Travis Research Institute

Research in the School of Psychology takes place within the context of Travis Research Institute (TRI) named after Dr. Lee Edward Travis, the school’s founding Dean, a brilliant pioneering experimental physiological psychologist, speech pathologist, and clinical psychologist. TRI is the embodiment of Travis’s legacy of empirical research and scholarship in psychology today. TRI is committed to fostering interdisciplinary research into the relationships between social systems, environmental situations, personality, mental and affective states, cognitive processes, neurobiological functions, and spiritual and religious states and practices. An important role of TRI is the establishment and maintenance of a research infrastructure that encourages large-scale collaborative research and facilitates obtaining research funding for the various projects.

The institute is organized into several Research Centers, constituting the major foci of large-scale collaborative ongoing work. Centers involve both empirical and theoretical scholarship.

The Center for Biopsychosocial Research

The Center for Biopsychosocial Research seeks to understand the interactions between neural and biologic systems and the social, psychological, and spiritual/religious functioning of persons. Major areas of study have involved the cognitive disabilities associated with congenital brain abnormalities, the role of interactions between the two cerebral hemispheres in higher human mental processes, autonomic/affective responses in depression and panic disorder, and health and illness prevention.

Co-Directors: Drs. Warren S. Brown, Alexis Abernethy

Faculty (in alphabetical order): Drs. Alexis Abernethy, Warren S. Brown, Sarah DeBoard Marion, Archibald Hart, and Lynn K. Paul

The Center for Research in Trauma, Coping, and Community Resilience (TCCR)

TCCR seeks to expand current understanding of resilience in response to acute, chronic, and traumatic stress in both individuals and communities through innovative research and consultation.

The ongoing mission of TCCR is to

  1. Examine the role of religiousness and spirituality in coping and resilience,
  2. Explore cultural dynamics in the experience of and response to trauma and stress, and
  3. Generate models to inform efforts of prevention and intervention.

The Thrive Center for Human Development

“. . . exploring the science and practice of nurturing optimal development.”

The Thrive Center exists to promote human thriving by

  • Researching the development of child and adolescent spirituality, character, and competence, and
  • Providing resources for individuals and organizations that assist young people to become flourishing adults.

Director: Dr. Justin Barrett

Manager: Rebecca Dorsey Sok

Faculty (in alphabetical order): Drs. Justin Barrett, James Furrow, Pamela Ebstyne King, Sarah Schnitker, and Maria Wong

The Center for Research in Psychotherapy and Religion

The Center for Research in Psychotherapy and Religion (CPR) is committed to the empirical and theoretical study of psychotherapy and religion and their interaction. The goal is to improve the quality of treatments, the training of therapists, and the mental health delivery system through research and scholarship. CPR focuses on the relationship of psychotherapy process and outcome; the appropriate role of religion in psychotherapy; and the impact of public policy on mental health reform. The center is committed to high caliber clinical outcome and process research that addresses practical issues facing therapists on the front-line of treatment delivery, and CPR aims to be a national resource for information on religiously sensitive therapy and a venue fir training graduate students and post-doctoral clinicians. Moreover, the center promotes scholarly research that encourages public policy that is supportive of and sensitive to matters of religion and spirituality.

Faculty (in alphabetical order): Drs. Al Dueck, Scott Garrels, Winston Gooden, and Siang-Yang Tan