Natalie Person head shot

Natalie Person

Professor of Psychology and Chair of Educational Studies; Dean for Curricular Development

Natalie Person is a Professor of Psychology and the Chair of Educational Studies. She is currently serving as the Dean for Curricular Development in the Office of Academic Affairs, where she oversees undergraduate research and fellowships, First-Year Seminar and other curricular initiatives, and the College’s interdisciplinary centers and institutes, including the Buckman Center for International Education. Dr. Person joined the faculty in 1994 and has led the efforts to offer an Educational Studies major, which obtained a state-approved licensure component in 2016, and a Master of Arts in Urban Education that began in summer of 2018. Person has distinguished herself as a faculty leader serving as Chair of Psychology for nine years and on numerous committees. She has served as the Chair of the Faculty Governance Committee, Educational Programs Committee, and Standards and Standing Committee, and  has represented the faculty on the Board of Trustees. Dr. Person’s research interests bridge the fields of Psychology and Learning Sciences. She is particularly interested in developing innovative programs and technologies that will improve science education in K-12 and college level classrooms. Her research interests include tutoring, conversational discourse, complex learning, question asking and answering, models of effective teaching, artificial intelligence, and affective computing. She has been the recipient of numerous federal grant awards from the National Science Foundation, The Institute for Defense Analyses, the Institute for Education Sciences, the Office of Naval Research, and the U.S. Congress, along with additional state and private foundation grants. She has published extensively in peer-reviewed psychology, education, computer science, and learning sciences journals and conference proceedings. Person is a recipient of the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Research and, in 2017,  received Rhodes’ Jameson M. Jones Award for Outstanding Faculty Service.

Dr. Person′s Curriculum Vitae

Learn more about Dr. Person's research here.

Selected Publications
Person, N. K., D’Mello, S., & Olney, A. (in press). Toward socially intelligent interviewing systems.  In F. G. Conrad & M. F. Schober (eds.), Envisioning the survey interview of the future. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Graesser, A.C., Person, N., Lu, Z., Jeon, M.G., & McDaniel, B. (2005).  Learning while holding a conversation with a computer. In L. PytlikZillig, M. Bodvarsson, & R. Bruning (Eds.), Technology-based education: Bringing researchers and practitioners together (pp. 143-167). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Person, N. K., Hancock, J. T., Burke, D. R., & Graesser, A. C. (2004). A linguistic model that infers user states and traits. In ITS 2004 Workshop Proceedings on Social and Emotional Intelligence in Learning Environments. Maceio, Brazil Springer-Verlag.

Person, N. K., & Graesser, A. C., & The Tutoring Research Group (2003). Fourteen facts about human tutoring: Food for thought for ITS developers. AI-ED 2003 Workshop Proceedings on Tutorial Dialogue Systems: With a View Toward the Classroom (pp. 335-344).  Sydney, Australia.

Person, N. K., & Graesser, A. C. (2003). Pedagogical Agents and Tutors.  In J. W. Guthrie (Ed.),Encyclopedia of education (2nd ed. Vol. 2 586-589).  New York: Macmillan.

Moreno, K. N., Person, N. K., Adcock, A. B., Van Eck, R. N., Jackson, G. T., & Marineau, J. C. (2002). Etiquette and efficacy in animated pedagogical agents: The role of stereotypes.  Proceedings of the AAAI Fall Symposium: Etiquette for Human Computer Work (pp.77-80).  Falmouth, MA: AAAI Press.

Person, N. K., Graesser, A. C., & The Tutoring Research Group (2002).  Human or computer:  AutoTutor in a bystander Turing test. In S. A. Cerri, G. Gouarderes, & F. Paraguacu (Eds.) Intelligent Tutoring Systems 2002 Proceedings (pp. 821-830).  Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Graesser, A. C., Person, N. K., & Hu, X. (2002).  Improving comprehension through discourse processing.  New Directions in Teaching and Learning, 89, 33-44.

Graesser, A.C., Person, N., Harter, D., & TRG (2001). Teaching tactics and dialog in AutoTutor.International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 12, 257-279.

Person, N. K., Graesser, A. C., Bautista, L., Mathews, E. C., & The Tutoring Research Group (2001).  Evaluating student learning gains in two versions of AutoTutor. In J. D. Moore, C. L. Redfield, & W. L. Johnson (Eds.) Artificial intelligence in education: AI-ED in the wired and wireless future (pp. 286-293). Amsterdam, IOS Press.

Person, N. K., Gholson, B., Craig, S. D., Hu, X., Stewart, C. O., & Graesser, A. C. (2001).  HURAA: An interactive web-based agent that optimizes information retrieval in a multi-media environment. In C. Montgomerie & J. Viteli (Eds.) Proceedings for ED-MEDIA 2001: World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications. (pp. 1476-1481). Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.

Person, N. K., Graesser, A. C., Kreuz, R. J., Pomeroy, V., & The Tutoring Research Group (2001).  Simulating human tutor dialog moves in AutoTutor. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 12, 23-39.

Person, N. K., Graesser, A. C., Harter, D., Mathews, E. C., & The Tutoring Research Group. (2000). Dialog move generation and conversation management in AutoTutor.  Proceedings of the AAAI Fall Symposium: Building Dialogue Systems for Tutorial Applications (pp. 45-51).  Falmouth, MA: AAAI Press.

Person, N. K., & Graesser, A. C. (1999).  Evolution of discourse in cross-age tutoring.  In A. M.O’Donnell and A. King (Eds.), Cognitive perspectives on peer learning (pp. 69-86).  Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Person, N. K., Kreuz, R. J., Zwaan, R., & Graesser, A. C.  (1995).  Pragmatics and pedagogy: Conversational rules and politeness strategies may inhibit effective tutoring.  Cognition and Instruction, 13, 161-188.

Person, N. K., Graesser, A. C., Magliano, J. P., & Kreuz, R. J. (1994).  Inferring what the student knows in one-to-one tutoring:  The role of student questions and answers.  Learning and Individual Differences, 6, 205-229.

Graesser, A. C., & Person, N. K.  (1994).  Question asking during tutoring.  American Educational Research Journal, 31, 104-137.


Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology, The University of Memphis
M.S. in General Psychology, Memphis State University
B.A. in Psychology, University of Mississippi