Professor of Psychology

020 Gilmer Hall; 115 Millmont

Office Hours:
Mon: 11:30-12:30
Thu: 2:00-3:00

Human Dynamics Laboratory

Research Areas: 

Steven M. Boker is Professor of Quantitative Psychology and directs the Quantitative Psychology PhD program, the Human Dynamics Laboratory, and the LIFE Academy at the University of Virginia.  He is an internationally recognized expert in modeling longitudinal data from a dynamical systems perspective. Dr. Boker's novel developments include the Differential Structural Equation Modeling (dSEM) and Latent Differential Equations (LDE) methods for testing and comparing models of dynamical systems in mixed longitudinal and cross-sectional data and the Windowed Cross-Correlation (WCC) method for determining nonstationary relative phase in multivariate time series.  He developed a path analysis method (RAMpath) that is used by modern structural equation modeling programs for calculation of components of covariance and converting between path diagrams and covariance expectation algebra.  Dr. Boker is one of the original developers of the OpenMx Structural Equation Modeling software (  

Dr. Boker's substantive work includes measuring and modeling the dynamics of dyadic conversation, age-related changes in resiliency as indicated by coupled dynamics between stress and affect, coupled dynamics between mothers and infants, and adaptive dynamic models for addiction.  Dr. Boker is author or co-author of over 150 journal articles, book chapters, and software packages and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.    

Representative Publications:

Moulder, R., Daniel, K., Teachman, B. & Boker, S. M. (in press) Tangle: A Metric for Quantifying Complexity and Erratic Behavior in Short Time Series. Psychological Methods

Boker, S. M., Moulder, R., & Sjobeck, G. (2020) Constrained Fourth Order Latent Differential Equation Reduces Parameter Estimation Bias for Damped Linear Oscillator Models. Structural Equation Modeling 7:2 202–218.

Boker, S. M. & Martin, M. (2018) A Conversation between Theory, Methods, and Data. Multivariate Behavioral Research. 53:6, 806–819 

Moulder, R., Boker, S., Ramseyer, F., & Tschacher, W. (2018). Determining synchrony between behavioral time series: An application of surrogate data generation for establishing falsifiable null-hypotheses. Psychological Methods. 23:4 pp 757–773

Boker, S. M., Staples, A., & Hu, Y. (2016) Dynamics of Change and Change in Dynamics. Journal for Person-Oriented Research, 2:1–2, 34–55.

Boker, S. M., Brick, T. R., Pritikin, J. N., Wang, Y., Oertzen, T. v., Brown, D., Lach, J., Estabrook, R., Hunter, M. D., Maes, H. H., & Neale, M. C. (2015) Maintained Individual Data Distributed Likelihood Estimation. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 50:6, 706-720.

Boker, S. M. (2013) Selection, Optimization, Compensation, and Equilibrium Dynamics. GeroPsych: The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry, 26:1, 61–73.

Boker, S. M., Neale, M., Maes, H., Wilde, M., Spiegel, M., Brick, T., Spies, J., Estabrook, R., Kenny, S., Bates, T., Mehta, P., & Fox, J. (2011) OpenMx: An Open Source Extended Structural Equation Modeling Framework. Psychometrika, 76:2, 306–317.

Boker, S., Cohn, J., Theobald, B., Matthews, I., Mangini, M., Spies, J., Amabadar, Z. & Brick, T. (2011) Something in the Way We Move: Motion Dynamics, not Perceived Sex, Influence Head Movements in Conversation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 37:2, 631–640.

Boker, S. M., Molenaar, P. C. M., & Nesselroade, J. R. (2009) Issues in Intraindividual Variability: Individual Differences in Equilibria and Dynamics over Multiple Time Scales. Psychology and Aging, 24:4, 858–862. 

Ashenfelter, K. T., Boker, S. M., Waddell, J. R., & Vitanov, N. (2009). Spatiotemporal Symmetry and Multifractal Structure of Head Movements during Dyadic Conversation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance 34:4, 1072–1091.

Boker, S. M., Xu, M., Rotondo, J. L., and King, K. (2002) Windowed cross–correlation and peak picking for the analysis of variability in the association between behavioral time series. Psychological Methods, 7:3, 338–355. 

Boker, S. M., Deboeck, P. R., Edler, C., & Keel, P. K. (2010) Generalized Local Linear Approximation of Derivatives from Time Series. In Statistical Methods for Modeling Human Dynamics: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, S.–M. Chow & E. Ferrar (Eds). Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, pp 179–212.

Boker, S. M., Neale, M. C. & Klump, K. L. (2014) A Differential Equations Model for the Ovarian Hormone Cycle. In Handbook of Relational Developmental Systems: Emerging Methods and Concepts, P. C. Molenaar, R. Lerner, & K. Newell (Eds). New York: Guilford Press, pp 369–391

Boker, S. M., Neale, M. C. & Rausch, J. R. (2004) Latent Differential Equation Modeling with Multivariate Multi-Occasion Indicators. In Recent Developments on Structural Equation Models: Theory and Applications, K. van Montfort, H. Oud, & A. Satorra (eds), Amsterdam: Kluwer. 151–174