Tara JohnsonOffice

Uhler Hall 216

Office Phone




How I became Interested in Psychology

I took a class in high school that really fascinated me, so I pursued psychology as a major in college. I fell in love with the science very quickly because I had wonderful professors in my undergraduate education.

Areas of Interest

I am a developmental psychologist with specific training in adult development and aging. I have interests in comparing younger, middle-aged, and older adults to better understand cognitive aging and hope to someday do a longitudinal study that follows people over time. I have examined age differences in everyday problem-solving performance, basic cognitive tasks, and aspects of memory. I am also interested in social influences on cognition, such as how a partner (e.g., friend, spouse, stranger) influences cognitive performance.

Current Research and Professional Projects

Have you ever started to tell a story and were quickly cut off by, "You already told me that!"? Or, have you perhaps neglected to tell someone information because you felt like you already told them and did not want to repeat yourself? Both of these examples refer to something called destination memory, which is the ability to remember to whom you have told what information. In addition to examining age differences in destination memory, I am currently trying to better understand why these errors occur and potential ways of preventing them (e.g., strategies), particularly in later life. Undergraduate students who have completed PSYC 290 and who are interested in gaining research experience in destination memory should contact me. Honors students or graduate students should also contact me about potential projects, as I currently have several ideas in the works. There may be some opportunities to work on projects with existing data as well.


BA, 2002, Lebanon Valley College

MS, 2005, West Virginia University: Developmental Psychology

PhD, 2006, West Virginia University: Developmental Psychology

Courses Taught

PSYC 290, 291, 310, 312, 378