As a learner-centered and discovery-driven institution, Western Michigan University values the research of its faculty. The following lists the research interests of faculty members in the Department of Psychology.

Jonathan Baker

  • Applied research in Behavioral Gerontology, including the assessment/treatment of behavioral excesses and developing programs that remediate behavioral deficits in older adults with Neurocognitive disorders/dementia, treatment adoption and verbal behavior.
  • Applied research in staff training in aging/intellectual disabilities human services 
  • Translational research in Behavioral Gerontology

Lisa Baker

  • Behavioral pharmacology of addictive drugs
  • Preclinical screening of addictive drugs for abuse liability including drug discrimination, conditioned place preference, and behavioral sensitization procedures
  • Preclinical screening of novel psychiatric medications for pharmacotherapeutic potential.

Hugo Curiel

  • Stimulus preference assessments
  • Reinforcer assessments
  • Gender issues

Amy Damashek

  • Unintentional childhood injury
  • Child maltreatment

Anthony DeFulio

  • Contingency management and health incentives
  • Behavioral economics
  • Behavioral pharmacology

Wayne Fuqua

  • The management of health risk behaviors, including eating, exercise, and various behaviors
  • Developmental disabilities and functional assessment and analysis
  • Training and dissemination of evidence-based behavioral practices

Scott Gaynor

  • Psychotherapy process and outcome
  • Contemporary behavior therapy

Heather McGee

  • Comprehensive behavioral systems analysis
  • Behavior based safety
  • Instructional technology and learning

Amy Naugle

  • Emotional, psychological, and interpersonal factors associated with stress, trauma, and adversity
  • Clinical outcome research and contextual behavioral interventions (behavioral activation, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness-based treatments)
  • Analogue methods of studying emotional responding and emotion regulation

Sacha Pence

  • Effects of treatment integrity errors on intervention outcomes
  • Assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior
  • Staff training

Stephanie Peterson

  • Dimensions of reinforcement
  • Choice between communication and problem behavior for children in the applied setting,
  • Behavioral technology
  • Literacy and special education

Cynthia J. Pietras

  • Behavioral pharmacology, models of choice
  • Pro-social and aggressive behavior
  • Experimental analysis of human and nonhuman behavior

Sarah Pinkelman

  • Bridging the research-to-practice gap
  • The application of behavior analysis to public school systems and classrooms
  • School-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS)

Alan Poling

  • Applied behavior analysis (recent staff training, exercise, training for employment)
  • Experimental analysis of behavior (including scent detection and behavioral pharmacology)
  • Gender issues 

Sharlet Rafacz

  • Rule-governed behavior
  • Motivating operations, reinforcement, and aversive contingencies in organizational settings
  • Health and well-being in the workplace

Ron Van Houten

  • Traffic safety
  • Simulation research
  • Community and organizational psychology

Jessica Van Stratton

  • Concurrent operants as treatment for problem behavior

  • Social skills training, self-monitoring/self-management
  • Practitioner and teacher training