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David Rapp


Research Interests

Reading comprehension involves a dynamic, interactive set of processes including 1) the activation of prior knowledge, 2) the use of that activated information along with the current text, and 3) the potential updating or revision of memory. My program of research examines how these higher-order activities function both successfully and unsuccessfully during reading. I also focus on the mechanisms that underlie our general, everyday reading experiences - for instance, how our preferences for events and characters directly influence our reading processes. Some of my work attempts to generalize these findings from text to a variety of learning conditions, including our experiences exploring spatial environments with maps, our understanding of procedures delivered through multimedia presentations, and the acquisition of scientific knowledge from novel visualizations. All of this work requires the integration of theory and research from different disciplines in psychology (including cognitive and educational psychology). Such an interdisciplinary view is important for both examining the basic mechanisms necessary for comprehension, as well as for advancing applied work that attempts to remediate comprehension difficulties.

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journals

Lea, R.B., Elfenbein, A., & Rapp, D.N.  (in press).  Rhyme as resonance in poetry comprehension: An expert-novice study.  Memory & Cognition.

Andrews-Todd, J.J., Salovich, N.A., & Rapp, D.N.  (2021).  Differential effects of pressure on social contagion of memory.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 27, 258-275.

Mensink, M.C., Kendeou, P., & Rapp, D.N.  (2021).  Do different kinds of introductions influence comprehension and memory for scientific explanations? Discourse Processes, 58, 491-512.

Lewandowsky, S., Cook, J., Schmid, P., Holford, D.L., Finn, A., Leask, J., Thomson, A., Lombardi, D., Al-Rawi, A., Amazeen, M.A., Anderson, E.C., Armaos, K.D., Betsch, C., Bruns, H.H.B., Ecker, U.K.H., Gavaruzzi, T., Hahn, U., Herzog, S., Juanchich, M., Kendeou, P., Newman, E.J., Pennycook, G., Rapp, D.N., Sah, S., Sinatra, G.M., Tapper, K., & Vraga, E.K.  (2021).  The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook.  Available at

Lewandowsky, S., Cook, J., Ecker, U.K.H., Albarracín, D., Amazeen, M.A., Kendeou, P., Lombardi, D., Newman, E.J., Pennycook, G., Porter, E., Rand, D.G., Rapp, D.N., Reifler, J., Roozenbeek, J., Schmid, P., Seifert, C.M., Sinatra, G.M., Swire-Thompson, B., van der Linden, S., Vraga, E.K., Wood, T.J., & Zaragoza, M.S. (2020).  The Debunking Handbook 2020.  Available at DOI: 10.17910/b7.1182

Rapp, D.N., Donovan, A.M., & Salovich, N.A.  (2020).  Assessing and modifying knowledge: Facts vs. constellations. In P. Van Meter, A. List, D. Lombardi, & P. Kendeou (Eds.), Handbook of Learning from Multiple Representations and Perspectives (pp. 443-460).  New York, NY: Routledge.

Salovich, N.A., & Rapp, D.N.  (2021).  Misinformed and unaware: Metacognition and the influence of inaccurate information.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 47, 608-624.

Salovich, N. A, Donovan, A. M., Hinze, S. R., & Rapp, D. N. (2021).  Can confidence help account for and redress the effects of reading inaccurate information?  Memory & Cognition, 49, 293-310.

Donovan, A.M., & Rapp, D.N.  (2020).  Look it up: Online search reduces the problematic effects of exposures to inaccuracies.  Memory & Cognition, 48, 1128-1145.

Rapp, D.N., Imundo, M.N., & Adler, R.M.  (2019).  Do individual differences in conspiratorial and political leanings influence the use of inaccurate information?  In P. Kendeou, D.H. Robinson, & M.T. McCrudden (Eds.), Misinformation and Fake News in Education (pp. 103-122). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Donovan, A.M., Theodosis, E., & Rapp, D.N. (2018). Reader, interrupted: Do disruptions during encoding influence the use of inaccurate information?  Applied Cognitive Psychology, 32, 775-786.

Donovan, A.M., Zhan, J., & Rapp, D.N.  (2018).  Supporting historical understandings with refutation texts.  Contemporary Educational Psychology, 54, 1-11.

Nzinga, K., Rapp, D.N., Leatherwood, C., Easterday, M., Rogers, L.O., Gallagher, N., & Medin, D.L.  (2018).  Should social scientists be distanced from or engaged with the people they study?  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115, 11435-11441.

Rapp, D.N., & McCrudden, M.T. (2018).  Relevance before, during, and after discourse experiences.  In J. Strassheim, & H. Nasu (Eds), Relevance and irrelevance: Theories, factors, and challenges (pp. 141-160).  Berlin: De Gruyter.

Rapp, D.N., & Donovan, A.M.  (2018).  The challenge of overcoming pseudoscientific ideas.  Behavior Therapist, 41, 4-11.

Rapp, D.N., & Salovich, N.A.  (2018).  Can’t we just disregard fake news?  The consequences of exposure to inaccurate information.  Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 5, 232-239.

Schober, M.F., Rapp, D.N., & Britt, M.A., eds.  (2018).  The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Processes, second edition.  New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Komeda, H., Taira, T., Tsunemi, K., Kusumi, T., & Rapp, D.N.  (2017).  A sixth sense: Narrative experiences of stories with twist endings.  Scientific Study of Literature, 7, 203-231.

Magliano, J.P., Kopp, K., Higgs, K., & Rapp, D.N.  (2017).  Filling in the gaps: Memory implications for inferring missing content in graphic narratives.  Discourse Processes, 54, 569-582.

McCrudden, M.T., & Rapp, D.N.  (2017).  How visual displays affect cognitive processing.  Educational Psychology Review, 29, 623-639.

Rapp, D.N., & Donovan, A.M.  (2017).  Routine processes of cognition result in routine influences of inaccurate content.  Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 6, 409-413.

Rapp, D.N.  (2016).  The consequences of reading inaccurate information.  Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 281-285.

Andrews, J.J., & Rapp, D.N.  (2015).  Benefits, costs, and challenges of collaboration for learning and memory.  Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 1, 182-191.

Andrews, J.J., & Rapp, D.N.  (2014).  Partner characteristics and social contagion: Does group composition matter?  Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28, 505-517.

Hinze, S.R., & Rapp, D.N.  (2014). Retrieval (sometimes) enhances learning: Performance pressure reduces the benefits of retrieval practice.  Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28, 597-606.

Hinze, S.R., Slaten, D.G., Horton, W.S., Jenkins, R., & Rapp, D.N.  (2014).  Pilgrims sailing the Titanic: Plausibility effects on memory for facts and errors.  Memory & Cognition, 42, 305-324.

Jacovina, M.E., Hinze, S.R., & Rapp, D.N.  (2014).  Fool me twice: The consequences of reading (and rereading) inaccurate information.  Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28, 558-568.

Rapp, D.N., & Braasch, J.L.G., eds.  (2014).  Processing Inaccurate Information: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives from Cognitive Science and the Educational Sciences.  Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Rapp, D.N., Hinze, S.R., Kohlhepp, K., & Ryskin, R.A.  (2014).  Reducing reliance on inaccurate information.  Memory & Cognition, 42, 11-26.

Rapp, D.N., Hinze, S.R., Slaten, D.G., & Horton, W.S.  (2014).  Amazing stories: Acquiring and avoiding inaccurate information from fiction.  Discourse Processes, 1-2, 50-74.

Rapp, D.N., Jacovina, M.E., Slaten, D.G., & Krause, E.  (2014).  Yielding to desire: The durability of reader preferences.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 40, 1419-1431.

Brunyé, T.T., Mahoney, C.R., Giles, G.E., Rapp, D.N., Taylor, H.A., & Kanarek, R.B.  (2013).  Learning to relax: Evaluating four brief interventions for overcoming the negative emotions accompanying math anxiety.  Learning and Individual Differences, 27, 1-7.

Hinze, S.R., Rapp, D.N., Williamson, V.M., Shultz, M.J., Deslongchamps, G., & Williamson, K.C. (2013).  Beyond the ball-and-stick: Students’ processing of novel STEM visualizations.  Learning and Instruction, 26, 12-21.

Hinze, S.R., Williamson, V.M., Shultz, M.J., Williamson, K.C., Deslongchamps, G., & Rapp, D.N.  (2013).  When do spatial abilities support student comprehension of STEM visualizations?  Cognitive Processing – The International Quarterly of Cognitive Science, 14, 129-142.

Komeda, H., Tsunemi, K., Inohara, K., Kusumi, T., & Rapp, D.N.  (2013).  Beyond disposition: The processing consequences of explicit and implicit invocations of empathy.  Acta Psychologica, 142, 349-355.

McMaster, K.L., van den Broek, P., Espin, C., White, M.J., Rapp, D.N., Kendeou, P., Bohn-Gettler, C., & Carlson, S.  (2012).  Making the right connections: Differential effects of reading intervention for subgroups of struggling comprehenders.  Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 100-111.

Wilson, E.A.H., Makoul, G., Bojarski, E.A., Bailey, S.C., Waite, K.R., Rapp, D.N., Baker, D.W., & Wolf, M.S.  (2012).  Comparative analysis of print and multimedia health materials: A review of the literature.  Patient Education and Counseling, 89, 7-14.

Wolf, M., Curtis, L., Wilson, E., Revelle, W., Waite, K., Smith, S., Weintraub, S., Borosh, E., Rapp, D.N., Park, D., & Deary, I.  (2012).  Literacy, cognitive function, and health: Results of the LitCog Study.  Journal of General Internal Medicine, 27, 1300-1307.