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Robert Crutcher

Professor Emeritus


College of Arts and Sciences: Psychology


Email: Robert Crutcher


  • Ph.D., University of Colorado, 1992


Dr. Crutcher received his B.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley in 1974. After graduation, he joined the Peace Corps and served as a volunteer in Morocco, Africa (1975-76) where he taught English as a second language to Moroccan high school students. After the Peace Corps, Dr. Crutcher returned to the U.S., earned teaching credentials in elementary and secondary education and worked as a grade school and adult education teacher for several years before returning to graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he obtained his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology in 1992. Afterward, Dr. Crutcher held positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1992-97) and Metropolitan State College of Denver (1997-2001) before joining the faculty at the University of Dayton in the Fall of 2001.

Dr. Crutcher taught undergraduate courses in cognitive psychology, human memory and learning, statistics, experimental psychology and research design, as well as graduate courses in human memory and learning, cognitive skill and expertise, statistics and experimental design and computer applications in psychology.

Dr. Crutcher's research interests include memory processes, human learning and skill (especially the cognitive mechanisms responsible for improvements in skilled performance), expert-novice differences, language processes (e.g. second language acquisition) and the use of verbal report methodologies in studying mental processes. He is particularly interested in applications of cognitive psychology to improving human memory and thinking skills. In addition, Dr. Crutcher has research interests in experimental design and statistics and in the use of computer technology in learning and instruction. His current research is investigating theoretical issues in learning and remembering foreign language vocabulary using mnemonic techniques.

Research interests

  • Memory
  • Human learning and skill
  • Expert-novice differences
  • Language processes (e.g. second language acquisition)
  • Use of verbal report methodologies in studying mental processes
  • Improving human memory and thinking skills
  • Experimental design and statistics
  • Computer technology in learning and instruction

Selected publications

Crutcher, R. J. (2018, May). The Effect of Image Quality (Interactive vs. Non-Interactive) on Recall of Vocabulary Learned Using the Keyword Method. Poster presented at the Annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, Illinois.

Crutcher, R.J. & Beer, J.M. (2011). An auditory analog of the picture superiority effect. Memory & Cognition, 39, 63-74. DOI 10.3758/s13421-010-0015-6.

Crutcher, R. J. (2007). CAPAS 2.0: A computer tool for coding transcribed and digitally recorded verbal reports. Behavior Research Methods 39, 167-174.

Crutcher, R. J., & Ericsson, K. A. (2000). "The role of mediators in memory retrieval as a function of practice: Controlled mediation to direct access." Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 26, 1297-1317.

Crutcher, R. J. (1998). "The role of prior knowledge in mediating foreign vocabulary acquisition and retention: A process-analytic approach." In A. F. Healy & L. E. Bourne (Eds.), Foreign language learning: Psycholinguistic studies on training and retention. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Crutcher, R. J. (1994). "Telling what we know: The use of verbal report methodologies in psychological research." Psychological Science, 5, 241-244.