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College of Arts and Sciences
Psychology
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Faculty Webpage: Dr. Kimberly Wear

 

Associate Professor of Psychology
Chair Institutional Review Board
(336) 841-9246
kwear@highpoint.edu

 

Education:

Ph.D.   2003    University of Texas, Arlington

Experimental/Cognitive Psychology

(with Human Memory, Adult Development, & Quantitative breadth areas)

Dissertation: An Un-Inhibited View of Homograph Processing

M.S.    2000   University of Texas, Arlington

Experimental/Cognitive Psychology

Thesis: The Effects of Emotional Arousal on Memory for Verbal Material

B.A.     1995    University of Tennessee

Psychology

 

Research Interests:

My main research interest concerns the concept of behavioral inhibition in memory. Behavioral inhibition differs from inhibition at the level of the synapse. The existence of inhibition is in question. It seems logical given anecdotal evidence of unintended memories such as a painful breakup, a loved one who has passed away. Something in the environment may trigger the retrieval of this memory without conscious intent. Preventing these intrusive, unwanted memories from gaining access to our conscious memory or ridding ourselves of them if they do gain access is a task often assigned to the mechanism of inhibition. Researchers do not agree that a separate mechanism, inhibition, is necessary to explain how we select the relevant information from the irrelevant information. Results from several lines of research have been unable to demonstrate inhibition in situations designed to elicit it. However, there are other lines of research that demonstrate the need for inhibition. Researchers are currently investigating this discrepancy. Current projects include using psycholinguistic paradigms (relatedness decision task, sentence verification), as well as more traditional memory paradigms (word association, analogy completion), and retrieval-induced-forgetting along with the DRM paradigm.

 

A related interest concerns the role of interference and inhibition in emotional memory. Memory for emotionally arousing material has begun to show some clear patterns. In the case of negative emotion, memory for central details appears to be enhanced at the cost of peripheral details. The little research that has focused on positive emotion has shown very mixed results. In addition, the emotional nature of the information remembered interacts with the emotional nature of the situation. Research has demonstrated both enhancement and decrements in memory for neutral items immediately preceding or following emotionally arousing items. Previous research has used a variety of stimuli (words, line drawings, IAPS images combined with clipart), retrieval methods, and retrieval intervals. It is possible that emotional information produces an interference of the encoding of items both immediately before and after it. One theory suggests that an inhibition mechanism is responsible for this lack of encoding. Current projects include the use of the International Affective Picture System and Affective Norms for English Words to manipulate emotional arousing and examine memory for emotionally neutral images and words presented before and after.

 

Awards/Recognitions:

2006  Outstanding Faculty Member, High Point University, Evening Degree Program

2002  Graduate Research Award Scholarship

2002  University Scholar, University of Texas at Arlington (UTA)

2000  Graduate Research Award Scholarship

 

Presentations, Publications, and other Professional Activities:

Amster, H., Gorfein, D. S., Wear, K. K., & Brown, V. (2007). A comparison of word associations, associability, and rated relatedness in predicting timed relatedness judgments of polysemous and nonpolysemous words. Poster presetned at the Experimental Psychology Society Annual Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland.

 

Amster, H., Gorfein, D. S., & Wear, K. (2005). Bidirectional relatedness norms: Comparison with associability and latency measures. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON, Canada.

 

Amster, H. Hoover, M., Wear, K., & McMahon, C. (1998). Intensity and context affect recall of pleasant and unpleasant words. Abstracts of the Psychonomic Society, 3, 70.

 

Amster, H. & Wear, K. (2000). Emotionality of context, physical arousal and memory.  Poster presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Handy, J.,D.* & Wear, K. (2008). Effect of Unpleasant and Pleasant Emotional Pictures on Recall of Peripheral Information.  Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

 

Wear, K. (2011). The fate of neutral words surrounding emotionally arousing oddballs. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA.

 

Wear, K. (2009). Examining the fate of inhibition in memory and the consequences for older adults. Talk delivered to Psi Chi, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC.

 

Wear, K. (2008). Inhibitory processes in memory. Talk delivered to High Point University faculty.

 

Wear, K. (2003).  An uninhibited view of homograph processing.  Paper presented at the Psi Chi Undergraduate Conference Arlington, TX.

 

Wear, K. (May, 2001). Emotionality of context, physical arousal & memory.  Talk delivered to Department of Psychology, UTA.

 

Wear, K. (February, 1998). The effects of emotional arousal on memory for verbal materials.  Talk delivered to Department of Psychology, UTA.

 

Wear, K., & Amster, H. (2002). Affective pleasantness and affective intensity of words enhance free recall. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting, Kansas City, MO.

 

Wear, K., & Amster, H. (2000).  The effects of emotional arousal on memory for verbal material. Poster presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Conference, San Francisco, CA.

 

Wear, K., & Gorfein, D. S. (2013). Homograph priming effects are independent of environmental context. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting in Toronto, ON, Canada.

 

Wear, K., & Gorfein, D.S. (2009). Costs and benefits association with repeated occurrences of a homograph. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.

 

Wear, K., Gorfein, D. S., & Amster, H. (2005). Competition doesn’t reduce the spread of priming: Further evidence.  Poster presented at The Place of Inhibitory Processes in Cognition Conference Arlington, TX.

 

Wear, K., Gorfein, D. S., & Amster, H. (2003). Competition doesn’t reduce the spread of priming. Paper presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting Vancouver, BC, Canada.

 

Wear, K., Gorfein, D. S., & Amster, H. (2003).  Transfer effects of homograph processing. Paper presented at the Armadillo Annual Meeting College Station, TX.

 

Wear, K., Gorfein, D., & Amster, H. (2002). The unselected meaning of ambiguous words: Is there evidence of suppression?  Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting Kansas City, MO.

 

Wear, K., Gorfein, D. S., & Brainerd, C. J. (2005). The effects of retrieval practice on false recall. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting Toronto, ON, Canada.

Wear, K., & Stambaugh, K.* (2010). Costs and benefits of processing emotionally arousing stimuli on neutral items. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO.

 

Weingartner, K. M., Wear, K., Gorfein, D.S., & Amster, H. (2009). A test of the utility of the associative judgment task during language processing. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.

Courses Taught:

Introduction to Psychology
Statistics
Research Methods in Psychology
Advanced Research Methods in Psychology
Cognitive Psychology
Biopsychology
Theories of Learning & Memory
Language & Thought (Psycholinguistics)
Cognitive Aging

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