Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Current Research


Fall 2017

Leadership Roles and Perception in an Escape Room - Devin Carter and Nick Flannery

This project explores the emergence and interpersonal perceptions of leadership through the use of a goal oriented task such as within an escape room setting in unacquainted groups.


Person-oriented vs. Task-oriented Spin Instruction: Differential Impact on Participants' Mood and Motivation - Trevin Glasgow

            Exercise has been shown to be beneficial to overall mood, with increases in positive mood and decreases in negative mood occurring after exercise. More recently, researchers have looked at how exercise instruction affects this relationship between mood and exercise, with some research suggesting that instruction type can lead to differences in mood outcomes. Person-oriented instruction versus task-oriented instruction is an area of instruction that deserves further attention. Task-oriented instruction is the focus on exercise itself while person-oriented instruction is the focus on interpersonal connections and conversations with class participants. By studying spin class participants and instructors at the Blacksburg Weight Club and McComas Gym, we hope to show that in classes in which instructors use person-oriented instruction, participants' positive mood will improve even more than for participants in classes in which instructors use task-oriented instruction.


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.


Examining Transformational Leadership Behaviors of Instructors in Exercise Classes & Task-oriented or Person-oriented Exercise Instruction - Trevin Glasgow

            This project explores how various leadership behaviors in exercises classes affect group cohesion and the overall mood of the class members. Research assistants will report to McComas and Blacksburg Weight Club to collect data on participants. The second project involves training instructors to use more task-oriented or person-oriented instruction and seeing how this affects attendance, mood and cohesion of class members.


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.