Biography of Dr. Valerie F. Reyna
National Mathematics Advisory Panel
Archived Information

Dr. Reyna holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Clark University and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Rockefeller University. Dr. Reyna publishes regularly in such journals as Archives of Internal Medicine, Cognitive Psychology, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Psychological Review, and Psychological Science. Her research encompasses human judgment and decision making, numeracy and quantitative reasoning, risk and uncertainty, medical decision making, social judgment, and memory. Dr. Reyna's current research program is focused on risky decision making in adolescents, on risk communication in cancer and AIDS prevention, on criteria for rationality in decision making, on spontaneous false memories in children and adults, and on aging and cognitive neuroscience. She is a developer of fuzzy-trace theory, a model of the relation between memory and higher reasoning that has been widely applied in law and medicine.

Dr. Reyna has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is also a Fellow of the Division of Experimental Psychology, the Division of Developmental Psychology, and the Division of Educational Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and she is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society. Dr. Reyna has been a Visiting Professor at the Mayo Clinic, a permanent member of study sections of the National Institutes of Health, and a member on advisory panels for the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Reyna was appointed Senior Research Advisor in the U.S. Department of Education, where she oversaw research grant policies and programs, implemented new programs to support educational research, and assisted in the creation of a new granting agency, the Institute of Education Sciences. She has also held leadership positions in organizations dedicated to equal opportunity for minorities and women, and on national executive and advisory boards of Centers and grants with similar goals, such as the Arizona Hispanic Center of Excellence, National Center of Excellence in Women's Health, and Women in Cognitive Science (supported by a National Science Foundation ADVANCE leadership award).

Dr. Reyna is currently action editor of Memory and an editorial board member of Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, leading journals in experimental psychology, and an editorial board member of Developmental Review, the leading journal of literature review and theory in developmental psychology. She has previously served on the editorial boards of such journals as Child Development and the Journal of Medical Decision Making. Dr. Reyna has received many years of research support from private foundations and from government agencies such as U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. She currently serves as principal investigator of a multi-million dollar National Institutes of Health grant to study risk and sexual decision making in youth.

Recent Research Articles

Reyna, V.F. (2004). How people make decisions that involve risk. A dual-processes approach. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 13, 60-66.
Reyna, V.F., & Adam, M.B. (2003). Fuzzy-trace theory, risk communication, and product labeling in sexually transmitted diseases. Risk Analysis, 23, 325-342.
Reyna, V.F., Holliday, R., & Marche, T. (2002). Explaining the development of false memories. Developmental Review, 22, 436-489.
Reyna, V. F., & Hamilton, A. J. (2001). The importance of memory in informed consent for surgical risk. Medical Decision Making, 21, 152-155.
Reyna, V.F., Lloyd, F., & Whalen, P. (2001). Genetic testing and medical decision making. Archives of Internal Medicine, 161, 2406-2408.
Reyna, V.F., & Brainerd, C.J. (1995). Fuzzy-trace theory: An interim synthesis. Learning and Individual Differences, 7, 1-75.

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Last Modified: 05/15/2006