I am an emeritus professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and part-time faculty member at the Beckman Institute. I also have zero-time appointments in the Psychology and the ISE Departments, the Carle/UIUC College of Medicine, and the Illinois Informatics Institute.
Prof. Morrow’s research focuses on learning, cognition, and communication in complex task domains such as health care and aviation, with a focus on aging. Recent projects have investigated the impact of health literacy (and cognition more broadly) on older adults’ comprehension of information needed to self-manage chronic illness. Focusing on older adults with hypertension, Prof. Morrow’s group has found that lower health literacy reflects lower levels of processing capacity (such as working memory) and knowledge (related to language and health). Processing capacity limits impair specific processes involved in understanding information needed to self-manage hypertension, such as recognizing longer and uncommon words and integrating concepts into a representation of the message. However, high levels of knowledge can offset these processing capacity limits to improve memory for self-care information. In a recent study, they redesigned self-care information found on commonly used websites in order to reduce comprehension demands on processing capacity and support the use of knowledge. Older adults better remembered the redesigned information compared to the original web-based information.
Morrow’s group has also leveraged technology to support self-care among older adults with chronic illness. They developed a computer-based tool to help nurses collaborate with older adults who have complex medication regimens in order to help the patients learn how to take their medications. A current study is evaluating whether the tool improves medication knowledge and adherence. Prof. Morrow also collaborated with engineering faculty at UIUC to explore whether older adults better understand numeric health information (such as cholesterol test results) available in patient portals when the information is delivered by a computer-based agent, compared to typical numeric formats used in portals.
I have taught courses related to how human performance and cognition influence how people interact with technology. My core course was EPSY 456 (Human Performance and Cognition in Context), which is cross-listed with the Psychology and the ISE departments.
Additional Campus Affiliations
Professor Emeritus, Educational Psychology
Research Professor, Educational Psychology
Professor Emeritus, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Azevedo, R. F. L., Roy, B., Christianson, K., Zhong, Y., & Morrow, D. G. (2022). Affective Distancing Associated with Second Language Use Influences Response to Health Information. Languages, 7(2), Article 120. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7020120
Morrow, D. G., & Chin, J. (2022). A process-knowledge approach to supporting self-care among older adults. In K. D. Federmeier, & B. R. Payne (Eds.), Cognitive Aging (pp. 165-191). (Psychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory; Vol. 77). Academic Press Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.plm.2022.07.003
Nie, Q., Morrow, D. G., & Rogers, W. A. (2022). Designing Feedback Visualizations for Anti-Hypertensive Medication Adherence for Older Adults. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 66(1), 23-27. https://doi.org/10.1177/1071181322661076
Stine-Morrow, E. A. L., Worm, T., Barbey, A. K., & Morrow, D. G. (2022). The Potential for Socially Integrated and Engaged Lifestyles to Support Cognitive Health With Aging: Precursors and Pathways. In G. Sedek, T. Hess, & D. Touron (Eds.), Multiple Pathways of Cognitive Aging: Motivational and Contextual Influences (pp. 276-306). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780197528976.003.0013
Chin, J., Wang, H., Awwad, A. W., Graumlich, J. F., Wolf, M. S., & Morrow, D. G. (2021). Health Literacy, Processing Capacity, Illness Knowledge, and Actionable Memory for Medication Taking in Type 2 Diabetes: Cross-Sectional Analysis. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 36(7), 1921-1927. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-020-06472-z