Christopher Wolfe

Christopher WolfeGraduate Director; Professor
Contact Information:
Phone: (513) 529-5670
115 Psychology Building
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056

Teaching Interests:

Learning & Cognitive Technologies; Psychology of Language & Thought; Reasoning & Problem Solving; Web-Based Psychological Research; Cognitive Psychology; Interdisciplinary Courses; Interdisciplinary Research Methods; Judgment & Decision Making; Advising Student Research.

Select Courses Taught at Miami University

  • Psychology of Reasoning & Problem Solving.
  • Advanced Cognitive Processes
  • Learning and Cognition.
  • The Psychology of Language and Thought
  • Special Topics: Computer Assisted Learning.
  • Undergraduate Summer Scholars.
  • The Internet and the Election: An Interdisciplinary Exploration.
  • What is Human Nature?
  • Writing Across the Disciplines.
  • Advanced Seminar: Information, Knowledge, & Wisdom.
  • Digital Storytelling.
  • The Self.

Research Interests:

Including a book, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles I have over 65 publications. I have been a Primary Investigator or Co-PI on almost 20 grants totaling over $4 million. My research is about higher-order cognition, the way people think, reason, solve problems, make decisions, and develop arguments. Currently, I am conducting research on how people make medical decisions pertaining to genetic mutations and breast cancer risk. Other strands of research are about probability judgments and the psychology of written argumentation. I have funding by the National Cancer Institute to study medical decision making, and create an intelligent tutoring system to help women decide about genetic testing for breast cancer risk. I am interested in the psychology of writing and conceptual learning. I am especially interested in cognitive technologies and the potential of emerging digital technologies for education and psychological interventions. I have conducted psychological research on reasoning and argumentation, interdisciplinary writing and thinking, judgment and decision-making, analogical reasoning, Web-based interventions, and the assessment of learning and teaching. Along with colleagues I have received federal grant funding from the National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, and the National Science Foundation; and corporate and foundation funding from Proctor & Gamble, Rise Inc., and Blind Squirrels.

Professional Recognition:


• 2006 Campbell Teaching Award. $6000 from Miami University for Social and Cognitive Technologies from an International Perspective.

• 2002 Campbell Teaching Award. $3250 from Miami University for Developing the Integrative Seminar.

• 2010 Nominated for Outstanding Professor, Miami University.

• 2012 Nominated by Alumni for Effective Educator Award.

Select Research Grants

• A Web Tutor to Help Women Decide About Testing for Genetic Breast Cancer Risk (2011-13). Primary Investigators C. R. Wolfe & V. F. Reyna. $364,120 from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute.

• Web-Based Tutoring of Argument Comprehension and Production Skills (FY 2006-08). $574,929 from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences.

• Improving Students’ Comprehension and Construction Of Arguments (FY 2003-2005). $358,888 from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Research and Instruction.

• Project Dragonfly: An Alliance of Scientists, Teachers, and Children for Elementary Science Education (fiscal years 1995-1997). $1,700,000 from the National Science Foundation.

Representative Publications:

Widmer, C. L., Wolfe, C. R., Reyna, V. F., Cedillos-Whynott, E. M., Brust-Renck, P. G., & Weil, A. M. (2015). Tutorial dialogues and gist explanations of genetic breast cancer risk. Behavior Research Methods, 47, 632-648.

Wolfe, C. R., Reyna, V. F., Widmer, C. L., Cedillos, E. M., Fisher, C. R., Brust-Renck, P. G., & Weil, A. M. (2015). Efficacy of a Web-based Intelligent Tutoring System for Communicating Genetic Risk of Breast Cancer: A Fuzzy-Trace Theory approach. Medical Decision Making, 35, 46-59. doi 0272989X14535983.

Wolfe, C. R., Widmer, C. L., Reyna, V. F., Hu, X., Cedillos, E. M., Fisher, C. R., Brust-Renck, P. G., Williams, T. C., Damas, I., & Weil, A. M. (2013). The development and analysis of tutorial dialogues in AutoTutor Lite. Behavior Research Methods, 45, 623-636.

Wolfe, C. R. & Fisher, C. R. (2013). Individual Differences in Base Rate Neglect: A Fuzzy Processing Preference Index. Learning and Individual Differences, 25, 1-11.
Wolfe, C. R., Fisher, C. R., & Reyna, V. F. (2012). Semantic coherence and inconsistency in estimating conditional probabilities. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. DOI: 10.1002/bdm.1756
Wolfe, C. R. (2012). Individual differences in the "MySide bias" in reasoning and written argumentation. Written Communication, 29, 474-498.
Wolfe, C. R., Fisher, C. R., Reyna, V. F., & Hu, X. (2012). Improving internal consistency in conditional probability estimation with an Intelligent Tutoring System and web-based tutorials. International Journal of Internet Science, 7, 38-54.
Wolfe, C. R. (2011). Argumentation across the curriculum. Written Communication, 28, 193-219. doi:10.1177/0741088311399236