Cathy L. McEvoy, Ph.D

Cathy L. McEvoy, Ph.D

(Experimental Psychology), 1982, University of South Florida.
Professor and Director, School of Aging Studies
Director of Graduate Programs
Director of Ph.D. Program in Aging Studies
School of Aging Studies

Description of Research Interests

The research that my students and I carry out is designed to understand how memory is affected by aging. With the help of our 60-95 year old participants we have been asking questions such as why older adults have more difficulty than younger adults in finding the words they want to express an idea; do older adults have greater problems with maintaining attention on a task, thereby being more easily distracted by irrelevant thoughts; and are older adults more likely to experience false memories - memories for events that never actually occurred? In all of this research we are particularly interested in how older adults use what they know to support the memory processes that are beginning to decline with age. We have found that as adults age, they become more reliant on their long-term prior knowledge and less reliant on immediate memory processes. In addition, along with my colleagues and students, some of my research has focused on techniques for memory improvement, and the application of basic memory research to understanding cognition in deaf and hearing-impaired adults.

Grant Support(Active)

RO1 AG 13973 (McEvoy, PI)
National Institute on Aging
Prior Knowledge Effects in Cognitive Aging
The goal of this project is to understand how older adults learn and remember new information, and how the individual’s lifetime of prior knowledge is used to support memory processes that are declining with age.

Professional Service

Publications (representative publications)

PubMed Publications Opens in a new window

Small, B.J., & McEvoy, C.L. (in press). Does participation in cognitive activities buffer age-related cognitive decline? In S .M. Hofer & D.F. Alwin (Eds.), Handbook of Cognitive Aging: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Nelson, D.L. & McEvoy, C.L. (in press) Entangled associative structures and context. Proceedings of the Spring Symposium of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Ruva, C., McEvoy, C., & Bryant, J. (2007). Effects of pretrial publicity and jury deliberation on juror bias and source memory errors. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21, 45-67.

McEvoy, C.L. & Nelson, D.L.(2006). Measuring, manipulating, and modeling the unconscious influences of prior experience on memory for recent experiences. In R.W. Wiers & A.W. Stacy (Eds.), Handbook on Implicit Cognition and Addiction, (pp 59-71) NY: Sage.

Nelson, D.L., & McEvoy, C.L. (2005). Implicitly activated memories: The missing links of remembering. In C. Izawa & N. Ohta (Eds.), Human Learning and Memory: Advances in Theory and Applications, Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Hekkanen, S.T., & McEvoy, C.L. (2005). Insights into how associative networks, episodic traces, and source monitoring interact to influence eyewitness testimony. Memory & Cognition, 33, 759-769.

Honors and Awards

Classes Taught