Our interests, ideas, and background.
The use of objects as weapons is both prehistoric and highly modern. In many countries, people carry guns on a daily basis, yet there is relatively little psychological research on what drives gun ownership and use. Most gun-related research stems from epidemiology, criminology, and sociology, but the topic also offers opportunities for psychologists to conduct research that is both theoretically interesting and societally relevant. This center is a loose affiliation of psychological scientists who conduct rigorous, peer-reviewed research on the psychology of guns. Part of our scientific mission is practical – to understand why people own and use guns and other weapons, and prevent their deployment against innocent others. Another part of our mission is theoretical – to understand human psychology generally. At our core, we are scientists interested in a broad range of human behaviors, and gun-related research is a way to test general social psychological theories in real world settings.
We focus on the psychological characteristics of gun ownership and their impact on society.