Office: EP 240
I enjoy science. The hard sciences, computer science, psychology, I enjoy them all, and even my fiction is better with some science in it. I try to bring that interest into my teaching, my research, and my service to the university. I see science as a systematic method of understanding and then improving the world around us. I hope to pass that passion on to my students, as well as my own two little boys. I also hope to give those students (and my boys) as many opportunities to be scientists as I can. Come, be a scientist with me!
Degrees and institutions:
Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno
M.A. in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno
B.A. in Psychology from Western Washington University
Psychology 201: General Psychology
Psychology 225: Methods and Statistics
Psychology 325: Research Writing
Psychology 344: Cognitive Psychology
Psychology 347: Evolutionary Psychology
Psychology 498 and 499: Research Capstone
HSE 199/299/399: Skeptic House Engagement Lab (Coordinator)
Selected publications/presentations/other professional accomplishments:
Halcomb, S.H., Taylor, J.P., DeSouza, K.D., & Wallace, W.P. (2008). False recognition following study of semantically related lists presented in jumbled word form. Memory, 16(4), 443-461.
Taylor, J.P., Ashworth, S., Comella, C., & Petrovich, S. (2016). Familiarity heuristics override matching bias in the Wason selection task. Manuscript under review.
Taylor, J.P. (2016). Reasoning improves with threats of contagion and food contamination. Manuscript under review.
Why did you choose to study Psychology? Your subfield within Psychology?
I wanted to understand people and their motivations. I came to appreciate how evolutionary psychology provides insight into people’s behavior after years studying the eye, then language, memory, and reasoning.
Why did you become a professor?
I liked being in school! And I like having the opportunity to discover something new. Convincing people that statistics can be fun is a nice challenge as well.
What can a student in your class expect (teaching style and approaches)?
Increasingly I hope students will encounter more opportunities to learn by doing, especially if that learning is geared toward useful skills that prepare you for graduate school or a research oriented job. I try to challenge my students to learn many things broadly, some things more deeply, and a few things intimately in all of my classes.
What are some of your interests outside of psychology?
I stay busy raising my two young boys, but when I have a chance to have fun I enjoy board games and some geeky pop culture. If you have played board games like the Battlestar Galactica game or Arkham Horror, then we might have some things to talk about!
In what ways are you involved in the campus and/or rogue valley community?
I serve on the campus Assessment Committee and am the captain of the Skeptic House. I am dedicated to both measuring our success in teaching our students and finding new ways to engage them!