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Addictive Behaviors Lab members

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 methodology. Selected recent research studies in my laboratory include:

-An experimental examination of anticipatory and resultant desire to drink following a social stressor task: interactions with social anxiety symptoms, coping motives, and type of social feedback.

-Developmental and psychometric validation of an expectancy measure for Food and Alcohol Disturbance (FAD)

-An examination of enhancements to prescription stimulant placebo effects when participants are allowed a choice

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

-A randomized, controlled trial to test the efficacy of a combined expectancy modification and harm reduction intervention to prevent nonmedical prescription stimulant use among at-risk college students

-Ecological momentary assessment to understand relations among simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use with affect, motives, and environmental context

-An experimental examination of the incremental utility of text message reminders to improve the use of alcohol protective behavioral strategies

Recent Grant Funding:

Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to Understand Contextual Factors and Fluctuations in Affect Related to Simultaneous Alcohol and Marijuana Use
University of Wyoming Faculty Grant-in-Aid
Role: PI

Preventing Prescription Stimulant Diversion and Medication Misuse Via a Web-Based Simulation Intervention
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Role: Co-I (PI Laura Holt, Trinity College; Co-I Ty Schepis, Texas State University)
7/2020 -7/2023

Efficacy of Expectancy Challenges to Prevent Nonmedical Prescription Stimulant Use
Wyoming INBRE, National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Role: PI
5/2018 - 4/2020

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 great dane) and enjoys hiking, watching Cubs Baseball, reading psychological thrillers, and traveling.


Lauren ZimmermanLauren Zimmerman, 6th 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 6th year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at the University of Wyoming. She is currently on her clinical internship at the VA Puget Sound, American Lake. 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.



 caitlin falcoCaitlin Falco, 5th year graduate student

Cait was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago before earning her B.S. in Psychology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2016. She is now a 5th year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at the University of Wyoming. Her research interests include understanding the mechanisms (e.g., executive functions, motives, attention) underlying substance use and how to target these mechanisms to reduce and/or prevent substance use, as well as how these factors are related to other risky/externalizing behaviors. In her free time, Cait can usually be found with her dog.



Nick Livingston

 Nick Livingston, 4th year graduate student

Nick was born and raised in Oregon's Willamette Valley before earning his BS in psychology from the University of Oregon in 2017. He is currently a 4th year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at the University of Wyoming. His research interests involve understanding factors implicated in substance use initiation, the interplay between sleep and substance use, consequences of substance use (e.g., cognitive performance, subjective effects, mood), and how drug use can be modified through targeted interventions. During his free time, Nick enjoys the company of family, snowboarding, and traveling.



Katherine Berry

 Katherine Berry, 2nd year graduate student

Katie is from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and earned her BA in Psychology from Smith College in 2021. She is currently a 2nd-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at the University of Wyoming. Her research interests focus on food and alcohol disturbance (FAD) behaviors among college students, as well as understanding the underlying cognitive mechanisms that initiate and maintain substance use. During her free time, Katie enjoys binge-watching trashy reality tv, spending time with friends and family, reading, and hiking.


                     Addictive Behaviors Lab members              Addictive Behaviors Lab members


Lab Alumni:

-Tess Kilwein, PhD: Psychologist, University of Wyoming Counseling Center

Recent and Representative Publications

Livingston, N. R.*, Hetelkides, E., Bravo, A. J., Looby, A., & Stimulant Norms and Prevalence (SNAP) Study Team. (2022). Differential associations of cannabis expectancy effects on the relation between cannabis use and sleep. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

Looby, A., Bravo, A. J., Livingston, N. R.*, Schepis, T. S., & Stimulant Norms and Prevalence (SNAP) Study Team. (2022). Development of a Nonmedical Prescription Stimulant Consequences Questionnaire. Journal of Drug Issues.  

Kilwein, T. M.*, & Looby, A. (in press). Sex-related impelling cues uniquely predict event-level alcohol-related sexual behavior that poses heightened risk for negative consequences among college women. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.

Looby, A., Prince, M. A., Vasko, J. M., Zimmerman, L.*, Flory, K., Lefler, E. K., Canu, W., & Hartung, C. M. (2021). Relations among protective behaviors strategies, biological sex, and ADHD on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems: Who benefits most, and from what type of strategy? Addictive Behaviors, 119, 106924. 

Looby, A., Zimmerman, L.*, & Livingston, N. R.* (2021). Expectation for stimulant type modifies caffeine’s effects on mood and cognition among college students. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.

Falco, C.*, De Young, K. P., Kilwein, T. M., Livingston, N. R.*, & Looby, A. (2021). Cannabis use is differentially associated with individual facets of impulsivity through expectancy effects: A comprehensive application of the Acquired Preparedness Model. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

 Looby, A., Bravo, A. J., Kilwein, T. M.*, Zimmerman, L.*, Pearson, M. R., & Protective Strategies Study Team. (2019). Protective behavioral strategies mediate the relationship between drinking motives and risky sexual behaviors in college students. Addictive Behaviors, 93, 1-8.  


*Denotes student author under my supervision

Prospective Graduate Students:

Dr. Looby will be reviewing applications for graduate students applying for fall 2023.

Alison Looby

Contact Us

Department of Psychology

1000 E University Ave.

Dept. 3415

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6303

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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