About Us

The Interdisciplinary Behavioral Research Center (IBRC) is an experimental research lab that manages and administers a variety of resources to social and behavioral science researchers at Duke University.

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
Patty earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology in 2012 from the Univeristé Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. She then moved from her home country for a postdoctoral position (with Barbara Fredrickson) and then a faculty position at UNC-Chapel Hill. Patty is an experimental social psychologist investigating such questions as “Why do people turn to religion or spirituality?” and “What are the psychological, contextual, and biological underpinnings of religion’s best and worst outcomes?” Currently, she is particularly interested in the study of self-transcendent emotions (e.g., awe, elevation), their relation to meaning in life, and their biological underpinnings. She is also investigating the mechanisms explaining religion’s link to prejudice and real antisocial behaviors. 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 is typically gray and rainy). You may also occasionally find her helping her husband who opened Belgian Waffle Crafters. To learn more about her research, visit the BABLab website.

Ellie Farmer

Research coordinator
kef44@duke [dot] edu

Ellie is the Research Coordinator at the IBRC. She graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019 with majors in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Ellie has conducted research in social movements and behavioral economics, but currently she is interested in the study of race and its intersections.

In her free time, Ellie enjoys reading, kayaking, exploring Durham, and cheering on the Tar Heels.