Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D.

Matthew Johnson 174x232


Association for Behavior Analysis International


Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

"Making Sense of Drug Addiction"

Matthew W. Johnson’s research has focused on two domains within the behavioral pharmacology of conventional and novel drugs of abuse.

The first research domain is the application of behavioral economic concepts such as delay discounting and demand elasticity to advance our understanding of decision making in addiction. Johnson has pioneered the use of delay-discounting to understand poor decision-making and risky sexual behavior associated with HIV among individuals who abuse psychomotor stimulants.

A second research area concerns the abuse liability and characterization of novel and atypical behaviorally active drugs in humans.This has included the evaluation of drugs not always viewed as having abuse potential. In an influential paper, he assessed the safety of emerging, novel hallucinogens that are under scientific investigation and may have clinical efficacy.

Johnson has appeared on a number of news shows including CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Show and NPR’s Morning Edition, and he has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post and other major national and international media outlets.

Johnson is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in general and experimental psychology and bio-behavioral specialization from the University of Vermont in 2004, after which he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at Johns Hopkins in 2007.