LaTasha R. Holden continues our "Distinguished Speaker Series on Racial Equity"


Dr. LaTasha R. Holden, an Assistant Professor in Cognitive Psychology from Memphis University, was our second featured speaker to visit the department this semester.  

The talk was titled "Learning in context: Considering student identity, attitudes, and working memory capacity." 

There is a vast amount of scientific evidence demonstrating the power of higher test scores and the impact that students’ test scores can have on the trajectory of their lives. Higher scores on many cognitive ability measures correlate with a variety of better physical and mental health outcomes, in addition to better economic prospects—making these scores important for more than just entrance into higher education institutions. Due to the power of test scores it’s important to understand factors promoting or interfering with students being able to perform their best. As such, my work aims to consider “the whole child” by investigating the roles of a variety of cognitive, social, attitudinal and even genetic and environmental factors. In this talk, I will focus on the importance of considering the learning context of the student more carefully.  First, I will discuss the importance of the cognitive factor of working memory capacity for test performance and mental resilience in psychologically threatening situations. Second, I will talk about two Attitudinal/Non-cognitive factors of Mindset and Grit and their roles in boosting achievement. Lastly, I will provide a summary of my work and discuss future directions. 

If you would like to attend any presentations from upcoming speakers in the series, please follow us on Instagram for future announcements.