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David C. Geary

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David C. Geary is a United States academic psychologist.


Geary received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology in 1986 from the University of California at Riverside and from there held faculty positions at the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Missouri, first at the Rolla campus and then in Columbia. Geary is department chair and Professor of Psychological Sciences, and from 2000 to 2003 was the University of Missouri’s Middlebush Professor of Psychological Sciences. He has published about 120 articles and chapters across a wide range of topics, including cognitive and developmental psychology, education, evolutionary biology, and medicine, including three books, Children's mathematical development (1994), Male, female: The evolution of human sex differences (1998), and The origin of mind: Evolution of brain, cognition, and general intelligence (2005).

He has given invited addresses in a variety of departments (anthropology, biology, behavior genetics, computer science, education, government, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, and psychology) and Universities throughout the United States, as well as in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, and Italy. In addition to these activities, he was one of the primary contributors to the Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten through grade twelve. He has received the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (1996), and a scientific MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health.


Geary’s lab group is engaged in research on the cognitive, memory, and attentional systems that contribute to learning disorders in arithmetic and mathematics; funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The research group is also focused on a number of issues in the area of evolutionary psychology, including empirical and theoretical work on sex differences, mating strategies, and development.

Geary has also contributed to more applied issues, especially as related to mathematics education. He and Dr. Hamson developed a web-based document for the American Psychological Association, Improving Mathematics and Science Achievement of American Children. The goal was to outline research and educational issues in mathematics and science, as related to the goal of American children attaining international standards in mathematics and science. In addition, Geary was one of the primary contributors to the Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten through grade twelve. Geary also wrote an on-line overview of learning disabilities in mathematics for parents and teachers. Finally, he has conducted empirical studies of children with learning disabilities in mathematics, has developed a taxonomy of subtypes of these forms of learning disability, and has written pieces for parents and teachers on the topic.

See also



Book Chapters

  • Geary, D. C. (2006). Development of mathematical understanding. In D. Kuhl & R. S. Siegler (Vol. Eds.), Cognition, perception, and language, Vol 2 (pp. 777-810). W. Damon (Gen. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology (6 th Ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. Full text
  • Geary, D. C. (2006). Coevolution of paternal investment and cuckoldry in humans. In T. K. Shackelford & S. Platek (Eds.), Female infidelity and paternal uncertainty (pp.14-34). New York: Cambridge University Press. Full text
  • Geary, D. C. (2006). Dyscalculia at an Early Age: Characteristics and Potential Influence on Socio-Emotional Development. In R.E. Tremblay & R.D. Peters (Eds.), Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development [online]. Montreal, Quebec: Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Development; 1-4. Full text
  • Geary, D. C. (2005). Evolution of paternal investment. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), The evolutionary psychology handbook. (pp. 483-505). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Full text
  • Geary, D. C., & Hoard, M. K. (2005). Learning disabilities in arithmetic and mathematics: Theoretical and empirical perspectives. In J. I. D. Campbell (Ed.), Handbook of mathematical cognition (pp. 253-267). New York: Psychology Press. Full text
  • Geary, D. C. (2004). Why to the birds and bees do it? In D. Rothenberg & W. J. Pryor (Eds.), Writing the future: Progress and evolution (pp. 51-58). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Full text
  • Geary, D. C. (2003). Learning disabilities in arithmetic: Problem solving differences and cognitive deficits. In H. L. Swanson, K. Harris, & S. Graham (Eds.), Handbook of learning disabilities (pp. 199-212). New York: Guilford Press. Full text
  • Geary, D. C. (2003). Arithmetical development: Commentary on chapters 9 through 15 and future directions. In A. Baroody & A. Dowker (Eds.), The development of arithmetic concepts and skills: Constructing adaptive expertise (pp. 453-464). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Full text
  • Geary, D. C. (2002). Sexual selection and human life history. In R. Kail (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol 30, pp. 41-101). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Full text
  • Geary, D. C. (2002). Sexual selection and sex differences in social cognition. In A. V. McGillicuddy-De Lisi & R. De Lisi (Eds.), Biology, society, and behavior: The development of sex differences in cognition (pp. 23-53). Greenwich, CT: Ablex/Greenwood. Full text
  • Geary, D. C., & Hoard, M. K. (2002). Learning disabilities in basic mathematics: Deficits in memory and cognition. In J. M. Royer (Ed.), Mathematical cognition (pp. 93-115). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. Full text
  • Geary, D. C. (2001). Evolutionary theory and education. In N. J. Smelser & P. B. Baltes (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (pp. 5024-5028). Amsterdam: Pergamon. Full text


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