Ji Son

College of Natural & Social Sciences
Department of Psychology
Office Location: KH 3061
Phone: (323) 343-2261 Email: json2@calstatela.edu


I am an associate professor at CSULA and enjoy teaching statistics and cognitive psychology. I am particularly interested in helping students gain skills and perspectives that will continue on with them beyond their time at CSULA.

When I am not teaching courses or conducting research with my excellent students, you can find me parenting two cute boys, blogging about my experimental parenting style, baking muffins with vegetables in them, and obsessively reading NYTimes and the Atlantic.

Dr. Ji and her boys


I teach courses in research methodology, statistics, developmental psychology and cognitive development. My classes are designed to get students interested in pursuing research, practiced in critical thinking, engaged in theoretical debate, and intent on real-world application. In an increasingly information-rich world, students need to understand how to pick out, attend to, and integrate relevant information. This need is the focus of my teaching philosophy as well as my research. Additionally, I have a General Statistics Online Course featured on Educator.com.


I am interested in the development of abstract, intelligent, and flexible thinking – the kind of thinking that helps us tackle new problems and challenges. My research examines how children learn about the world and when they apply their old learning to new problems, a process commonly called generalization. Through a variety of creative games and activities, I test what aspects of the learning experience can lead to generalization. These research studies are done with very young children learning about shapes, colors, and patterns but also with school-age children and adults learning about science and mathematics. (Get more information about this research at the Learning Lab website).


Find more papers and downloads here.

Title Date
Son, J.Y., & Rivas, M.J. (in press). Designing clicker questions to stimulate transfer. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology. In press
Son, J.Y., Narguizian, P., Beltz, D., & Desharnais, R.A. (2016). Comparing physical, virtual, and hybrid flipped labs for general education biology. Online Learning Journal, 20, 228–243. 2016
Lin, Y.I., Son, J.Y., & Rudd, J.A. (2016). Asymmetric translation between multiple representations in chemistry. International Journal of Science Education. 2016
Thai, K.-P., Son, J.Y., & Goldstone, R.L. (2016). The simple advantage in perceptual and categorical generalization." Memory & Cognition. 2016
Fyfe, E.,R., McNeil, N., Son, J.Y., & Goldstone, R.L. (2014). Concreteness fading in mathematics and science instruction: A systematic review. Educational Psychology Review. 2014
Son, J.Y., Smith, L.B., Goldstone, R.G., & Leslie, M. (2012). The importance of being interpreted: Grounded words and children's relational reasoning. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 3, 45. 2012
Kuwabara, M., Son, J.Y., & Smith, L.B. (2011). Attention to context: U.S. and Japanese children's emotional judgments. Journal of Cognition and Development, 12, 502-517. 2011
Son, J.Y., Smith, L.B., & Goldstone, R.L. (2011). Connecting instances to promote children's relational reasoning. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 108, 260-277. 2011
Goldstone, R. L., Son, J. Y, & Byrge, L. (2011). Early perceptual learning. Infancy, 16, 45-51. 2011
Son, J.Y. (2010). Abstracting the Concrete: How Symbols, Experiences, and Language Act as Forces of Contextualization. Saarbrücken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing. 2010
Son, J.Y., Doumas, L.A.A., & Goldstone, R.L. (2010). When do words promote analogical transfer? Journal of Problem Solving, 3, 52-92. 2010
Goldstone, R.L., Landy, D.H., & Son, J.Y. (2010). The education of perception. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2, 265-284. 2010
Kellman, P.J., Massey, C.M., & Son, J.Y. (2010). Perceptual learning modules in mathematics: Enhancing students' pattern recognition, structure extraction, and fluency. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2, 285-305. 2010
Son, J.Y., & Goldstone, R.L. (2009). Contextualization in perspective. Cognition and Instruction, 27, 1-39. 2009
Son, J.Y., & Goldstone, R.L. (2009). Fostering general transfer with specific simulations. Pragmatics & Cognition, 17, 1-42. 2009
Son, J.Y., Smith, L.B., & Goldstone, R.L. (2008). Simplicity and generalization: Short-cutting abstraction in children’s object categorizations. Cognition, 108, 626-638. 2008
Goldstone, R.L., & Son, J.Y. (2005). The transfer of scientific principles using concrete and idealized simulations. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 14, 69-114. 2005
Goldstone, R.L., & Son, J.Y. (2005). Similarity. In K.J. Holyoak & R.G. Morrison (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (pp. 13-36). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2005




Post-Doctoral Training, Psychology 2007-2009

  • UCLA
    Los Angeles, CA

PhD, Cognitive Science and Psychology 2007

  • Indiana University
    Bloomington, IN

BS, Cognitive Science 2002

  • UCLA
    Los Angeles, CA