M.S., Rutgers University
B.A., The University of Virginia
Education: Dana Chesney joins St. John’s as an assistant professor of psychology. She has a Ph.D. from Rutgers University and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Chesney studies how people understand numbers and math and how to improve this understanding. Numerical literacy is critical to individuals educational and economic opportunities, as well as to national development. A person’s likelihood of success in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field (STEM field) is directly tied to that person’s numerical ability. In particular, numerical ability has also been linked to a person’s skill at making judgments in financial and health domains. She therefore believe it to be of practical as well as theoretical importance to uncover the cognitive foundations of numerical concepts.
Dr. Chesney’s program of research addresses multiple interrelated questions about numerical concepts:
*How do the basic mechanisms that underlie the perception of numerical magnitudes function?
*How are perceptually based numerical magnitudes linked with symbolic numbers?
*How are higher-order numerical concepts and skills linked to more basic abilities?
These research pathways all tie to one central question:
*How do multiple numerical processes, ranging from automatic perception of numerical magnitudes to higher-order mathematical skills, impact a person’s ability to use numbers?
Dr. Chesney’s long-term goal is to create interventions that can improve numerical understanding for people of all ages. If we fully understand how various processes interact to yield numerical understanding, we can see how best to leverage these processes to increase numerical literacy.
Current work in her lab includes research on the use of numbers in clinical contexts and the development of short interventions that can yield immediate improvements in people's use of number when making decisions. Future work will include eye-tracking studies.
STATISTICAL METHODS FOR THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: PSY 2030
COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY: PSY 3280
PSYCHOLOGY LABORATORY I: PSY 604
COGNITIVE & AFFECTIVE BASIS OF BEHAVIOR: PSY 617