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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Psychology Research Units Social Psychology

Center for Psychological Gun Research

Social Psychology, Organizational Psychology, Developmental Psychology

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.

Researchers and partners

Behavioural and Social Sciences, Psychology


  • Stroebe, W., Pontus Leander, N., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2017). Is It a Dangerous World Out There? The Motivational Bases of American Gun Ownership. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43(8), 1071–1085.
  • Stroebe W, Leander NP, Kruglanski AW (2017) The impact of the Orlando mass shooting on fear of victimization and gun-purchasing intentions: Not what one might expect. PLoS ONE 12(8): e0182408.

University's focus areas

  • Sustainable Society

Main research theme

Interactions between individuals, society, and environment

More information

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Last modified:10 January 2022 5.17 p.m.
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