My work focuses on the way various social factors influence processes we might classically construe as psychological. For example:
Religion and Self-Regulation
Self-regulation describes the psychological processes that people engage when pursuing goals. For example, self-monitoring, valuation, and motivational processes all influence intentional action. This on-going project examines the various psychological avenues through which religiosity shapes these self-regulatory processes. I’m particularly interested in the ways that self-regulation plays a mediating role within other research on religion and health, and religion and cooperation.
Religion and Mental Health
This project explores the dynamic relationship between religious engagement and various forms of mental health. I analyze how religious engagement can create alternative interpretations of mental illness and how these interpretations then influence health behaviors. Colleagues and I recently concluded a qualitative study on religiosity, income-insecurity, and depression. I am preparing a new branch of this project that will address the relationship between religiosity and substance abuse.
Religion and Dual-Process Theory
Dual-process theory is psychological account of two different modes of thinking: fast/slow, intuitive/analytical, system 1/system 2, holistic/abstract,… The list goes on and that’s a huge source of confusion. This project works to untangle some of this confusion and constrain interpretations surrounding the relationship between religiosity and a preference for intuitive thought.