Print this page
  • April 13, 2015
Psychology Faculty members Dr. Despina Stavrinos, Assistant Professor, and Dr. David Schwebel, Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the Sciences, put safety first as they teach behaviors and practices to ensure the public’s well being.

Psychology faculty help us safely interact with our environment

When it comes to keeping our loved ones safe, we are all in this together. Psychology Faculty members Dr. Despina Stavrinos, Assistant Professor, and Dr. David Schwebel, Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the Sciences, put safety first as they teach behaviors and practices to ensure the public’s well being.

After many years working on pedestrian safety, Dr. Schwebel is now moving into research on how children interact with dogs. With the support of a NIH grant, Dr. Schwebel is examining how cognitive skills and behavior affect the relationship between children and dogs. The project has three components: informational videos, interactive video games, and an observational study, all aimed at teaching children cognitive safety skills to foster mutually positive interactions with their canine counterparts.

16257607087 6840f1fe93 z“These initial videos are a component of a larger project that will include a website,” explains Dr. Schwebel. “The site will feature additional videos and games that will teach impulse control and measure perspective taking and detail orientation. Once we move past the testing phase of the site, we’ll have it publicly available.”

As director of the Translational Research for Injury Prevention Laboratory (TRIP Lab), Dr. Stavrinos examines the impact of distracted driving within at-risk vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, teens, and those with developmental disabilities. Her research utilizes a driving simulator that allows participants to experience a realistic and beneficial learning environment.

Dr. Stavrinos is exploring funding for state-of-the-art simulator that uses audio, visual, simulation, and animation and would allow the TRIP lab to provide hands-on, full-scale educational and research experience to participants.