Penny L. Yee

Professor of Psychology

Science Center 3038
Telephone: (315) 859-4720


B.A. Psychology


Pomona College

Claremont, CA

M.S. Human Experimental Psychology


University of Oregon

Eugene, OR

Ph.D. Human Experimental Psychology


University of Oregon

Eugene, OR

Scholarly/Research Interests

My research activities fall into two quite distinct areas within psychology. My primary research interests focus on understanding how people exert control over their conscious experience. How do we control and direct our attention from one task to another? How do we ignore distractions? Ongoing projects examine attention and perceptual processes that affect performance in a variety of contexts. Recent projects have incorporated the use of eye-tracking apparatus to examine the association between eye movements and perceptual processes. One line of work examines eye-movement patterns of college-aged students with reported ADHD symptomatology as they complete a battery of detection and reading tasks. The goal of this project is to understand how executive control functions may differ for individuals who experience ADHD symptoms in adulthood. In another line of research I explore mechanisms of forgetting. An intriguing fact about human memory is that we forget. Contrary to our initial intuitions, forgetting can be an adaptive process. This research focuses on intentional forgetting, and projects explore the various mechanisms that give rise to forgetting.

In another line of research I explore issues related to relational aggression, i.e., social and emotional aggression. Relational aggression is most often observed in girls and tends to peak during middle school years. Recent projects have explored to role of family environment and attributional style in the experience of relational aggression.

In collaboration with colleague, Jonathan Vaughan, I have also been active in facilitating the use of computer applications for psychological research. Most recently, this has resulted in tutorial materials for the use of the PsyScope program for teaching and research.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Note: Hamilton student co-authors are listed in red print.

Robbins, C. A., Rizio, A., Oakes, M. A., & Yee, P. L. (2009).  Recognition of Item Details: Evidence for Differential Encoding in Directed Forgetting. Poster presented at the Fiftieth annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, MA.

Rizio, A., Oakes, M. A., & Yee, P. L. (2008).  Recognition of Item Details: Evidence for Differential Encoding in Directed Forgetting. Poster presented at the Forty-ninth annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Chicago, IL.

Oakes, M. A., Yee, P. L., Rizio, A., Sadowsky, J., Boisvert, T., & Maeyama, C. M. (2007).  Directed Forgetting or Directed Remembering? A Comparison of Remember, Forget, and Incidental Learning Instructions. Poster presented at the Forty-eighth annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Long Beach, CA.

Yee, P. L., Hsieh-Yee, I., Pierce, G. R., Grome, R., & Schantz, L.   (2003). Self-Evaluative Intrusive Thoughts Impede Successful Searching on the Internet.  Computers in Human Behavior, 20, 85-101.

Yee, P.L., Pierce, G. R. Ptacek, J. T.. & Modzelesky, K. L. (2003). Learned helplessness attributional style and examination performance: Enhancement effects are not necessarily moderated by prior failure. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 16, 359-373.

Yee, P. L., Santoro, K. E., Grey, A. L., & Woog, V. (2000). Deeper processing at target selection increases the magnitude of negative priming. Memory and Cognition, 28, 1429-1436.

Yee, P. L., & Vaughan, J. (1999). A Web-accessible tutorial for PsyScope based on classic experiments in human cognition. Behavior, Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 31, 107-112.

Vaughan, J., & Yee, P.L. (1999). Software for promoting student research in cognitive psychology. CUR Quarterly, 20, 19-24.

Pierce, G.R., Ptacek, J.T., Taylor, B., Yee, P.L., Henderson, C.A., Lauventi, H.J., & Bourdeau, C. M. . (1998). The role of dispositional and situational factors in cognitive interference. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 1016-1031.

Vaughan, J., Yee, P.L., Heisterkamp, C. E. Grey, A. L., & Mattson, T. R. (1997). PsySquash: A program for the analysis of Psyscope data files. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 29, 241-245.

Yee, P.L., Edmondson, B. Santoro, K. E., Begg, S., & Hunter, C. (1996). Cognitive outcomes of life stress and learned helplessness. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 9, 301-319.

Vaughan, J., & Yee, P.L. (1994). Using PsyScope for demonstrations and student-designed experiments in cognitive psychology courses. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 26, 142-147.

Yee, P. L., Laden, B., & Hunt, E. (1994). Coordination of compensatory tracking and anticipatory timing tasks. Intelligence, 18, 259-287

Yee, P. L., Hunt, E., & Pellegrino, J. W. (1991). Coordinating cognitive information: Task effects and individual differences in integrating information from several sources. Cognitive Psychology, 23, 615-630.

Yee, P. L. (1991). Semantic Inhibition of ignored words during a figure classification task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 43A, 127-153.

Recent Senior Thesis Projects

  • Honors and Awards