Center for Applied Psychological Research


Melloni N. Cook, Ph.D.
Dunavant Professor 

Associate Chair, Research Initiatives
Director of CAPR
Phone: 901.678.1516

Founded in 1984, the Center for Applied Psychological Research is one of the original Tennessee Centers of Excellence, and it is now designated an Accomplished Center of Excellence. Over the twenty-three years that have elapsed since CAPR began, CAPR has far exceeded all benchmarks set for its performance. CAPR faculty have attracted millions of dollars in extramural funding to the State of Tennessee, published hundreds of scholarly works, graduated hundreds of masters, doctoral, and undergraduate students, been elected or appointed to many national professional offices, and won numerous local and national honors and awards. By any standard, CAPR is one of the most successful centers ever funded under the State of Tennessee's Centers of Excellence program. 

CAPR Mission Statement

The faculty members in CAPR apply scientific methods and knowledge of psychology to the solution of problems in individuals, communities, and society, while advancing scientific research and theory.  CAPR is one of the original Tennessee Centers of Excellence that was established in 1984. CAPR is now designated an Accomplished Center of Excellence, in recognition of the Center's consistently high quality of research, teaching, and service over the years. During the last decade, faculty in the CAPR have brought in and expended over $35 million in external funding, published over 1600 scholarly works, and graduated hundreds of masters and doctoral students. The 33 faculty in CAPR cover five areas of specialization: (1) behavioral neuroscience, (2) child, adolescent, and family studies, (3) clinical health psychology, (4) cognitive psychology and (5) psychotherapy research. 

CAPR Goals and Objectives

The primary goals of the CAPR are (a) to achieve national prominence for its accomplishments, (b) to increase the number of trained psychologists able to conduct, disseminate, and apply such research, and (c) to secure extramural funding to facilitate research and training. In addition, as part of a Psychology Department in a major urban research university, CAPR supports the general teaching, research, and service missions of the department and university. 

CAPR Profile

Our CAPR faculty are recognized at the college, university, and national levels for their research, scholarship, and service activities and accomplishments.  Among numerous honors, at the University level, many of our faculty have been recognized as “PI Millionaires, received Early Career Awards, received endowed Dunavant and Moss professorships, received distinguished teaching awards, and recognition from the alumni association. Nationally, CAPR faculty have been named as fellows in several divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association of Psychological Science (APS), recognized as APA Early Career Psychologists, named to the American Psychological Foundation’s (APF) Board of Trustees, and most recently named to APA’s board of Scientific Affairs.  In addition, CAPR faculty share their knowledge and expertise with the city and state in a number of ways, especially through engaged scholarship in the community. 

CAPR Conclusion

The CAPR has been an excellent investment for the citizens of Tennessee, in terms of: research and teaching productivity, attracting external grant dollars, and having an impact on the real problems of our community and state. One of our goals is to ensure that CAPR dollars are being spent where they will produce the most return on the investment—in the specialty areas and faculty that have produced high quality basic or applied research, and on activities that contribute directly and demonstrably to our mission.