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Department of Psychological Sciences

Lisa Vangsness


Advisor: Dr. Michael Young

Description of Research

A failure to recognize disparities between one’s own abilities, skill, physical condition, and the level of difficulty presented by a situation can result in poor decisions that invite unnecessary risk. For example, fatigue is implicated in at least half of on-the-job incidents among air traffic controllers, biases police officers toward the use of force, and increases the likelihood of nursing errors. 

My research focuses on how humans respond to challenging situations, and in particular on our ability to identify situations in which our cognitive or physical condition may prevent us from achieving our performance goals. I am also interested in the relationship between effort, impulsivity, and procrastination.

 Some of my studies take place in a videogame environment that tracks and dynamically responds to player choices, similar to a real world situation. You can watch a video of this paradigm here.

Grants and Awards

2016            Mentor Student of the Year, Graduate Association of Psychology Students

2015            Certificate of Leadership, Graduate Student Council

2014-present Donoghue Fellowship, Kansas State University

Teaching Experience
Primary Instructor (Kansas State University)
  • PSYCH 350 Experimental Methods in Psychology 
Graduate Teaching Assistant (Kansas State University)
  • PSYCH 505 Abnormal Psychology

  • PSYCH 460 Cognitive Psychology

  • PSYCH 110 General Psychology

Research & Publications

Vangsness, L. (2016). Getting into a groove: Engaging in a Difficult Task Encourages Perseverance. Talk presented at the Oklahoma/Kansas Judgment and Decision Making Conference.

Young, M., McCoy, T., & Vangsness, L. (2016). Trimodal latencies in waiting for better outcomes. Talk presented at the Oklahoma/Kansas Judgment and Decision Making Conference.


2012                B.S., Psychology, with Honors

                        The University of Iowa

2012                B.A., Linguistics

                        The University of Iowa

Contact Info

Office: Bluemont Hall 5109

E-mail: lvangsness@ksu.edu

View Lisa’s CV