Performance System Technologies (PST) Lab

Dr. Houmanfar’s Performance System Technologies (PST) Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno represents diverse research interests spanning across behavioral systems analysis, cultural behavior analysis, analysis of verbal behavior, leadership communication & values-based governance, rule governance, implicit bias, cooperation, compassion plus well-being in organized groups, and beyond.

This approach guides leaders’ promotion of wellbeing and performance improvement by:

  1. Operating in the context of positive conditions for others.

  2. Minimizing aversive or coercive conditions of others.

  3. Aiding others in identifying or achieving optimal levels of performance.

Performance System Technologies Lab members

Members of the PST Lab (from left to right, beginning on the top row): Theo Fuentes, Alison Szarko, Angela Engbrecht, Donna West, Dr. Ramona Houmanfar, Rita Olla, Changzhi Wu and Kian Assemi

Interdisciplinary collaborations and consultations

PST Lab’s record includes collaboration with leadership teams in global energy companies, department of defense and medical education. For instance, through the last 12 years, PST team has utilized rigorous measurement tools to conduct assessment of behaviors of interest such as communication, implicit bias, psychological flexibility, and cultural humility as part of the curriculum design at UNRMed. This interdisciplinary collaboration has also involved the development of an Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) curriculum targeting student well-being, burnout management and cultural humility.

Moreover, Dr. Houmanfar’s interdisciplinary collaboration with the College of Engineering resulted in her recent work as a Co-PI on a federal grant with faculty in Computer science and Cybersecurity programs. The grant focuses on research pertaining to Artificial Intelligence (AI) biases and cooperation between AI and Humans. This project offers PST lab members the platform for research and training with colleagues at the College of Engineering.

Dr. Houmanfar has led the instructional operations in the Self-Paced, Personalized, Interactive and Networked (SPIN) system of Psychology since 1998. This system of instruction utilizes a variation of the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) and serves as demonstration of the PST lab research in instructional design and values-based governance.