American University of Beirut



    Research topics

    Below are broad descriptions of faculty members's research interests, divided in broad categories for convenience. However, most research is collaborative and crosses through these categories.
    Prospective graduate students are encouraged to consult faculty members' webpages (links below) and read through their publications to learn more about how their own research interests fit the faculty members' research agendas.

    Clinical Psychology, Psychometrics and Cross-cultural Psychology

    • The efficacy, acceptability, and mechanisms of change of psychological or psychosocial interventions for children affected by abuse, neglect, or socio-political violence and war
    • Improving the dissemination of research findings to impact on evidence-based practice for children and their caregivers
    • Risk and protective factors for children facing adversity
    • Inequalities in the incidence of mental disorders for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers
    • Clinical trial methodology
    • Secondary data research: administrative data linkage and systematic reviewing 

    Dr. Fatme Al-Jamil focuses on ways of adapting current psychotherapy models within the Arab population, addressing the challenges faced in practice in a non-western country and exploring culturally relevant ways of handling such challenges during the psychotherapy process.

    • Eating Disorders
    • Trauma
    • Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

    • Evaluation of behavioral interventions offered to individuals with developmental delays and disorders
    • Evaluation of trainings offered to future practioners working with individuals with developmental delays and disorders
    • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
    • Use of technology to offer interventions to individuals with developmental disorder
    • Mental health at work

    Dr. Zeinoun's research intersects between cross-cultural assessment, clinical assessment, and psychometrics. She is interested in developing measures (tests) for Arabic populations, and investigating whether psychological constructs, methods, and items are invariant across cultures. She is particularly interested in constructs and measures of personality, psychopathology in children/adolescents, and neuropsychological functions such as memory, and attention.

    Cognitive Neuroscience

    • Experience-dependent changes in vision
    • Developmental impairments of visual function (e.g., amblyopia, strabismus)  
    • Applied benefits of perceptual learning

    • Neural correlates of sensory perception (EEG, fMRI).
    • Functional and structural mapping of sensory cortex.
    • Neural correlates of higher cognitive functions.

    • Creativity: (a) neural basis of creative thinking; (b) flow states; (c) evolutionary perspectives on creativity.
    • Consciousness: (a) transient hypofrontality theory; (b) functional neuroanatomy of altered states; (c) altered states of consciousness as adaptation; (d) consciousness-altering rituals across cultures.
    • Exercise and mental function: (a) transient hypofrontality theory; (b) neural basis of exercise-induced changes to emotion and cognition; (c) endocannabinoid system; (d) creativity.

    Social Psychology

    • Collective Action and Social Change: Understanding the interpersonal, intergroup, and ideological factors underlying collective action behavior, and uncovering tools to motivate individuals to collectively act toward social equality and progress.
    • Prejudice and Prejudice Reduction: Understanding the ideological underpinnings and the manifestations of prejudice (e.g., sectarianism) and devising creative tools to reduce prejudice beyond the lab—in the field and online (e.g., on Twitter).
    • Gender Equality: Understanding the barriers to gender equality, including gender stereotypes and various forms of sexism in the Arab world, and devising tools to promote gender equality and disrupt predominant notions of gender. Socio-political identities and intergroup dynamics (including collective action).

    • Socio-political identities and intergroup dynamics (including collective action).
    • Social cohesion and intergroup conflict (socio-political violence, including “preventing violent extremism” (PVE)).
    • Cross-cultural research on the self-concept, identity motives and preferences, organizational behavior, and values.

    • Social psychological factors surrounding nonviolent and violent forms of collective political action 
    • Social psychological factors underlying preferred forms of governance (e.g. secular versus religious forms of governance)
    • Gender and political participation

    Research facilities

    The Department of Psychology at AUB offers a range of equipment for experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience experiments:

    Two research labs:
    • Cognitive neuroscience lab (Jesup Hall):
      • 2 soundproof booths
      • Tobii Eye-tracker 
      • Brain products 32-channel active electrodes EEG system, including EMG and skin-conductance sensors
      • Brain products stimtrack with photodiode and acoustic sensors for sensory stimulus/EEG synchronization
      • Tucker-Davis real-time signal processor for accurate sound presentation
      • Calibration microphone for sound pressure level measurements
      • Dedicated stimulus presentation computers and analysis workstations
    • Visual psychophysics lab (Fisk Hall)
      • Set-up for two parallel visual psychophysics experiments (chin-rests, CRT monitors)

    • Access to a 3T MRI scanner (Philips Ingenia) at the Department of Radiology (AUBMC)​

    For any information about these facilities, please contact Dr Julien Besle:

    Ethics in research

    Research conducted at the Department of Psychology complies with international ethical standards. Faculty and student projects require approval by AUB’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).

    Institutional Review Board

    American University of Beirut 
    PO BOX: 11-0236 F15 
    Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020 

    Tel: 00961 1 374374, ext: 5445 ​
    Fax: 00961 1 374374, ext: 5444 
    Website: IRB

    Direct Line: 000961 1 738024 
    Direct Fax: 000961 1 738025  

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