I am an associate professor at CalStateLA 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 CalStateLA.
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.
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.
As a researcher who also teaches, I lament the lack of data-based design in learning materials. Funded in part by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, I have co-authored a free interactive introductory statistics textbook with James Stigler, author of the acclaimed Teaching Gap and the Learning Gap. The book, Introduction to Statistics: A Modeling Approach, is available for preview at coursekata.org. In addition to being designed fundamentally with how people learn in mind, this book continues to improve based on embedded assessments and user-feedback. Additionally, I am also the director of the CalStateLA Statistics Teaching Collaboration and 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 people learn about the world and when they apply their old learning to new problems, a process commonly called generalization. With a variety of methodologies, 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.
In addition to laboratory-based research, I have also been active in helping institutions (e.g., departments, universities, and systems of universities) build infrastructure to help improve teaching and learning. Many professors, especially in the CSU, consider themselves to be teacher-scholars. My goal is to innovate methods for professors to apply their data and theory-driven instincts that are natural in a laboratory to teaching/learning situations. Often professors simply execute what they think is best but institutionally have very little mechanisms for examining our intuitions and design decisions with data. I am currently on several projects with CalStateLA and the CSU to build infrastructure and protocols for how to engage in improvement science with teaching.
Get more information about this research at the Learning Lab website.
Lawson, A.P., Mirinjian, A., & Son, J.Y. (2018). Can preventing calculations help students learn math? Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 2, 178-197. https://doi.org/10.1891/1945-89188.8.131.52
Son, J.Y., Ramos, P., DeWolf, M., Loftus, W., & Stigler, J.W. (2018). Exploring the practicing-connections hypothesis: Using gesture to support coordination of ideas in understanding a complex statistical concept. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-017-0085-0
Geller, E.H., Son, J. Y., & Stigler, J.W. (2017). Conceptual explanations and understanding fraction comparisons. Learning and Instruction, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2017.05.006
DeWolf, M., Son, J. Y., Bassok, M., & Holyoak, K. J. (2017). Relational priming based on a multiplicative schema for whole numbers and fractions. Cognitive Science, doi:10.1111/cogs.12468
Son, J.Y., & Rivas, M.J. (2016). Designing clicker questions to stimulate transfer. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 2, 193-207.
|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, 38, 644-662.||2016|
Thai, K.-P., Son, J.Y., & Goldstone, R.L. (2016). The simple advantage in perceptual and categorical generalization. Memory & Cognition, 44, 292-306.
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, 26, 9-25.
|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. Saarbr√ºcken, 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
Los Angeles, CA
PhD, Cognitive Science and Psychology 2007
- Indiana University
BS, Cognitive Science 2002
Los Angeles, CA