Kent L. Norman

My interests are in cognitive psychology, human/computer interaction, the design of electronic educational environment, and most recently, the psychology of vido games. I have been very interested in models of judgment and decision making and have applied these to the behavior of computer interfaces. Specifically, I have studied menu selection; and in 1991 published the first book on this topic: "The Psychology of Menu Selection: Designing Cognitive Control at the Human/Computer Interface,"

More recently, I have been looking at the user interface design of electronic classrooms and of all electronic education in general. I am currently working on the design of HyperCourseware and the issue of human/computer interaction in the classroom and beyond. Most of this effort has emerged in the on-line book: "Teaching in the Switched on Classroom: An Introduction to Electronic Education and HyperCourseware"

Next year will mark the 25th year of teaching in the AT&T Teaching Theater, the IBM-TQM Teaching Theater or the OITS Teaching Theater.

Now for a little of academic background. I received my undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1973. After Iowa I went to UCSD in La Jolla, California for post doctoral research on judgment and decision making. My first teaching position was at the University of Alabama. I came to the University of Maryland in 1975 to join the Quantitative Psychology program and have been here ever since.

In the Fall of 1981, we visited the Oregon Research Institute for three months and then in the Spring of 1982 we went to Australia for seven months on my first sabbatical. In Australia, I helped to conduct a nationwide survey on the introduction of cable television and interactive services. Katryn was born in 1983.

Then in the Spring of 1986, we went on a Fulbright Fellowship to India for six months where I did research on attitudes about computers. In 1990, we went again on sabbatical, this time to Cambridge, England to work on hypermedia at the MRC-APU. Karitsa was born in 1991 and Kaleb was born in 1994. In the Spring of 1997, we spent my next sabbatical in Israel. During this time I worked with the Center for the Design of Distance Education Methodology at the Open University of Israel and collaborated on new methods of distance education on the WWW. (Israel was wonderful!)

In the Spring of this year (2004), I took a four month sabbatical to Rome, Italy where I visited the University of Rome, "La Sapienza", Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Informazione. While there, I also worked with the Sports Psychology Department in the L'Istituto Universitario di Scienze Motorie and the Cognitive Science Lab in the Dipartimento di Psicologia. (Rome the eternal city!)

In 2008, I published my next book Cyberpsychology: An Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction. The book attempts to tie together human-computer interaction bring the ownership back to psychology. It forms the basis of my course by the same title.

In 2011, we went on sabbatical to University College Cork, Ireland to visit the Applied Psychology Department and work with Jurek Kirakowski on assessing user satisfaction from two directions: Sensitivia and Quatila. I also worked with his graduates students on immersion and video games.

On the personal side, I am married to an artist ( and have four kids from 20 to 31. The oldest son finished the Human Centered Computing program at UMBC and does work on accessibility. The oldest daughter is married and working as a graphic designer for the Coalition of Christian Colleges near Capitol Hill. She and her husband have a blog at The youngest daughter graduated from UMBC and is in the Servant's Year program in Philadelphia working with the Hispanic community. Our youngest son is a sophomore here at UMCP in the Fine Arts Program. We have a dog named Maggie. She is a labradoodle. And a cat named Elsie.