The overarching aim of the Behavioral Science Laboratory is to identify individuals who are most likely to engage in aggressive behavior as well as the environmental conditions that facilitate their aggression. As such, research in the lab examines a wide variety of risk factors for aggression. Major areas of focus include (1) examination of the effects of acute alcohol intoxication and cognitive processes on aggression – particularly intimate partner violence, (2) investigation of individual and situational variables that facilitate or inhibit prosocial bystander intervention for sexual violence, and (3) personality and attitudinal constructs (e.g., prejudice) and situational and/or social cues (e.g., the presence of others) on the perpetration of aggression toward sexual minorities. We recently completed an NIAAA funded multisite laboratory-based project with Purdue University (Christopher Eckhardt, Co-PI) designed to examine how specific affective and cognitive processes mediate the relationship between alcohol intoxication and intimate partner aggression. At present, we are conducting a new NIAAA funded study on the proximal effects of alcohol on the perpetration of intimate partner violence within same-sex couples (SS-IPV). In addition, additional ongoing projects address the major areas of focus described above.
Currently, COMIC scientists are working on six major programs of research: Numerical Cognition; Metacognition; Strategic Economic Interactions; Prospective Memory and Planning; Self-Control and Delay of Gratification; Perceptual and Cognitive Illusions. Student research opportunities include computerized and manual testing of human and nonhuman primate participants in these topic areas. The COMIC lab accepts students all year, including summer internships. Our research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation as well as Georgia State University.
Human factors research internships at AT&T Telecommunications are also available to select graduate students. For more information on this or other research opportunities please contact David Washburn.
The SCLSL is a component laboratory of Biobehavioral Foundations and Development of Cognitive Competence, a multi-investigator, multi-institutional program-project supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD060563).
The SCLSL offers opportunities for biobehavioral collaborative research with investigators from institutions around the world. Graduate and undergraduate students can be involved in every phase of the research. For additional information, please contact Dr. David A. Washburn.