Kevin Autry

Visiting Professor

office:  2142 Au Sable Hall
phone: (616) 331-2407



Cognitive Psychology

Courses Taught

PSY 101 – Introductory Psychology
PSY 400 – Advanced Research in Psychology

Research Interests

My primary research interest is how people process negation (e.g., no, not) while reading. The typical purpose of negation is to cancel or deny an idea, causing people to think about the idea less and to focus on different information. However, my work has shown that when there is not a clear reason why an idea is being denied, the negated idea remains highly active as if it had not been negated. I continue to explore the dual uses of negation as a linguistic tool for shifting attention both away from and toward ideas.
I have also been interested in the mental representation of abstract concepts. Some theories suggest that because abstract concepts cannot be physically observed, they are represented using concrete concepts. Time, for example, is represented spatially. In English, the past is typically represented on the left and the future on the right, and this directionality is assumed to be based on reading direction (Boroditsky, 2000). I am currently exploring the flexibility and origins of these time-space representations.

Recent Publications

Autry, K. S., & Levine, W. H. (in press). Presupposition processing and the (re)activation of negated concepts. Discourse Processes. doi:10.1080/0163853X.2013.871192

Frala, J., Mischel, E., Knapp, A., Autry, K. & Leen-Feldner, E. (2014). Adolescent worry induction: An experimental laboratory evaluation. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 5, 52-71. doi:10.5127/jep.033912

Autry, K. S., & Levine, W. H. (2012). Activation of negated and non-negated entities. Journal of Pragmatics, 44, 1474-1485. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2012.06.014

Page last modified June 19, 2014