Our research examines human learning, problem solving, and motivation with an aim to understand, predict, and promote knowledge transfer. Transfer is the ability to use prior knowledge and experience to solve novel problems. We have focused on four interrelated lines of research on transfer: 1) investigating the cognitive and metacognitive processes underlying transfer success and failure, 2) exploring the relationship between motivation, cognition, metacognition, and transfer, 3) examining the social (e.g., collaboration and competition) and ecological processes that support or inhibit transfer, and 4) investigating the effects of mindfulness meditation on cognition, learning, and transfer. An overarching goal is to develop instructional theories to promote knowledge transfer for both children and adults across a range of formal and informal learning environments. We are particularly interested in creating and testing forms of instruction that integrate psychological theories with technology innovations (e.g., intelligent tutoring systems) to achieve this goal.

Below are links to the four main areas of transfer research with sample project descriptions:  

Cognitive and Metacognitive | Interactions with Motivation | Social and Ecological | Mindfulness


Beckman Foundation Center for Research and Development in Cognition Science Instruction Department of Education image IES image Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center LearnLab image NSF image