VCU Psychology Department

Does forgiving others affect your meaning in life?

Relationships are a vital source of meaning in life. But conflicts are inevitable in every relationship. Might forgiving an offense by your partner increase or restore how meaningful you feel your life is? read more...


How can we track the psychosocial functioning of patients?

Understanding a patient’s psychological profile over time can aid in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment planning. What method can we use to track the psychosocial functioning of patients? read more...


Dr. Scott Vrana

Professor (tenured)

Clinical Psychology (primary), Social Psychology (secondary)


PhD (1988), University of Florida

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Virginia

Fellow, International Organization of Psychophysiology

Contact Information

Phone: 804-828-1242

Office: 806 W Franklin, rm 303


Research and Clinical Interests

My research interests involve the study of emotion from a psychophysiological perspective. Current specific interests include psychophysiological studies of emotional and attentional processes during emotional imagery, the psychophysiology of social interaction, psychophysiological response in PTSD, and the effect of ethnic/cultural differences and social context on the expression of emotion and on social interaction. My clinical interests include intellectual assessment and the assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders.

Selected Publications

Konig, A., Eonta, A., Dyal, S. R., & Vrana, S. R.  (2014). Enhancing the benefits of written emotional disclosure through response training. Behavior Therapy, 45, 344-357.

Quinn, C. A., Rollock, D., & Vrana, S. R. (2014). A test of Speilberger’s state-trait theory of anger with adolescents: Five hypotheses. Emotion, 14, 74-84. 

Margolies, S. O., Rybarczyk, B., Vrana, S. R., Leszezyszyn, D. J., & Lynch, J. (2013). Efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral treatment for insomnia and nightmares in Afghanistan and Iraq veterans with PTSD. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69, 1026-1042.

Vrana, S. R., Calhoun, P. S., McClernon, F. J., Dennis, M. F., Lee, S. T., & Beckham, J. C. (2013). Effects of smoking on the acoustic startle response and prepulse inhibition in smokers with and without posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychopharmacology, 230. 477-485.

Panayiotou, G., van Oyen Witvliet, C., Robinson, J. D., & Vrana, S. R.  (2011). A startling absence of emotion effects: Active attention to the startle probe as a motor task cue appears to eliminate modulation of the startle reflex by valence and arousal. Biological Psychology, 87, 226-233. 

Recent Courses
Recent Grant

Enhancing the mental and physical health benefits of trauma disclosure through response training, National Institute of Mental Health, 1 F31 MH 076675-01 (sponsor), May 2006 - April 2010, $49,424/year, $197,696 total.