Josh VanArsdall

Josh VanArsdall, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology

B.S., Ecology and Evolution, Purdue University
B.A., Psychology, Purdue University
M.S., Cognitive Psychology, Purdue University
Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, Purdue University

VanArsdall’s primary focus is studying the functional and evolutionary determinants of cognition—how do both the modern function and evolutionary history of our cognitive systems affect the ways they manifest. As he primarily studies memory, he is interested in the educational applications of cognitive psychology as well. Finally, VanArsdall has also been involved with volunteer work in the LGBTQIA+ community.

  • PSY 210 Introduction to Psychology
  • PSY 313 Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSY 320 Special Topics: Psychology of Human Sexuality
  • PSY 330 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 356 Research Methods in Psychology
  • PSY 496 Senior Capstone: Psychology of the Supernatural
  • BID 300 PHL/PSY Neuroethics

VanArsdall’s research is focused on functional analyses of our cognitive systems–how does the way we think and act reflect the way in which our minds have had to solve problems, both over the course of evolutionary history and in our daily lives. Much of VanArsdall’s recent work has focused on the distinctions between animate and inanimate concepts and how these differences bias our memory systems, for example.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Nairne, J. S., VanArsdall, J. E., Cogdill, M. (2017). Remembering the living: Episodic memory is tuned to animacy. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26. 22-27. doi:10.1177/0963721416667711

VanArsdall, J. E., Nairne, J. S., Pandeirada, J. N. S., & Cogdill, M. (2016). A categorical recall strategy does not explain animacy effects in episodic memory. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70. 761-771. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2016.1159707

Nairne, J. S., Pandeirada, J. N. S., VanArsdall, J. E., & Blunt, J. R. (2015). Source-constrained retrieval and survival processing. Memory & Cognition, 43, 1-13. doi:10.3758/s13421-014-0456-4

VanArsdall, J. E., Nairne, J. S., Pandeirada, J. N. S., & Cogdill, M. (2015). Adaptive memory: Animacy effects persist in paired-associate learning. Memory, 23, 657-663. doi:10.1080/09658211.2014.916304

Nairne, J. S., VanArsdall, J. E., Pandeirada, J. N. S., Cogdill, M., & LeBreton, J. M. (2013). Adaptive memory: The mnemonic value of animacy. Psychological Science24, 2099-2105. doi: 10.1177/0956797613480803

VanArsdall, J. E., Nairne, J. S., Pandeirada, J. N. S., & Blunt, J. R. (2013). Adaptive memory: Animacy processing produces mnemonic advantages. Experimental Psychology60, 172-178. doi:10.1027/1618-3169/a000186

Nairne, J. S., VanArsdall, J. E., Pandeirada, J. N. S., & Blunt, J. R. (2011). Adaptive memory: Enhanced location memory after survival processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 38, 495-501. doi:10.1037/02786133.24.2.225

Nairne, J. S., Pandeirada, J. N. S., Gregory, K. J., & Van Arsdall, J. E. (2009). Adaptive memory: Fitness-relevance and the hunter-gatherer mind. Psychological Science, 20, 740-746. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02356.x

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