My research interests have always centered on a question I first asked myself when I was about 12 years old: Why is it that humans, who have the capacity to reason so well, often reason so poorly? Good reasoning depends on many things including: (1) acquiring useful information, (2) accessing the information, (3) adapting what you know to novel situations, and (4) understanding the causes of events. Thus, my research spans topics in both thinking and memory and in both cognitive and social psychology. Recently, I have also become interested in applying this research to issues in the legal system and in decision making generally.
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- Goedert, K. M., Harsch, J., & Spellman, B. A. (in press). Discounting and conditionalization: Dissociable cognitive processes in human causal inference. Psychological Science.
- Anderson, M. C., & Spellman, B. A. (1995). On the status of inhibitory mechanisms in cognition: Memory retrieval as a model case. Psychological Review, 102, 68-100.
- Cohen, L. B., Rundell, L. J., Spellman, B. A., & Cashon, C. H. (1999). Infants’ perception of causal chains. Psychological Science, 10, 412-418.
- Dunn, E. W., & Spellman, B. A. (2003). Forgetting by remembering: Stereotype inhibition through rehearsal of alternative aspects of identity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 420-433.
- Green, A. J., Spellman, B. A., Dusek, J. A., Eichenbaum, H., & Levy, W. G. (2001). Relational learning with and without awareness: Transitive inference using non-verbal stimuli in humans. Memory & Cognition, 29, 893-902.
- Kincannon, A., & Spellman, B. A. (2003). The use of category and similarity information in limiting hypotheses. Memory & Cognition, 31, 114-132.
- Spellman, B. A. (1997). Crediting causality. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 126, 1-26.
- Spellman, B. A. (1996). Acting as intuitive scientists: Contingency judgments are made while controlling for alternative potential causes. Psychological Science, 7, 337-342.
- Spellman, B. A., & Holyoak, K. J. (1996). Pragmatics in analogical mapping. Cognitive Psychology, 31, 307-366.
- Spellman, B. A., & Holyoak, K. J. (1992). If Saddam is Hitler then who is George Bush? Analogical mapping between systems of social roles. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 913-933.
- Spellman, B. A., Holyoak, K. J., & Morrison, R. G. (2001). Analogical priming via semantic relations. Memory & Cognition, 29, 383-393.
- Spellman, B. A., & Mandel, D. R. (1999). When possibility informs reality: Counterfactual thinking as a cue to causality. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8, 120-123.
- Spellman, B. A., Price, C. M., & Logan, J. (2001). How two causes are different from one: The use of (un)conditional information in Simpson’s paradox. Memory & Cognition, 29, 193-208.
- Robinson, P. H., & Spellman, B. A. (2005). Sentencing decisions: Matching the decisionmaker to the decision nature. Columbia Law Review, 105(4), 1124-1161.
- Spellman, B. A., Kincannon, A., & Stose, S. (2005). The relation between counterfactual and causal reasoning. Invited chapter to appear in D. R. Mandel, D. J. Hilton, & P. Catellani (Eds.), The psychology of counterfactual thinking. London: Routledge Research.
- Advanced Experimental Methods
- Causal and Counterfactual Reasoning
- Psychology and Law: Cognitive and Social Issues
- Psychology of Information and Persuasion
- Research Methods and Data Analysis
- Thinking About Thinking
- Thinking and Reasoning
Department of Psychology
University of Virginia
102 Gilmer Hall, P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4400
- Phone: (434) 982-5591
- Fax: (434) 982-4766