Christopher Wolfe

Christopher Wolfe

Professor, Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology

115 Psychology Building
Oxford, OH 45056
Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D. Cognitive Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, 1989. Doctoral Dissertation: Information Seeking in the Context of Bayesian Conditional Probability Problems.
  • M.S. Cognitive Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, 1987. 1989 -1984: Research Assistant to James F. Voss, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • M.S. General Psychology, University of Bridgeport, 1984.
  • B.A. Philosophical Analysis in the Behavioral Sciences, Denison University, 1981.

Teaching Interests

Medical Decision Making; Judgment, Decision Making, & Reasoning; Psychology of Language & Thought; Learning & Cognitive Technologies; Cognitive Processes; Interdisciplinary Courses; Interdisciplinary Research; Advising Student Research.

Select Courses Taught at Miami University

  • Psychology of Medical Decision Making Judgment
  • Decision Making & Reasoning 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 70 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 had 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. A report of the impact of my research, as measured by citations, can be found at


  • 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.

Selected Publications

  • Wolfe, C. R., Gao, H., Wu, M., & Albrecht, M. (in press). Most any reason is better than none: consequences of plausible and implausible reasons and warrants in brief written arguments. Written Communication.
  • Wolfe, C. R., Reyna, V. F., & Smith, R. J. (2018). On judgments of approximately equal. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 31, 151-163. Wiley Online
  • Wolfe, C. R. (2017). Twenty years of Internet-based research at SCiP: A discussion of surviving concepts and new methodologies. Behavior Research Methods, 49, 1615-1620. DOI 10.3758/s13428-017-0858-x
  • Wolfe, C. R., Reyna, V. F., Widmer, C. L., Cedillos, E., Weil, A. M., & Brust-Renck, P. G. (2016). Pumps and prompts for gist explanations in tutorial dialogues about breast cancer. Discourse Processes, 55, 72-91. DOI: 10.1080/0163853X.2016.1199626 On-line first
  • Wolfe, C. R., Reyna, V. F., Widmer, C. L., Cedillos-Whynott, E. M., Brust-Renck, P. G., Weil, A. M., & Hu, X. (2016). Understanding genetic breast cancer risk: Processing loci of the BRCA Gist intelligent tutoring system. Learning & Individual Differences, 49, 178-189. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2016.06.009
  • 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