The Catholic University of America

Deborah Clawson

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Research Areas: Cognitive Psychology, memory, training, planning

I’ve always been interested in psychology because I’ve always wondered what other people were thinking and what motivated them. In high school, I realized how much I enjoyed science.  There was an advanced science class that involved designing, carrying out, and doing conference presentations on an experiment.  My experiment was in psychology – I asked people to think of the answers to math questions and English questions, and recorded which way they turned their eyes as they were thinking about the answer.  In my later research, I have continued asking people about information they learn, as well as looking at training techniques and how people plan for the future.
Several people inspired me to pursue a career in research and teaching.  The teacher of that science research class, Jon Secaur, encouraged us to take our work to the highest level we could.  In college I had classes with a couple of wonderful professors – James Cutting and Kay Bock -- insightful researchers who also take their teaching seriously. My dissertation advisor, Alice Healy, is an impressive role model. With her dozens of research grants, professional societies of which she has been chair or president, and journals for which she has served in editorial positions, it would be hard to miss the powerful roles that women can play in cognitive science research.