Baylor University
Psychology and Neuroscience
College of Arts and Sciences

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Dr. Matthew Stanford

Faculty - Matthew Stanford

Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Biomedical Studies

BSB A.320 (254) 710-2236

Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Biomedical Studies

Ph.D. Baylor University 1992
M.A. Baylor University 1990
B.S. Baylor University 1984


Dr. Stanford joined the Baylor faculty in 2003. Prior to coming to Baylor in 2003, he was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Orleans for nine years. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and serves as director of the Mental Health Grace Alliance, mhgracealliance.

Academic Interests and Research

I oversee two independent lines of research: 1) the first looks at the interplay between psychology and issues of faith specifically how the mentally ill interact with the local church (this research is done with clinical psychology PsyD students). Our work has resulted in the development of faith-based peer-led support group curricula for individuals living with serious mental illness and their families, a mental health training experience for clergy, and a model for how clinical doctoral programs might partner with non-profit community organizations to provide psychological services to the poor and marginalized; 2) A second line of research looks at the neurobiological substrates of impulsive and aggressive behavior (this research is done with behavioral neuroscience PhD students). We have developed a reliable and valid set of techniques (semi-structured interview, behavior checklist, self-report instrument) for characterizing an individual's aggressive behavior as either predominately impulsive or predominately premeditated in nature. Research in our lab has demonstrated significant neurocognitive deficits in individuals who display impulsive aggressive behavior. In studies completed thus far individuals who tend to plan their aggressive behavior (premeditated) do not appear to differ on neuropsychological and cognitive psychophysiological measures compared to non-aggressive controls. A broad set of assessment techniques are used in the lab include personality, neuropsychological and psychophysiological (e.g., event-related potentials, heart rate, eye-blink startle) measures. Impulsive and aggressive study participants are recruited and referred from a number of agencies and institutions including domestic violence treatment programs, local mental health clinics, probation/parole and substance abuse treatment programs. This line of research also includes the further development and validation of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11).

Recent Publications

Impulsivity and Aggression

Helfritz-Sinville, L.E. and Stanford, M.S. (2014). Hostile attribution bias in impulsive and premediated aggression. Personality and Indivdual Differences, 56, 45-50.

Felthous, A.R., Lake, S.L., Rundle, B.K. and Stanford, M.S. (2013). Pharmacotherapy of impulsive aggression: A quality comparison of controlled studies. International Journal of Law and psychiatry, 36, 258-263.

Steinberg, L., Sharp, C., Stanford, M.S. and Tharp, A.T. (2013). New tricks for an old measure: The development of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale - Brief (BIS-Brief). Psychological Assessment, 25, 216-226.

Anderson, N.E. and Stanford, M.S. (2012). Demonstrating emotional processing differencein psychopaths using affective ERP modulation. Psychophysiology, 49 792-806.

Psychology and Issues of Faith

Breuninger, M. and Stanford, M.S. (2013). A practical guide to meeting the needs of the mentally ill in the local church.Healing Ministry, 19, 5-11.

Rogers, E.B., Yuvarajan, E., and Stanford, M.S. (2013). The clergy-psychologist relationship: Suggestions for building an interprofessional collaboration. Journal of Family and Community Ministries, 26.

Rogers, E.B., Stanford, M.S., Dolan, S.L., Clark, J., Martindale, S.L. Lake, S.L., Baldridge, R.M., and Sejud, L.R. (2012). Helping people without homes: Simple steps for psychologists seeking to change lives. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43, 86-93.

Rogers, E.B., Stanford, M.S. and Garland, D.R. (2012). The effects of mental illness on families within faith communities. Mental Health, Religion and Culture,15, 301-313.

Current Ph.D. and Psy.D. Students:

Ioannisely Berrios-Torres: University of Puerto Rico
Matt Breuninger: University of Scranton
Channing Cochran: Vanderbilt University
Will Hunter: Davidson College
Ed Rogers: Catholic University of America
Halle Ross: Baylor University
Brian Rundle: Baylor University

Former Ph.D and Psy.D. Students:

Melissa Auringer, Psy.D.: Coordinator for Women's Services, Miami University
Sarah Conklin, Ph.D.: Assistant Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Global Health Studies, Allegheny College
Laura Helfritz, Ph.D.: Assistant Professor of Psychology, College of St. Benedict, Saint John's University
Rebecca Houston, Ph.D.: Research Scientist, Research Institute on Addictions, SUNY Buffalo
Sarah Lake, Ph.D.: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
Charles Mathias, Ph.D.: Assistant Professor, Director of Community Outreach, Division of Neurobehavioral Research, Department of Psychiatry, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
Nicole Villamarette-Pittman, Ph.D.: Research Core Director for the LSUHSC Epilepsy Center of Excellence
Elil Yuvarajan, Psy.D.: Private Practice, Houston, TX

Primary Courses

  • PSY 2405 Research Methods in Psychology
  • PSY 5323 Biological Foundations of Behavior