Veronica X Yan

Veronica X Yan
University of Texas at Austin | UT · Department of Educational Psychology

PhD

About

49
Publications
11,897
Reads
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596
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - present
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Professor
August 2015 - August 2017
University of Southern California
Position
  • PhD Student
August 2014 - August 2016
University of California, Los Angeles
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
September 2009 - June 2014
University of California, Los Angeles
Field of study
  • Cognitive Psychology
September 2006 - January 2009
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Experimental Psychology

Publications

Publications (49)
Article
Full-text available
Prior research by Kornell and Bjork (2007) and Hartwig and Dunlosky (2012) has demonstrated that college students tend to employ study strategies that are far from optimal. We examined whether individuals in the broader—and typically older—population might hold different beliefs about how best to study and learn, given their more extensive experien...
Article
Despite the clear long-term benefits of spaced practice, students and teachers often choose massed practice. Whether learners actually fail to appreciate the benefits of spacing is, however, open to question. Early studies (e.g., Zechmeister & Shaughnessy, 1980) found that participants' judgments of learning were higher after massed than after spac...
Article
The finding that trying, and failing, to predict the upcoming to-be-remembered response to a given cue can enhance later recall of that response, relative to studying the intact cue-response pair, is surprising, especially given that the standard paradigm (e.g., Kornell, Hays, & Bjork, 2009) involves allocating what would otherwise be study time to...
Article
Full-text available
In their recent paper, Chen et al. (Educational Psychology Review, 2021) propose that rest periods between deliberate learning characterize the spacing effect and the alternation between skills without rest characterizes the interleaving effect. In this commentary, we show that this theory is inadequate in two aspects. First, the operationalization...
Article
The present study builds on and adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that teachers’ mindsets predict students’ classroom experiences. We examine to what extent university STEM instructors’ beliefs about the role of failure in students’ learning (i.e., their failure-as-debilitating mindsets) are associated with their engagement in mastery...
Article
Full-text available
Learners are often constrained by their available study time, typically having to make a trade-off between depth and breadth of learning. Classic experimental paradigms in memory research treat all items as equally important, but this is unlikely the case in reality. Rather, information varies in importance , and people vary in their ability to dis...
Article
Can interleaved retrieval practice enhance learning in classrooms? Across a 4-week period, ninth- through 12th-grade students ( N = 155) took a weekly quiz in their science courses that tested half of the concepts taught that week. Questions on each quiz were either blocked by concept or interleaved with different concepts. A month after the final...
Chapter
Full-text available
There are many studies now showing that despite the widespread endorsement of individual learning styles, there is little empirical evidence to support the claim that learners actually learn better using strategies that match their preferred style. If there are no direct learning consequences, what are the other possible consequences of endorsing t...
Article
Full-text available
We tested the prediction that how people respond to all-encompassing life difficulties that may require taking on novel difficult tasks or goals is a function of what they infer about their identities from these experiences of difficulty. We focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and identity-based motivation theory to test our predictions (N=698 U.S. ad...
Preprint
We tested the prediction that how people respond to all-encompassing life difficulties that may require taking on novel difficult tasks or goals is a function of what they infer about their identities from these experiences of difficulty. We focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and identity-based motivation theory to test our predictions (N=698 U.S. ad...
Article
Difficulty can signal low odds (impossibility) and high value (importance). We build on culture-as-situated cognition theory’s description of culture-based fluency and disfluency to predict that the culturally fluent meaning of difficulty is culture-bound. For Americans, the culturally fluent understanding of ability is success-with-ease-not-effort...
Preprint
Difficulty can signal low odds (impossibility) and high value (importance). We build on culture-as-situated cognition theory’s description of culture-based fluency and disfluency to predict that the culturally fluent meaning of difficulty is culture-bound. For Americans, the culturally fluent understanding of ability is success-with-ease-not-effort...
Article
Although recent research has found that undergraduate students' perceptions of faculty growth mindsets are important predictors of their motivation, engagement, and performance, only a few studies have investigated the specific practices and behaviors that are associated with students' perceptions of faculty growth mindsets. In a sample of 3910 und...
Article
Full-text available
Difficulty can signal low odds (impossibility) and high value (importance). We build on culture-as-situated cognition theory’s description of culture-based fluency and disfluency to predict that the culturally fluent meaning of difficulty is culture-bound. For Americans, the culturally fluent understanding of ability is success-with-ease-not-effort...
Preprint
Can interleaved retrieval practice enhance learning in classrooms? Across a four-week period, students (N = 155) took a weekly quiz in their science courses testing half of the concepts taught in that week. Questions on each quiz were either blocked by concept or interleaved with different concepts. A month after the final quiz, students were teste...
Preprint
Cultures often provide deservingness and authority-based narratives to explain the difficulties people experience in life. Accepting these narratives is culturally fluent but can be depleting. We predicted and showed that people often also interpret their life difficulties as opportunities for self-growth— a difficulty-as-improvement mindset. Our c...
Article
Attention- and memory-based accounts of sequencing effects in category learning are often pitted against one another, but we propose that both are important. We created an unsupervised learning task in which the rules governing categories would be difficult to notice under interleaved sequences. Specifically, participants were presented with Chines...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this pre-registered replication of findings from Muis and Franco [2009; Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34(4), 306-318], college students (N = 978) from across the United States and Canada were surveyed regarding their goal orientations and learning strategies. A structural equation modelling approach was used to assess the associations bet...
Article
Interleaving examples of to-be-learned categories, rather than blocking examples by category, can enhance learning. We examine the reliability of the interleaving effect between- (Experiments 1 and 2) and within-participants (Experiment 3). As a between-participant effect, we examined a broad spectrum of working memory by both measuring individual...
Article
Full-text available
What goes into motivating students to take effective action? Ideally, students are not only motivated to invest time into their studying, but that they use their time in effective and productive ways. In the present study, we surveyed college undergraduates (N = 366) about how they engage in one of their college courses. Specifically, we explored h...
Article
Full-text available
In the current study, we explore the unique roles that perceived professor and peer beliefs play in creating a mindset context for undergraduate engineering students. We found that students (N = 304) perceived their peers, as compared to their professors, to endorse stronger fixed beliefs about intelligence and more negative beliefs about effort an...
Preprint
Numerous studies have shown that an interleaved study sequence of examples (e.g., ABCBACACB) from different categories, relative to a blocked sequence (e.g., AAABBBCCC), often yields superior category learning. Some explanations for sequencing effects centers on attentional processes, others focus on memory processes, and the two are often pitted a...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we examined students’ natural studying behaviors in massive, open, online course (MOOC) on introductory psychology. We found that, overall, distributing study across multiple sessions—increasing spacing—was related to increased performance on end-of-unit quizzes, even when comparing the same student across different time-points in th...
Article
Although examples can be structured to emphasize diagnostic features of concepts, novice learners tend to focus on irrelevant surface features and struggle to encode deeper structures. Experiment 1 examined whether pretesting-answering questions about content before it is studied-could enhance learners' noticing of diagnostic features, making them...
Article
How can learning within a study session be optimized? Practically, there is a functionally unlimited amount of information that could be learned, but learners have limited time. Across two delayed-test experiments, we ask what schedule (or combination of schedules) maximizes the amount of information that can be learned in a fixed amount of time. W...
Article
When learning new information, should students focus on studying one concept at a time or should they alternate studying between different concepts? Recent research shows that students should mix up or interleave the study of different concepts, particularly when the concepts are related or hard to discriminate (Carvalho & Goldstone, 2015). But stu...
Article
Interleaving examples of to-be-learned categories, rather than blocking examples by category, frequently enhances category induction. The presently dominant theory is that interleaving promotes discriminative-contrast, and suggests that category similarity structure modulates this interleaving benefit: that blocking should benefit learning when wit...
Article
Interleaving examples of different categories, rather than blocking examples by category, often enhances the learning of those categories, but does this benefit vary by learner? On one hand, it could be argued that interleaving places increased demands on a learner's working-memory capacity (WMC), which could foster suboptimal learning for those wi...
Research
Full-text available
Color Figures from Oyserman, D. & Yan. V. X. (2018). Making meaning: a culture-as-situated cognition approach to the consequences of cultural fluency and disfluency. In S. Kitayama and D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of Cultural Psychology. NY: Guilford Press.
Chapter
Full-text available
sense-making framework and the effects of cultural expertise on how people get through their everyday lives. We start with the idea that culture -- the practices, meanings, structures and values shared by members of a group in a particular time and place -- provides a way to make sense of everyday life. We propose that sense making takes the form o...
Article
The sequencing of exemplars during study can have a large effect on category or concept induction. Counter to learners' intuitions, interleaving exemplars from different categories is often more effective for learning the different underlying categories than is blocking all the exemplars by category (e.g., Kornell & Bjork, 2008). Prior research sug...
Article
Full-text available
Will you be going to that networking lunch? Will you be tempted by a donut at 4 pm? If, like many people, your responses are based on your gut sense of who you are --shy or outgoing, a treat lover or a dieter, you made three assumptions about identity-- that motivation and behavior are identity-based, that identities are chronically on the mind, an...
Chapter
Full-text available
Cultural knowledge allows people to engage the world seemingly effortlessly because their expectations for how their everyday experiences will unfold using oftentimes-tacit cultural scripts correctly predict their observations. People experience cultural disfluency when these culture-based predictions mismatch their observed reality. Cultural disfl...
Article
Interleaving exemplars of to-be-learned categories-rather than blocking exemplars by category-typically enhances inductive learning. Learners, however, tend to believe the opposite, even after their own performance has benefited from interleaving. In Experiments 1 and 2, the authors examined the influence of 2 factors that they hypothesized contrib...
Article
The sequence in which problems of different concepts are studied during instruction impacts concept learning. For example, several problems of a given concept can be studied together (blocking) or several problems of different concepts can be studied together (interleaving). In the current study, we demonstrate that the 2 sequences impact concept i...
Article
In order to examine metacognitive accuracy (i.e., the relationship between metacognitive judgment and memory performance), researchers often rely on by-participant analysis, where metacognitive accuracy (e.g., resolution, as measured by the gamma coefficient or signal detection measures) is computed for each participant and the computed values are...
Article
The induction of categories and concepts from examples-which plays an important role in how people come to organize and understand the world-can happen at multiple levels, but how do competing values at these different levels affect learning? Using perceptually rich images of snakes, we asked participants to attend to either the snakes' specific ge...

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Projects (2)
Project
What strategies are effective for learning? Why? When and for whom? And do learners understand how to manage their learning effectively?