Academic Accomplishments

  • Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2014
  • M.A. in Experimental Psychology, California State University, Fullerton, 2008
  • B.A. in Psychology, California State University, Fullerton, 2006


Dr. Kris Gunawan is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology and Counseling Department at Centenary University. He earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with an emphasis in Cognitive Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2014. He currently teaches undergraduate courses related to research methods, statistics, cognitive psychology, and biopsychology. He has received awards in teaching, such as the Frank Costin Memorial Award for Excellence for a collaborative project presented at the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology in 2015 and the Students’ Choice for Psychology Faculty of the Year at California State University, Fullerton in 2016.


Dr. Gunawan supervises the Active Cognition Research Team. His research focuses on examining and understanding various mental processes involved in everyday activities. They include (but are not limited to) memory and discourse processing. Students have the opportunity to focus on different topics, such as the underlying mechanisms involved in the recovery of blocked memories, the construction of mental representations that allow people to comprehend events and narratives, and the encoding of information that can bias or trigger false beliefs on individuals.

Students have hands-on experience on all aspects of the research process within a laboratory or applied setting. They learn concepts and theories that pertain to cognitive science. Also, students can incorporate their interests in other fields, such as counseling and education, through doing collaborative work with Dr. Gunawan. In addition to conducting research, students learn to perform different statistical techniques and are able to present their projects at professional conferences hosted by the Eastern Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, American Psychological Association, and Psychonomic Society.

Selected Publications

Copeland, D. E., Bies-Hernandez, N. J., & Gunawan, K. (2016). The role of cognition on age-related changes in language, memory, and mental models. In H. Wright & S. Goldinger (Eds.), Cognition, language, and aging. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Gunawan, K., & Copeland, D. E. (2015). Storytelling through pictures and words: Processing comic books in memory. In K. Brakke & J. A. Houska (Eds.), Telling stories: The art and science of storytelling as an instructional strategy. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site:

Gunawan, K. (2014). The formation of situation models in multimedia (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from

Copeland, D. E., Gunawan, K., & Bies-Hernandez, N. J. (2011). Source credibility and syllogistic reasoning. Memory & Cognition, 39, 117-127.

Gunawan, K., & Gerkens, D. R. (2010). The recovery of blocked memories in repeated recall tests. British Journal of Psychology, 102, 1-19.