B.S. (The University of Iowa, 1981)
Ph.D. (Stanford University, 1986)
Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development
Associate Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Science
Professor Novick's research is focused on examining the strategies, processes, and representations that college students use to reason and solve problems. On the one hand, she is interested in skilled problem solving, including its relation to less skilled problem solving, so her work often considers individual differences. On the other hand, she is also interested in general principles of, or constraints on, cognition that are related to reasoning and problem solving. She has studied these issues in a variety of content domains, which were chosen because they are good ones for investigating questions of representation, solution strategies, and expertise. Her current research is focused on students' comprehension of biological diagrams (specifically, cladograms) used to represent evolutionary relationships among taxa (i.e., to depict the Tree of Life). Cladograms are the most important tool used by evolutionary biologists because they document and organize existing knowledge about the properties of species and higher-order taxa. By using patterns of most recent common ancestry to systematize the 3.5 billion year history of life on Earth, cladograms (a) enable evidence-based inference and (b) provide a conceptual framework for basic and applied biology. More detailed information about Professor Novick's research may be found on her personal web page.
- Novick, L. R., Catley, K. M., & Funk, D. J. (in press). Inference is bliss: Using evolutionary relationship to guide categorical inferences. Cognitive Science.
- Novick, L. R., Shade, C. K., & Catley, K. M. (in press). Linear versus branching depictions of evolutionary history: Implications for diagram design. Topics in Cognitive Science.
- Hurley, S. M., & Novick, L. R. (2010). Solving problems using matrix, network, and hierarchy diagrams: The consequences of violating construction conventions. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 275-290.
- Catley, K. M., & Novick, L. R. (2009). Digging deep: Exploring college students' knowledge of macroevolutionary time. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46, 311-332.
- Novick, L. R., & Sherman, S. J. (2008). The effects of superficial and structural information on on-line problem solving for good versus poor anagram solvers. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61, 1098-1120.
- Novick, L. R., & Catley, K. M. (2007). Understanding phylogenies in biology: The influence of a Gestalt perceptual principle. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 13, 197-223.
- Novick, L. R. (2006). Understanding spatial diagram structure: An analysis of hierarchies, matrices, and networks. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59, 1826-1856.
- Hurley, S. M., & Novick, L. R. (2006). Context and structure: The nature of students knowledge about three spatial diagram representations. Thinking & Reasoning, 12, 281-308.
- Novick, L. R. (2006). The importance of both diagrammatic conventions and domain-specific knowledge for diagram literacy in science: The hierarchy as an illustrative case. In D. Barker-Plummer, R. Cox, & N. Swoboda (Eds.), Diagrams 2006, LNAI 4045 (pp. 1-11). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
- Whitley, K. N., Novick, L. R., & Fisher, D. (2006). Evidence in favor of visual representation for the dataflow paradigm: An Experiment Testing LabVIEW s Comprehensibility. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 64, 281-303.
- Novick, L. R., & Bassok, M. (2005). Problem solving. In K. J. Holyoak & R. G. Morrison (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of thinking and reasoning (Ch. 14, pp. 321-349). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
- Novick, L. R. (2004). Diagram literacy in pre-service math teachers, computer science majors, and typical undergraduates: The case of matrices, networks, and hierarchies. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 6, 307-342.
- Novick, L. R., & Cheng, P. W. (2004). Assessing interactive causal influence. Psychological Review, 111, 455-485.
- Novick, L. R. (2003). At the forefront of thought: The effect of media exposure on airplane typicality. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 10, 746-752.
- Novick, L. R., & Sherman, S. J. (2003). On the nature of insight solutions: Evidence from skill differences in anagram solution. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 56A, 351-382.
- Novick, L. R., & Hurley, S. M. (2001). To matrix, network, or hierarchy: That is the question. Cognitive Psychology, 42, 158-216.