Dr. Katherine Bruce, Professor & Director of Honors College
Ph.D. University of Georgia, 1984
I am an interdisciplinary experimental psychologist and the director of the UNCW Honors College. My main research interests are in the study of comparative cognition, or similarities and differences in learning patterns across species. I collaborate with Mark Galizio to study learning and memory in rats, especially as it relates to evolutionary processes. We use olfactory cues to investigate working and episodic memory. For more info: check out our lab website or my webpage.
In addition, I also have published research on mate choice and social interactions in live-bearing fish (like guppies, mosquitofish, and swordtails). Another research interest is in health psychology; I study attitudes about controversial issues in sexuality (for example, sexually transmitted disease, risky sexual behavior, gender roles and contraceptive risk taking) and have developed a number of attitude survey instruments.
Select Publications (*indicates student author).
Research related to animal behavior/comparative cognition:
April, L. B., Bruce, K. & Galizio, M. Matching- and non-matching-to-sample concept learning in rats using olfactory stimuli. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 96, 123-138.
Bruce, K & Simone, M.* (July 2004). Male size and melanism influence social interactions in eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). Poster presentation at the American Psychological Association meeting, Hawaii.
McLaughlin, M. & Bruce, K. (2001). The effect of male familiarity on proximity time in female eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). Psychological Record, 51, 237-250.
Research related to human sexuality:
Williamson, A. & Bruce, K. (March 2004; April, 2004). Love Attitudes, Sexual Behavior and Gender Roles in College Students. Poster presented at the Sandhills Psi Chi Conference and the Southern Regional Honors Council conference, both Wilmington, NC.
McMullin, D.*, & Bruce, K. (March 2002). Black and White college students’ attitudes toward homosexuals. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.
Bruce, K. & Walker, L*. &. (2001). College students’ attitudes about AIDS: 1986-2000. AIDS Education and Prevention, 13, 428-437. Boshamer, C. B. & Bruce, K. (1999). A scale to measure attitudes about HIV-antibody testing: Development and psychometric validation. AIDS Education & Prevention, 11, 400-413.
Publications Related to Teaching Methods:
Bruce, K., Horan, J, Kelley, P., and Galizio, M. (2009). Teaching Evolution in the Galápagos. Journal of Effective Teaching, 9(2), 13-29.
James, S and Bruce, K. (2009). Evolution and Human Nature: Comparing Honors and Traditional Pedagogies for the New Science of the Mind. Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 10, 93-102.