About the Webmaster


Kyle J. Messick

Kyle J. Messick is a social psychologist with primary research interests in religion, unbelief, and metal studies. He is in the final year of his psychology PhD at Coventry University in England, where he is exploring the existence, functionality, and desecration of the sacred within secular cultures. He previously received an MA in social psychology from Ball State University and a BA in psychology from Indiana University. He is heavily involved in the psychology of religion, as he runs the websites for The International Association for the Psychology of Religion (http://www.iaprweb.org/), The Religious Studies Project (https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/), and previously he ran a website for Division 36 (The Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association. He is a vocal advocate for open science practices, and recently put out a manuscript with the goal of having the psychology of religion become a leader in the field for transparency and good science practices (https://psyarxiv.com/tx5gd/). He has contributed chapters to three books on the topics of the psychology of religion and unbelief, including in books published by Brill and Routledge. Building off of that work, he is serving as the chief editor on an upcoming special issue of the journal Studia Humana on evolutionary perspectives towards atheism that will be out later this year, in additional to serving as a reviewer for the Archive for the Psychology of Religion and The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. Kyle is also a leader in studying heavy metal music culture from a psychological perspective, having put out a manuscript exploring the relationship between morality and lyrical preferences (https://osf.io/ephb8/), and with upcoming publications about the experience of the sacred in metal music culture.

Research Interests
Teaching Experience
Research Experience
Education
Organizations
Selected Publications
Selected Popular Media Publications & Invite Columns
Skills
Selected Presentations and Invited Talks
Curriculum Vitae

RESEARCH INTERESTS

              Metal music culture, unbelief/atheism, religion/spirituality, the sacred, prayer, labyrinths, humor

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Coventry University.  Coventry, United Kingdom

       Teacher for undergraduate and MA students                                                                2016-2019

COURSES TAUGHT

116PY   Introducing Psychology
M137PY   Research Methods in Psychology 1
255PY   Quantitative Methods for Psychologists
256PY   Qualitative Techniques and Research Design for Psychologists
1003PY   Research in Human Behaviour

 

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom

       PhD student, Brain, Belief, & Behaviour Lab                                                                  2016-2019

Advisors: Dr. Miguel Farias, Dr. Jonathan Jong, Dr. Valerie van Mulukom

Project: A Psychological Study of the Sacred in Metal Music Culture

 

Indiana University South Bend, South Bend, IN

       Research Associate, Social Psychology of Religion Lab                                              2015-2016

Advisor: Dr. Kevin Ladd

Project: Prayer Vision: How Spiritual Practices Determine the World You See

Ball State University, Muncie, IN

       Research Assistant, Social Psychology Lab                                                                      2013-2014

Advisor: Dr. Brooke Wilken

Project: The Experience of Mixed Emotions through Visual Stimuli

 

Indiana University South Bend, South Bend, IN

      Research Assistant, Social Psychology of Religion Lab                                                2007-2011

Advisor: Dr. Kevin Ladd

Project: Inward, Outward, Upward Prayer: Programmatic Research Development

 

EDUCATION
Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom

       PhD in Psychology (pending Viva Voce)                                                                           2016-2019

Areas of Concentration: metal studies, sanctity, unbelief

Advisors: Dr. Miguel Farias, Dr. Jonathan Jong, Dr. Valerie van Mulukom

Ball State University, Muncie, IN

       M.A. in Social Psychology                                                                                                       2012-2013

Areas of Concentration: mixed emotions, humor, personality, attitudes
Advisor: Dr. Brooke Wilken

 

Indiana University South Bend, South Bend, IN

       B.A. in Psychology                                                                                                                     2005-2010

Areas of Concentration: prayer, forgiveness, humor

Advisor: Dr. Kevin Ladd



ORGANIZATIONS

International Association for the Psychology of Religion

Member & website creator/manager                                                                            2015-current

iaprweb.org

 

The Religious Studies Project

Website manager                                                                                                                   2016-current

https://religiousstudiesproject.com

 

American Psychological Association – Division 36

Member & website creator/manager                                                                          2016-2017

 

Indiana University South Bend

Social Psychology of Religion Laboratory

Website manager                                                                                                                 2007-2011

 

Indiana University South Bend

Women’s Studies Department

Website manager, graphic design                                                                                 2009-2010

 

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Messick, K. J. & Aranda, B. E. (review pending). The relationship between lyrical preferences & moral reasoning.
Preprint available via OSF Preprints. DOI: doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/ephb8

 

Scozik, K. & Messick, K. J. (review pending).  Breaking the spell: Reconsidering cognitive and evolutionary approaches to atheism. 

 

Messick, K. J., Day, C., & Aranda, B. (review pending). The experience of mental illness in the metal music community. 

Charles, S., Bartlett, J., Messick, K., Coleman, T., & Uzdavines, A. (in press). Research degrees of freedom in the psychology of religion, The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion.
Preprint available via OSF Preprints. DOI: 10.31234/osf.io/tx5gd

 

Messick, K., & Farias, M. (in press). The psychology of leaving religion. Brill Handbook of Leaving Religion, edited by Daniel Enstedt, Göran Larsson, and Teemu T. Mantsinen. Leiden: Brill.

 

Messick, K. (in press). Evolutionary perspectives on unbelief: An introduction from the editor. Studia Humana

 

Coleman, T. J. III, & Messick, K. J (in press). Keeping the secular deck intact. [peer commentary on The Religious Studies Project: Podcast Transcription of Donovan Schaefer’s “Is Secularism a World Religion?”]. Implicit Religion.

 

Ladd, K. L., & Messick, K. J. (2016). A brief history of the psychological study of the role(s) of religion. In W. Woody, R. Miller,  & W. Wozniak (Eds.), Psychological specialties in historical context: Enriching the classroom experience for teachers and students (pp. 204-216). Division 2, American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://teachpsych.org/ebooks/psychspec

 

 

SELECT POPULAR MEDIA PUBLICATIONS & INVITED COLUMNS

Messick, K. J. (2019, August 8) Heavy metal and video games don’t cause mass shootings. Retrieved from https://www.indymetalvault.com/2019/08/08/metal-video-games-violence/

 

Messick, K. J. (2019, July 15) AOIM: Death, death metal, and Syria. Indy Metal Vault. Retrieved from https://www.indymetalvault.com/2019/07/15/death-metal-syria/

 

Messick, K. J. (2019, April 29) Not all bands are Nazis (April 29, 2019). Esoterica Codex. Retrieved from https://esotericacodex.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/not-all-bands-are-nazis/

 

Messick, K. J. (2016, August 2) Are all extreme metal fans godless sodomites and criminals? Indy metal Vault. Retrieved from https://www.indymetalvault.com/2016/08/02/extreme-metal-culture/

 

 

Other Experiences
Chief editor for Studia Humana’s special issue on Evolutionary Perspectives on Atheism (in press).
Reviewer for the Archive for the Psychology of Religion (2019-present) and The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion (2019-present).

               

 

SKILLS

SR Research Experiment Builder & eyetracking hardware/software
Adobe Creative Suite: Photoshop, Premiere (video), Audition (sound editing), Dreamweaver (web development), Encore (building DVDs and menus), etc.

Wordpress
Members Database Software for Websites (Restrict Content Pro)
SPSS Statistical analysis software
Familiarity with hardware and software for video and music recording

Survey creation tools: Qualtrics, Surveymonkey

Uploading / Capturing video and streaming it live

Open science research practices

Transcribing

Freelance illustration / art commission

 


SELECTED PRESENTATIONS AND IN VITED TALKS

Messick, K. J., Aranda, B., Farias, M. & Jong, J. (August, 2019). Finding the sanctity in the secular: the case of heavy metal music culture. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion, Gdańsk, Poland.

Ladd, K. L., Messick, K. J., Aranda, B. (Sept, 2017). Directing motived beholders: Eye tracking studies of magician’s patter. Inaugural conference of the Science of Magic Association, Goldsmiths University, London, UK.

Messick, K., Aranda, B., Jong, J., van Mulukom, V., & Farias, M. (August, 2017). Belief replacement: creating a theoretical framework from the literature. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion, Hamar, Norway.

Ladd, K., Messick, K., Aranda, B., Fuhrman, R., & Geist, R. (April, 2017). Labyrinths. Video presented at the APA Division 36 mid-year conference, Chattanooga, TN. 

Ladd, K., Rocco, J., Messick, K., Aranda, B., & Kuzdas, A. (April, 2017). Workplace spirituality. Video presented at the APA Division 36 mid-year conference, Chattanooga, TN.   

Messick, K. J., Aranda, B., & Geist, G. (March, 2016). When the religious and non-religious debate the topic of God. Paper presented at the APA Division 36 mid-year conference, Brooklyn, NY.

Ladd, K. L., Nyhof, M., Messick, K., Aranda, B., Fuhrman, R. & Geist, R. (March, 2016). Viewing sacred space: Patterns of looking and praying. Paper presented at the midyear conference of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (APA, Division 36), Brooklyn, NY.

Ladd, K. L. & Messick, K. J. (October, 2015). Watching with your eyes: Using technology to enhance performance. Paper presented at the Magic and Meaning conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Messick, K. J., Rodriguez, D., Ladd, K. L., Brown, W., Bunkelman, C. M. (March, 2010). Predicting forgiveness using spirituality, moral identity, and humor styles. Paper presented at the Division 36, American Psychological Association Mid-Winter conference on Religion and Spirituality, Columbia, MD.

Cook, C. A., Messick, K. J., Ritter, E. A., & Ladd, K. L. (March, 2010). Postcritical belief scale, prayer, and attachment. Paper presented at the Division 36, American Psychological Association Mid-Winter conference on Religion and Spirituality, Columbia, MD.

Ladd, K. L., Cook, C. A., Messick, K. J., & Brown, W. (October, 2010). Experimentally induced influences of motion and posture on prayer’s objective content and subjective experience. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Baltimore, MD.

Messick, K.J., Cook, C.A., Brown, W., Ritter, E., & Ladd, K. L. (August, 2009).  General and Specific Evaluation of the Post-Critical Belief Scale: Learning Styles and Forgiveness.  Poster presented at the International Association for the Psychology of Religion Conference, Vienna, Austria. 

Messick, K. J., Brown, W., Ritter, E. A., & Ladd, K. L. (April, 2009). Forgiveness and Beliefs: Insights from the Post-Critical Belief Scale. Paper presented at the Division 36, American Psychological Association Mid-Winter conference on Religion and Spirituality, Columbia, MD.

Cora, J. A., Messick, K., Foreman, K. M., Sinnott, A., & Ladd, K. L. (August, 2009). Data collection strategies in the psychology of prayer. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion, Vienna, Austria.