First and foremost, I am a teacher. I have a reputation for being tough, but fair, when I teach Cognitive Psychology, History of Psychology, or Senior Thesis. My training is in cognitive psychology; research provides me with substantial intellectual satisfaction. These two roles are, of course, intertwined. I started doing research as an undergraduate at University of Oregon, using punch cards to analyze data. During my graduate school years at University of California, Davis, I studied memory, perception, cognition, and their development. Later, my research turned toward practical aspects of memory. More recently, my interests have taken me into asylum archives to learn about the origins of moral treatment of the mentally ill. I came to Quinnipiac University about 20 years ago.

Research Interests

I have two strands of research. First, I focus on everyday problems of human memory, mostly studying prospective memory (the way memory is used to plan and carry out future actions), idiosyncratic memory strategies, and the effectiveness of mnemonics. Second, I study the history of moral treatment in asylums. Embedded in the values of the Society of Friends, it transformed treatment in the late 1700s. By the mid-1800s, a transformed version of moral treatment became the standard in secular asylums. It goes without saying that I advocate the use of a variety of research methods, including observation, questionnaires, archival research, and experimentation.

Courses Taught

Like all of us in the Psychology Department, I am dedicated to good teaching. I emphasize the development of expository writing as a learning tool. I also work to encourage the development of information literacy. Scholars do much of their research and writing electronically and, therefore, students need to learn to tell the difference between an authoritative online source and one that is designed to look authoritative. I have taught a variety of content courses such as Cognitive Psychology, Mind and Culture, Applied Cognition, Psychology of Writing, and Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology. I have also taught many of the courses that form our methods sequence for psychology majors: Introduction to Psychology; Introduction to Statistics in Psychology; Methods I: Experimental Methods; Methods II: Non-experimental Methods (team taught); History and Systems in Psychology; Senior Seminar.

My Son Takes Cool Photos

My son, Michael, is a talented nature photographer. Given that I am a regular mom, I can't help showing you some of his work.

This photo of a night heron was taken at Aububon Park in New Orleans.

Audubon Night Heron

This photo was taken in Lee Dyer's lab at Tulane.

Saturn Caterpillar!

I love this study of raindrops on a flower

Purple Flower

Summer Work 2013

Follow Ben and Tucker as they work and play in England, Ireland, and Scotland.

Dogs on the Road