Scientist Honored with Early Career Award
Derek Reed, Associate Professor of Applied Behavioral Science and Scientist in the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment, is the 2019 recipient of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS) Early Career Impact Award for the Association for Behavior Analysis International. The award is presented to early career scientists of FABBS member societies during the first 10 years after completing their education and recognizes scientists who have made major contributions to the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior.
The Association for Behavior Analysis International selected Reed for the FABBS Early Career Award for his substantial contributions to applied behavioral economics, particularly in the area of risky health decisions and sustainability. Reed uses the core idea of his field of behavior analysis – that the environment molds behavior – to contribute to socially crucial topics.
“I describe myself as not just a psychologist or a behavior analyst,” Reed says, “But as a problem analyst.”
By using quantitative models to predict behavior, Reed unearths essential truths about why people make certain choices, he said.
“The models we use to understand substance use disorder work just as well for understanding how the cost of gasoline affects people’s likelihood of taking a trip,” said Reed.
With the power of data-driven models at his fingertips, Reed has investigated implications of cannabis legalization, contributions to smoking abstinence, behavioral consequences of happy hours, determinates of vaccination choice, interventions for children with special needs – and more.
The universality of decision-making making principles allows Reed to be collaborate when using science to solve pressing societal problems, he said. He plans to continue to work with colleagues ranging from structural engineers to addiction researchers and school psychologists.
Reed’s interdisciplinary research is supported by a diverse set of funders, including the United States Department of Energy, the Kansas Health Foundation, and internal grants from the University of Kansas.