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About us Practical matters How to find us M. (Maximilian) Agostini, MSc

M. (Maximilian) Agostini, MSc

PhD Candidate

Project Title: Breaking Bad … Pathways: Redirection of Compensatory Motivation in Pro-social Directions

Description: Anti-social behavior, such as displaced aggression or ethnocentrism, remains prevalent. Recent research suggests that such behavior may be more purposeful than previously considered. This is because, anti-social behavior serves to restore a sense of “agency” or control among those who experience goal failures and other motivational obstacles. Accordingly, the motivation that drives anti-social behavior could be redirected into pro-social pathways that similarly afford agency restoration. We will test for pro-social compensation at both the individual and group level and examine whether it is more effective within or across these identity levels.

Project Title: Center for Psychological Gun Research

Description: 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. 


Last modified:25 June 2022 1.35 p.m.