I approach the study of learning and behavior change from a functional-cognitive perspective. In this line of work I examine how antecedents in the environment ‘trigger’ thoughts and behavior,
and how consequences can be used to ‘redirect’ that behavior.
This 'behavioral-change' approach has many practical implications and the potential for large-scale societal impact.
This research line has recently led to:
A Learning 2.0 perspective that examines how symbolic and relational abilities guide learning in humans.
New perspectives and directions in learning, attitudes, emotion, applied psychology, and personality research (from a Functional-Cognitive perspective).
Discovery of new learning pathways and a focus on learning at different levels of analysis (e.g., genetic learning).
Application of the laws of learning to behavior change.
Van Dessel, P., Hughes, S., & De Houwer, J. (2018). Consequence-Based Approach-Avoidance Training:
A New and Improved Method for Changing Behavior. Psychological Science, 29(12), 1899–1910. Link
De Houwer, J., Richetin, J., Hughes, S., & Perugini, M. (in press). On the Assumptions that We Make About the World Around Us: A Conceptual Framework for Feature Transformation Effects. Collabra: Psychology.
Hughes, S., De Houwer, J., & Perugini, M. (2016). Expanding the Boundaries of Evaluative Learning Research: How Intersecting Regularities Shape Our Likes and Dislikes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 145, 731-754. Link
De Houwer, J., & Hughes, S. (accepted). The Psychology of Learning: An Introduction from a Functional-Cognitive Perspective. The MIT Press.
Hughes, S., De Houwer, J., & Perugini, P. (2016). The Functional-Cognitive Framework for Psychological Research: Controversies and Resolutions. International Journal of Psychology, 51, 4–14. Link