI) must submit a Research Review Request to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). He or she must obtain approval before beginning the research. If the PI has received IRB approval from another institution with whom he or she is affiliated, the IRB application and approval should be attached to the email submission of the completed ACU Research Review Request or IRB Authorization Agreement. The Institutional Review Board page will provide further information on how to submit an application for a study and what to do once it is approved.

Protecting Human Participants Training 

Research involving human participants must abide by the Federal Regulations protecting human subjects (45 CFR 46 and 21 CFR, as appropriate). It is the responsibility of the investigators to become familiar with these regulations and ensure that all studies conducted at ACU abide by these policies. It is currently highly recommended that all investigators receive training on the history and current policies of human research ethics. As of January 1, 2016, all research protocols submitted to the IRB will require this training for every member of the research team. The Protecting Human Participants page will provide further information on these regulations and training. 

New in Reasearch

Dr. Ryan Jessup, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Dr. Jessup is interested in decisions.  What causes people to choose poorly?  How do learning and contextual factors influence choice?  In seeking to answer these questions, his research uses psychological models of motivation to distill the computational properties of decision making.  Computational modeling enhances research by requiring precision in theory formulation and constraining predictions.

One of Dr. Jessup’s primary streams of research concerns the behavioral differences between decisions when options are completely described vs. decisions when options must be learned about via experience.  Prior research found that individuals choose quite differently between the two paradigms but the reasons underlying the difference are poorly understood.  One of Dr. Jessup’s studies demonstrated that the reception of feedback overwhelms descriptive information, driving the behavioral differences between paradigms.  This work has led him and his colleagues (including Dr. John Homer and undergraduate researcher Allison Phillips) to build a new model that merges sophisticated decision making mechanisms with reinforcement learning in order to successfully predict behavior in both paradigms better than existing models. Dr. Jessup has previously received Cullen awards for this work and is currently seeking external funding to continue this fascinating line of research.

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