Alexandria Guzmán, Ph.D.
M.A. & Ph.D. in Psychology, Binghamton University
M.S. in Chemistry, Fordham University
B.S. in Chemistry, Seton Hall University
Professor Guzmán's research interests are in the area of human cognition, principally in language processing, and more precisely in reading comprehension. The study of reading comprehension is important for two reasons. First, reading can be viewed as a microcosm of other human cognitive functions. In reading, the comprehender must receive, integrate and interpret a stream of information. This type of information processing is fundamental in many human activities including perception, attention, memory and metamemory (memory about your own memory). Therefore using reading as a tool to understand the interaction between a stimulus and the memory system can be useful in developing theories of human cognition in general. Second, an understanding of the processes involved in reading may lead to knowledge that could be used to further understand reading deficits and development of better teaching methods. Thus the goal of my research is to contribute to the development of general theories of language processing that are useful to both our understanding of more general human cognitive processes and to our knowledge of why there are such vast differences in reading proficiency.
Currently, my research is focused on:
Inferences- how often do we add our own biases and knowledge to the text we are reading? What are the everyday consequences of these inferences?
Ambiguity and Figurative language- How do we interpret phrases like “Kick the bucket?” How do we decide if we are hitting a pail or dying?
Reading Differences- What are the differences and their causes between good readers and poor readers?
One of the greatest joys in my professional life is teaching. I teach a number of courses at the University of New Haven including: Introduction to psychology, experimental methods in psychology, statistics for the behavioral sciences, psychology laboratory, psychology of language and sensation & perception. I have also taught courses in development, social psychology and cognition.