The Belief, Affect & Behavior Lab (BABLab) at Duke University is directed by Dr. Patty Van Cappellen and focuses on the scientific study of the motivational and affective determinants and consequences of religious/spiritual beliefs and practices. In other words, we use the tools and theories of social psychology to better understand why people turn to religion/spirituality and how religion/spirituality impact people’s behaviors, emotions, and health. We focus both on religion/spirituality’s brighter side (their relationship to positive emotions of awe or gratitude,  meaning, health) and darker side (their relationship to intergroup prejudice and antisocial behavior). We also actively contribute scientific knowledge in the domains of meditation, health behavior change and maintenance, positive emotions and the science of well-being, and intergroup relations. Find out more about our specific research projects by visiting our research page or our publications page.