Texas Tech University

Professor Elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science

Glenys Young

June 28, 2017


Patricia DeLucia becomes only the fifth Texas Tech faculty member in the elite group.

Patricia DeLucia
Patricia DeLucia

Patricia DeLucia, a professor in the Texas Tech University Department of Psychological Sciences, has just joined one of the most elite groups in her field as a newly elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS).

The APS is dedicated to advancing the science of psychology, both nationally and internationally. Fellow status is awarded to APS members who have made sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology in the areas of research, teaching, service and/or application.

"Becoming a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science has been a long-term goal of mine, and I am very excited to achieve this milestone in my career," DeLucia said. "Being an APS Fellow is a wonderful honor that will bring more visibility to my work and to Texas Tech and will present new opportunities for me. Achieving this distinction reflects the highly supportive research environment at Texas Tech and the efforts of many students and colleagues with whom I have collaborated over many years."

DeLucia, who serves as associate vice president for research for faculty affairs, is the coordinator for the Human Factors Psychology Program. She is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the Psychonomic Society. She is the editor-in-chief of the journal Human Factors.

As director of the Visual Perception and Human Factors Laboratory, DeLucia's research focuses on theoretical issues in the visual perception of depth and collision and human factors pertaining to driving and health care.

"I think the hallmark of my work has been scientific rigor. In addition, my work has both theoretical and practical significance," she said. "The contribution that has been most highly cited in the literature is the effect of an approaching object's size on a person's judgment of when that object would reach them. A very large, faraway object appears to arrive sooner than a very near small object, which would in fact arrive sooner. This " size-arrival effect' has relevance to theories of depth perception.

"The effect also was demonstrated in traffic scenarios using driving simulators. Motorcycles appeared to arrive later than larger vehicles such as trucks. This may explain why crashes between cars and motorcycles are often due to the car driver's violation of the motorcycle's right-of-way. The car driver may perceive the motorcycle as farther away and think they have more time than they really have when making a left turn or overtaking a lead car."

Only four other Texas Tech faculty members are APS Fellows:

"The other APS Fellows at Texas Tech University are world-renowned scholars, and it is an honor to be considered part of this group," she said.

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