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 and became an Emeritus Professor.

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). More recently, she served as a member (2018-2020) and as the Chair (2020-2022) of the William K. and Katherine W. Estes Fund Steering Committee.

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 over 280 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.

Dr. Healy received the Franklin V. Taylor award, 2019, APA Division 21 (Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology). The award recognizes outstanding achievements made by a psychologist in the field of applied experimental/engineering psychology.

Dr. Healy also received the Lifetime Achievement Award, 2021, APA Division 3 (Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science). The award honors an individual who has made long-lasting and distinguished theoretical and/or empirical contributions to basic research in experimental psychology and/or cognitive science

Academic Particulars

College Professor of Distinction Emeritus
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, 2006-2018 
  • College Professor of Distinction, 2007-2018
  • College Professor of Distinction Emeritus, 2018-present

Curriculum Vitae

Representative Journal Articles and Book Chapters