Associate Professor, Psychology
UC Box: A136
Office: Carnegie Hall 301
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Institute of Child Development from 2000-2002
PhD in Experimental Psychology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR in 2000.
Master of Science in General Psychology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA in 1997.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA in 1995.
Areas of Research & Specialization
With a background in applied cognition and cognitive development, my research interests span from assessing “remembering in social contexts” to embodied cognition perspectives in cognitive development, to the evaluation and assessment of educational practices. At any one given point in time, I usually have at least one project going in each area.
Erica Kleinknecht received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Arkansas in 2000. Erica then participated in a 2-year post-doctoral research program at the University of Minnesota, in the Institute of Child Development. She began teaching at Pacific University in 2002. Her area of specialty is autobiographical memory and in her work she emphasizes the importance of taking an ecologically valid perspective to understanding this complex psychological experience. In her research, she has studied the convergence of skills in early childhood that give rise to complex autobiographical remembering and the way in which social context shapes what adults report when constructing autobiographical narratives. In addition to teaching a wide array of classes in cognitive and developmental psychology, Erica engages in ad-hoc peer reviewing for a variety a journals and text book companies.
In addition to carrying on with my work exploring how memory reports vary as a function of social context (current manuscript titled “Beyond Accuracy: The “What,” “Why,” and “How” of Episodic Memory Retrieval in Context”), my more recent work reflects a blend of my basic research background and an applied focus I’ve acquired from teaching courses like Child Development, Educational Psychology, and Cognitive Science. Two lines are inspired by the recent resurgence of interest in embodied cognition. The first applies to parents and health care practitioners and centers on investigating how infants’ experiences on their tummies versus their backs shape the trajectory their later mental representational and linguistic development (recent conference presentation titled “Importance of “Tummy to Play” for Promoting Optimal Cognitive Development”). A second line explores how body locomotion relates to cognitive control and a recent conference presentation of this work is titled: “Memory in Motion: Accuracy as a Function of Approach/Avoid Behavior.” The third, and potentially a fourth, line of work, new directions for me, addresses some of my concerns with the current educational climate in the US. In one line I am taking a multivariate approach to understanding what best predicts academic achievement, illustrated in the aptly titled presentation “Assessing Efficacy, Self-Regulation and Metacognition to Predict Achievement and Boost Retention.” For the other, I am currently working with the principal and teachers of a local charter on creating a school-wide curriculum that will boost students perspective taking skills.
Güler, E. O., Larkina, M., Kleinknecht, E., & Bauer, P.J. (2010). Memory
strategies and picture recall in preschool children: Relations to maternal behavior
over time. Journal of Cognition and Development.
Larkina, M., Guler, O.E., Kleinknecht, E., & Bauer, P.J. (2008). Maternal provision
of structure in a deliberate memory task in relation to their preschool
children’s recall. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 100, 235 – 251.
Kleinknecht, E., & Beike, D.R. (2004). How knowing and doing inform
an autobiography: Relations among preschooler's theory of mind,
narrative, and event memory skills. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18, 745-764..
Beike, D. R., Kleinknecht, E., & Wirth-Beaumont, E. T. (2004).
Open versus closed event memories. In D.R. Beike, J.M. Lampinen,
& D.A. Behrend (Eds.), The Self and Memory. Psychology Press.
Hyman, I. E. & Kleinknecht, E. E., (1998). False childhood memories:
Research, theory and applications. In L.M. Williams & V.L. Banyard (Eds.)
Trauma and Memory. Sage.
Kleinknecht, R.A., Dinnel, D. L., Kleinknecht, E. E., Hiruma, N., & Harada, N. (1997). Cultural factors in the expression of social anxiety and phobia. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 11, 157-177.
Kleinknecht, R.A., Kleinknecht, E.E., & Thorndike, R.M., (1997). The role of disgust and fear in blood and injection - related fainting symptoms: A structural equation model. Behaviour, Research, and Therapy, 25, 1075-1087.
Hyman, I. E. & Kleinknecht, E. E., (1998). False childhood memories: Research, theory and applications. In L.M. Williams & V.L. Banyard (Eds.) Trauma and Memory. Sage.
Kleinknecht, R.A., Kleinknecht, E.E., Sawchuck, C.N., Lee, T.C., & Lohr, J.M. (1999). The medical fear survey: Psychometric properties, The Behavior Therapist, 22,109-112.
Behrend, D., Scofield, J. M., & Kleinknecht, E. E., (2001). Beyond fast mapping: Young children’s extensions of novel labels and novel facts. Developmental Psychology, 37, 698-705.
Bauer, P. J. & Kleinknecht, E.E. (2002). To “ape” or to emulate? Young children's use of both strategies in a single study (Invited commentary to Want & Harris). Developmental Science, 5, 18-20.
Bauer, P.J., Burch, M., & Kleinknecht, E.E. (2002). Developments in early recall memory: The mean the variability behind it. H.W. Reese and R. Kail, (Eds.) Advances in Child Development and Behavior. Academic Press.
Beike, D. R., Kleinknecht, E., & Wirth-Beaumont, E. T. (2004). Open versus closed event memories. In D.R. Beike, J.M. Lampinen, & D.A. Behrend (Eds.), The Self and Memory. Psychology Press.
Kleinknecht, E., & Beike, D.R. (2004). How knowing and doing inform an autobiography: Relations among preschooler's theory of mind, narrative, and event memory skills. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18, 745-764..
Cognitive Development Society
Association for Psychological Science
Western Psychological Association
Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Kleinknecht, E.E. (2000, September). Emerging autobiographies: The role of social-cognition in the development of event memory skills. Paper presented at the Institute of Child Development Bag Lunch Colloquia Series, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
Kleinknecht, E.E. (2000, October). Emerging autobiographies: The role of social-cognition in the development of event memory skills. Paper presented at the Center for Cognitive Sciences Colloquia Series, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
Kleinknecht, E.E. (2001, June). Telling stories or talking about trips: Relations between preschooler's narrative skill and event memory. Paper presented at the Biennial meetings of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Kleinknecht, E. (2005, April). What’s remembered depends upon how: Social-contextual effects on narrative structure. Paper presented at the Western Psychological Association, Portland, OR.
Kleinknecht, E. (2005, April). Paper Session Chair: Human Learning and Memory. Western Psychological Association, Portland, OR.
Honor & Awards
1999 American Psychology and Law Society, Grants-in-Aid Award
1999 Marie Wilson Howells' Fund, Dissertation Award
2000 Roland H. Waters Award for Outstanding Teaching Potential
2000 Institute of Child Development, Training Grant Fellowship Recipient, University of Minnesota
2005 Pacific University Junior Faculty Award