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Psychology Alumnus Awarded Bronze Medal for Dissertation

December 14, 2017
  
William Aue G’14, who earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a bronze medal for the James McKeen Cattell Dissertation Award for his dissertation, “Understanding Proactive Facilitation in Cued Recall.”

"The aim of my research is to better understand when and how we update existing memories with new information,” Aue explains. “It’s well known that old memories can interfere with newer memories. For example, if a friend weds and changes their surname, our memory for their old name may make it hard to recall their new name; a phenomenon called proactive interference. In my dissertation, I examined situations where old memories actually help people recall new information; a phenomenon called proactive facilitation.”

A former mentee of Department Chair Dr. Amy Criss, Dr. Aue is currently working to understand mechanisms that drive learning that occurs when people retrieve information from memory (for example, during a test) and how that knowledge can be applied to educational settings and materials.

“Billy is everything you want in a graduate student,” Criss says, “an incisive and collaborative scholar and a thoughtful mentor,” Dr. Criss said.

Read the full article here!