SPOKANE, Wash. — Raven Maragh-Lloyd, assistant professor of communication studies at Gonzaga University, is part of a research project that examines how and why some people adopt extreme political and cultural views through their use of social media. The project also will look at what researchers, technological companies and policymakers can do to identify, predict, and prevent that behavior.

The research is led by an associate professor from the University of Iowa and funded with more than $1 million from the Minerva Research Initiative, a social science research program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. The program focuses on U.S. national security policy, with a goal of understanding the social, cultural and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the United States.

The project will investigate the psychological attributes that make one vulnerable to radicalization and how users respond to radical content. Investigators then will use that data to develop techniques to predict what communities are likely to adopt extremist ideologies.