Robert Moeller

Assistant Professor of Psychology

 Summer: By appointment only.
 McCardell Bicentennial Hall 277

Robert W. Moeller is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, and a Developmental Psychologist. He received a Ph.D. in Psychological Development from New York University, an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, and B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University.

Professor Moeller’s research has focused on the development of health behaviors among adolescent and young adults. Utilizing both longitudinal and cross-sectional research designs with both quantitative and qualitative data, Professor Moeller has studied trajectories of risks and resiliencies associated with substance use, mental health and sexual behavior. His research explores the intersection of multiple identities of race/ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation associated with health promoting behaviors. Most recently, his research has focused on the role of emotions and trust in the decision making process. Specifically, Professor Moeller has been studying the development of trust in intimate relationships and exploring how individuals utilize trust to make decisions associated with health seeking behaviors.



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

PSYC 0202 - Research Methods in Psychology      

Research Methods in Psychology
This course will provide students with an understanding of the research methodology used by psychologists. Students will learn to read psychological studies and other related research as informed consumers. Students will collect, analyze, and interpret data during lab assignments. They will also design an empirical study, review the related literature, and write a formal APA-style research proposal. (PSYC 0105 and PSYC 0201 or MATH 0116 or ECON 0210; not open to first-year students; open to psychology majors; neuroscience majors by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./1.5 hr. lab CW DED

Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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PSYC 0216 - Adolescence      

This course is designed to provide an overview of adolescent development, including the biological, cognitive, and social transitions of individuals during this period of life. Development also takes place in context, and we will pay particular attention to the role of family, peer group, school, work, and culture. Students will read research literature, as well as cases, in order to examine the central psychological issues of this developmental period, including identity, autonomy, intimacy, sexuality, and achievement. (PSYC 0105; open to seniors by waiver only) 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc. SOC

Fall 2013

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PSYC 0225 - Child Development      

Child Development
In this course, we will examine the nature of developmental change from the prenatal period through middle childhood. Our critical examination of developmental processes will invite us to consider various theoretical perspectives (e.g., learning, cognitive, biological, contextual) across various domains of development (i.e., physical, social-emotional, and cognitive). We will address major themes in developmental psychology, such as the interrelatedness of development across domains, the contributions of nature and nurture, and the relative continuity versus discontinuity of developmental change. Throughout, we will practice applying developmental principles to practical settings, policy issues, and topics of current interest. (PSYC 0105; open to seniors by waiver only) 3 hrs. lect. SOC

Spring 2014, Spring 2015

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PSYC 0320 - Social/Emotional Development      

Social and Emotional Development
In this course students will explore current research and theory on the interrelated domains of social and emotional development from infancy through adulthood. Families and peers serve as the primary relationships for children’s and adolescents’ socialization, and relationships will be explored to further understand how they influence emotion regulation, adaptation to stressful life events, and intrapersonal conflicts. Emphasis will be placed on the role of context and culture in the formation of social and emotional competencies and experiences. We will explore the theory and practice of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curricula to enhance individuals’ social and emotional skills. (PSYC 0105; PSYC 0216 or PSYC 0225; Open to Psychology majors, others by waiver). 3 hrs. lect./1.5 hrs lab. SOC

Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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PSYC 0327 - Educational Psychology      

Educational Psychology
The goal of this course is to introduce students to a psychological understanding of teaching and learning through an overview of principles, issues, and related research in educational psychology. The course will examine theories of learning, complex cognitive processes, cognitive and emotional development, motivation, and the application of these constructs to effective instruction, the design of optimum learning environments, assessment of student learning, and teaching in diverse classrooms. (PSYC 0105 and PSYC 0216 or PSYC 0225; not open to first-year students; open to psychology majors, and to education studies minors by waiver) 3 hrs. lect. SOC

Spring 2014

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PSYC 0350 - Directed Research      

Directed Research in Psychology
Directed research provides opportunities for advanced students to become familiar with and participate in ongoing research projects under the direction of a faculty member. The student will first read background literature on the content area to be investigated and experimental methodologies to be used. Procedures involved in conducting psychological research will then be learned through firsthand experience. Potential activities include the design of research and the defining of conceptual variables and the gathering, analyzing, and interpretation of data. Finally, students will learn how to write technical articles in psychology by preparing a paper describing the project, using APA style. (Approval required; not open to first-year students) 3 hrs. lect.

Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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PSYC 0440 - Health Psychology      

Health Psychology
In this course we will explore contributions of psychological research and theory to the treatment, management, and prevention of illness, as well as the promotion of health. Students will consider how the psychological study of health has led to new insights of mind-body connections. We will primarily focus on health issues in the United States, but we will also explore health in a global context. Course readings and activities will focus on such topics as HIV/AIDS, obesity, stress management, and health promotion behaviors. Students will choose a health promotion topic that will be pursued in greater detail throughout the course, and present their work in class. (Open to junior and senior psychology majors, others by approval) 3 hr. sem. SOC

Fall 2013, Spring 2015

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PSYC 0500 - Advanced Research      

Advanced Research
A program of research arranged to meet the needs of advanced students majoring in psychology. (Approval required)

Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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PSYC 0700 - Senior Research      

Senior Research
A program of research arranged to meet the needs of advanced senior majors in psychology. (PSYC 0201 and PSYC 0202; Approval required)

Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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PSYC 0701 - Senior Thesis Proposal      

Senior Thesis Proposal
Students hoping to be considered as candidates for departmental honors must enroll in PSYC 0701 under the sponsorship of a department faculty member and submit a formal, written research proposal to the department by 5 p.m. on the Wednesday during the final week of fall classes in their senior year. If the proposal is approved, the student will enroll in PSYC 0702 during the winter term and PSYC 0703 during the spring term of their senior year. (Feb graduates should consult with their advisors about the appropriate semester in which to begin a thesis.) (PSYC 0201 and PSYC 0202; Approval required)

Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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PSYC 0702 - Senior Thesis Second Semester      

Senior Thesis Second Semester
Students whose honors thesis proposal (PSYC 0701) has been approved will collect, analyze, and interpret their data. This is the second semester of the 3-semester senior thesis. (PSYC 0201, PSYC 0202, and PSYC 0701; Approval required)

Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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PSYC 0703 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis*
This is the third and final semester of the senior thesis. Students will finish analyzing, and interpreting their data. This process culminates in a written thesis to be submitted by 4 p.m. on the Monday BEFORE the final week of spring classes, a presentation, and an oral defense. The decision about awarding departmental honors will be made after the student submits the thesis. (PSYC 0201, PSYC 0202, and PSYC 0702; Approval required)

Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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Selected Publications

Moeller, R.W., Palamar, J.J., Halkitis, P.N., & Siconolfi, D.E. (2014). An episodic analysis of substance use and risky sexual behavior in a racially diverse sample of young men who have sex with men. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 26, 168-185.

Moeller, R.W., Halkitis, P.N., Siconolfi, D.E., Pollock, J.A., & Barton, S. (2013). When the emotions really started kicking in, which ended up being a problem: Sex, HIV and emotions among young gay and bisexual men. Journal of Homosexuality, 60(5), 773-795.
Moeller, R.W., Halkitis, P.N., & Surrence, K. (2011). The interplay of syndemic production and serosorting in drug using gay and bisexual men. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 23, 1-18.
Homer, B.D., Solomon, T.M., Moeller, R.W., Mascia, A., DeRaleau, L., & Halkitis, P.N. (2008). Methamphetamine abuse and impairment of social functioning: A Review of the underlying neurophysiological causes and behavioral implications. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 301-310.
Siconolfi, D. E., Kapadia, F., Halkitis, P. N., Moeller, R. W., Storholm, E. D., Barton, S. C., Solomon, T. M., & Jones, D. (2013). Sexual health screening among racially/ethnically diverse young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(5), 620-626.
Pollock, J.A., Halkitis, P.N., Moeller, R.W., Solomon, T.M., Barton, S.C., Blachman-Forshay, J, Love, H.T., Jr., & Siconolfi, D.E. (2011) Alcohol use among young men who have sex with men. Substance Use and Misuse, 47, 12-21.
Dragowski, A.D., Halkitis, P.N., Moeller, R.W., & Siconolfi, D.E. (2013). Social and sexual contexts explain sexual risk taking in young gay, bisexual and other young men who have sex with men, ages 13-29 years. Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services, 12, 236-255.
Halkitis, P.N., Moeller, R.W., Siconolfi, D.E., Storholm E.D., Solomon, T.M., & Bub, K.L. (2013). Measurement model exploring a syndemic in emerging adult gay and bisexual men. AIDS and Behavior, 17, 662-673.
Halkitis, P.N., Brockwell, S.R., Moeller, R.W., Siconolfi, D., Cutler, B, & Sussman, R.D. (2011). Sexual behaviors of adolescent emerging and young adult men who have sex with men ages 13–29 in New York City. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 56(3), 285-291.
Siconolfi, D., & Moeller, R.W. (2007). Serosorting. Bulletin of Experimental Treatments for AIDS (BETA), 19(2), 45-49.

Selected Conference Presentations

Moeller, R.W., Halkitis, P., & Siconolfi, D. (2011, November). Episodic analysis of illicit drug use and sexual risk taking in YMSM ages 13-29 in NYC. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA 2011). Washington, D.C.
Moeller, R.W. (2009, August). Exploring resiliencies in young men who have sex with men.  Presentation at the American Psychological Association’s 2009 Convention. Toronto, ON, Canada.

Moeller, R.W., Halkitis, P.N., Siconolfi, D.E. (2009, August). Dispelling the myths of young urban Black and Latino MSM.  Presentation at the International Academy of Sex Research. San Juan, PR.
Moeller, R.W. (2008, September). Social cognition functioning and methamphetamine use. Presentation at the Global conference on methamphetamine: Science, strategy, and response. Prague, Czech Republic.

Department of Psychology

McCardell Bicentennial Hall
276 Bicentennial Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753