Heather Butler

College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Psychology

Associate Professor & Department Chair

(310) 243-3462





Claremont Graduate University
Applied Cogitive Psychology
California State University, San Marcos
Experimental Psychology
California State University, San Marcos
A.A.Palomar College2001

Applied Psychology, Psychology and Law, Cognitive Psychology, Social-Cognition

I have number of research interests that are loosely grounded in human cognition (critical thinking, advanced learning technologies, cognitive bias in the legal system).  One line of research explores cognitive bias in forensic identification (e.g., fingerprinting), as well as juror perceptions of the forensics and how they are shaped by popular media.  Another line of research explores the real-world consequences of thinking critically and the psychometric properties of a critical thinking assessments.  I have also been working on a grant to create a “serious” game that teaches critical thinking and career planning.


Butler, H. A.
, Costanzo, M., & Halpern, D. F. (submitted). Debiasing juror perceptions of forensic identification evidence: The effects of expert testimony and perspective-taking

Pentoney, C., Halpern, D. F., & Butler, H. A. (2015).  Development of advanced learning technologies. In R. A. Scott and S. M. Kosslyn (Eds.) Emerging trends in the social and behavioral sciences. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons

Halpern, D. F. & Butler, H. A. (2014). How to create a better future using the quality principles for undergraduate education. In D. Dunn (Ed.) The Oxford handbook of undergraduate psychology education. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press

Halpern, D. F. & Butler, H. A. (2013).  Assessment in higher education: Admission and outcomes.  In K.F. Geisinger, B. Bracken, J. F. Carlson, Hansen, J.I., Kuncel, N., Reise, S., & Rodriguez, M. C. Handbook of testing and assessment in psychology (Vol. 3; 319-336).  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

Butler, H. A. (2012). Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment predicts real-world outcomes of critical thinking. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26, 721-729

Butler, H. A., *Forsyth, C., Halpern, D. F., Graesser, A.C., & Millis, K. (2011).   Secret agents, alien spies, and a quest to save the world: Engaging students in scientific reasoning and critical thinking through Operation ARIES!.  In R. L. Miller, R. F. Rycek, E. Amsel, B. Kowalski, B. Beins, K. Keith, & B. Peden (Eds.). Volume 1: Programs, Techniques and Opportunities.Syracuse, N.Y.: Society for the Teaching of Psychology


PSY 101: General Studies Psychology
PSY 110: Critical Thinking
PSY 330: Intermediate Statistics
PSY 411/412: Advanced Research Methods in Social Psychology
PSY 490: Senior Seminar in Psychology (theme: forensic and legal psychology)
PSY 497: Peer Advising
PSY 498: Directed Research
UNV 101: Truth, Lies, and Criminal Profiling: Misperceptions of Forensic Psychology in Popular Media