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Kathleen Hourihan

B.Sc. Dalhousie, Ph.D. Waterloo

Assistant Professor

Office: SN3080
Phone: (709) 864-8771
Affiliations: Cognition

Research Interests

I am interested in memory in the broad sense, but my specific research interests focus on how much control we have over what we remember, and what we know about how we remember. This has resulted in my extensive study of intentional forgetting as a means of measuring how well we can select which information is more important to remember than other information (and which information gets learned regardless of our intention to forget it). I have examined how item distinctiveness and encoding context interact to improve memory. I am also interested in conceptual implicit memory as a measure of how our memory functions when we are not trying to control it.

Recently, I have been examining metamemory, or what we know about our own memory processes. What affects our ability to accurately predict what we will remember, and what we will forget? I am interested in examining how metamemory is affected by situational variables (like mood, or changes in alertness associated with different times of day) and by more stable cognitive variables (like working memory capacity or need for cognition). I have also been studying how metamnemonic accuracy is affected by different classes of stimuli, such as faces and emotional stimuli.


Hourihan, K.L., Benjamin, A.S., & Liu, X. (2012). A cross-race effect in metamemory: Predictions of face recognition are more accurate for members of our own race. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 1, 158-162.

Ozubko, J.D., Hourihan, K.L., & MacLeod, C.M. (2012). Production Benefits Learning: The Production Effect Endures and Improves Memory for Text. Memory, 20, 717-727.

Hourihan, K.L., & Benjamin, A.S. (2010). Smaller is better (when sampling from the crowd within): Low memory span individuals benefit more from multiple opportunities for estimation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36, 1068-1074.

MacLeod, C.M., Gopie, N., Hourihan, K.L., Neary, K.R., & Ozubko, J.D. (2010). The production effect: Delineation of a phenomenon. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36, 671-685.

Hourihan, K.L., Ozubko, J.D., & MacLeod, C.M. (2009). Directed forgetting of visual symbols: Evidence for nonverbal selective rehearsal. Memory & Cognition, 37, 1059-1068.

Hourihan, K.L., & MacLeod, C.M. (2008). Directed forgetting meets the production effect: Distinctive material is resistant to directed forgetting. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62, 242-246.

Hourihan, K.L., & MacLeod, C.M. (2007). Capturing conceptual implicit memory: The time it takes to produce an association. Memory & Cognition, 35, 1187-1196.

Hourihan, K.L., Goldberg, S., & Taylor, T.L. (2007). The role of spatial location in remembering and forgetting peripheral words. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61, 91-101.

Hourihan, K. L., & Taylor, T.L. (2006). Cease remembering: Control processes in directed forgetting. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 32, 1354-1365.