University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Spotlight on Research
Matthew Price, Ph.D.

Early Years

Matthew Price Matthew Price

From an early age I was drawn to helping those who were in unusually difficult circumstances. As a high school student, I regularly volunteered in the emergency department at my local hospital in New York City. I enjoyed being part of the acute care team, doing small tasks to help with the very difficult process of treating those in acute distress. What really surprised me was how the small things I did, bringing ice chips, offering an extra blanket, or relaying a message to a nurse, seemed to brighten the patient’s mood. I also found chatting with the patients to be far more enjoyable than watching some of the procedures. It shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to me (or my parents) when I shifted my undergraduate focus to psychology from pre-med.

Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

A usability camera that allows us to record people using different devices in order to test out new mobile applications A usability camera that allows us to record people using different devices in order to test out new mobile applications

As an undergraduate at the State University of New York at Binghamton, I worked in a research lab and served as an assistant in their outpatient clinic. I knew that I wanted to become a clinician and sought a doctorate in clinical psychology. I was fortunate to attend Georgia State University where I worked with Dr. Page Anderson.

As a graduate student at Georgia State University I worked primarily with folks who had anxiety disorders such as social phobia and specific phobia. I was surprised how often clients mentioned specific stressful experiences as playing a role in their current problems. I thought that if we could help them right after that initial difficult situation, then we could prevent a lot of future problems.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship and Current Research

Anna Bellard and Anne Brassell record an interview in which feedback is given for using one of our apps
Anna Bellard and Anne Brassell record an interview in which feedback is given for using one of our apps

All of these experiences came together during my post-doctoral fellowship in traumatic stress. Traumatic events provide a useful framework for understanding mental health and providing early treatment. The known traumatic event is the point with which we can start assessment and treatment. After a traumatic event, many people go the hospital, police station, or some type of urgent care center. My current work focuses on understanding how we can identify who is at greatest risk for future problems in each of these settings and how to best help them.

Patients often have a lot on their minds shortly after a trauma. Interventions that are easy to do and fit into their care routine are needed. I have found that technology is a great way to offer this type of treatment. In my lab, we develop and evaluate a wide range of technologies including mobile applications, websites, and sensing devices (e.g., like a pedometer or GPS). Our lab offers a number of great opportunities for undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students to be involved in several aspects of research. This can range from software development, to usability testing, to clinical trials. Those that are interested should follow the links on our website to the online application.