Candidate Statements for Division 21. Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology

Please note that the submission of a candidate statement was voluntary, so not all candidates listed on the ballot will have a statement.

Candidate: Nathan Ward, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

My research program involves characterizing and enhancing the ability to manage multiple streams of information (i.e., multitasking) in controlled lab settings and applied contexts. I received my Ph.D. at the University of Utah in 2013, where I investigated the impacts of multitasking behind the wheel in virtual and real-world driving situations. After that, I completed a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign until 2016. I am now an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Tufts University where I direct the Tufts Applied Cognition Lab and manage the Tufts Driving Simulator Facility. My current work on characterizing multitasking focuses on developing new multitasking assessments aimed at unpacking the cognitive mechanisms that support multitasking. I am also interested in applying these novel paradigms to understand whether the cognitive mechanisms supporting multitasking are differentially engaged in younger and older adults. My current work on enhancing multitasking uses cognitive training, physical exercise, and low-current brain stimulation to modulate how people multitask under a variety of scenarios. In addition, I am the Psychology Department’s liaison to the Tufts University undergraduate program in Engineering Psychology, which is an interdisciplinary program merging the School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences. I teach several core Engineering Psychology courses and serve as an academic advisor for students in the major. In addition, I serve on the Tufts Human Factors Planning Committee and on the 2019 conference organization committee for the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition (SARMAC).