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Joseph Williams


Welcome to my department webpage!  As you can see in my Vita, my academic training, life skills, and research interests provide a cross-disciplinary understanding of the human experience.  The classes I teach cover topic areas involving psychology, biology, chemistry, statistics, sociology, religion, and human factors performance.  Although I previously had nearly 30 years of involvement with drugs of abuse in animal research, my primary interests since coming to EIU include the study of personality, religion & spirituality, and human performance in high-stress context situations.  I also have a research consulting firm I created in 2003 to pursue my research goals with businesses outside of EIU to study the behavioral physionic response in these stress simulations. 

If you have interest in these areas, I would enjoy talking with you.

Areas of Expertise

  • Homeland Security
  • Psychology
  • Substance Abuse


B.A., University of Rhode Island, 1979 (General Psychology)
M.A., Boston University, 1982 (Experimental/BioPsychology)
Ph.D., Boston University, 1987 (Experimental/BioPsychology)

Dissertation: The Effects of Chronic Infusion of Morphine on the Detection of Electrical Brain Stimulation and the Development of Tolerance.

Research Experience:

Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center, Boston Univ. Sch. Medicine. Studied effects of neuropeptides on encephalogical activity


Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory, Div. of Psychiatry, Boston Univ. Sch. Medicine. Research involved use of electrical brain stimulation to study reward, pain, and attentional activity in the brain.

Drug Abuse Research Center, Dept. Psychiatry, Pritzker School of Medicine The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL Research on the discriminative stimulus properties of drugs.

Pharmaceutical Discovery, Dept. Neurosciences, Abbott Laboratories, IL. Research on cocaine self-administration in rats.

London Guildhall University, Department of Psychology & The University of London, London, England. Research involved the use of Fast Cylic Voltametry to study reward behavior in the brain related to neurotransmitter release.



Research Interests

PsychoPharmacology; The Biological Basis of Behavior; The Effects of Drugs of Abuse on Brain Reward Mechanisms; The Measurement of Neurotransmitters; The Relationship Between Neurochemical Events and Ongoing Behavior; Behavioral Physionics of Stress-Related Responding; Human Factors Performance; The Relationship Between Psychology and Religion.

Contact Information

Phone: 217-581-2422

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