Karla Murdock Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Science, Washington and Lee University

Talk Title: The New Appendage: Cellphones in Cognitive and Behavioral Context
Co-Presenter: Wythe Whiting
Thursday, February 6, 5:00 p.m.
Stackhouse Theater

Karla Klein Murdock is a Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Science at W&L. She earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia and completed a clinical internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). She taught in the University of Massachusetts Boston Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program before joining the W&L faculty in 2005.

Professor Murdock's research is guided by a developmental psychopathology theoretical framework. This perspective emphasizes interactions between risk and protective factors in the emergence of psychological symptoms and strengths. Her recent studies have investigated links between cellphone use and indicators of health, well-being, and cognitive performance. Her Technology and Health Lab focuses on compulsive cellphone use, sleep quality, and a new construct of co-rumination via cellphone, which is a pattern of repetitive, unproductive, problem-focused cellphone-mediated communications that is associated with compromises in psychological functioning. The Cognition in Context Lab, which is supervised collaboratively by Professors Murdock and Wythe Whiting, investigates cognitive and psychophysiological correlates of cellphone-related auditory distractions. This research utilizes a combination of survey methods, self-monitoring assessments, cognitive tasks, and psychophysiological measures (e.g., actigraphy; heart rate; blood pressure; galvanic skin response).

Recent research findings have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Clinical and Social Psychology, Behavioral Sleep Medicine, Psychology of Popular Media Culture, Cognitive Processing, and Journal of Adolescence.