Robert C. Mathews, Professor

Department of Psychology
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Office Phone: (225) 578-4122

Dr. Mathews is not taking new students at this time.

Research Interests

My research focuses on applying cognitive science to enhance learning. Several projects in my lab involve experiments on ways to integrate experiential (hands-on learning) with reflective (theory based) knowledge. Many of these experiments involve learning an artificial language from experience with many exemplars or learning to control output in a dynamic process control task (e.g., output in a simulated sugar factory). A new line of this work will focus on the types of drug interactions learners can identify from experience using them in a simulated clinic. My lab also is involved in many field studies that are highlighted on the OAC web site.


I don't believe in teaching. I believe in learning, and that learning should be an adventure. Remember how thrilled you were as a child to investigate unknown objects, such as your first chance to play with a camera or a flashlight. Unfortunately much of education is oriented toward memorizing facts. You have probably learned to expect a college course to involve primarily taking notes and memorizing them. Not in my classes: Instead we work together to find the most interesting and useful ideas.

Students take an active role in organizing and presenting ideas in class. My courses also encourage discovering how the course material can be applied in "real life" situations and to achieve your own personal life goals.

Representative Publications

Domangue, T. J., Mathews, R. C., Sun, R., Roussel, L. G., & Guidry, C. E. (2004). Effects of model-based and memory-based processing on speed and accuracy of grammar string generation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 30, 1002-1011.

Harvey, C. M., Mathews, R. C., Wu, H. D., Houston, A., Lane, S. M., Hines, R., Nabatilan, L., & Comeaux, K. (2004). The cognitive and affective consequences of nonlinear forms of information acquisition. Proceedings of the 48th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 1064-1068.

Sun, R. & Mathews, R. C. (In Press). Explicit and Implicit Processes of Metacognition. Advances in Psychology Research. Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY.

Mathews, R. C., & Dunaway, D. (2003). Enhancing transfer of knowledge by combining experiential and reflective knowledge in a cognitive toolbox format for web-based delivery. In A. M. Vilas, J. A. M. Gonzalez, and J. M. Gonzalez (Eds.) Advances in Technology-Based Education: Toward a Knowledge-Based Society, Vol 2, 673-680, Badajoz, Spain: Junta De Extremadura.

Mathews, R. C., Roussel, L. G., Cochran, B. P., Cook, A. E., & Dunaway, D. L. (2001). The role of implicit learning in the acquisition of generative knowledge. Cognitive Systems Research, 1, 161-174.

Iyengar, S. S., Pangburn, B. E., & Mathews, R.C. (2000). Web-based Mutlimedia Development Techniques for the Instruction of Abstract Concepts in Computer Science. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Multimedia Software Engineering, Taipei, Taiwan.

Mathews, R.C., Cohran, B. P. (1998). "Project Grammarama Revisited: Generativity of Implicitly Acquired Knowledge," In M.A. Stadler & P. A. Frensch (eds.), Handbook of Implicit Learning, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage