Brian Eiler Assistant Professor of Psychology
- Ph.D., M.A., B.A. University of Cincinnati
I joined the Psychology Department at Davidson in 2019 after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Northern Arizona University and a B.A., M.A. & Ph.D. (Experimental Psychology) at the University of Cincinnati. I am a quantitative and experimental psychologist with interests that broadly span social, industrial-organizational and health psychology. My research and teaching synthesize concepts from psychology, philosophy, complexity science, artificial intelligence and data science. My expertise is in matching methodological and mathematical concepts to research questions.
I study human behavior, interaction and phenomenological experience (often with a social justice or quality-of-life/well-being focus) from a complex systems perspective. For example, I use naturalistic, publicly available data to examine sexual violence (e.g., language, pictures, social media) to more fully understand how sexual violence is experienced, perpetuated, maintained and disrupted. Similarly, I examine the role of cultural processes in shaping student-athlete health and consumer engagement (e.g., reducing concussion risk, modeling cultural influences on engagement, modeling organizational culture). I also use computational strategies (e.g., agent-based modeling, machine learning, modeling) to represent, simulate, and probe complex systems that emerge from theoretical conceptualizations of attitudes, perception/action/cognition systems, social interaction and group dynamics. In the lab, I most often employ virtual reality, motion tracking (body, eye, mouse), physiology (electrodermal response, heart beat dynamics) and traditional psychological measures to study behavior or test predictions derived from simulated or modeled (sometimes “big”) data.
I teach Psychological Research-Design and Analysis (PSY 310) and I am developing an Advanced Research Methods seminar in Psychological Models. My teaching philosophy centers on personal mentorship and my goal is to help students develop advanced quantitative skill sets that can be used to probe the world around them in self-relevant ways. I also have personal and academic investment in improving diversity/equity/inclusion across higher education and helping students navigate, develop and plan their long-term career trajectories (i.e., academia, industry, government).