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Richard Gerrig, Ph.D.

Stanford University (1984)
Professor, Cognitive Science


Office: Psychology B-201
Phone: (631) 632-7847

Dr. Richard Gerrig will not be reviewing graduate student applications for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Research Interests:

Psycholinguistics, text understanding and representation, nonconventional language, cognitive experiences of narrative worlds.

Current Research:

Dr. Gerrig's research focuses on several theoretical issues in psycholinguistics including the implications of  nonconventional language for theories of language processing and processes that give rise to readers' experiences of being transported by narratives, the isolation that narrative worlds  provide, and the consequences of readers' narrative experiences for real-world beliefs and  judgments.  Current projects focus on memory-based text processing with a particular emphasis on  the effects of readers' perspectives on text processing and representation. 

Representative Publications:

Mumper, M. L.,  & Gerrig, R. J.  (2017).  Leisure reading and social abilities: A meta-analysis.  Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts11, 109-120.  

Bezdek, M. A., & Gerrig, R. J.  (2017).  When narrative transportation narrows attention:  Changes in attentional focus during suspenseful film viewing.  Media Psychology20, 60-89.   

Gerrig, R. J., & Mumper, M. L.  (2017).  How readers' lives affect narrative experiences.  In M. Burke & E. Troscianko  (Eds.), Dialogues Between Literature and Cognition (239-257).  Oxford:  Oxford University Press.

Horton, W. S., & Gerrig, R. J.  (2016).  Revisiting the memory-based processing approach to common ground.  Topics in Cognitive Science8, 780-795. 

Gerrig, R. J., Bagelmann, K. A., & Mumper, M. L.  (2016).  On the origins of readers’ outcome preferences.  Discourse Processes53, 603–631.

Bezdek, M. A., Gerrig, R. J., Wenzel, W. G., Shin, J., Revill, K. P., & Schumacher, E. H.   (2015).  Neural evidence that suspense narrows attentional focus.  Neuroscience, 303, 338-345.

Wenzel, W. G., & Gerrig, R. J.  (2015).  Convergent and divergent thinking in the context of narrative mysteries.  Discourse Processes, 52, 489-516. 

Gerrig, R. J.  Meaning in context.  (2015).  American Journal of Psychology, 128, 135-145.

Gerrig, R. J., & Wenzel, W. G.  (2015).  The role of inferences in narrative experiences.  In E. J. O’Brien, A. E. Cook, & R. F. Lorch, Jr. (Eds.), Inferences during reading (pp. 362-385).    New York:  Cambridge University Press.

Foy, J. E., & Gerrig, R. J.  (2014).  Flying to Neverland: How readers’ tacitly judge norms during comprehension.  Memory & Cognition, 42, 1250-1259. 

Foy, J. E., & Gerrig, R. J.  (2014).  Readers’ responses when characters act on completed goals:  Impact of characters’ mental states and readers’ task focus.  Discourse Processes, 51, 312-332.

Swets, B., Jacovina, M. E., & Gerrig, R. J.  (2014).  Individual differences in the scope of speech planning:  Evidence from eye movements.  Language and Cognition, 6, 12-44. 

Gerrig, R. J., & Foy, J. E.  (2013).  A participatory perspective on readers’ narrative experiences.  SDV: Sprache und Datenverarbeitung, 37, 89-112. 

Bezdek, M. A., Foy, J. E., & Gerrig, R. J.  (2013).  “Run for it!”: Viewers’ participatory responses to film narratives.  Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7, 409-416. 

Gerrig, R. J., & Bezdek, M. A.  (2013).  Aesthetic illusion in film. In W. Wolf, W. Bernhart, & A. Mahler (Eds.), Immersion and distance:  Aesthetic illusion in literature and other media (pp. 89-111).  Amsterdam, NL: Rodopi. 

Swets, B., Jacovina, M. E., & Gerrig, R. J.  (2013).  Effects of conversational pressures on speech planning.  Discourse Processes, 50, 23-51.

Gerrig, R. J.  (2013).  Psychology and life (20th ed.).  Boston:  Pearson.

Gerrig, R. J.  (2012).  Why literature is necessary, and not just nice.  In I. Jaén & J. Simon (Eds.), The cognition of literature (pp. 35-52). Austin, TX:  University of Texas Press. 

Gerrig, R. J.  (2011).  Individual differences in readers’ narrative experiences.  The Scientific Study of Literature, 1, 88-94.

Gerrig, R. J., Horton, W. S., & Stent, A.  (2011).  Production and comprehension of unheralded pronouns:  A corpus analysis.  Discourse Processes, 48, 161-182.

Gerrig, R. J.  (2011).  Conscious and unconscious processes in readers’ narrative experiences.  In G. Olson (Vol. Ed.), Narratologia:  Current trends in narratology (pp. 37-60).  New York/Berlin:  de Gruyter.