D. Vaughn Becker

Cognitive Scientist and Social Psychologist

Learn about what I do

I design experiments that reveal the inner workings of the motivated mind.

I am a cognitive and social psychologist, strongly influenced by evolutionary theory and complexity science. My work explores how social and emotional forces affect cognitive processing in order to facilitate basic biological and social goals (for example, self-protection and resource acquisition). I use a wide variety of experimental methodologies to explore the full spectrum of information processing, from perception and attention to memory, categorization, and decision making. I want to know how these things work in the real world. My latest efforts involve using mobile technology to implement field replications of some basic findings of laboratory cognitive science. This has the potential to both generalize these results to non-traditional populations and to address traditional limitations of cognitive science research. To this end, I am developing and coordinating a network of international collaborators who can both implement and inform the direction of these investigations. I have an abiding interest in how the dynamics and self-organization of complex social systems might be influenced by ecological and evolutionary factors, particularly with regard to social traps, mating-related behaviors, and the dynamics of popular culture. Lastly, I am interested in the role that computers can play in allowing us to visualize and understand these complex dynamics, how these visualizations can help people to engage in appropriate regulatory behaviors, and more generally how these displays can augment cognitive capabilities.

Interactive Simulations

The Peter Principle

Mandala Maker

Office and Lab

My office is in the Applied Psychology Unit, first floor of the Santa Catalina building on the Polytechnic campus, room 150F. My Office phone number is 480.727.1151 , but e-mail is better, vaughn.becker@asu.edu

Sample Work

These are some examples of what I do, a full list of publications here.

Hot Cognition

The fatigue associated with increasing call volumes takes a toll on mental as well as physical capabilities.

The Proofreader's Dilemma

Words that are misspelled in ways that reflect the statistical regularities of the language are missed in both perception and memory

Want to hire me? Get in touch!

my email is vaughn dot becker at asu dot edu