Associate Professor, Psychology
170D Morrill Hall
1465 Mt. Vernon Avenue
- Ph. D., Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, 2011
- M.A., Psychology, Michigan State University, 2007
- B.S., High Honors, Research Psychology, University of Michigan-Flint, 2004
Nikole Patsons research focuses on adult language comprehension. The act of comprehending a sentence usually feels effortless. However, it is not uncommon for comprehenders to make mistakes they aren’t aware of. One common cause of this kind of mistake is that comprehenders sometimes leave words or even syntactic structures underspecified (e.g., Patson, Darowski, Moon, & Ferreira, 2009). For example, someone who read “this work fills an important gap in the literature” as indicating that the work is important, would have committed this kind of error. This interpretation follows from a shallow reading that combines the related and expected concepts of importance, work, and filling gaps, but fails to specify the crucial relationship between “important” and “gap”. I am interested in what factors contribute to when and how often sentence comprehenders leave information underspecified, leading to these kinds of errors.