Statement of Research Interests

I am a social psychologist whose primary research interest is in the study of human aggression. My work concentrates on the cognitive and behavioral effects of aggression-related cues (in particular, media violence and weapon images), as well as individual differences in aggressive cognition and behavior. More recently, I have become interested in examining the role of both short-term and long-term exposure to mass media on the cultivation of social attitudes toward violence (such as the practice of torture). I have secondary interest in political psychology, with a particular focus on right-wing authoritarianism. Much of my research intersects with other disciplines such as Communication.

Although my faculty appointments have been at universities primarily geared toward teaching, I maintain an active research program. In fact, I consider original research to be the life blood of any university. Given my emphasis on the importance of research, I have one primary aim in mind: getting students involved in the science of psychology. At my current post, our majors have an opportunity each fall semester to present their research at our Psychology Symposium, and I regularly sponsor students' projects that are presented each spring at the university's annual Research Day. At this point, all of my most recently published research, as well as those manuscripts that are currently under review or in press have been accomplished with the cooperation of undergraduate student researchers. Our program is developing to the point to where I am now able to include students as co-authors on publishable manuscripts. In the process, I increasingly have the opportunity to mentor young scholars in a way that is similar to which one might mentor a graduate level student.

Undergraduate Research Assistants Past and Present

Holly Jones (present)

Luke Jones (2017)

David Parks (2017)

Joshua Harmon (2016)

Hannah Ware (2016)

Woodrow Solon Pender (2016)

Meagan Crosby (2015)

Sarah Oelke (2014)

Joshua Ellis (2014)

Kelly Franklin (2012)