Vaughn Becker’s work applies an evolutionary and dynamical systems perspective to the study of the psychological mechanisms that drive conscious and nonconscious cognition and behavior. He is particularly interested in how fundamental emotional and motivational systems affect everything from basic cognitive processing (attention and memory) to decision-making and socially coordinated behavior (e.g., interpersonal cooperation, consumer behavior). His work has been applied to address a wide range of problems, including prejudice and discrimination, military signal detection, the assessment of workplace stress and cognitive fatigue, the management of resource dilemmas, and lock-in phenomena in consumer markets. He has over 20 peer-reviewed publications in some of the top journals in psychology (including Psychological Science and theJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, two flagship journals in the field), and his work has been written up in several popular press magazines, newspapers and online forums. He has created numerous software programs, developing an extensive repertoire of cognitive and social experimental methods which spans the range of cognitive, affective and social content areas, all of which has entailed extensive experience with process optimization and user-centered design.
Becker has been teaching courses in Psychology since 2000, and regularly teaches graduate courses in the design and analysis of experiments and multiple regression and correlation analysis. He also has experience with psychological measurement, the design and analysis of survey instruments, and a variety of advanced statistical methods like multidimensional scaling, confirmatory factor analysis, path analysis and multilevel modeling, and is proficient in the statistical analysis packages SAS, SPSS, and R. He also has substantial programming experience in a variety of languages, including prolog, LISP, Visual Basic, EBasic, Director/Lingo, Java, C , Perl, and several other discipline-specific languages.
- Perception, attention, memory and decision making regarding social information
- Evolutionary, ecological and embodied perspectives in cognitive science
- Agent based modeling, complexity science and dynamical systems approaches behavior coordination and human-systems integration
- Emotion and motivation as moderators of cognitive functioning and decision making