Charles Brainerd
Cornell University
Professor and Director
Charles Brainerd

Year Elected


Membership status

Charles Brainerd is professor and Director of the JD/PhD Program in Law, Psychology and Human Development at Cornell University. Dr. Brainerd holds B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in experimental and developmental psychology. He has published over 300 research articles and chapters, and he has also published over 20 books. His research covers areas such as human memory and decision-making, statistics and mathematical modeling, cognitive neuroscience, learning, intelligence, cognitive development, learning disability and child abuse. Dr. Brainerd’s current research program centers on the relation between memory and higher reasoning abilities in children and adults, and it also focuses on false-memory phenomena, cognitive neuroscience, aging, and neurocognitive impairment. He is the co-developer of fuzzy-trace theory, a model of the relation between memory and higher reasoning that has been widely applied within medicine and law. Dr. Brainerd is a Fellow of the Division of General Psychology, the Division of Experimental Psychology, the Division of Developmental Psychology and the Division of Educational Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and he is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society and the Psychonomic Society. Dr. Brainerd has received the Governor of Arizona’s Spirit of Excellence Award for scholarly work in higher education and the Trial Defense Services Medal of the Judge Advocate General of the United States Army. Dr. Brainerd advises civilian and military courts on memory research and has contributed to amicus briefs in many appeal cases, including death penalty appeals. Dr. Brainerd is past Associate Editor of Child Development, the leading research journal in developmental psychology, and he is past Associate Editor of The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, a prominent theoretical journal in cognitive neuroscience. He is currently editor of Developmental Review, the leading journal of theory and literature review in developmental psychology. Dr. Brainerd has received three decades of research support from private foundations and from government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Department of Agriculture.

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