Department of Psychology

How Human Cognitive Performance is Impacted by Pressure-Filled Situations

Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard we study for a test or prepare for an interview, we find ourselves completely failing when the pressure leans on us. We blank on test answers that we were sure we knew, or we get tongue-tied when our interviewer asks what our greatest weakness is. But why? Why exactly is it that these high-stakes situations cause us to fail? Past research within my lab has provided an initial explanation for the phenomenon: cognitive resources that could be used for one task are co-opted by thoughts pertaining to personal performance.

NEH Public Scholars Program

The Public Scholar program supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership. Although humanities scholarship can be specialized, the humanities also strive to engage broad audiences in exploring subjects of general interest. They seek to deepen our understanding of the human condition as well as current conditions and contemporary problems. The Public Scholar program aims to encourage scholarship that will be of broad interest and have lasting impact.

Visiting Scholars Program

The Russell Sage Foundation's Visiting Scholar Program provides a unique opportunity for select scholars in the social, economic and behavioral sciences to pursue their research and writing while in residence at the Foundation’s New York headquarters. Research carried out by Visiting Scholars constitutes an important part of the Foundation’s ongoing effort to analyze and understand the complex and shifting nature of social and economic life in the United States.

The Social and Neurological Construction of Martyrdom project receives 3.2M funding

Professor of Political Science, Bob Pape and Professor of Psychology, Jean Decety have been selected by the Minerva Directorate in the Office of the Secretary of Defense to receive $3.2M for their project, The Social and Neurological Construction of Martyrdom. The project will analyze the brain activity of suicide terrorists as they watch recruitment videos produced by groups like ISIS to better understand how the videos persuade individuals to become radicalized martyrs.