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Elizabeth Ligon Bjork
Ph. D.,
University of Michigan
Primary Area:
Cognitive Psychology
7532C FH
(310) 825-6935
Research and Teaching Interests:

Elizabeth Ligon Bjork (Ph.D., Psychology, University of Michigan; B. A., Mathematics, University of Florida) is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Prior to joining the UCLA Psychology Department, she was a faculty member in the Mathematical Psychology Laboratory at Rockefeller University in New York City and in the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan.  She has also been a Visiting Scholar or Visiting Professor at the University of California, San Diego; Bell Labs (Murray Hill); Dartmouth College; and St. Andrews University, Scotland.  She has served as a member of the Editorial Boards for Perception & Psychophysics and Memory & Cognition, and as a member of the Initial Review Group for the National Institute of Mental Health, Basic Behavioral Processes.  She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.  At UCLA, she is the Faculty Sponsor for Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology for undergraduates and the Psychology Department’s Annual Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference.  Within the Department, Dr. Bjork is in charge of the Teacher Training Seminar and Program for Teaching Assistants, and she also chairs the campus-wide Teaching Assistant Training Committee.  At the campus-wide level, she has chaired a number of committees concerned with undergraduate education and campus life, including the Committee on Undergraduate Student Support, Honors, and Prizes; the Committee on Student Development; and the Undergraduate Council, which is the overarching committee for all undergraduate programs and affairs.  Professor Bjork’s primary area of research is human memory, particularly the role of inhibitory processes in certain types of goal-directed forgetting, such as memory updating, and in the resolution of competition in retrieval.  More recently, Dr. Bjork’s research involves how we might apply principles of learning and memory discovered in the laboratory to enhance instructional practices—research funded by a collaborative grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation.  For many years at UCLA, Dr. Bjork has supervised the design and implementation of the Psychology Department’s basic research methods course, which is taken by approximately 1000 students each year and introduces them to the basic principles of the scientific method and how these principles are used to investigate questions in psychology.  Students are given hands-on experience in research activities, including the design and conduction of original group projects that are written up as well as presented in a mini-scientific conference held at the end of each term.  For her contributions to the development and teaching of this course as well as other instructional activities, Dr. Bjork has been the recipient of the Department’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

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