The Spark Lab is directed by Dr. Anastasia (Stacey) Makhanova, assistant professor of psychological science at the University of Arkansas.

We are an interdisciplinary lab. Our research combines the experimental and methodological strengths of social psychology with assessments of biological processes borrowed from endocrinology, immunology, as well as research on animal behavior.

We often use evolutionary theory to generate research questions and use a variety of sociocognitive measures to test our predictions.

Our lab’s mission is to spark interest in understanding how and why social perception is linked to biological processes, such as hormone levels and immune system functioning. We study how peoples’ motivations and biological processes influence the way they perceive other people around them – from strangers to spouses.