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Department of Psychology

College of Arts & Sciences

Addictive Behaviors Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Dr. Alison Looby



Research Focus

My laboratory broadly examines substance use behaviors, with a focus on college student alcohol, marijuana, and stimulant use. Much of our research aims to examine and subsequently modify cognitive mechanisms underlying substance use, including expectancy effects, motives, and neuropsychological functioning. Research in my laboratory tends to be experimental and laboratory-based, though we are also employing some naturalistic/EMA methodology. Selected current/upcoming research studies in my laboratory include:

-An examination of a brief motive-based intervention to decrease alcohol use among college student drinkers

-An examination of subjective mood and neuropsychological performance as a function of stimulant type and expectancy

-Identification of proximal and distal risk factors for nonmedical prescription stimulant use via ecological momentary assessment

-A real-time examination of the impact of alcohol use, drinking motives, and environmental cues on likelihood of risky sexual behavior


Lab Members:

Alison Looby

Alison Looby, PhD

Dr. Looby grew up in southern California and earned her BA in psychology from the University of California, San Diego in 2002. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the University at Albany, SUNY in 2011. After spending some time teaching at the University of North Dakota, Dr. Looby joined the faculty at the University of Wyoming in 2016. Her primary research focus is with regard to nonmedical prescription stimulant use among college students and understanding factors related to use, including placebo effects, expectancy effects, and neuropsychological functioning. Dr. Looby spends her free time with her family (including 2 young children and 2 dogs) and enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and traveling.


Tess KilweinTess Kilwein, 4th year graduate student

Tess was born and raised in Southwestern North Dakota before obtaining her BS in psychology from North Dakota State University in 2014 and her MA from the University of North Dakota in 2016. She is now a 4th year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at the University of Wyoming. Her primary research focus is on motivation and other factors related to risky behaviors (e.g., drug and alcohol use, risky sex), as well as education about and prevention of substance use on college campuses. Tess takes a personal interest in social justice issues, and enjoys the outdoors and staying physically active.


Lauren ZimmermanLauren Zimmerman, 1st year graduate student

Lauren was born and raised in west central Minnesota before obtaining her BA in psychology from the University of North Dakota in 2014. She is currently a 1st year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at the University of Wyoming. Her broad research interests include factors related to substance use (e.g., motives, self-efficacy, expectancy effects) and intervention and prevention efforts to decrease use.  Lauren enjoys sports, spending time with family and friends, and traveling in her free time.


Recent and Representative Publications

Kilwein, T. M.*, & Looby, A. (in press). Predicting risky sexual behaviors among college student drinkers as a function of event-level drinking motives and alcohol use. Addictive Behaviors.

 Kilwein, T. M.*, Kern, S.*, & Looby, A. (in press). Interventions for alcohol-related risky sexual behaviors among college students: A systematic review. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

 Looby, A., Luger, E. J.*, & Guartos, C. S.* (2017). Positive expectancies mediate the link between race and alcohol use in a sample of Native American and Caucasian college students. Addictive Behaviors, 73, 53-56.

 Kilwein, T. M.*, Goodman, E. L.*, Looby, A., & De Young, K. P. (2016). Nonmedical prescription stimulant use for suppressing appetite and controlling body weight is uniquely associated with more severe eating disorder symptomatology. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 49, 813-816.

 Zander, M. E.*, Norton-Baker, M.*, De Young, K. P., & Looby, A. (2016). The role of anonymity in determining the self-reported use of cocaine and nonmedical prescription stimulant use among college students: Implications for lack of stigmatization toward nonmedical prescription stimulant use. Substance Use & Misuse, 51, 795-802.

 Looby, A., Beyer, D.*, & Zimmerman, L.* (2015). Nonmedical prescription stimulant use: Investigating modifiable risk factors. Addiction Research & Theory, 23, 143-147.

 Looby, A., Kassman, K. T.*, & Earleywine, M. (2014). Do attitudes toward prescription stimulants and cocaine vary as a function of user type? Addictive Behaviors, 39, 1100-1105.

 Looby, A., De Young, K.P., & Earleywine, M. (2013). Challenging expectancies to prevent nonmedical prescription stimulant use: A randomized, controlled trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 132, 362-368.

 Looby, A., & Earleywine, M. (2011). Expectation to receive methylphenidate enhances subjective arousal but not cognitive performance. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 19, 433-444.

*Denotes graduate student author

Prospective Graduate Students:

The Addictive Behaviors Laboratory is currently accepting applications for graduate students who plan to enroll in the Fall of 2018. Applicants at both the Bachelor’s and Master’s level are encouraged to apply.

Alison Looby

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Department of Psychology

University of Wyoming

Dept. 3415

1000 E University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-6303

Fax: (307) 766-2926


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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