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Raymond Shaw

Associate Professor, Psychology


B.S., Psychology, Georgetown University
M.A., Psychology, University of Toronto
Ph.D., Psychology, University of Toronto


Courses Taught

Introduction to Psychology (including “The Massive Intro” course)
Statistical Methods in Psychology
Psychology of Happiness
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Psychology of Aging
Senior Seminar

Professional Experience

Previous Positions
Department Chair, Psychology, Merrimack College
Assistant Dean, School of Liberal Arts, Merrimack College
Vice Provost, Merrimack College

Other Current Positions
Member, Board of Directors, New England Educational Assessment Network
Co-Editor, Journal of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness 


Research Activity

My earliest research focused on age-related changes in cognitive functioning, looking at how memory and attention are affected by the aging process. Currently, my research and scholarly interests are in three areas:

  • The impact of personal and social context on memory – how do personal characteristics, experience, and the social context change the way we think and remember? This work has been conducted with the help of many students through the CAMP research group. One kind of personal context I’m interested in for several projects, for example, is a person’s level of happiness.
  • Statistical Methods in Psychology – how have statistical methods changed in recent years, and what should psychology majors be taught in this critical area to be best prepared for careers and graduate school? I’m also writing a textbook for Statistics.
  • Assessment of Learning in Higher Education – what do professors want students to learn when they are in college? What do college graduates get out of their college experience? As a psychologist, I know that many human characteristics and capacities are difficult to measure accurately, with confidence. And many of the things that professors want students to get out of their college experience fall into the category of potentially unmeasurable qualities. You can learn more about this research at my website for the Dreams of Learning Project 


Selected Publications and Conference Proceedings

Shaw, R. J. (2014). [Review of the book Freud and Augustine in Dialogue: Psychoanalysis, Mysticism, and the Culture of Modern Spirituality, by W. B. Parsons]. Augustinian Studies, 45, 334-339. DOI: 10.5840/augstudies201445236

Shaw, R. J. (2013). Augustine’s extraordinary theory of memory. In S.L. Dixon, J. Doody, & K. Paffenroth (Eds.) Augustine and Psychology (pp. 185-202). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Sendall, P., Shaw, R.J., Round, K., & Larkin, J.T. (2009). Fear factors: Hidden challenges to online learning for adults. In T.T. Kidd (Ed.) Online Education and Adult Learning: New Frontiers for Teaching Practices. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Shaw, R. J. (2003).   Using and conducting aging research in experimental methods and statistics courses.  In S. K. Whitbourne & J. C. Cavanaugh (Eds.) Integrating aging topics into psychology: A practical guide for teaching (pp. 43-55).  Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

Matvey, G., Dunlosky, J., Shaw, R., J.; Parks, C.,  Hertzog, C. (2002). Age-related equivalence and deficit knowledge in updating of cue effectiveness.  Psychology and Aging, 17, 589-597

Long, L. L., Shaw, R. J. (2000).  Adult age differences in vocabulary aquisition.  Educational Gerontology, 26, 651-664.

McDowd, Joan M.; Shaw, Raymond J. (2000).  Attention and aging: A functional perspective.    In Craik, F. I. M. Craik & T. A. Salthouse (Eds.) The handbook of aging and cognition (pp. 221-292) (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Smith, A., D., Park, D., C., Earles, L. K., Shaw, R., J., Whiting, W. L. (1998). Age differences in context integration in memory. Psychology and Aging, 13, 21-28.

Shaw, R.J. (1997). Unprimed stem completion is only moderately predicted by word frequency and length. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 29, 401‑424.

Park, D. C. & Shaw, R. J. (1992).  Effect of environmental suport on implict and explicit memory in younger and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 7, 632-642.

Shaw, R. J. (1991). Age-related increases in the effects of automatic semantic activation.  Psychology and Aging, 6, 595-604.

Salthouse, T. A., Babcock, R. L., Shaw, R. J. (1991). Effects of adult age on structural and operational capacities in working memory.  Psychology and Aging, 6, 118-127.

Shaw, R. J., Craik, F. I. M. (1989). Age differences in predictions and performance on a cued recall task. Psychology and Aging, 4, 131-135.

Howard, D. V., Heisey, J. G., Shaw, R. J. (1986).  Aging and the priming of newly learned associations. Developmental Psychology, 22, 78-85.

Howard, D.V., Shaw, R.J., & Heisey, J.G. (1986). Aging and the time course of semantic activation. Journal of Gerontology, 41, 195‑203.

Finkel, N.J., Shaw, R., Bercaw, S., & Koch, J. (1985). Insanity defenses: From the jurors’ perspective. Law and Psychology Review, 9, 77‑92.



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