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Cognitive Sciences

Photograph of Anthony Bishara, Ph.D.

Dr. Anthony Bishara

I have two research foci: Cognitive Psychology and Quantitative Psychology.

My research in Cognitive Psychology involves studying memories of students through laboratory experiments. I am particularly interested in how multiple choice tests can help or hurt students’ memory retention. Answering this question can help teachers and professors design better tests that enhance the learning experience.  I am also interested in how researchers (scientists, professors in various fields) make decisions about graphs and statistics.

My research in Quantitative Psychology relies on computer programming and simulation. I am interested in how typical statistics are distorted by non-normal data (not shaped like a bell-curve), and how alternative statistics can prevent this distortion. This is important because most psychological data are non-normal.

Students working with me on memory projects gain experience with conducting memory tests on computers and with research ethics. Students working on statistical projects gain experience with computer programming, simulation, and data exploration.

Recent Publications:

Bishara, A.J., & Hittner, J.B. (2015). Reducing bias and error in the correlation coefficient due to nonnormality. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 75(5), 785-804.

Bishara, A.J., & Lanzo, L.A. (2015). All of the above: When multiple correct response options enhance the testing effect. Memory, 23(7), 1013-1028.

Photograph of Daniel Greenberg, Ph.D.

Dr. Daniel Greenberg

For the most part, I study human memory, particularly autobiographical memory (memories for the events of everyday life). On a broad level, my students and I are trying to figure out how this form of memory works. Why do we remember some things and not others? How do memories from early childhood differ from later memories? How does stress affect memory? How easily are memories changed or distorted? How do other factors, like social support or personality, affect memory? Students in my lab investigate these questions using a variety of approaches, including questionnaires, interviews, and physiological measurements. We test both younger adults at C of C as well as older adults from the community; we also test broader populations using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

Photograph of Cynthia May, Ph.D.

Dr. Cynthia May

One line of my research explores human memory and seeks ways to optimize memory functioning for younger and older adults. Have you ever forgotten to do something important, like take medication or send a birthday card? These tasks involve prospective memory, a form of memory that supports recall of intentions to be performed at a later time. My students and I have conducted several studies that demonstrate that emotional prompts can improve prospective memory, and our current work examines the parameters of this emotional boost.

My second line of research examines inclusive social and educational settings in which people with and without disabilities live and learn together. For too long people with intellectual disabilities have been segregated in separate classrooms and sheltered work centers. How do we create change within our educational, recreational and employment systems? I work with students and colleagues across the country to enhance inclusive opportunities on college campuses and beyond. My research explores the consequences of inclusive interactions on attitudes and behavior, with the aim of improving options and outcomes for people with disabilities.

Nearly all of my work is done in collaboration with undergraduate students, who work with me on grant funding, conference presentations, and publications. I also enjoy writing about new research findings for Scientific American: Mind Matters blog.  You can check out some of my articles at:

Recent Publications

May, C. P., & Hasher, L. (2017). Synchrony affects performance for older but not younger neutral-type adults. Timing and Time Perception, 5, 129 -148.

May, C. P., Manning, M., Einstein, G. O., Becker, L., & Owens, M. (2015). The best of both worlds: Emotional cues boost prospective memory accuracy and reduce repetition errors. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 22(3), 357-375. DOI:10.1080/13825585.2014.952263

Jones, M., Boyle, M., May, C. P., Paiewonsky, M., Prohn, S., Updike, J., & Wheeler, C. (2015). Building inclusive campus communities: A framework for inclusion. Think College Insight Brief, 26, 1-5.

Cindi May Lab Photo 1

Cindi May Lab Photo 2