Gary E. Raney

    Email Address:
    College: Liberal Arts and Sciences Department: Psychology
    Title: Associate Professor
    Office: 1046-B BSB M/C 285 Phone: 413-1314
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    General Research Topics: Language processing; Reading; Bilingualism; Memory.

    The goal of my research program is to understand the cognitive processes involved in language use by monolinguals and bilinguals, with particular emphasis on processes related to reading. Most of my curren research addresses three questions. Broadly construed, these are: What processes are involved in text comprehension and memory? How does being bilingual affect language processing? And, how is figurative language (e.g., metaphors, idioms) processed? A rewarding aspect of studying language processing is that issues may be addressed from basic and applied perspectives. I take advantage of this by applying the outcomes of my research to education-related problems.

    To illustrate, my graduate students and I study issues such as the following: (a) How does what you read or hear in one situation influence your ability to understand something in a second situation? For example, if you listen to a song on your iPod and then read a text that uses some of the same words as the song, will this help you understand the words in the text or make the text more difficult to understand? (b) How do you determine the meaning of figurative phrases, such as "history is a mirror?" (c) Do monolinguals and bilinguals process language in different ways? For example, when a bilingual reads a text, does he/she think about the text in both languages?

    Working in a research lab is a great way to gain experience and skills that enhance your opportunity to attend graduate school.

    Contact information.
    If you are interested in working in Dr. Raney’s language lab, please contact me via email at More information about the research we perform is available on Dr. Raney’s website ( You can download an application at

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 6

    Qualifications of a Student:
    If you are interested in participating in the research on bilingualism, you must be a fluent speaker of Spanish (preferably native Spanish). There are no language requirements to participate in the other research projects. You need to be available at least 6 hours per week (daytime hours) and be able to attend a weekly lab meeting. You may volunteer or participate for credit.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    Students can be involved in all stages of the research process, including conducting experiments, coding data, data analysis, and literature searches.
    Students who work multiple semesters often have the opportunity to design and run their own research project, such as for an Honors College capstone or for earning Honors in Psychology.

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