Dr. Thomas L. Wilson (email) is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and an experimental psychologist who has published and taught at Bellarmine University for over twenty years in the areas of human learning, memory, cognition and consciousness, and the teaching of psychology. For many years he taught the major foundation courses in experimental and statistical methods in behavioral science and more recently a fascinating Study Abroad course in London occasionally offered on campus on the philosophy and psychology of consciousness. Dr. Wilson received his bachelor's degree with distinction in 1986 from California State University, Northridge, earning the Delmar C. Nicks Award in psychology under the extraordinary mentorship of Dr. Michele Wittig. He received the master's degree in 1988 and doctorate in 1993 in human experimental psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Along with his thesis work on mental comparisons under the direction of Dr. Edward Shoben, in graduate school Dr. Wilson performed research on story comprehension and developed an interest for the deeper philosophical questions of consciousness for psychology.
Over the years several students have published and presented undergraduate research under Professor Wilson's supervision, including studies of unconscious learning, story memory and distorted memory for event duration, the Mozart effect, problem representations of different computational platforms, and the coronary risk personality, along with his independent research programs on judgment bias in real-world risky decisions and conscious awareness of implicit self-knowledge. In 2011 Dr. Wilson was awarded Bellarmine’s McGowan Prize, a research fellowship grant to the University of Oxford, where he continued historical and philosophical work to understand the influence on today’s psychology of the philosophical views of the mind during the Scientific Revolution, like the writings of Rene Descartes and Thomas Hobbes. Since that time Dr. Wilson took a year’s professional leave and a sabbatical granted to return to the United Kingdom to learn the cultural differences in academic practice and to pursue new research in cognitive, personality, and educational psychology.
Academic staff in both countries serve their students and their university in administrative and organizational roles. Over the years Dr. Wilson has contributed to the growing university is significant ways, including the faculty’s elected Council for nine years, the steering committee of which for three, the creation of the university’s peer-tutoring program, and directing for five years the university’s Dual Credit program across 32 area school partners and 120 teaching staff. Anyone who has research that requires ethics review on campus, or any athlete who must provide advance written notice of team-related class dates of conflict, can thank Dr. Wilson for his leadership. Within the university today, Dr. Wilson serves on the Honors Council and advises students with research interests in pursuit of careers in psychology requiring post-graduate education. Dr. Wilson also serves as social science liaison to the International Programs Office to assist in Study Abroad and international education provision.
Research Experience and Interest Areas
- Cognitive Consciousness and Unconscious
- Human Memory, Cognition, and Personality
- History of Psychology
- Philosophical and Theoretical Psychology
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2000 Newburg Road
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