Professor J Kathryn Bock

Section 1

Program Area: Cognitive

Professor Emerita of Psychology

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Contact Information:


  • cognitive psychology, psycholinguistics, adult language use

Research Description

My work focuses on how people turn thoughts into speech. There are three questions behind much of the research. One is how the features of ideas affect language forms. A prospective graduate student might say either "The application took forever to fill out" or "It took forever to fill out the application." What determines which kind of sentence is used? A second question has to do with the cognitive processes that control how words are arranged. Speakers begin with scenes or ideas whose components may be present to the eye -- or the mind's eye -- all at once. But the words to communicate these mental pictures have to be spoken one at a time. If a mental picture is worth a thousand words, I ask: Which words? In what order? How does the speaker manage the flow of information? A third issue in my research involves what goes wrong when speakers make errors in selecting or arranging words. If you say "I have a room in my phone" when you mean "I have a phone in my room", what slipped? And why? The answers to these questions draw on theories about language and about cognitive processes, and emerge from new experimental techniques for examining language production.


  • Ph.D. from the University of Illinois



  • Psychology 425 Psychology of Language


Journal Articles

  • Bock, J. Kathryn. "'How much correction of syntactic errors are there, anyway?' ." Language & Linguistics Compass 5 (2011): 322-335.
  • Bock, J. Kathryn. "Editorial." Journal of Memory and Language 58 (2008): 1-2.
  • Eberhard, Kathleen M., John C. Cutting, and J. Kathryn Bock. "Making syntax of sense: Number agreement in sentence production." Psychological Review 112 (2005): 531-559.
  • Bock, J. Kathryn, and Zenzi M. Griffin. "The persistence of structural priming: Transient activation or implicit learning?." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 129 (2000):
  • Griffin, Zenzi M., and J. Kathryn Bock. "What the eyes say about speaking." Psychological Science 11 (2000): 274-279.
  • Bock, J. Kathryn, and Carol A. Miller. "Broken agreement." Cognitive Psychology 23 (1991): 45-93.
  • Bock, J. Kathryn. "Structure in language: Creating form in talk." American Psychologist 45 (1990): 1221-1236.
  • Bock, J. Kathryn. "Syntactic persistence in language production." Cognitive Psychology 18 (1986): 355-387.
  • Bock, J. Kathryn. "Toward a cognitive psychology of syntax: Information processing contributions to sentence formulation." Psychological Review 89 (1982): 1-47.
Section 2


Facilities Information

All-Gender ADA Accessible Restroom

The Psychology Department is very pleased to announce that an all-gender, ADA accessible, family-friendly restroom has been built on the first floor next to the elevators. The department partnered with F&S to construct this new restroom, which is now available to use. Please note that there is an indicator on the door showing whether the restroom is available or in use. Be sure to lock the door while using the restroom, and unlock the door before leaving.