Trina Kershaw


Trina Kershaw, PhD






Liberal Arts 359


2006University of Illinois at ChicagoPhD in Psychology (Cognitive)
2002University of Illinois at ChicagoMS in Psychology (Cognitive)
1998Widener UniversityBS in Psychology


  • Cognitive Processes
  • Research Methods in Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology of Individual Differences
  • Psychology of Learning





A history of cognitive science as a discipline. Topics such as human learning, memory, perception, language, and attention are reviewed. Theories and research on mental processes underlying these behaviors and biological underpinnings and real-life application of these topics are studied.

Fundamentals of research methodology in psychological research including literature review, hypothesis generation, design, measurement, statistical analysis, ethics and APA format writing style. Emphasis on the selected cognate content area of cognitive psychology.

Study of individual variation in abilities and traits, including those from cognitive, social, and clinical psychology, predicts behavior, performance, and learning. The seminar will emphasize the development of reading, oral, and writing skills.

The first of a two-course thesis sequence in which students and their faculty advisors design and carry out a complete research project.  In PSY 498, the final product is a thesis proposal and complete preparation to conduct the thesis project during the next semester.

Graduate seminar offered for one semester on a specific topic. Topics vary according to student needs and faculty expertise in particular areas of study. This course may be repeated with change of content.


Research interests

  • Transfer in educational settings
  • Creativity in engineering design
  • Insight problem solving
  • Individual differences
  • Skill learning and transfer

Select publications

  • Molly A. McCarthy , Trina C. Kershaw (2014).
    The effects of semantic priming on novel verb inflection
    Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 36, 994-999.
  • Trina C. Kershaw , Christopher K. Flynn , Leamarie T. Gordon (2013).
    Multiple paths to transfer and constraint relaxation in insight problem solving.
    Thinking & Reasoning, 19, 96-136.
  • Trina C. Kershaw , Katja Holtta-Otto , Yoon Soo Lee (2011).
    The effect of prototyping and critical feedback on fixation in engineering design
    Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 33, 807-812.

Additional links