Western University PsychologyFaculty of Social Science

Peter Hoaken

Dr. Peter Hoaken

Clinical Science and Psychopathology

**Currently on leave and not accepting graduate students

  • Bio

  • Publications

  • Research

Biographical Information

I completed my undergraduate studies at Queen’s University, where I majored in Psychology, and developed a particular interest in clinical psychology and behavioural pharmacology. I completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at McGill University, under the supervision of Dr. R. O. Pihl, in 2001. During that time I developed a more specific interest in the relationship between alcohol intoxication and aggressive behaviour. I subsequently pursued a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Dalhousie University, where I continued to work in the alcohol-aggression field, and joined the faculty at UWO in July 2003. Since then, I have pursued research that could be described as applied forensic, mainly in collaboration with the Correctional Service of Canada.

Selected Publications

Lemarquand, D., Pihl, R.O., Benklefat, C., & Hoaken, P. N. S. (2008). Biochemical factors. The Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace & Conflict, 2 nd edition. Elsevier Press, San Diego.

Hoaken, P. N. S., Allaby, D., & Earle, J. (2007). Executive cognitive functioning and the recognition of facial expressions of emotion in incarcerated violent offenders, non-violent offenders, and controls. Aggressive Behavior, 33, 1-10.

Lee, V. & Hoaken, P. N. S. (2007). Cognition, emotion, and neurobiological development: Mediating the relation between maltreatment and aggression. Child Maltreatment, 12, 281-298.

Hoaken, P. N. S. (2006). Investigations of social information processing and executive cognitive function in adult male offenders and community controls. In: Österman, K., & Björkqvist, K. (Eds.). Contemporary research on aggression. Åbo Akademi University , Finland .

Hoaken, P. N. S. & Stewart, S.H. (2003). Drugs of abuse and the elicitation of human aggressive behaviour. Addictive Behaviors, 28, 1533-1554.

Pihl, R.O., Assaad, J.M., & Hoaken, P. N. S. (2003). The alcohol-aggression relationship and differential sensitivity to alcohol. Aggressive Behavior, 29, 302-315.

Pihl, R.O., Paylan, S.S., Gentes-Hawn, A. & Hoaken, P. N. S. (2003). Alcohol affects executive cognitive function differentially on the ascending versus descending limb of the blood alcohol concentration curve. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 27, 773-779.

Hoaken, P. N. S., Shaughnessy, V. K., & Pihl, R.O. (2003). Executive cognitive functioning and aggression: Is it an issue of impulsivity? Aggressive Behavior, 29, 15-30.

Hoaken, P. N. S., Campbell, T., Stewart, S., & Pihl, R.O. (2003). Effects of alcohol on cardiovascular reactivity and the mediation of aggressive behaviour in adult men and women. Alcohol & Alcoholism, 38, 84-92.

Pihl, R.O., & Hoaken, P. N. S. (2002). Biological bases to addiction and aggression in close relationships. In: Wekerle, C. & Wall, A.M., (Eds.), The violence and addiction equation: Theoretical and clinical issues in substance abuse and relationship violence. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner/Mazel, pg. 25-43.

Hoaken, P. N. S. & Pihl, R.O. (2000). The effects of alcohol intoxication on aggressive responses in men and women. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 35(5), 471-477.


My predominant research interest is in human aggression and violent crime. Ongoing research generally falls into one or two different areas: First, my students and I conduct work within institutions of the Correctional Service of Canada, specifically looking at the cognitive characteristics of male offenders, and attempting to understand what factors predict good versus bad correctional outcomes (i.e. successful reintegration versus recidivism). This research is being conducted because although Canada has historically been a leader in the field of correctional rehabilitation, we currently approach programming in large part with a “one size fits all” mentality that does not reflect offender heterogeneity. Second, another line of current work is predicated on the continued understanding of the extent to which different drugs – predominantly alcohol -pharmacologically interfere with specific cognitive and social-perceptual processes. In the past, I have conducted several studies on the alcohol-aggression relationship, with the focus on preventative mechanisms (that is, why some people become aggressive when intoxicated and others do not), and that line of research is continuing.

I have also investigated sex differences in aggression, particularly whether men and women aggress differently, and in response to different types of provocation. Other on-going projects focus on the consequences of child maltreatment, and a study of women who have been victims of domestic violence. Associated interests include topics relating to forensic psychology, including drug and alcohol intoxication as an estimator variable in eyewitness accuracy, and intoxication as a moderator of memory phenomena.

In the 2013-2014 year, the Hoaken lab consists of myself; and Doctoral Students Megan Hancock and Jennifer Tapscott (away on Residency); Masters Students Stephanie Montgomery-Graham and Monica Tomlinson; and Honors Students Jeremy Reinblatt and Taylor Salisbury. Also working in the lab on projects are Matt Brown and Nicole Dryburgh.

For more information on the clinical program click here.