Research

I completed my Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2016. I studied cognitive psychology in the Cognition, Perception, and Cognitive Neuroscience (CPCN) program, specifically studying reasoning and thinking in two ways: (1) the role of conflict detection in dual process thinking and (2) the individual differences within the phenomenon. My advisor was Dr. Russell Revlin. I previously studied under Dr. Abraham M. Rutchick at California State University, Northridge, receiving my Master of Arts (MA) degree in Experimental Psychology in May 2011.

My main research training included several aspects of reasoning. I am intrigued by rationality (or irrationality) of human thought and human biases. I subscribe to the notion that humans generally make rational thoughts and decisions to meet everyday goals; I do not fully accept the idea of normative rationality (see Evans, 2014). I am also a supporter of dual-process thinking theories (while acknowledging some limitations).

More recently, I have begun research collaborations to investigate various facets of pseudoscience beliefs. I’m a big fan of the role of science in determining facts; however, I’m willing to see if something stands up the scrutiny of the scientific method, too. Sometimes things don’t, but are claimed to work wonders and explain everything. That’s the essence of the problem! My current collaborative project (with Dr. Randy Stein) takes on the pop-psychology phenomenon of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI; no seriously, it tops Google Trends for the last five-year period, even when compared to broad terms, like “social psychology”) and why it is so popular from a psychological perspective (for example, why do people take this test and believe its outcomes?!? —> Take a peek at this).

Current Projects:

  1. Political ideology and whether a disposition toward a belief in multiple truths mediates perception of credibility and authority in science
  2. Belief in multiple truths and anti-vaccination attitudes
  3. Political ideology and its effect on categorical deductive reasoning with political arguments


Peer-Reviewed Publications (Titles are downloadable PDFs; *denotes undergraduate student researcher)

Stein, R., & Swan, A. B. (2019). Evaluating the validity of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator theory: A teaching tool and window into intuitive psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, e12434.

Swan, A. B., Calvillo, D. P., & Revlin, R. (2018). To detect or not to detect: A replication and extension of the three-stage model. Acta Psychologica, 187(C), 54-65.

Stein, R., & Swan, A. B. (2018). Deeply confusing: Conflating difficulty with deep revelation on personality assessment. Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Swan, A. B., & Revlin, R. (2015). Inhibition failure is mediated by a disposition toward flexible thinking. In D. C. Noelle, R. Dale, A. S. Warlaumont, J. Yoshimi, T. Matlock, C. D. Jennings, & P. P. Maglio (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2314-2319). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Barrett, M. E., Swan, A. B., Mamikonian, A., Ghajoyan, I., Kramarova, O., & Youmans, R. J. (2014). Technology in note taking and assessment: The effects of congruence on student performance. International Journal of Instruction, 7(1), 51-60.

*Swan, A. B., *Cohen, A., *Evans, S. R., & Drescher, B. A. (2013). Influence of taste quality on affective state. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 18(2), 61-66.

Swan, A. B., Chambers, A. Y., & Revlin, R. (2013). Scope of real beliefs in belief revision. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1414-1419). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.


Recent Conference Presentations and Other Talks (*denotes undergraduate student researcher)

Swan, A. B. (2019, April). The effects of feedback on conflict detection in cognitive tasks. Poster to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychology Association, Chicago, IL.

Stein, R., Swan, A. B., & *Sarraf, M. (2018, November). Putting up a FYT against science: Political differences on equating scientific and non-scientific points of view are due to differences in reasoning about how reality works. Poster presented at the 39th Annual Conference of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, New Orleans, LA.

Swan, A. B. (2018, April). I’m not biased: Conflict monitoring errors on decision-making tasks. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychology Association, Chicago, IL.

Swan, A. B., *Spears, M., *Zamanzadeh, R., & Revlin, R. (2016, November). It’s about the stereotype until it’s not: Confirmatory evidence from eye movements on base-rate neglect judgments. Poster presented at the 57th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, MA.

Swan, A. B., *Hill, A., & Revlin, R. (2015, November). Is a picture worth a thousand numbers? The effect of base-rate images in a base-rate neglect task. Poster presented at the 56th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Chicago, IL.

Swan, A. B., & Revlin, R. (2015, July). Inhibition failure is mediated by a disposition toward flexible thinking. Poster presented at the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Pasadena, CA.

Swan, A. B., & Revlin, R. (2014, November). Knowledge updating and the visual impedance effect. Poster presented at the 55th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Long Beach, CA.

Swan, A. B., Chambers, A. Y., & Revlin, R. (2013, August). Scope of real beliefs in belief revision. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Berlin, Germany.

Swan, A. B., Revlin, R., & Rutchick, A. M. (2012, May). Working memory and the belief bias effect in political arguments. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL.



Become a Research Assistant (RA)!

If you’re a Eureka College undergraduate and you want to do some independent research, you’ve reached the right place. I am accepting new research assistants for two kinds of projects: work on my current research with me OR advising on independent projects, such as Honors Theses.

My lab is called the Reasoning and Decision-Making Lab (RAD-M Lab). I’m a fan of cool acronyms. A cool logo for the lab will follow once I’m settled. Stay tuned for a PDF application that is downloadable/fillable; until then, just shoot me an email to discuss research opportunities.