Research Assistants Recognized for Academic Excellence at Commencement

Graduating research assistants Aileen Lian and Elizabeth Fitzgerald both received academic prizes at the 2018 Bard College Commencement exercises.  Aileen earned the Andrew Jay Bernstein Prize given to a senior in recognition of the originality and quality of the Senior Project in Psychology.  Elizabeth earned the Dr. Richard M. Siegel Memorial Prize in Science given to a student majoring in science who, in the judgment of the faculty, demonstrates academic excellence. Congratulations to Aileen, Elizabeth, and all graduating seniors!

Research Presented at Psychology Program Spring Colloquium

On Thursday, March 29th, Prof. Hutcheon presented work conducted in the lab regarding the generalizability of context-driven control. The results of these three studies suggest that under some (but not all) conditions, context-driven control can be accounted for by variations in the efficiency of control processes and not simply due to contingency learning.

Poster Presented at Annual NECTOP Conference

On Friday, October 20th, Prof. Hutcheon presented work done in collaboration with research assistants Sigi Nielsen, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, and Aileen Lian at the Northeast Conference for Teachers of Psychology (NECTOP) annual meeting in Newton, Mass.  The poster described preliminary results showing the impact of grade visualization on students self-reported academic related stress.

Chapter to be published in Essays from E-xcellence in Teaching

In response to the increased use of personal technologies, such as laptops and cell phones in the classroom, instructors have begun to implement technology bans.  The purpose of this essay is to review the evidence in favor of a technology ban, describe recent results which suggest a ban can be harmful to students’ engagement in the course, and to provide recommendations for instructors to aid in the development of a technology policy for their classrooms (

New Publication in Acta Psychologica

According to existing theories of context-driven control, participants unconsciously implement multiple control settings within a single task.  In our paper entitled “Properties of Context-driven Control Revealed through the Analysis of Sequential Congruency Effects,” we find that sequential congruency effects (the reduction in the congruency effect following incongruent relative to congruent trials) are present within but not across control settings.  In this way, participants are continually updating control settings over the course of an experiment. (link to .pdf)

Poster presented at Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention

Research conducted in the Cognitive Ctrl Lab assessing the impact of autobiographical growth narratives on women’s math performance was presented at the APS Annual Convention in Boston, MA on May 25th, 2017.  In this work, we tested whether requiring women to write about a time in their life where they showed growth in some area (growth narrative) would lead to better performance in math.  While performance improved relative to controls, the growth narrative condition lead to similar levels of performance compared with existing interventions. Future work will test the durability of growth narratives.