Timothy Nokes-Malach

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Timothy Nokes-Malach

Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology

Research Scientist, Learning Research & Development Center

Research Interests

My research examines human learning, problem solving, and motivationwith an aim to understand, predict, and promote knowledge transfer. Specific topics include: 1) identifying the cognitive and metacognitive processes underlying transfer success and failure, 2) exploring the relations between instruction, motivation, cognition, and transfer, 3) examining social 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 learning and transfer in mathematics and science.

Whitcomb, K. M., Kalender, Z. Y., Nokes-Malach, T. J., Schunn, C. D., & Singh, C. (2020). Laying a foundation for success in engineering coursework: A predictive curriculum model. International Journal of Engineering Education, 36(4).

Kalender, Z. Y., Marshman, E., Nokes-Malach, T., Schunn, C. D., & Singh, C. (2020). Beliefs about competence: The story of self-efficacy, gender, and physics. In A. Murrell (Ed.), Diversity across disciplines: Research on people, policy, process and paradigm. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Whitcomb, K. M., Kalender, Z. Y., Nokes-Malach, T. J., Schunn, C. D., & Singh, C. (2020). Comparison of self-efficacy and performance of engineering undergraduate women and men. International Journal of Engineering Education, 36(6),1996–2014.

Miele, D.B., Nokes-Malach, T. J., & May, S. (2020). Motivation and the processing of multiple inputs. In P. V. Meter, A. List, D. Lombardi, & P. Kendeou (Eds.), Handbook of Learning from Multiple Representations and Perspectives. Rutledge.

Kalender, Z. Y., Marshman, E., Schunn, C. D., Nokes-Malach, T. J., & Singh, C. (2020). Damage caused by women's lower self-efficacy on physics learning. Physical Review Physics Education Research.

Zepeda, C.D. & Nokes-Malach, T.J. (2020). Metacognitive study strategies in a college course and their relation to exam performance. Memory & Cognition, 48(7).

Whitcomb, K. M., G Kalender, Y., Nokes-Malach, T. J., Schunn, C., & Singh, C. (2020).Engineering students’ performance in foundational courses as a predictor of future academicsuccess. International Journal of Engineering Education, 36 (4), 1340-1355.

Nokes-Malach, T. J., Zepeda, C. D., Richey, J. E., & Gadgil, S. (2019). Collaborative learning: The benefits and costs. In J. Dunlosky & K. A. Rawson (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of cognition and education (p. 500–527). Cambridge University Press

Nokes-Malach, T., Kalender, Y., Marshman, E., Schunn, C., & Singh, C. (2019). Prior preparation and motivational characteristics mediate relations between gender and learning outcomes in introductory physics. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh.

Kalender, Y., Marshman, E., Schunn, C., Nokes-Malach, T., & Singh, C. (2019). Gendered patterns in the construction of physics identity from motivational factors. Physical Review Physics Education Research.

Richey, E. J., Nokes-Malach, T. J., & Cohen, K. (2018). Collaboration facilitates abstract category learning. Memory and Cognition, 46(5), 685-698.

Meigh, K., Shaiman, S., Tompkins, C., Verdolini Abbott, K., & Nokes-Malach, T. (2018). What memory representation is acquired during nonword speech production learning? The influence of stimulus features and training modality on nonword encoding. Cogent Psychology, 5, 1-24.

Zepeda, C. D., Hlutkowsky, C. O., Partika, A. C., & Nokes-Malach, T. J. (2018). Identifying teachers’ supports of metacognition through classroom talk and its relation to growth in conceptual learning. Journal of Educational Psychology.

Marshman, E. M., Kalender, Z. Y., Nokes-Malach, T., Schunn, C. & Singh, C. (2018). Female students with A’s have similar physics self-efficacy as male students with C’s in introductory courses: A cause for alarm? Physical Review Physics Education Research, 14(2).

Richey, J. E., Bernacki, M. L., Belenky, D. M., Nokes-Malach, T. J. (2018). Comparing class- and task-level measures of achievement goals. Journal of Experimental Education.86(4) 560-578

Marshman, E., Kalender, Z. Y., Schunn, C., Nokes-Malach, T., & Singh, C. (2017). A longitudinal analysis of students’ motivational characteristics in introductory physics courses: Gender differences. Canadian Journal of Physics, 96(4), 391-405.

Greeno, J. G., & Nokes-Malach, T. J. (2016). Some early contributions to the situative perspective on learning and cognition. In M. A. Evans, M J. Packer, and R. K. Sawyer (Eds.), Reflections on the Learning Sciences (pp. 59-75). Cambridge University Press. New York, NY.

Bernacki, M., Nokes-Malach, T., Richey, E. J., & Belenky, D. M. (2016). Science diaries: a brief writing intervention to improve motivation to learn science. Educational Psychology, 36(1), 26-46.

Chan, J., & Nokes-Malach, T. J. (2016). Situative creativity: Larger physical spaces facilitate thinking of novel uses for everyday objects. Journal of Problem Solving, 9(1), 29-45.

Richey, J. E., & Nokes-Malach, T. J. (2015). Comparing four instructional techniques for promoting robust knowledge. Educational Psychology Review.

Bernacki, M. L., Nokes-Malach, T. J., & Aleven, V. (2015). Examining self-efficacy during learning: variability and relations to behavior, performance, and learning. Metacognition and Learning.

Nokes-Malach, T. J., & Richey, J. E. (2015). Knowledge transfer: New approaches to a controversial phenomenon. In R. Scott and S. Kosslyn (Eds.), Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Zepeda, C. D., Richey, J. E., Ronevich, P., & Nokes-Malach, T. J. (2015). Direct instruction of metacognition benefits adolescent science learning, transfer, and motivation: An in vivo study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(4), 954-970.

Richey, J. E., Zepeda, C. D., & Nokes-Malach, T. J. (2015). Transfer effects of prompted and self-reported analogical comparison and self-explanation. In D. Noelle and R. Dale (Eds.) Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of Cognitive Science Society, 1287-1292.

Nokes-Malach, T. J., Richey, J. E., & Gadgil, S. (2015). When is it better to learn together? Insights from research on collaborative learning. Educational Psychology Review, 27, 645-656.

Erin Walker, SCI, has been named principal investigator for a National Science Foundation grant to study the use of robots in middle school math classrooms. Her co-principal investigators are Diane Litman, Computer Science, and Timothy Nokes-Malach, Psychology, and Adriana Kovashka, (SCI).

November 10, 2020


Erin Walker, Diane Litman, Timothy Nokes-Malach, and Adriana Kovashka received a National Science Foundation award for their study on "Designing Effective Dialogue, Gaze, and Gesture Behaviors in a Social Robot that Supports Collaborative Learning in Middle School Mathematics."

September 14, 2020


Kudos to Brian Galla, Assistant Professor, Education, and Tim Nokes-Malach, Associate Professor, Psychology for receiving an LRDC 2020 internal grant for their study, “Using Mindfulness Training to Support Engagement, Learning, and Retention in Undergraduate Introductory Physics Courses.”

May 15, 2020

Brian Galla and Tim Nokes-Malach were quoted and their research, using mindfulness to improve achievement gaps in introductory physics courses, was cited in Personalizing the Pitt Experience Forge Your Own Path's article, "Using Mindfulness to Boost Low Confidence."

January 8, 2020


Kudos to Natasha Tokowicz and Tim Nokes-Malach for receiving funding from the Pitt Seed Project for their LRDC Undergraduate Summer Internship Program

June 10, 2019

Brian Galla and Tim Nokes-Malach were among the first recipients of the University of Pittsburgh's Personalized Education Grants Program. They received funding for "Personalizing Undergraduate STEM Learning through Mobile Mindfulness Training."

April 16, 2018


Canadian Science Publishing posted a blog related to a physics paper by Tim Nokes-Malach, Chris Schunn, Chandralekha Singh, and co-authors Emily Marshman and Zeynep Y. Kalender, titled "The Experiences of Female Students in an Introductory Physics Course" on December 29, 2017. The paper referred to in the article is "A Longitudinal Analysis of Students’ Motivational Characteristics in Introductory Physics Courses: Gender Differences."

December 29, 2017


Fast Company, an online and in print magazine with an editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, and design, referenced a paper written by Tim Nokes-Malach, Associate Professor, Psychology, and LRDC Research Scientist, and Joel Chan, Research Fellow, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, CMU, in the article "Can Steelcase's Office of the Future Make Corporate America Rethink the Drab Modern Workplace?"

August 22, 2017


LRDC Research Scientist and Associate Professor, Psychology, Tim Nokes-Malach is a collaborator on a new grant: Understanding Human Cognition - Collaborative Award from the James S. McDonnell Foundation for “Implementing Science of Learning Principles within Educational Practice.” The collaborators are: University of Iowa (Shana Carpenter, PI), University of Texas Austin (Andrew Butler, PI); Purdue University (Jeffrey Karpicke, PI); Boston College (David Miele, PI); and Texas Christian University (Sarah Uma Tauber, PI).

December 2016

Tim Nokes-Malach, with colleagues, has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for "Build, Understand, & Tune Interventions that Cumulate to Real Impact." This interdisciplinary project includes LRDC researchers Christian Schunn, Benjamin Rottman, Kevin Binning, and Center Associates Chandralekha Singh and Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal and other Pitt faculty across the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics.

August 21, 2015


LRDC's Tim Nokes-Malach's Publication "The Effect of Expertise on Collaborative Problem Solving" was Featured by the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology; This Same Work was also Covered by Futurity.

May 14, 2012


Beckman Fellowship, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cognitive Science Travel Funding Award


National Science Foundation

Abraham Lincoln Fellowship Award

1999-2000, 2001-2004

University of Illinois at Chicago

Research Travel Funding Award


University of Illinois at Chicago

ACT-R Summer School Travel Funding Award


Carnegie Mellon University

Provost Award for Graduate Research


University of Illinois at Chicago

Cognitive Science Travel Funding Award


National Science Foundation

Diversity Fellowship Award


University of Illinois at Chicago

Tim Nokes-Malach, Associate Professor, Psychology, and LRDC Research Scientist was nominated for the Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Pittsburgh.