Alice Healy
College Professor of Distinction Emeritus
Psychology and Neuroscience • Institute of Cognitive Science

Education: PhD, The Rockefeller University, 1973

Research interests: Memory and cognitive processes, especially training, long-term retention, reading, short-term memory, psycholinguistics, and political decision-making.

Professor Healy received her Ph.D. in psychology from The Rockefeller University in 1973. She was Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University from 1973 to 1981. She joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1981 as tenured Associate Professor, was promoted to Professor in 1984, and was named College Professor of Distinction in 2007. She retired in June 2018.

During her career Dr. Healy has served as a member of the Basic Behavioral Processes Research Review Committee of the National Institute of Mental Health (1979-1981), as a member of the Governing Board (1987-1992) and Publications Committee (1989-1994) of the Psychonomic Society, and as a member of the Executive Committee (1989-1992 and 2001-2004) of Division 3 (Experimental Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). She served as Chair of the Psychology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (1995-1996), as President of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (1994-1995), as President of APA Division 3 (2004-2005), and as Chair of the Society of Experimental Psychologists (2008-2009). She also served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition (1981-1984) and as Editor of Memory & Cognition (1986-1989). She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (1984, Divisions 1, 3, and 21), the American Psychological Society (1989), the AAAS (1989), and the Society of Experimental Psychologists (1997).

Dr. Healy has received grants or contracts from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Spencer Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, and the United States Army. In addition, she received a James McKeen Cattell Fund Sabbatical Award, faculty fellowships from Yale University and the University of Colorado, and a college scholar award from the University of Colorado. She was most recently Principal Investigator of grants from NSF, NASA, and the American Literacy Council.

Dr. Healy has published approximately 270 articles and chapters in professional journals and books and is a co-author of the textbook Cognitive Processes (2nd ed., 1986) and of the trade book Train Your Mind for Peak Performance: A Science-Based Approach for Achieving Your Goals (2014). Healy is also a senior editor of the two-volume series Essays in Honor of William K. Estes (1992), of Learning and Memory of Knowledge and Skills (1995), of Foreign Language Learning: Psycholinguistic Studies on Training and Retention (1998), Training Cognition: Optimizing Efficiency, Durability, and Generalizability (2012), and the Experimental Psychology volume of the Handbook of Psychology (2003 and 2013). She is also editor of the volume Experimental Cognitive Psychology and its Applications (2005). Dr. Healy's work was celebrated on June 7-8, 2014, in a Festschrift in her honor on the University of Colorado campus. A Festschrift volume in her honor has been published as a special issue of the American Journal of Psychology (Volume 128, Number 2, Summer, 2015).

Dr. Healy was the founding Director of the Center for Research on Training, which is affiliated with the Institute of Cognitive Science and the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado. Her research interests include memory and cognitive processes, especially training, long-term retention, reading, short-term memory, psycholinguistics, and political decision-making.

Academic Particulars

College Professor of Distinction Emerita
Ph.D. 1973, The Rockefeller University

Professional Career

  • USPHS Training Grant Fellow, The Rockefeller University, 1968-1973
  • Assistant Professor of Psychology, Yale University, 1973-1978
  • Associate Professor of Psychology, Yale University, 1978-1981
  • Research Associate, Haskins Laboratories, 1976-1980
  • Member, NIMH Basic Behavioral Processes Research Review Committee, 1979-1981
  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1980-1981
  • Associate Professor of Psychology (with tenure), University of Colorado, Boulder, 1981-1984
  • Professor of Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1984-2018
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, National Science Foundation Workshop on Experimental Psychology, Colorado State University, Pingree Park, Colorado, July 8-12, 1990
  • Director, Center for Research on Training, 2006-present 
  • College Professor of Distinction, 2007-2018
  • College Professor of Distinction Emeritus, 2018-present

Curriculum Vitae

Representative Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Healy, A.F. (1994). Letter detection: A window to unitization and other cognitive processes. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1, 333-344.

Healy, A.F., & McNamara, D.S. (1996). Verbal Learning and memory: Does the modal model still work? Annual Review of Psychology, 47, 143-172.

Healy, A. F., Havas, D. A., & Parker, J. T. (2000). Comparing serial position effects in semantic and episodic memory using reconstruction of order tasks. Journal of Memory and Language, 42, 147-167.

Barshi, I., & Healy, A. F. (2002). The effects of mental representation on performance in a navigation task. Memory & Cognition, 30, 1189-1203.

Healy, A. F., Hoffman, J. M., Beer, F. A., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2002). Terrorists and democrats: Individual reactions to international attacks. Political Psychology, 23, 439-467.

Schneider, V. I., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2002). What is learned under difficult conditions is hard to forget: Contextual interference effects in foreign vocabulary acquisition, retention, and transfer. Journal of Memory and Language, 46, 419-440.

Tao, L., & Healy, A. F. (2002). The unitization effect in reading Chinese and English text. Scientific Studies of Reading, 6,167-197.

Healy, A. F., & Cunningham, T. F. (2004).  Reading units that include interword spaces:  Filling spaces around a letter can facilitate letter detection.  Memory & Cognition, 32, 560-569.

Healy, A. F., Kole, J. A., Buck-Gengler, C. J., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2004). Effects of prolonged work on data entry speed and accuracy.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 10, 188-199.

Healy, A. F., Wohldmann, E. L., Parker, J. T., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2005).  Skill training, retention, and transfer: The effects of a concurrent secondary task.  Memory & Cognition, 33, 1457-1471. 

Tao, L., & Healy, A. F. (2005). Zero anaphora: Transfer of reference tracking strategies from Chinese to English. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 34,99-131.

Healy, A. F., Wohldmann, E. L., Sutton, E. M., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2006). Specificity effects in training and transfer of speeded responses. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32, 534-546.

Kole, J. A., & Healy, A. F. (2007).  Using prior knowledge to minimize interference when learning large amounts of information.  Memory & Cognition, 35,124-137.

Wohldmann, E. L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2007).  Pushing the limits of imagination: Mental practice for learning sequences.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33, 254-261.

Healy, A. F., Shea, K. M., Kole, J. A., & Cunningham, T. F. (2008). Position distinctiveness, item familiarity, and presentation frequency affect reconstruction of order in immediate episodic memory.  Journal of Memory and Language, 58, 746-764.

Kole, J. A., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2008). Cognitive complications moderate the speed-accuracy tradeoff in data entry: A cognitive antidote to inhibition.  Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22, 917-937.

Sumiya, H., & Healy, A. F. (2008). The Stroop effect in English-Japanese bilinguals: The effect of phonological similarity. Experimental Psychology, 55, 93-101.

Wohldmann, E. L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2008). A mental practice superiority effect: Less retroactive interference and more transfer than physical practice.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34, 823-833.

Raymond, W. D., Healy, A. F., McDonnel, S., & Healy, C. A. (2009). Acquisition of morphological variation: The case of the English definite article. Language and Cognitive Processes, 24, 89-119.

Bonk, W. J., & Healy, A. F. (2010). Learning and memory for sequences of pictures, words, and spatial locations: An exploration of serial position effects. American Journal of Psychology, 123, 137-168.

Bourne, L. E., Jr., Raymond, W. D., & Healy, A. F. (2010). Strategy selection and use during classification skill acquisition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36, 500-514.

Kole, J. A., Healy, A. F., Fierman, D. M., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2010). Contextual memory and skill transfer in category search. Memory & Cognition, 38, 67-82.

Lohse, K. R., Healy, A. F., & Sherwood, D. E. (2010). Mental practice in the intermanual transfer of motor skills. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, 5, Issue 1, Article 6, 1-24.

Wohldmann, E. L., & Healy, A. F. (2010). Exploring specificity of speeded aiming movements: Examining different measures of transfer. Memory & Cognition, 38, 344-355.

Anderson, L. S., Healy, A. F., Kole, J. A., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2011). Conservinng time in the classroom: The clicker technique. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1457-1462.

Barshi, I., & Healy, A. F. (2011). The effects of spatial representation on memory for verbal navigation instructions. Memory & Cognition, 39, 47-62.

Bourne, L. E., Jr., Healy, A. F., Bonk, W. J., & Buck-Gengler, C. J. (2011). Intention to respond in a special way offers some protection against forgetting associations. American Journal of Psychology, 124, 23-36.

Healy, A. F., Kole, J. A., Wohldmann, E. L., Buck-Gengler, C. J., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2011). Data entry: A window to principles of training. In A. S. Benjamin (Ed.), Successful remembering and successful forgetting: A festschrift in honor of Robert A. Bjork (pp. 277-296). New York: Psychology Press.

Healy, A. F., Wohldmann, E. L., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2011). How does practice with a reversed mouse influence subsequent speeded aiming performance? A test of global inhibition. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23, 559-573.

Kole, J. A., & Healy, A. F. (2011). Memory for details about people: Familiarity, relatedness, and gender congruency. Memory & Cognition, 39, 637-648.

Overstreet, M. F., & Healy, A. F. (2011). Item and order information in semantic memory: Students' retention of the "CU fight song" lyrics. Memory & Cognition, 39, 251-259.

Raymond, W. D., Healy, A. F., & McDonnell, S. J. (2011). Pairing words with syntactic frames: Syntax, semantics, and count-mass usage. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 40, 327-349.

Young, M. D., Healy, A. F., Gonzalez, C., Dutt, V., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2011). Effects of training with added difficulties on RADAR detection. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 395-407.

Healy, A. F., & Wohldmann, E. L. (2012). Specificity and transfer of learning. In B. H. Ross (Ed.) The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 57, pp. 227-253). San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press.

Lohse, K.R., & Healy, A. F. (2012). Exploring the contributions of declarative and procedural information to training: A test of the procedural reinstatement principle. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 1, 65-72.

Wohldmann, E. L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2012). Specificity and transfer effects in time production skill: Examining the role of attention. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74, 766-778.

Kole, J. A., & Healy, A. F. (2013). Is retrieval mediated after repeated testing? Journal of Experiment Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 39, 462-472.

Anderson, L. S., Healy, A. F., Kole, J. A., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2013). The clicker technique: Cultivating efficient teaching and successful learning. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 27, 222-234.

Healy, A. F., Schneider, V. I., McCormick, B., Fierman, D. M., Buck-Gengler, C. J., & Barshi, I. (2013). Which modality is best for presenting navigation instructions? Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 2, 192-199.

Healy, A. F., Kole, J. A., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2014). Training principles to advance expertise. Frontiers in Psychology, 5,131. 

Sherwood, D. E., Lohse, K. R., & Healy, A. F. (2014). Judging joint angles and movement outcome: Shifting the focus of attention in dart-throwing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40,1903-1914.

Healy, A. F., Schneider, V. I., & Barshi, I. (2015). Specificity and transfer in learning how to follow navigation instructions. In J. G. W. Raaijmakers, A. H. Criss, R. L. Goldstone, R. M. Nosofsky, & M. Steyvers (Eds.), Cognitive modeling in perception and memory: A Festschrift for Richard M. Shiffrin(pp. 259-273). New York: Psychology Press.

Healy, A. F., Tack, L. A., Schneider, V. I., & Barshi, I. (2015). Training specificity and transfer in time and distance estimation. Memory & Cognition, 43,736-747.

Schneider, V. I., Healy, A. F., Barshi, I., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2015). Effects of difficulty, specificity, and variability on training to follow navigation instructions. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22,856-862.

Chapman, M. J., Healy, A. F., & Kole, J. A. (2016). Memory load as a cognitive antidote to performance decrements in data entry. Memory, 24, 1182-1196.

Bowles, A. R., & Healy, A. F. (2017). Training and transfer of word identification: Foreign language speech rate. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 6,253-259.

Healy, A. F., Jones, M., Lalchandani, L., & Tack, L. A. (2017). Timing of quizzes during learning: Effects on motivation and retention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 23,128-137.

Healy, A. F., & Zangara, T. K. (2017). Examining misses in reading aloud repeated words. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70, 373-377.

Hoover, J. D., & Healy, A. F. (2017). Algebraic reasoning and bat-and-ball problem variants: Solving isomorphic algebra first facilitates problem solving later. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24,1922-1928.

Schneider, V. I., Healy, A. F., Kole, J. A., & Barshi, I. (2018). Does spatial information impact immediate verbatim recall of verbal navigation instructions? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 25,681-687.

Schneider, V. I., Healy, A. F., Carlson, K. W., Buck-Gengler, C. J., & Barshi, I. (2019). How much is remembered as a function of presentation modality? Memory, 27,261-267.

Buck-Gengler, C. J., & Healy, A. F. (in press). A viable option for dictionary pronunciation guides. American Journal of Psychology.

Hoover, J. D., & Healy, A. F. (in press). The bat-and-ball problem: Stronger evidence in support of a conscious error process. Decision.

Young, A. P., Healy, A. F., Jones, M., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (in press). Verbal and spatial acquisition as a function of distributed practice and code-specific interference. Memory & Cognition.