"My primary research interests relate to human memory. Currently, I'm trying to understand what happens when we retrieve information through testing. Although tests are most often thought of as a means of measuring recall or learning, research suggests that testing can actually alter the memory trace it is intended to assess. Through a series of studies I'm trying to learn more about the (typically positive) consequences of testing, and why they come about.
Another topic that has recently captured my attention is memory for actions. Historically, research on human memory has focused on verbal materials (e.g. words or sentences) though what people typically remember in their day-to-day lives relates to things they have actually done. I'm interested in how people's memory for simple actions (e.g. breaking a toothpick or bouncing a ball) compares to more traditional verbal measures, and what differences between these two constructs mean."
Years at Knox: 2011 to present
Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, 2011, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
M.A., Cognitive Psychology, 2009, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
B.A., Psychology, 2006, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Human memory and learning
The Students' Undergraduate Teaching Award (UNC‐CH), April 2010.
Future Faculty Fellowship (UNC‐CH), May 2009.
Graduate Research Consultant (UNC‐CH), fall 2008.
"Enactment and Retrieval." Peterson, D. & Mulligan, N.W. Memory & Cognition 38 (2010): 233‐243.
"Remember‐Know and source memory instructions can qualitatively change old‐new recognition accuracy: The modality‐match effect in recognition memory." Mulligan, N.W. Besken, M. & Peterson, D. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 36 (558‐566): 2010.
"Assessing a Retrieval Account of the Generation and Perceptual‐Interference Effects." Mulligan, N.W., & Peterson, D. Memory & Cognition 36 (1371‐1382): 2008.
"Attention and Implicit Memory in the Category Verification and Lexical Decision Tasks." Mulligan, N.W. & Peterson, D. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 34 (662‐679): 2008.
"How effortful is action memory processing? Evidence from item‐method directed forgetting." Paper presented with Mulligan, N.W. at the 51st annual Psychonomic Society Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, November 2010.
"Remember‐Know and source memory instructions can qualitatively change old‐new recognition accuracy: The modality‐match effect in recognition memory. Paper presented with Mulligan, N.W. and Besken, M. at the 50th annual Psychonomic Society Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, November, 2009.
"Enactment and Retrieval. Poster presented with Mulligan, N.W. at the 2008 North Carolina Cognition Group Conference, Durham, North Carolina, February, 2009.
What Students Say
"Professor Peterson became the single most influential person in my life throughout the course of two terms. His teaching is efficient, highly organized, and he is able to cogently articulate complex theoretical concepts in a way that students can understand. He takes his job very seriously, and is exceptionally good at what he does. In addition to holding all of his students to the highest standards, he will always bend over backwards to meet with students outside of class. Through his mentorship, I discovered that my passion for cognition far outweighs any other discipline and have since shifted my intellectual pursuits."
-Zachary Lawrence, Music Major and Psychology Minor
"The way Daniel teaches makes already interesting material more exciting to learn about. His jokes and personal anecdotes make complex concepts more understandable, and he goes out of his way to make time for students who have questions or need additional help. Daniel challenges his students and is known for assigning tough exams, but those who put time and effort into his classes will have the most complete understanding possible of the material, as well as a great appreciation for it."
-Brynne Downum, Psychology Major and Philosophy Minor
Through his music capstone project, Nate Beck -- who has a minor in business and management -- finds that the processes of brand management and music composition have more in common than you'd probably expect.
Baby talk is serious business for senior Megan Beney, a double major in music and anthropology and sociology. Her Honors research focuses on the musical qualities of the ways that people talk to infants.
Leading up to a worldwide event -- Gun Control Theatre Action Week, May 27 through June 2 -- a play by Knox College theatre professor Neil Blackadder is selected for a new collection, "24 Gun Control Plays."