Valerie Reyna

 

Valerie Reyna

Professor / Department Extension Leader
G331D, Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Human Development
 
Phone: (607) 255-6778 Fax: (607) 255-9856
Email: vr53@cornell.edu
View Cornell University Contact Info
Curriculum Vitae
 
Biographical Statement:

Valerie Reyna is Professor of Human Development, Director of the Human Neuroscience Institute, Co-director of the Cornell University Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility, and Co-director of the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research. Her research integrates brain and behavioral approaches to understand and improve judgment, decision making, and memory across the life span.  Her recent work has focused on the neuroscience of risky decision making and its implications for health and well-being, especially in adolescents; applications of cognitive models and artificial intelligence to improving understanding of genetics (e.g., in breast cancer); and medical and legal decision making (e.g., about jury awards, medication decisions, and adolescent culpability).  She is a developer of fuzzy-trace theory, a model of the relation between mental representations and decision making that has been widely applied in law, medicine, and public health.

Dr. Reyna is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the oldest and most prestigious honorary society in experimental psychology.  She is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Divisions of Experimental Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Educational Psychology, and Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. Dr. Reyna has been a Visiting Professor at the Mayo Clinic, a permanent member of study sections of the National Institutes of Health, and a member of advisory panels for the National Science Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences.  For example, she is on the Advisory Committee of the National Research Council’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) which oversees 10 boards and standing committees, and serves as the Chief Scientific Liaison and representative to the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences of the Psychonomic Society.

Taking a leave from academia, Dr. Reyna helped create a new research agency in the U.S. Department of Education, where she oversaw grant policies and programs.  Her service has also included leadership positions in organizations dedicated to equal opportunity for minorities and women, and on national executive and advisory boards of centers and grants with similar goals, such as the Arizona Hispanic Center of Excellence, National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and Women in Cognitive Science (supported by a National Science Foundation ADVANCE leadership award).

Dr. Reyna is the incoming Editor of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, winding up a second term as Associate Editor of Psychological Science, and sits on the editorial board of such journals as Decision and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, leading journals in psychology.  Dr. Reyna has received many years of research support from private foundations and U.S. government agencies, and currently serves as principal investigator of several grants and awards (e.g., from the National Institutes of Health).

 

 
Current Professional Activities:

Editor, Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

Associate Editor, Psychological Science.

Associate Editor, Developmental Review. 

Editorial Board, Psychological ScienceDecisionPsychonomic Bulletin and Review, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

Advisory (steering) Committee, National Research Council's Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Academy of Sciences.

Chief Scientific Liasion, Governing Board of the Psychonomic Society.

Chair, Communications Committee, Governing Baord of the Psychonomic Society.

MacArthur Foundation’s Law and Neuroscience Network, Group to Individual project.

Roundtable and Advisory Committee, Research Center for Excellence in Clinical Preventive Services, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Committee on Values Clarification of the International Patient Decision Aids Standards.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Risk Communication Advisory Committee.

National Academies of Sciences' Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences.

Editorial Advisory Board, Biennial Bronfrenbrenner Conference Series.

National Advisory Board, Center for Learning and Human Development, Miami University.

 

 
Current Research Activities:

Topics: Judgment and Decision Making; Risk and Rationality; False Memory; Aging and Cognitive Impairment; Cognitive and Social Neuroscience; Developmental Neuroscience. 

Dr. Reyna’s research focuses on dual processes in memory, judgment, and decision making, on how these processes change with age and expertise, and on their implications for risky decision making in law, health, medicine, and neuroscience. She is a developer  of fuzzy-trace theory, a theory of memory and its relation to higher cognitive processes.

 
Current Extension Activities:

Director of Extension, Department of Human Development, Cornell University

Director of Central New York outreach programs for risk reduction and obesity-prevention in youth. 

 
Education:

Ph.D. 1981 - Rockefeller University Experimental Psychology

B.A. 1976 - Clark University Psychology (Summa Cum Laude)

 
Courses Taught:

Courses Taught (selected)
HD 4010 Independent Study, Department of Human Development, Cornell University 
HD 4200 Laboratory in Risk and Rational Decision Making, Cornell University
HD 4250 Translational Research on Decision Making, Department of Human Development, Cornell University 
HD 4990 Honors Thesis, Department of Human Development, Cornell University 
HD 6020 Research on Risk and Rational Decision Making, Department of Human Development, Cornell University 
HD 7000 Directed Readings, Department of Human Development, Cornell University
HD 7010 Empirical Research, Department of Human Development, Cornell University 
HD 7030 Teaching Assistantship, Department of Human Development, Cornell University
HD 8990, Master's Thesis, Department of Human Development, Cornell University 
HD 9990, Doctoral Thesis, Department of Human Development, Cornell University

 
Related Websites:

Search and Download Reyna Publications

Laboratory for Rational Decision Making

Risky Decision Making in Adolescents

Medical Decision Making

Workshop on Higher Cognition in Adolescents and Young Adults

Judgment, Decision Making, and Social Judgment Project

Human Development Today e-News

Human Development and Law Dual PhD/JD Degree program

Cornell MRI Facility

Human Neuroscience Institute

 
Administrative Responsibilities:

Director, Human Neuroscience Institute, Department of Human Development, Cornell University

Director of Extension, Department of Human Development, Cornell University

Co-Director, Cornell University Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility
Co-Director, Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research

 
Selected Publications:

Reyna, V. F., Chick, C. F., Corbin, J. C., & Hsia, A. N. (2014). Developmental reversals in risky decision-making: Intelligence agents show larger decision biases than college students. Psychological Science, 25(1), 76-84. doi: 10.1177/0956797613497022

Reyna, V. F., & Mills, B. A.  (2014).  Theoretically motivated interventions for reducing sexual risk taking in adolescence: A randomized controlled experiment applying fuzzy-trace theory.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(4), 1627-1648. doi: 10.1037/a0036717

Reyna, V. F., Croom, K., Staiano-Coico, L., Lesser, M. L., Lewis, D., Frank, J., & Marchell, T. (2013).  Endorsement of a personal responsibility to adhere to the minimum drinking age law predicts consumption, risky behaviors, and alcohol-related harms.  Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 19(3), 380-394.

Reyna, V. F. (2012). A new intuitionism: Meaning, memory, and development in fuzzy-trace theory.Judgment and Decision Making, 7(3), 332-359.

Reyna, V.F. (2012). Risk perception and communication in vaccination decisions: A fuzzy-trace theory approach. Vaccine, 30, 3790-3797. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.11.070

Reyna, V.F., Chapman, S., Dougherty, M., Confrey, J. (2012) The adolescent brain: Learning, reasoning, and decision making. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

Reyna, V. F., Estrada, S. M., DeMarinis, J. A., Myers, R. M., Stanisz, J. M., & Mills, B. A. (2011). Neurobiological and memory models of risky decision making in adolescents versus young adults.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37(5), 1125-1142.doi:10.1037/a0023943

Reyna, V. F., & Brainerd, C. J. (2011). Dual processes in decision making and developmental neuroscience: A fuzzy-trace model. Developmental Review, 31,180-206. doi: 10.1016/j.dr.2011.07.004

Reyna, V. F., Nelson, W., Han, P., & Dieckmann, N. F. (2009). How numeracy influences risk comprehension and medical decision making. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 943-973.

Lloyd, F. J., & Reyna, V. F. (2009). Clinical gist and medical education: Connecting the dots. Journal of the American Medical Association, 302(12):1332-1333.

Reyna, V. F. (2008). A theory of medical decision making and health: Fuzzy-trace theoryMedical Decision Making, 28, 850-865. 

Reyna, V. F., & Farley, F. (2006). Risk and rationality in adolescent decision making: Implications for theory, practice, and public policyPsychological Science in the Public Interest, 7, 1-44.

Reyna, V.F., & Lloyd, F. (2006). Physician decision making and cardiac risk: Effects of knowledge, risk perception, risk tolerance, and fuzzy processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 12, 179-195.

Reyna, V.F. (2004). How people make decisions that involve risk. A dual-processes approach. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 13, 60-66. 

Reyna, V.F., & Adam, M.B. (2003). Fuzzy-trace theory, risk communication, and product labeling in sexually transmitted diseases. Risk Analysis, 23, 325-342. 

 
Searchable Keywords:
Judgment and decision making, risk taking, memory, numeracy, medical decision making, neuropsychology

 
The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.