David Butz (Sept. 2007-July 2009), here as a postdoctoral researcher in The Psychology of Peace and Violence Program,
Dr. Butz examines the psychological factors that lead people to approach or avoid intergroup contact with a particular emphasis on understanding the causes of negative approach-related responses, such as intergroup anger, hostility, and blame. In collaboration with Dr. Tropp and researchers at Queens University, Belfast, he studies sources of avoidance and hostility in interactions between religious and political communities in Northern Ireland and approaches to promote trust between the communities.
Dr. Butz also examines environmental factors that enter into decisions to approach or avoid intergroup contact, focusing on the implications of identity cues and symbols for reducing intergroup conflict and improving the quality of intergroup relations. In future work he will be expanding upon his research by examining a variety of approaches to promote interest in intergroup contact and trust between groups. He is also planning on extending his work on identity symbols by considering the situations and motivations that lead people to display overt symbols of their identity. Dr. Butz has taken the position of Assistant Professor of Psychology at Morehead State University, Morehead, KY.
Photo: Dr. David Butz