Christopher A. Was

Education: Ph.D., University of Utah (2005)

Research Area: Learning, Memory, and Cognition


Phone: 330 672-2929


Research Interests

Areas of research interest involve the broad area of working memory models. Research programs are designed specifically to test different models and aspects of working memory and to determine how processing limits in working memory affect complex cognitive processes such as comprehension. Research in this area provides evidence that working memory as an attention driven storage capacity and the facilitation of procedural memory (strengthening of prior cognitive operations) are related yet independent. Research in this area consists of both experimental studies as well as individual difference studies.

A second are of interest involves metacognition and student self-regulated learning. Research in this field includes in class experiments designed to test interventions designed to increase students knowledge monitoring abilities as well as studies aimed at increasing the ability to measure students’ metacognition.

Courses Frequently Taught

  • Educational Psychology (undergraduate)
  • Learning Theories (graduate)
  • Educational Motivation (graduate)
  • Cognition in Education (graduate)

Scholarly & Professional Activities

Was, C. A., Dunlosky, J., Bailey, H., & Rawson, K. A. (2012).The Unique Contributions of the Facilitation of Procedural Memory and  Working Memory to Individual Differences in Intelligence. Acta Psychologica, 139, 425-433.

Hejazi, E., Lavasani, M.G., Amani, H., & Was, C. A. (2012). Academic identity status, goal orientation, and academic achievement among high school students. Journal of Research in Education,22(4), 294-318.

*Hartwig, M., Was, C. A., Dunlosky, J., & Isaacson, R. M. (2011). General knowledge monitoring as a predictor of in-class exam performance. British Journal of Educational Psychology. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8279.2011.02038.x

Gardner, M. K., Hill, R. D., & Was, C. A. (2011). A Procedural Approach to Remembering Personal Identification Numbers Among Older Adults. PLoS ONE,6(10),25428, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025428

*Ariel, R., *Al-Harthy, I. S., Was, C. A., & Dunloksy, J. (2011). Habitual Reading Biases in the Allocation of Study-time. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 18:1015–1021 doi: 10.3758/s13423-011-0128-3

Was, C. A., Rawson, K. A., Bailey, H., & Dunlosky, J. (2011). Content-embedded tasks beat complex span for predicting comprehension. Behavioral Research Methods. doi: 10.3758/s13428-011-0112-x

Was, C. A. (2011). Inhibition of ambiguous word activation in the context of a working memory task. International Journal of Linguistics, 3(1), 1-21

Was, C. A. (2010). The persistence of content-specific memory operations: Priming effects following a 24-hour delay. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 17(3), 362-368.

Was, C. A., (2010). Individual differences in reading are more than just working memory: The case for available long-term memory. Individual Differences Research, 8(3), 132-139.