Hello, my name is Tara Busch, I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
As a social psychologist, my research aims to 1) better understand sexual health decision making in order to positively influence healthy behaviors, and 2) determine the influence of sexual health choices and gender inequality on perceptions of others. I utilize experimental, quasi-experimental, qualitative, and quantitative methodologies, and draw upon a wide variety of theoretical perspectives and theories such as social role theory, social learning theory, and evolutionary theories to formulate my research questions. More recently, I have also gained interest in the distinction between sexual and romantic fantasies, and what role fantasies play in romantic and close relationships. Some questions my research aims to answer include:
How is sexual health decision making impacted by the perceptions of others?
How do gender inequalities impact sexual health decision making?
How does the Sexual Double Standard impact other areas of life, and how can its negative impact be reduced?
How do sexual and romantic fantasies affect behavior in close and romantic relationships?
As a mentor and an educator of psychology, my primary goals are to: 1) inspire and empower students' curiosity and critical thinking about the social world around them and 2) to create opportunities to develop tangible skills. My research focused, purpose-driven teaching style enables students to leave my classes with real-world skills that will increase their success and happiness. I have experience teaching in person and online courses of varied sizes; whether I have 9 students or 150 in a class, I make learning intimate and meaningful through the utilization of team-based learning, a teaching strategy designed for teamwork with emphasis on evidence-based and application-focused learning.
In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, cooking and baking, reading, being active (rock climbing, hiking, biking, dancing, etc.), volunteering at the local animal shelter, and playing card and board games. I recently completed my goal of reaching all 50 states.