(978) 934-3975

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APPLIED COGNITION RESEARCH LAB

 

P.I.

I am a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I earned my Ph.D. in Psychology at Iowa State University under the direction of Gary L. Wells (in the Social Psychology program) and Jason C. K. Chan (in the Cognitive Psychology program). I am interested in applying what we know about social-cognitive phenomena to the improvement of real world procedures, particularly law and education. For more information on my work, click here.

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CURRENT LAB MEMBERS

NAYANTARA KURPAD

A.P.P.S. Ph.D. Student

Nayantara holds a Masters in Education from the University of Texas Austin. She is currently working on projects related to repeated testing, lecturer fluency, and task-switching.

KELLY T. SUTHERLAND

A.P.P.S. Ph.D. Student

Kelly holds a Masters degree in Experimental Psychology from Rivier University. She is currently working on several projects related to plea decision-making, and perceptions of those who plead guilty.

MANGO WEI

A.P.P.S. Ph.D. Student

Mango holds a Masters degree in Experimental Psychology from Western Washington University.

 

CURRENT PROJECTS

Programs of Study

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PLEA DECISION-MAKING

What leads an innocent person to plead guilty?

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EYEWITNESS MEMORY

How do well-intentioned witnesses contribute to wrongful convictions?

TASK-SWITCHING

A dark side to interpolated testing?

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LECTURER FLUENCY

How do "good" lecturers impact student learning?

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CURRENT LAB AFFILIATES

LISA GERACI

Professor & Chair

Professor Geraci holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Stony Brook University. She is interested in the application of memory and metacognition to educational, business, legal and training environments, as well as the effects of aging on cognitive processes.

MELTEM KARACA

A.P.P.S. Ph.D. Student

Meltem holds a Masters degree in Neuroscience from Bilkent University. She is currently working on projects related to retrieval practice, task-switching, and correcting misconceptions.

MARCUS LITHANDER

A.P.P.S. Ph.D. Student

Marcus holds a Masters degree in Cognitive Psychology from Stockholm University. He is currently working on projects related to neuro-myths and metacognition.

 

LAB ALUMNI

ANNABELLE SHESTAK

Annabelle was the first to graduate from UMass Lowell's Applied Psychology and Prevention Science (A.P.P.S.) Ph.D. Program. Her research is focused on defendant decisions within the justice system, and the impact of these decisions on their outcomes. She is now the Director of Social Services Advocacy, Mental Health Litigation Division; she is working for the Committee for Public Counsel Services (The Public Defender Agency of MA).

ANNMARIE KHAIRALLA

Annmarie worked in the Applied Cognition Research lab for over three years as an undergraduate Psychology student. During her time in the lab, she completed an Honors thesis entitled, "The effects of tender-of-plea form comprehensibility on plea decision-making". She is now in the Forensic Psychology Ph.D. Program at Ontario Tech University working under Brian L. Cutler. Her current projects relate to: body-worn cameras, eyewitness memory, and false confessions.

 

ADVISORY PANEL

National Science Foundation CAREER - Guilty Plea Advisory Panel

In 2019, Professor Wilford received a CAREER grant from the Law & Social Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation (A System of Pleas: Using a Role-Playing Simulation to Test Plea-Decision Models). This grant will involve the development of computer-simulation software with which to study plea decision-making. As part of this project, an advisory panel will be assembled each year of the grant to provide feedback on the project. If you are interested in participating on the panel, please contact Professor Wilford.

YEAR ONE PANEL

July 19, 2019

This year's panel participants included (from left to right): Kelsey Henderson, Kevin Petersen, Julia Durska, Allison Redlich, Erika Fountain, Vanessa Edkins, Ryan Schneider, Amy Dezember, Kelly Sutherland, Miko Wilford, and Tina Zottoli (not pictured: Misha Rabinovich, Annabelle Shestak, & Karen Smolar)

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RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

The Applied Cognition Research Lab investigates ways in which psychological science can be applied to the improvement of real world procedures and processes.  More specifically, lab research attempts to answer questions such as: How do innocent people choose to accept or reject a plea deal?  What is the impact of information fluency on students’ perceptions of learning?  What is the best way to preserve eyewitness memory?  Participation in the lab provides excellent learning opportunities, especially for those interested in pursuing graduate school.  Under the supervision of Dr. Miko Wilford, students will learn how to code data, design study materials, conduct experiments, analyze academic articles, etc, while earning academic credits (in Research Service Learning).  Interested students should contact Dr. Wilford to request an application.  

 
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