The cognitive psychology program at Kent State University is comprised of an active and collaborative group of faculty and students whose research focuses on higher level cognitive processes such as learning and memory, automaticity, cognitive aging, cognitive and language development, reading and spelling, text comprehension, education, and metacognition. These research efforts include studies of normative cognitive functioning as well as attempts to understand how cognitive processes change with development across the lifespan, and how they are affected by brain injury and traumatic stress. A key theme is the generation of basic knowledge about cognitive processes and the application of that knowledge to real world issues and situations, such as the reliability of eyewitness memory and methods for improving student achievement.
The cognitive program maintains active laboratories with state of the art equipment for research and graduate training. Our newly renovated facility includes ample office and laboratory space for graduate students. Laboratory facilities include a Dual Purkinje eyetracker for studying online processing during reading, multimedia work stations for presenting stimuli and collecting data, computer-controlled experimental stations for testing participants, and interview rooms for testing adults and preschool children. Faculty and students conduct a sizeable amount of research with the Psychology Departmentâ€™s large pool of student participants. Many other studies are conducted with special populations such as children, older adults, and patients with cognitive disorders as a result of brain injury or trauma.
Most graduates are employed in colleges and universities across the country, where they are engaged in research and teaching. Other graduates have pursued more applied goals and are employed in research institutes, laboratories, and human service settings. The chief aim of the program is to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to attain their own goals as researchers and teachers in psychology.
Research Training in Cognitive Psychology
The cognitive program is designed to train students in conducting and communicating high-quality psychological research. As a graduate student in the cognitive program, you will have an opportunity to collaborate closely with one or more faculty members in ongoing research projects, from conception to publication. In the first year, students begin a research project under the supervision of one of the cognitive faculty. Often, this first year research project broadens into the topic of the mastersâ€™ thesis. As students progress through the graduate program, they are encouraged to pursue additional collaborative and independent research projects, culminating in a dissertation project that often reflects the studentsâ€™ unique interests and expertise.
In the first two years, graduate students also take a number of graduate courses and seminars that cover current research in cognitive psychology, cognitive development, cognitive neuropsychology, research methods, and statistical analyses. Students in the cognitive program may elect to gain additional training by pursuing a quantitative minor.
In addition, faculty and students in the cognitive program meet twice a month for the â€œcognitive brown-bag.â€ In the brownbag, students and faculty present research ideas and learn about current research trends, attend research presentations by guest speakers from other institutions, and discuss issues relevant to professional and career development.
Students in the Cognitive area earn MAs and PhDs in Experimental Psychology. Students in the Cognitive area earn MAs and PhDs in Experimental Psychology. Students are actively involved in research throughout their graduate career. The minimum requirements for the Ph.D. are the following:
Three core courses.
Three statistics/methodology courses.
Five additional courses, including College Teaching of Psychology.
A first-year research project, including an oral presentation of results.
M.A. thesis, including an oral exam.
Written candidacy examination in area of concentration.
Fourth year oral presentation of research program
Ph.D. dissertation, including an oral defense.
All graduate students are eligible to receive financial support, usually in the form of a graduate assistantship, which is viewed as an integral part of the program. Both research and teaching skills are advanced by the graduate assistantships. Through a research assignment, students are involved directly in research with faculty. In later years, students develop teaching skills through instruction of undergraduate psychology classes.
Faculty with Related Interests
Graduate Courses in Cognitive Psychology
Recent Cognitive Ph.D.â€™s