SEE Research Group


The Stressful Events and Experiences (SEE) Research Group is a psychology research group directed by Michael DiStaso, I/O Psychology PhD student. The goal of the research group is to better understand how employees react to and process stressful events at work. We accept new team members each semester depending on the demand of the projects.

We strongly believe in training team members on research-related knowledge and skills. Undergraduate students are valued members of the research group. Our projects are open to incorporate student ideas. The research group is designed to foster student growth and the members are a cohesive team.

Recently, the research group has been also studying interpersonal mistreatment experiences and the characteristics of those experiences that make employees feel stressed. We also have been studying the outcomes of future-oriented thinking and comparative thinking on well-being.




MichaelMichael is a third-year PhD student in the I/O Psychology program. He received his B.A. in Psychology and International Relations from The College of New Jersey. He is interested in studying characteristics of work events that may be perceived as stressful. He is also interested in future-oriented cognition; specifically, the simulation and prediction of future stressful events.

Michael Angela is a third year Psychology major with a declared Industrial/Organizational track, along with a minor in Public Administration, and Human Resources certificate. She is currently the Research Group Manager for SEE, and this position has allowed her to engage in a plethora of useful skills such as organization, communication, and leadership; while the research group itself lets her explore and understand work stress. Her ultimate goal is to be able to study and implement systems into the workplace that allow for more diversity and overall equality for minority groups. SEE has given her many applicable experiences with the research process. She has been the Study Coordinator for an online research study about comparative thinking. Her poster was accepted into the 2020 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) at UCF, and she was awarded the 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to conduct her research.

Michael Ignacio is a third year Psychology major with a track in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. His goal in the field is to be able to use his communication skills to help other people identify, change, and resolve the problems that are too out of reach for them to deal with themselves. He has a massive interest in behavioral functioning as well as experimental studies.. He is a Study Coordinator for the research group which has allowed him to develop skills both interpersonally and using tools such as Excel, SPSS, and Qualtrics. His poster was accepted into the 2020 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence at UCF, and he was awarded the 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to study COVID-19.

MichaelEram is a third year Psychology major with a specified track in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology with a certificate in Human Resources. She is currently a Study Coordinator for SEE’s Workplace Expectations study which provides her with the opportunity to gain research and leadership experience. Her poster about rumination was accepted into the 2020 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence at UCF. SEE has helped her to understand and explore the nuances of organizational research and she is humbled at the opportunity to learn more about job stress/satisfaction as well as professional interpersonal communication. This experience contributes to her aspirations to work in HR and specialize in job satisfaction and maintenance of a healthy and efficient workplace.

MichaelMagali is a fourth year Psychology major, with a declared track in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a certificate in Human Resources. Her future career goal is to work for an organization as a talent acquisition specialist, focusing on recruiting, assessing, and hiring the best talent to meet business objectives. She is currently a Participant Coordinator for SEE. Working as an RA has also helped her learn more about workplace mistreatment, interpersonal communication, and job satisfaction. Recently, she was accepted into the 2020 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence at UCF and took part in the Organizational Science Summer (OSSI) Institute program at the University of North Carolina.

MichaelZoe is a fourth-year Psychology major with a track in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a certificate in Human Resources. Her future career goal is to become an internal consultant for a major corporation to help facilitate a more productive work environment and make a positive impact on the organization. Working as a SONA Study Coordinator in the SEE Research Group has led to her peaked interest and understanding about interpersonal mistreatment and helping at work and has provided her with essential knowledge about how to conduct research. Recently, she has become a Study Coordinator for a COVID-19 focused study that the SEE research group is conducting. She has also been accepted into the 2020 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) and the 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF).

Giselle ChavianoGiselle is a first-year Psychology major with a track in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, a minor in Writing and Rhetoric, and a Human Resources certificate. She is currently a Research Assistant for the SEE research group in order to enhance her research skills and develop her I-O skillset. Her career aspiration is to work for an organization as an internal consultant, focusing on hiring and staffing decisions in order to improve workplace productivity and overall organizational performance. She has been able to help with ongoing research by running participants, creating surveys using Qualtrics, and coding survey responses.


Mistreatment Characteristics
Being subjected to incivility, undermining, and harassment is often distressing. However, some events are more stressful than others. Our research examines characteristics of mistreatment events to better understand what kinds of events are most stressful.


Helping as a Stressor
Performing organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) and helping others is considered positive and desirable. However, helping others can also be stressful for the person providing help. Our research examines circumstances that make helping stressful.


Prospective Thinking
Work stress researchers have traditionally focused on studying reactions to present or recently-experienced events. However, for many employees, the anticipation of possible negative events (e.g. job loss) or positive changes (e.g. pay raise) in the future may influence their well-being in the present. Several of our studies examine the effects of future expectations.


Comparative Thinking
People make judgments about their current job conditions by comparing them to others’  job conditions. Our research investigates the positive and negative consequences of comparative judgments.


The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we work. Organizations have had to change the way that they operate in order to meet general health safety standards, which has affected millions of jobs across various industries. We are studying how workers are perceiving the pandemic with respect to their jobs and how it affects their lives.


Hospitality Industry Affected by COVID-19
Workers within the hospitality industry were especially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic because multiple organizations closed for the safety of their workers and customers. Many jobs were impacted by these closures, causing much uncertainty among workers. This research examines the outcomes of various organizational reactions to COVID-19 as well as employees’ perceptions of support.



Our projects involve working closely with a small team of researchers on a volunteer basis. Students who work in the research group as research assistants have a variety of responsibilities ranging from running participants and collecting data to analyzing data, reviewing literature, and developing their own research ideas.

As a research assistant, you will read research articles about stress and well-being and contribute to discussions about the research articles. You will also be trained on research methods used in I/O psychology (especially experience sampling methods) and beginner- and intermediate-level analytical techniques.

When there is an opening for a position, SPIOP will email undergraduate students with a link to the research group application. Those interested in joining the research group must complete the application and interview with research group personnel before being accepted.