Dan Johnson, Ph.D.
PSYC 112: Cognition
PSYC 114: Social Psychology
PSYC 120: Quantitative Literacy in the Behavioral Sciences
PSYC 295: Cognition and Emotion
The science of
Cognition and Emotion
Long lines. Public presentations. Clearing spam from your Email box. On a first date - double scoop of ice-cream falls off cone, grazes your shirt, then pants, then ends its journey on your date’s shoes. Relationship break-up. We investigate something required to successfully navigate all of these inevitable life experiences – the ability to regulate emotion. Specifically, we are interested in how people re-interpret these situations (i.e., use reappraisal) and deploy attention both externally and internally in order to either keep emotion in check or channel it successfully.
We also investigate the role of cognitive biases in the emotion regulation. Cognitive biases are consistent tendencies to deploy attention toward negative information or consistent tendencies to interpret ambiguous situations in a negative manner.
As an application of this work, the development of new cognitive-bias modification techniques may serve as intervention and training techniques to help people learn to regulate emotion more effectively – including those with clinical anxiety or depression.
Computerized Neuropsychological Assessment
The computerized assessment of cognition, such as, memory, attention, and processing speed is a rapidly expanding area of neuropsychological assessment. These tests are applied to various clinical populations, like those with mild traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and neurological disease. In many of the scenarios in which these tests are being used, particularly those involving the potential for financial gain, measures of malingering (i.e., intentional feigning or exaggeration of an injury) are needed.
In collaboration with the Center for the Study of Human Operator Performance (C-SHOP), we are developing and applying a measure to detect invalid responding on computerized tests of cognition. These measures are derived from performance indicators already present in most computerized tests.