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Helen Abadzi

Name

[Abadzi, Helen]
  • ADJUNCT ASST PROFESSOR - AP, Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Biography

Helen Abadzi is a Greek psychologist and polyglot. After 27 years as a senior education specialist at the World Bank, she is a researcher at the University of Texas at Arlington.  To improve the outcomes of education investments she regularly monitors research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience.    She is an author of many publications and a frequent speaker in international education conferences.  She experiments with science-based methods to improve beginning reading performance in various languages and scripts. Her work raised early-grade reading fluency into an international priority.

Professional Preparation

    • 1983 PhD in Cognitive PsychologyUniversity of Texas at Arlington

Appointments

    • July 2017 to Present Visiting Researcher
      University of Texas at Arlington

Courses

      • PSYC 4361-024 READINGS IN PSYCHOLOGY

        The students will be engaged in readings of various textbooks and articles related to internet psychology and online behaviors.  The areas include:

        evolutionary psychology

        memory

        associative learning

        cognitive biases

        emotion neuroscience

        motivational research

        personality psychology

        social psychology

        marketing psychology

        ethics related to online behaviors

        data analytics

        The students will produce an extensive final report that may serve as a textbook for courses on online psychology

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2018 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • PSYC 4381-025 RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY

        The students will carry out research reviews and brief surveys on topics related to internet psychology and online behaviors.  The areas include but are not limited to:

        evolutionary psychology

        memory

        associative learning

        cognitive biases

        emotion neuroscience

        motivational research

        persuasion

        personality psychology

        social psychology

        marketing psychology

        ethics related to online behaviors

        data analytics

        The students will produce an extensive final report to inform on the breadth of topics related to online psychology

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2018 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • PSYC 4359-001 SELECTED TOPICS: Psychology and Mind Control Strategies

        SELECTED TOPICS: Psychology and Mind Control Strategies

        Since the advent of social media, various organizations have used psychological research to “addict” people to electronic devices, increase consumer spending, manipulate opinions, and influence voters.  Successful applications have created demand for expertise but also ethics concerns. The course will synthesize psychology research and discuss applications, using the many articles and blogs published on this topic. Relevant areas include operant conditioning, motivation neuroscience, personality traits, conformity studies, cognitive biases, and evolutionary adaptations.

        Tentative sessions and topics

        1.  Cambridge Analytica "psychographic" voter targeting and the global effects

        2.   Economic and political utility for social media users’ online data

        3-4.   Evolutionary psychology: the origin of behavioral phenomena common in social media

        5.   Essential memory functions and effects in social media use

        6.   Associative learning: From Skinner to the 21st century targeting

        7.  Motivation neuroscience and the urge to keep checking smartphones

        8.  Emotion neuroscience, gambling, and gamification of online processes

        9.   Health psychology effects: addiction, depression, self-image issues, media violence

        10-12.  Social psychology essentials: status, conformity, group dynamics research in online applications

        13-14.  Personality psychology essentials: the discovery of correlated traits and linked attitudes

        15. Cognitive biases affecting online behaviors and decisions

        16. “Big Data” management and statistical procedures – an overview

        17. Ethics of online data use and targeting; laws in the US and Europe

        18.  Marketing applications of psychological research: persuasion research

        19.  Synthesis, the importance of interactions, research prospects

        20.  Final paper and exams

      • PSYC 6300-001 SELECTED TOPICS: Psychology and Mind Control Strategies

        SELECTED TOPICS: Psychology and Mind Control Strategies

        Since the advent of social media, various organizations have used psychological research to “addict” people to electronic devices, increase consumer spending, manipulate opinions, and influence voters.  Successful applications have created demand for expertise but also ethics concerns. The course will synthesize psychological research and discuss applications, using the many articles and blogs published on this topic. Relevant areas include operant conditioning, motivation neuroscience, personality traits, conformity studies, cognitive biases, and evolutionary adaptations.

        Tentative sessions and topics

        1.  Cambridge Analytica "psychographic" voter targeting and the global effects

        2.   Economic and political utility for social media users’ online data

        3-4.   Evolutionary psychology: the origin of behavioral phenomena common in social media

        5.   Essential memory functions and effects in social media use

        6.   Associative learning: From Skinner to the 21st century targeting

        7.  Motivation neuroscience and the urge to keep checking smartphones

        8.  Emotion neuroscience, gambling, and gamification of online processes

        9.   Health psychology effects: addiction, depression, self-image issues, media violence

        10-12.  Social psychology essentials: status, conformity, group dynamics research in online applications

        13-14.  Personality psychology essentials: the discovery of correlated traits and linked attitudes

        15. Cognitive biases affecting online behaviors and decisions

        16. “Big Data” management and statistical procedures – an overview

        17. Ethics of online data use and targeting; laws in the US and Europe

        18.  Marketing applications of psychological research: persuasion research

        19.  Synthesis, the importance of interactions, research prospects

        20.  Final paper and exams

      • PSYC 3356-001 EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY

        The evolutionary basis of human behavior with comparisons to nonhuman animals.  Discussions of evolutionary influences in contemporary students lives.

      • EDUC 5390-001 Cognitive science for better learning outcomes

        The course will present memory functions in a simplified and accessible format, aimed at
        classroom applications and personal study skills. The topics will include declarative and implicit
        memory, the importance of automaticity, learning curves, attention, emotional learning, crosscultural
        issues in information processing. Particular emphasis will be given to memory biases
        and common fallacies about learning that affect education policies and outcomes worldwide.
        Videos from many countries will illustrate the learning principles.

      • EDUC 5390-001 Cognitive Science for Better Learning Outcomes

        If you understood your memory better, you could you learn faster and optimize study time. If
        you are a teacher, you could get better results from your students. If you are looking for exciting
        and real-life applications of thinking processes, then this course is for you.
        "Cognitive science for better learning outcomes" will blend cognitive psychology with
        neuroscience. It will thus offer some little-known perspectives on information processing, with
        emphasis on development of automaticity and complex skills. Topics will include cognitive
        biases, critical thinking, creativity, executive functions, and cross-cultural psychology. Students
        will also learn to evaluate educational opinions offered by academics, articles, or the press. The
        lectures will be illustrated with engaging videos from many countries.

      • EDUC 5390-001 Cognitive psychology for international education

        Learning outcomes among low-income populations urgently need improvement.
         Memory research has many answers, but few professionals are privy to its secrets.
         The course taught the memory basics that have direct classroom applications in the US and abroad.
         The topics included time-honored concepts as well as just-published research.
         Students reviewed various news reports on education and disentangle science from common sense.
         The lectures were illustrated with engaging videos from many countries.