About Us

The Interdisciplinary Behavioral Research Center (IBRC) is an experimental research lab that manages and administers a variety of resources to researchers engaged in social and behavioral science at Duke University. For example, we offer free research space, access to a large community participant pool, staff support, and research grants. You can find out more under Start your Research > Resources.

The IBRC is a part of the Social Science Research Institute but is available to all faculty, post-doctoral, graduate and undergraduate student researchers in the social and behavioral sciences at Duke University.

Our People

Dr. Patty Van Cappellen

patty [dot] vancappellen@duke [dot] edu

Dr. Van Cappellen is an Assistant Research Professor at the Social Science Research Institute and Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. She earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology in 2012 from the University of Louvain, Belgium. Her work is in experimental social psychology, investigating the psychological determinants of well-being and health behavior maintenance. She focuses primarily on two determinants: the experience of positive emotions (e.g., awe, gratitude) and religious/spiritual beliefs and behaviors. To balance her work on the benefits of religion, she also studies whether, how, and when religion promotes intergroup prejudice and aggression.

For more information on her work and publications see her website.

Outside of academia, Patty enjoys horseback riding, discovering new restaurants, and taking in the sun of North Carolina (Belgium, her native country, is typically gray and rainy). 

To learn more about her research, visit the BABLab website.

Amanda Bernal

Research coordinator
amanda [dot] bernal@duke [dot] edu

Amanda holds an M. S. in Psychological Sciences from the University of Texas, Dallas. Amanda is broadly interested in topics related to communication, close relationships, religion, and language analysis. Specifically, she is interested in the process of self-disclosures to romantic partners and more abstract agents (i.e., God) as well as how language use relates to different psychological concepts.