Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

James R. Larson, Jr.


Title: Professor Emeritus
Phone: 773.508.3001

Background Information
Ph.D., M.S., Social Psychology, University of Washington
B.A. Psychology, Seattle University
My research is concerned with the behavior and performance of small interacting groups (usually 2 to 6 people) as they attempt to solve problems and make decisions. Currently, my efforts in this area are focused on developing agent-based models (ABMs) that can account for various phenomena observed in small groups. An ABM is simply a computer program written to predict and explain some aspect of behavior. ABMs are usefully conceptualized as formal expressions of theory that serve the same function as do verbally expressed theories. Expressing theory in this manner has a number of advantages, including greater specify in the operation of causal mechanisms, greater capacity for handling complexity, more systematic derivation of hypotheses, and the ability to quantify in advance the precision of the predictions that are made.
A Note to Students
I no longer teach classroom-based courses on a regular basis. I do, however, continue to work individually with one or two students per year on research projects that I direct. If you are looking for a challenging research experience, please check out my personal website, which describes my research in greater detail: http://jlarson4.sites.luc.edu/