Marcia K. Johnson
Born1943 (age 80–81)
  • Psychologist
  • scholar
  • professor
TitleSterling Professor
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
Academic work
InstitutionsYale University

Marcia K. Johnson (born 1943) is a Sterling Professor emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. She was born in 1943 in Alameda, California. Johnson attended public schools in Oakland and Ventura.[1] She attended the University of California, Berkeley where she received both her B.A. in psychology (1965) and Ph.D. in experimental psychology (1971).[2] In 1970 Johnson moved to Long Island, New York to take a faculty position at The State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she worked until 1985. She then accepted a position at Princeton University and was there from 1985 to 2000. Johnson became Sterling Professor of Psychology at Yale University in 2000.[3]

While in her undergraduate program, she conducted her first psychological experiment, and found that people were better able to identify stimuli in an ambiguous environment if they had encoded the targets in terms of holistic schemas or concepts than if they had differentiated among them on the basis of specific features.[4] She also received two research assistant opportunities with Lloyd Peterson and Kathleen Archibald, both afforded her with models of engaged academics.[5] In graduate school she mentored with Leo Postman and Geoffrey Keppel at Berkeley’s Institute of Human Learning, where she investigated organizational processes in memory. She became the Dilley Professor of Psychology in 2004, and was appointed as a Sterling Professor in 2011.[6] Her former graduate students include Shahin Hashtroudi, Frank Durso, Mary Ann Foley, Tracey Kahan, Stephen Lindsay, Elizabeth A. Phelps, Kristi Multhaup, Chad Dodson, Denise Evert, Mara Mather, John Reeder, Wil Cunningham, and Keith Lyle.

Johnson has received American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award,[7] the American Psychological Society William James Fellow Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2014, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.[8]

Johnson is the director of the Memory and Cognition Lab (MEMlab) at Yale.[9]


  1. ^ "Marcia K. Johnson, PhD – FABBS". 9 November 2016. Retrieved 2022-01-17.
  2. ^ Johnson, Marcia K. "Vita" (PDF). Department of Psychology. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  3. ^ Carey, Benedict (2013-01-14). "Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Psychologist Who Studied Depression in Women, Dies at 53". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-03.[failed verification]
  4. ^ Marcia K. Johnson: 2006 Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions. (2006). American Psychologist, 61(8), 757–771. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.61.8.757
  5. ^ Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology: Marcia K Johnson. (2011). American Psychologist, 66(5), 357–359. doi:10.1037/a0024111
  6. ^ (21 January 2011). Marcia Johnson is named Sterling Professor of Psychology Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine, Yale Daily Bulletin
  7. ^ Yale Scientific, p.74 (won Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 2006)
  8. ^ "Marcia elected to National Academy of Sciences | Memory and Cognition Lab". Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  9. ^ "People". Memory and Cognition Lab, Yale Universitry. Retrieved 17 January 2022.