Richard Catrambone

I received my BA from Grinnell College in 1982 and my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1988.

My research interests include:

  • Creating examples to help learners form meaningful and generalizable solution procedures. I and the students in my lab have explored this issue in domains ranging from probability and physics to ballet.
  • The use of task analysis techniques for identifying what a person needs to learn in order to solve problems or carry out procedures in some domain.
  • Using information from task analyses to guide the construction of teaching and training materials including computer-based (multimedia) instructional environments.
  • Exploring technology such as animations and embodied conversational agents (ECAs) for improving interfaces and helping people learn and carry out tasks more easily.
  • Analogical Reasoning

For additional information about my research, please also see:

My personal web page

Professor of Psychology
JS Coon 125
lab name: 
Problem Solving and Educational Technology Lab
Lab URL:

Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, University of Michigan, 1988.

Selected Publications: 
  • Margulieux, L., & Catrambone, R. (in press). Finding the best types of guidance for constructing self-explanations of subgoals in programming. Journal of the  Learning Sciences.
  • Margulieux, L. E., Catrambone, R. & Schaeffer, L. (in press). Varying effects of subgoal labeled expository text in programming, chemistry, and statistics. Instructional Science. doi: 10.1007/s11251-018-9451-7
  • Margulieux, L.E., Catrambone, R. & Schaeffer, L.M. Instr Sci (2018).
  • Eiriksdottir, E., & Catrambone, R. (2015). The effects of timing of exposure to principles and procedural instruction specificity on learning an electrical troubleshooting skill. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 21(4), 383-394.
  • Bentley, F., Tollmar, K., Stephenson, P., Levy, L., Jones, B., Robertson, S., Price, E., Catrambone, R., & Wilson, J. (2013).  Health mashups:  Presenting statistical patterns between wellbeing data and context in natural language to promote behavior change.  ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 20 (5),  30(1)-30(27).
  • Bujak,  K.R., Radu, I., Catrambone, R., MacIntyre, B., Zheng, R., & Golubski, G. (2013).  A psychological perspective on augmented reality in the mathematics classroom.  Computers & Education, 68, 536-544.
  • Caballero,  M.D.,  Greco,  E.F.,  Murray,  E.R.,  Bujak,  K.R,  Marr,  M.J.,  Catrambone,  R., Kohlmyer,  M.A., & Schatz,  M.F. (2012).   Comparing large lecture mechanics curricula using the Force Concept Inventory:  A five thousand student study.  American Journal of Physics, 80 (7), 638-644.
  • Eiriksdottir, E., & Catrambone, R. (2011).   Procedural instructions, principles, and examples: How to structure instructions for procedural tasks to enhance performance, learning, and transfer.  Human Factors, 53 (6), 749-770.
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first name: 
404) 894-8905