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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Dan Johnson

Asst. Professor of Psychology

Parmly Hall 230
(540) 458-8629

Professional Website | Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. - University of Oklahoma (2009)
M.S. - University of Oklahoma (2005)
B.A. - Luther College (2003)


I study the intersection of cognition and emotion. Currently, we are investigating the power the narrative may have to enhance memory via imagery, emotional induction, and other narrative-specific mechanisms. In addition, we investigate the cognitive mechanisms through which the narrative may serve as a vehicle to develop empathy, reduce prejudice particularly in the areas of emotional perception, and increase prosocial behavior.


PSYC 112: Cognition
PSYC 114: Introduction to Social Psychology
PSYC 118: Psychology Mythbusters
PSYC 120: Quantitative Literacy in the Behavioral Sciences
PSYC 250: Research Design and Analysis Lab
PSYC 259: Cognition and Emotion
PSYC 359: Advanced Methods in Cognition and Emotion Research

Selected Publications

bolded names are student co-authors

Johnson, D. R., Jasper, D. M., Griffin, S., & Huffman, B. (in press). Reading narrative fiction reduces Arab-Muslim prejudice and offers a safe haven from intergroup anxiety. Social Cognition.

Johnson, D. R., Cushman, G., Borden, L., & McCune, M. (in press). Potentiating empathic growth: Generating imagery while reading fiction increase empathy and prosocial behavior. The Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. APA.

Johnson, D. R. (2013). Transportation into literary fiction reduces prejudice against and increases empathy for Arab-Muslims. Scientific Study of Literature, 3, 77-92.

Johnson, D. R., & Whiting, W. L. (2013). Detecting subtle expressions: Older adults demonstrate automatic and controlled positive response bias in emotional perception. Psychology and Aging, 28, 172-178.

Johnson, D. R., & Borden, L. A. (2012). Participants at your fingertips: Using Amazon's Mechanical Turk to increase student research. Teaching of Psychology, 39, 245-251.

Johnson, D. R. (2012). Transportation into a story increases empathy, prosocial behavior, and perceptual bias toward fearful expressions. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 150-155.