Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Kathy E Johnson Ph.D.

Professor, Psychology
Dean of University College
Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education
Primary Appointment: Dean, University College


1992 Ph.D. Psychology - Cognition and Development, Emory University
1989 M.S. Developmental Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
1987 B.S. Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Teaching Assignments

U110 - First Year Seminar

B433 - Capstone Laboratory in Applied Psychology

Current Research

My area of specialty is Cognitive Developmental Psychology. My research interests include lexical and conceptual development in infancy, development of symbolic understanding and intense interests and expertise in children. I also am very interested in student development and predictors of success and persistence among undergraduates.

Select Publications

Johnson, K. E., Alexander, J. M., Spencer, S., Leibham, M. E., & Neitzel, C. (2004). Factors associated with the early emergence of intense interests within conceptual domains. Cognitive Development, 19, 325-343.

Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E., Leibham, M. E., & DeBauge, C. (2004). Constructing domain-specific knowledge in kindergarten: Relations among knowledge, intelligence, and strategic performance. Learning and Individual Differences, 15, 35-52.

Johnson, K. E., Younger, B. A., & Furrer, S. D. (2005a). Infants’ symbolic comprehension of actions modeled with toy replicas. Developmental Science

Leibham, M. E., Alexander, J.M., Johnson, K. E., Neitzel, C., & Reis-Henrie, F. (2005). Parenting behaviors associated with early intense interests in domains related to science. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 26, 397-414.

Johnson, K. E., Younger, B. A., & Cuellar, R. (2005). Toddlers' understanding of iconic models: Cross-task analysis of selection and preferential looking responses. Infancy, 8, 189-200.

Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E., Albano, J., Freygang, T., & Scott, B. (2006). Relations between intelligence and the development of metaconceptual knowledge. Metacognition and Learning, 1, 51-67.

Younger, B. A., & Johnson, K. E. (2006). Infants’ developing appreciation of similarities between model objects and their real world referents. Child Development, 77, 1680-1697.

Unverzagt, F. W., Kasten, L., Johnson, K. E., Rebok, G. W., Marsiske, M., Koepke, K. M., Elias, J. W., Morris, J. N., Willis, S. L., Ball, K., Rexroth, D. F., Smith, D. M., Wolinsky, F. D., Stoddard, A., & Tennstedt, S. L. (2007). Effect of memory impairment on training outcomes in ACTIVE. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 13(6). 953-960.

Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E., & Leibham, M. E. (2008). The development of conceptual interests in young children. Cognitive Development, 23, 324-334.

Neitzel, C., Alexander, J. M., & Johnson, K. E. (2008). Children’s early interest based activities in the home and subsequent information contributions and pursuits in kindergarten. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 782-797.

Woodrome, S. E., & Johnson, K. E. (2009). The role of visual discrimination in the learning-to-read process. Reading and Writing, 22,117-131.

Tucker-Drob, E. M., Johnson, K. E., & Jones, R. N. (2009). The Cognitive Reserve Hypothesis: A longitudinal examination of age-associated declines in reasoning and processing speed. Developmental Psychology, 45, 431-446.

Aiken Morgan, A.T., Marsiske, M., Dzierzewski, J., Jones, R., Whitfield, K. E., Johnson, K., &, Cresci, M. K. (in press). Race-related cognitive test bias in the ACTIVE study: A MIMIC model approach. Experimental Aging Research.


Awards & Honors

2007 Faculty Fellow, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, IUPUI
2007 Indiana University Leadership Development Program Fellow
2002, 2006 Trustees Teaching Award, IUPUI
2003 Outstanding Female Faculty Leader Award, IUPUI
2002 Indiana University FACET Award (Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching)