Research News

Seven Vanderbilt faculty members elected as fellows in prominent psychological science associations 

Seven Vanderbilt faculty recently were elected as fellows in the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association. Six are in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development, and one is in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the Vanderbilt College of Arts and Science.  

Six were selected as APS fellows after being nominated in the spring and summer. The status of fellow is awarded to APS members who have made outstanding contributions to the science of psychology in the areas of research, teaching, service and application. Fellow status is typically awarded for scientific contributions but may also be awarded for exceptional contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings. Candidates are considered after 10 years of postdoctoral contributions. 

Kathryn Humphreys

Kathryn Humphreys, assistant professor of psychology and human development 

Humphreys has expertise in infant and early childhood mental health. Her research focuses on characterizing the early environment and examining links to later life outcomes. 

Bethany Rittle-Johnson

Bethany Rittle-Johnson, professor of psychology and holder of the Anita S. and Antonio M. Gotto Chair in Child Development 

Rittle-Johnson has specific interests in how children learn problem-solving procedures and key concepts in mathematics. Her research focuses on understanding how knowledge change occurs. She also is chair of the Department of Psychology and Human Development. 

Megan Saylor

Megan Saylor, professor of psychology and human development 

Saylor focuses her research on how children learn about language and the mind. In recent studies she has looked at the intersection between language and representation. 

Georgene Troseth

Georgene Troseth, associate professor of psychology 

Troseth conducts research focusing on young children’s symbolic development, including their understanding of representational artifacts and media (e.g., pictures, video images, touchscreens, scale models) and of the intent to symbolize. 

Jennifer Trueblood

Jennifer Trueblood, associate professor of psychology, College of Arts and Science 

Trueblood’s research takes a joint experimental and computational modeling approach to study human judgment, decision-making, reasoning and memory. 

Duane Watson

Duane Watson, professor of psychology and human development and holder of a Frank W. Mayborn Chair 

Watson conducts research focusing on the cognitive processes that underlie interactions between speakers and listeners. In particular, he focuses on how gesture, pitch, rhythm and emphasis in speech is used in communication. 

Sonya Sterba
Sonya Sterba

Sonya Sterba, associate professor of psychology and human development at Peabody, was elected as a 2020 fellow of the American Psychological Association in Division 5, Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. Fellow status with the APA requires that a researcher’s work have had a national impact on the discipline beyond a local, state or regional level. Sterba conducts research on latent variable models for longitudinal and cross-sectional data, mixture models and multilevel models, with a focus on advancing developmental psychopathology research. 

“Vanderbilt is known worldwide as a leader in educational neuroscience, human development and psychology,” said Vice Provost for Research Padma Raghavan. “I am delighted that these seven exceptional faculty are receiving the recognition they deserve for their pathbreaking contributions to advance our understanding of the human mind, behavior and development.”