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

  • Determinants of parenting: understanding the characteristics of the parent, the child, and the social context that determine parenting ​
  • Processes of values' socialization: understanding the factors that are associated with the accurate perception and acceptance of the parents' values by the child 
  • Predictors of personality development: understanding the environmental factors that are associated with personality development 

Contact Dr. Mona Ayoub -​

  • 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

​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 

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.

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