1. K-State home
  2. »Arts and Sciences
  3. »Psychological Sciences
  4. »People
  5. »Graduate Students
  6. »Title

Department of Psychological Sciences

Kevin L. Kenney

Advisor: Dr. Gary Brase
Tucker Jones Description of Research

My research interests lie primarily at the intersection of judgment and decision making and evolutionary psychology.  I am interested in decision theories with strong ties to the theory of evolution by natural selection, including foraging theory and tri- reference point theory.  Currently, I am investigating the effects that reference points have on the amount of risk that people are willing to take when making a decision.  In terms of foraging theory, when would someone “forage” in an area where they receive a small reward with certainty versus an area where they have a smaller chance to receive a large reward?  I am interested in how these choices change when minimum requirement, current “wealth”, and goal to reach are manipulated.


Kenney, K. L., & Hill, W. T. (in press). Uncertainty and heuristics. In E. Stocks (Ed.), Gale Researcher. Independence, KY: Cengage Learning.

Kenney, K. L. (2016). Risky choice decisions from a tri-reference point perspective. ALJ in Student Research, 4.

Conference Presentations

Kenney, K. L. (2016). Effects of product color on purchase likelihoods. Presented at Great Plains Students’ Psychology Convention, Kearney, NE.

Kenney, K. L., Armijo, A. J., & Bonds-Raacke, J. (2015). Improving application and interview skills. Presented at Psychological and Educational Research in Kansas (PERK), Salina, KS.

Kenney, K. L., & Hill, W. T. (2015). Time pressure, risk sensitivity, and mate value: An evolutionary perspective on decisions under risk. Presented at John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activities Day, Hays, KS.

Armijo, A. J., Windholz, K., Bonds-Raacke, J. M., & Kenney, K. L. (2015). Open educational resources: Engaging students and reducing costs. Presented at Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA), Wichita, KS.

Kenney, K. L., & Hill, W. T. (2014). Consideration of multiple reference points in a single decision task. Presented at Psychological and Educational Research in Kansas (PERK), Hays, KS.

Teaching Experience

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Fort Hays State University, Fall 2014-Spring 2016

            Applied Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences (virtual)

            Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

            Sensation and Perception

            General Psychology

            Social Psychology

Outstanding GTA Award, Fort Hays State University, Spring 2015

Outstanding GTA Award, Fort Hays State University, Spring 2016 

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Kansas State University, Fall 2016-Present

            Cognitive Psychology


MS, Experimental Psychology, 2016, at Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas

MS Thesis title: Creating a more ecologically valid decision task.
*Outstanding Thesis/Field Study Award, Fort Hays State University, Spring 2016 

BS, Psychology, 2013, at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

Contact Information

Office: BH 5108

E-mail: kkenney@ksu.edu