About Our Research

Our research combines theoretical models and methods from social psychology, health psychology, behavioral economics, neuropsychology, and decision-sciences. At present, our work is centered in three basic areas:

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)


A strategy that involves the use of anti-HIV medications (also called antiretrovirals, or ARVs) by HIV-negative individuals to reduce the risk of HIV infection via sexual exposure. In 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug, Truvada, for daily oral use as PrEP. At HART, we are committed to understanding the impact of this new biomedical prevention strategy on both individuals and communities. We are currently conducting two NIH-funded studies on this topic: one that focuses on developing public health messaging about PrEP that maximizes clear communication to potential users and another that works with a community-based health clinic to develop a PrEP Demonstration project in New York City. For more information about these studies, click on their individual project pages on the left.

Understanding Risk Behavior and Risky Decision-Making


The other central focus of HART's work is to better understand the dynamics and determinants of risk behavior and risky decision-making. Through the integration of theoretical models and methods across disciplines, our work explores social, cognitive, affective, contextual, and biological factors that impact these processes. Studies include NIH-funded investigations of the interaction between internal conflict and alcohol use in risk behaviors, a project examining the association between neuropsychological assessments of decision-making styles and HIV risk, and an experimental investigation of specific factors driving risk perception. For more information about these studies, click on the individual project pages on the left.

The Laboratory for Applied Psychology and Health


The home of HART on the Hunter campus. The lab also conducts research projects focused on the intersection of cognition, affect, and social context - with special emphasis on the reciprocal relationship between identity and behavior. Current topics include gender perception, terror management theory, stereotype threat, and experiences on immigration. For more information, click on the lab link on the left.