David Chester, Ph.D.
808 W Franklin, rm 302
Assistant Professor (tenure-track)
Ph.D. (2016), University of Kentucky
Doctoral Program Affiliation
Human aggression is a costly and complex phenomenon. My research seeks to understand the psychological and biological processes that motivate and constrain aggressive behavior. For example, I am interested in how the brain’s reward circuitry promotes and reinforces aggressive responses to threat, provocation and rejection.
Lasko, E.N., & Chester, D.S. (in press). What makes a ‘successful’ psychopath? Longitudinal trajectories of offenders’ antisocial behavior and impulse control as a function of psychopathy. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment.
Chester, D.S., Clark, M.A., & DeWall, C.N. (in press). The flux, pulse, and spin of aggression-related affect. Emotion.
Chester, D.S., DeWall, C.N., & Enjaian, B. (2019). Sadism and aggressive behavior: Inflicting pain to feel pleasure. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(8), 1252-1268.
Chester, D.S., Lynam, D.R., Milich, R., & DeWall, C.N. (2018). Neural mechanisms of the rejection-aggression link. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 13(5), 501-512.
Chester, D. S., Lynam, D. R., Milich, R., & DeWall, C. N. (in press). Physical aggressiveness and gray matter deficits in ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Cortex.
Chester, D. S. (2017). The role of positive affect in aggression. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26, 366-370.
Chester, D. S., & DeWall, C. N. (2017). Combating the sting of rejection with the pleasure of revenge: A new look at how emotion shapes aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112, 413-430.
Chester, D. S., Whitt, Z. T., Davis, T. S., & DeWall, C. N. (2017). The Voodoo Doll Self-Injury Task: A new measure of sub-clinical self-harm tendencies. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 36, 554-578.
Chester, D. S., & DeWall, C. N. (2016). The pleasure of revenge: Retaliatory aggression arises from a neural imbalance toward reward. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11, 1173-1182.
- Personality Psychology, undergraduate level
- Social Psychology, undergraduate level
- Advanced Social Psychology, graduate level
K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award
Genetic and Neural Factors in Alcohol-Influenced Aggression
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
The Neural Mechanisms Underlying Antisocial Empathy and Psychopathic Aggression
Role: Principle Investigator
Source: VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research
Testing a Cyclical Model of Aggression and Alcohol Abuse: An fMRI Study
Role: Principal Investigator
Source: R.S. Lipman Research Fund for the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
The Rewarding Nature of Angry Rumination in Borderline Personality Disorder: An fMRI Investigation
Source: University of Kentucky’s Office of the Vice President for Research
- 2019, Dept. of Psychology Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Award, VCU
- 2018, Preregistration Challenge Winner, Center for Open Science
- 2017, Rising Star, Association for Psychological Science
- 2016, Young Investigator Program Award, International Society for Research on Aggression
- 2015, Dissertation Research Award, Heritage Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology
- 2015, Dissertation Year Fellowship, University of Kentucky
- 2012, Outstanding Research Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology
- APS names Chester 'Rising Star'
- What leads certain people to seek vengeance? Sadism, according to a new VCU-led study
- Dr. David Chester's revenge research generates media interest