Dr. Jeffrey Coldren

Chair and Professor
Dr. Jeffrey Coldren - profile photo

Dr. Jeffrey Coldren

Chair Professor

Psychological Sciences & Counseling

DeBartolo Hall 321

phone: (330) 941-1617



I am a Professor and Department Chair of Psychological Sciences and Counseling at Youngstown State University. I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in Child Development and Developmental Psychology under the direction of Prof. John Colombo and my MA in Human Development under the supervision of Prof. Frances Degen Horowitz. I earned my BA from Albright College. Prior to attending KU, I entered the Life-Span Developmental Psychology Program at West Virginia University. Following my graduate training, I completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toledo with Prof. Robert Haaf. I also did a sabbatical leave at McGill University under the direction of Prof. Thomas Shultz in the Laboratory for Natural and Simulated Cognition.

Research Interests

My research investigates the development of cognition and learning across the lifespan involving processes such as stimulus dimensionalization, transfer, response shifting, attention, hypothesis-testing, and executive functioning. I have conducted studies with infants, preschool and elementary school children, and college students. Most of my research questions have both theoretical and applied aspects of cognitive processes. In addition to conducting empirical experiments, I also use computational models to simulate the development of psychological processes. Currently, I am conducting studies on learning cessation in autonomous learning agents (i.e. humans and computers). Specifically, do humans of different ages (kindergarten children and college students) self-regulate their learning to maintain engagement when making progress toward a goal, and importantly cease learning when it no longer becomes productive?

Teaching Interests

I teach Principles of Development for School Psychology, Advanced Statistical Techniques for Psychology, Statistics for Psychology, Research Design and Methods, Child Development, and Educational Psychology.

  • Education
    • 1992

      Ph D, Child Development and Developmental Psychology

      University of Kansas

    • 1987

      MA, Human Development

      University of Kansas

    • 1983

      BA, Psychology

      Alright College

  • Awards and Honors
    • 2023

      YSU Foundation

      James P. Tressel Endowed Chair for Leadership

    • 2022

      Distinguished Research Professor in Teaching as a Chairperson

    • 2004

      The Rich Center for Autism

      Rich Center Faculty Fellow

  • Administrative Assignments
    • 2020 - present

      Department Chairperson

    • 2015 - present


  • Intellectual Contributions
    • 2023

      "Conditions Under Which College Students Cease Learning"

      J. Coldren

      Frontiers in Psychology, volume 14

    • 2013

      "Cognitive Control Predicts Academic Achievement in Kindergarten Children"

      J. Coldren

      MIND BRAIN AND EDUCATION, volume 7, issue 1, p. 40-48

    • 2009

      "Attention as a Cueing Function During Kindergarten Children's Dimensional Change Task Performance"

      J. Coldren, J. Colombo

      INFANT AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT, volume 18, issue 5, p. 441-454

    • 2003

      "Spatial reversal as a measure of executive functioning in children with autism."

      J. Coldren, C. Halloran

      The Journal of genetic psychology, volume 164, issue 1, p. 29-41

    • 2000

      "Asymmetries in infants' attention to the presence or absence of features."

      J. Coldren, R. Haaf

      The Journal of genetic psychology, volume 161, issue 4, p. 420-34

    • 1994

      "The nature and processes of preverbal learning: implications from nine-month-old infants' discrimination problem solving."

      J. Coldren, J. Colombo

      Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, volume 59, issue 4, p. 1-75; discussion 76-93

    • 1993

      "Individual differences in infant visual attention: four-month-olds' discrimination and generalization of global and local stimulus properties."

      L. Freeseman, J. Colombo, J. Coldren

      Child development, volume 64, issue 4, p. 1191-203

    • 1991

      "Individual differences in infant visual attention: are short lookers faster processors or feature processors?"

      J. Colombo, D. Mitchell, J. Coldren, L. Freeseman

      Child development, volume 62, issue 6, p. 1247-57

    • 1990

      "Form categorization in 10-month-olds."

      J. Colombo, K. McCollam, J. Coldren, D. Mitchell, S. Rash

      Journal of experimental child psychology, volume 49, issue 2, p. 173-88

    • 1990

      "Discrimination learning during the first year: stimulus and positional cues."

      J. Colombo, D. Mitchell, J. Coldren, J. Atwater

      Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition, volume 16, issue 1, p. 98-109

    • 1987

      "10-Hz flash visual evoked potentials predict post-cataract extraction visual acuity."

      J. Odom, R. Hobson, J. Coldren, G. Chao, G. Weinstein

      Documenta ophthalmologica. Advances in ophthalmology, volume 66, issue 4, p. 291-9

  • Professional Service
    • 2015 - 2023

      Editorial Review Board Member
      Frontiers in Psychology