- Ph.D. 1997, University of California, Santa Barbara (Psychology)
M.A. 1994, University of California, Santa Barbara (Psychology)
B.A. 1992, California State University, Chico (Psychology)
Specialty Areas: Cognition.
Psy 304 - Cognitive Psychology and Instruction
Psy 320/L - Statistical Methods in Psychological Research & Lab
Psy 403/L - Perception and Cognition & Lab
Psy 440 - Thinking
Psy 691 - Graduate Seminar - Cognition
Selected Publications and Presentations
Hegarty, M., Quilici, J., Narayanan, N. H., Holmquist, S., & Moreno, R. (1999). Multimedia instruction: Lessons from evaluation of a theory-based design. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 8, 119-150.
Mayer, R. E., Quilici, J. L., & Moreno, R. (1999). What is learned in an after-school computer club? Journal of Educational Computing Research, 20(3), 223-235.
Examined the cognitive consequences of participating in an after-school computer club in which language-minority children learned to master a series of educational computer games through reading instructions, interacting with peers, and interacting with adult mentors. 25 elementary school children who regularly participated in an after-school computer club during an academic year were compared with 25 nonparticipating peers who were matched for grade level, gender, and English language proficiency. Based on a dynamic assessment given at the end of the academic year, treatment students were more successful than comparison students in learning how to play a new educational computer game that was presented as a paper-and-pencil mathematics puzzle learning task. This study shows how an informal educational environment can foster generalizable problem solving skills that transfer to learning in a school environment.
Quilici, J. L. (1998). The influence of expertise and schema training on how students categorize statistics word problems. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section b: The Sciences and Engineering, 58(7-B), 3941.
The purpose of this dissertation is to examine how differences in levels of expertise and different types of training techniques influence the way students recognize similarities between statistics word problems. As a dependent measure, participants in all experiments were asked to sort 12 elementary statistics word problems into groups based on problem type. In Experiment 1, students with statistics expertise were more likely to sort statistics problems on the basis of structure (e.g., group t-test problems together, correlation problems together, and chi-square problems together) and less likely to sort on the basis of surface characteristics (e.g., group typing problems together, group weather problems together, group mental alertness problems together, and group reading problems together) than novice statistics students. When asked to generate new problems for each group, experts were more likely to create new statistics story problems on the basis of structure and were less likely to create new problems on the basis of surface features than novices. In Experiment 2, students enrolled in an introductory statistics course were more likely to sort statistics problems on the basis of structure and less likely to sort on the basis of surface at the end of the course than at the beginning of the course. In Experiment 3, students who received schema training and/or structure-emphasizing examples prior to the sorting task were more likely to sort statistics problems on the basis of structure and less likely to sort on the basis of surface characteristics than students who received neutral examples with no schema training. These results are consistent with a cognitive theory of analogical transfer.
Mayer, R. E., Quilici, J., Moreno, R., Duran, R., Woodbridge, S., Simon, R., Sanchez, D., & Lavezzo, A. (1997). Cognitive consequences of participation in a "Fifth Dimension" after-school computer club. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 16(4), 353-369.
The Fifth Dimension is an after-school computer club aimed at improving the literacy of English- and Spanish-speaking elementary school children. Children who attended the club at least 10 times during the 1994-95 school year acted as the treatment group.These 3rd and 4th graders showed larger pretest-to-posttest gains on tests of word problem comprehension than did non-participating children matched for grade, gender, school teacher, and language proficiency (comparison group). The same effect was noted for both Spanish and English versions of the test, and under a variety of matching techniques. The superiority of the treatment group was still present when the children were retested after the summer in the fall of the next year. These results provide support for the hypothesis that experience in using computer software in the Fifth Dimension computer club produces measurable, resilient, and sustained cognitive changes related to children's literacy.
Quilici, J. L., & Mayer, R. E. (1996). Role of examples in how students learn to categorize statistics word problems. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(1), 144-161.
In Experiment 1, students who studied example word problems that were grouped by t test, correlation, and chi-square were more likely to sort subsequent problems on the basis of structure and less likely to sort on the basis of surface characteristics than students who received no examples. In Experiment 2, this pattern was strongest when students studied structure-emphasizing rather than surface-emphasizing examples. In Experiment 3, students who studied and practiced 4 structure-emphasizing worked-out examples of t test and correlation problems were more likely to apply the appropriate statistical test correctly to subsequently presented statistics word problems than students who had studied surface emphasizing examples. This pattern was strong for lower but not for higher ability students. Implications of a schema construction theory are discussed.
My research interests lie in the area of cognitive processes, decision making, problem solving, expertise, knowledge representation, and analogical reasoning. My current primary research interest is in the area of decision making. In particular, I am interested in the issue of how people make decisions about their nutritional intake. At a theoretical level, I am interested in the decision-making process and what factors influence our decisions to stick with or abandon healthy eating goals in our daily lives. At a practical level, I am interested in studying potential environmental or educational interventions designed to promote healthier eating decisions with the goal of reducing obesity.
More generally, I am interested in how we can use our knowledge of human cognition to design interventions in practical settings. What can we do to promote effective decision-making that will be consistent our goals in health settings? In educational settings? How can we help people to learn from past experiences and use them effectively to make decisions or solve problems in new situations?
Research assistants in my lab will get experience assisting with literature review, data collection, data scoring, data entry, and data analysis for a variety of data types. In addition, students who are motivated to be more active participants in the lab can be involved in designing research studies (including thesis projects), designing stimulus materials for experiments, preparing and presenting research findings at conferences, and preparing research findings for publication.