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John D. Coley

College of Science Associate Professor of Psychology

John D. Coley (PhD 1993, University of Michigan) is Associate Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University. Coley’s research–funded by over $2 million in grants from NSF–addresses basic questions in cognitive science about how people organize and use their knowledge about the world. The work is framed by the view that humans possess powerful intuitive frameworks—arising through an interaction of evolved cognitive structures, personal experience, and culture—that provide fast and efficient, but ultimately fallible guidelines for dealing with complex information. Coley is committed to applying cognitive science to domains like education, environmentalism, and social relations, and has a history of cross-disciplinary collaborations, including investigating the cognitive underpinnings of environmental understanding and behavior.