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Current Research


Fall 2018


AC4P Policing- E.S. Geller and Research Associates

            Throughout the years experts have struggled to define the term “police culture.”  For most this label means a reactive approach to keeping people safe by using punitive consequences to punish or detain the perpetrators.  The result: More attention is given to the negative reactive side of policing than a positive proactive approach to preventing crime by cultivating an interdependent culture of residents looking out for the safety, health, and well-being of each other.  We believe police officers can play a critical and integral role in achieving such a community of compassion -- an actively-caring for people (AC4P) culture. Pilot studies to collect baseline data are expected to be run this semester in accordance with the Blacksburg and Virginia Tech police departments.


Pedestrian Behavior - E.S. Geller and Research Associates

Pedestrian behavior at crosswalks will be observed as well as that of drivers who stop at crosswalks. Are they (pedestrians and drivers) using a cell phone? Do pedestrians thank drivers for stopped, and if they do, do the drivers signal a "you're welcome"? In addition, we are applying social influence principles to increase prosocial behavior.


Community-based interventions

            Our research center also addresses numerous other community-based and organizational research, designed to improve behaviors and attitudes related to health, safety, sustainability, and general well-being.  Most of our behavioral targets are identified by graduate and undergraduate students. 


Note: Other research projects are currently being developed. Topics for these projects include: Environmental sustainability, thank you cards to promote Actively Caring for People, and other AC4P projects.