VERBAL ANALOGY: Over the past year, we have been investigating how underlying individual differences in creativity and then executive functions (working memory, inhibitory control, crystallized and fluid intelligence) influence performance on verbal analogies varying in semantic distance between those with similar pairs (e.g., day : night :: morning : evening) and those with more distant or less similar paris (e.g., strong : weak :: morning : evening). Additionally, we also are investigating the role of semantically near and far distracter answer choices in verbal analogy. We expect to continue this line of research on verbal analogy over the next couple years.
RELATIONAL INTEGRATION: Relational integration refers to the binding of two nouns via the inference of a conceptual relation such that the pair is a subtype of the head noun. For example, a juice bottle would be interpreted as a bottle containing juice and thus is a subtype of bottle different from other types containing different liquids (milk bottle, water bottle). My program of research has shown better memory (Jones et al., 2008) and faster word recognition for targets or head nouns (e.g., bottle) following primes or modifiers with which they can be combined (Estes & Jones, 2009; Jones, 2010; Jones & Golonka, 2012; Mather, Jones, & Estes, 2014). Now the focus for ongoing and upcoming experiments is on differentiating between types of integrative relations such as locative (e.g., island house) vs. compositional (e.g., log house) and investigating individual differences predicting the magnitude of integrative priming.
Minimum Requirements: Must be able to devote 9 hours each week to working in the lab. Must be HIGHLY RELIABLE with good attendance in your classes. Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher. Must be willing to commit to working 3 semesters and completing one semester prior to starting an honors thesis.
Preferred: Willingness to work in the lab during the morning hours (between 8 am and 11 am) and/or midday hours (between 11 am and 2 pm). Flexible schedule. Graduating in May 2016 or later. Expertise with Microsoft Excel.