I use multi-level and cross-national survey analysis and neurological experimental techniques to study social phenomena like ethno-racial inequalities, values, political action, social capital, and well-being.
I study the social psychology of inter-group relationships with an innovative empirical approach that combines sociological multi-level survey analysis with neurological experimental techniques. As a faculty at the GSU, I have extended my previous doctoral and post-doctoral research investigating inter-racial conflict within national contexts combining functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) of the brain and psycho-physiological skin conductance measures into studying social and political conflict cross-culturally by collecting new fMRI and survey data from France, Turkey, US and South Korea.
I serve as the international co-PI of a project awarded funding through a competitive grant program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense Minerva Initiative (2013). Combined with my other studies investigating large-scale opinion data, my research is able to shed light on some of the elusive mechanisms of group contentions and antagonisms such as implicit value priorities or social network dynamics.
Two additional projects I am currently working on are the evolution of values and the links between inequality and community well-being. In the first line of research, I am particularly interested in the evolutionary conditions and social network mechanisms of the ways cultural values become biological. I am collaborating with faculty from the Neurosciences and Computer Sciences to identify the evolutionary tipping points, social network structures and neurobiological responses triggering the formation and diffusion of values. For the second line of research, I am working with colleagues from Geosciences and Public Health to investigate how issues surrounding urban sustainability (e.g., access to healthy food, infrastructure, transportation) influence social, subjective and psychological well-being.