Lara Jones

Lara Jones

Associate Professor
Behavioral Cognitive Neuroscience Area Chair


Rm. 8306.4  (8th floor of 5057 Woodward)

Curriculum vitae

Lara Jones


Department of Psychology

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Verbal Analogy; Relational representation in priming and memory
  • Individual differences in creativity and Smartphone use as predictors of mind-wandering and other cognitive processes
  • Emoji - Valence, Familiarity, and Use
  • Narcissism and self-esteem as predictors of self-related memory


Most of my prior research focuses on the relational representation and inference in word pairs (e.g., a WOOL SWEATER is a sweater composed of wool). My current research program focuses on verbal analogy and the predictors of performance on verbal analogy and other reasoning tasks. For example, my more recent research has investigated various aspects of analogy items including the format (2-terms vs. 3-terms in the analogical stem, semantic distance (similar domains, PLATINUM : NECKLACE :: GOLD : EARRING, vs. different domains (e.g., LEATHER : SADDLE :: GOLD : EARRING), and distracter salience (the extent to which the incorrect answer option is associated with the C-term (e.g., SILVER shares a strong association with GOLD and would therefore be a more salient distracter option). In addition to examining item factors of verbal analogy such as semantic distance, type of analogical relation, and distracter salience, my colleagues and I have also investigated the impact of individual differences on verbal analogy and relational reasoning performance, namely, crystallized intelligence, working memory, creativity, and autistic traits.

I'm also interested in personality and cognitive processes. More specifically, my research examines how narcissism and self-esteem predict self-related memory and preference for agentic (self-focused) vs. communal (other-focused) traits. 

Most recently, my research program has extended to investigating individual differences in smartphone use (e.g., its relation to mind-wandering and mindfulness; sex differences in smartphone use) and in emoji valence perception (i.e., how positive or negative a facial or smiley emoji appears to be). 


  • Ph.D., Psychology (Cognitive-Experimental Program), University of Georgia, 2007
  • M.S., Psychology (Cognitive-Experimental Program), University of Georgia, 2004
  • B.S., Psychology (Minor: Cognitive Science), University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2002
  • Masters in Human Resources, University of South Carolina, 1997
  • B.S., Human Nutrition & Foods, Virginia Tech, 1995

Selected publications

Jones, L. L., Wurm, L. H., Norville, G. A., & Mullins, K. L. (2020). Sex differences in emoji use, familiarity, and valence. Computers in Human Behavior, 108.

Jones, L. L., Norville, G. A., & Wright, A. M. (2017). Narcissism, self-esteem, and the phenomenology of autobiographical memory. Memory, 25, 800-815.

Jones, L. L., & Estes, Z. (2015). Convergent and divergent thinking in verbal analogy. Thinking & Reasoning, 21, 473-500.

Mather, E., Jones, L. L., & Estes, Z. (2014). Priming by relational integration in perceptual identification and Stroop colour naming. Journal of Memory and Language, 71, 57-70.

Jones, L. L., & Brunell, A. B. (2014). Clever and crude but not kind: Narcissism, self-esteem, and the self-reference effect. Memory, 22, 307-322.

Jones, L. L., & Golonka, S. (2012). Different influences on lexical priming for integrative, thematic, and taxonomic relations. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6:205.

Jones, L. L., & Estes, Z. (2012). Lexical priming: Associative, semantic, and thematic influences on word recognition. In J. S. Adelman (Ed.), Word Recognition (Vol. 2). Hove, UK: Psychology Press.

Best, J., Miller, P. H., & Jones, L. L. (2009). Executive functioning after age 5: Changes and correlates. Developmental Review, 29, 180-200.

Jones, L. L., Estes, Z., & Marsh, R. L. (2008). An asymmetric effect of relational integration on recognition memory. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61, 1169-1176.

Currently teaching

  • PSY 2030 (formerly PSY 3010), Statistical Methods in Psychology  (Undergraduate), most semesters including Fall 2021
  • PSY 3080, Cognitive Psychology: Fundamental Processes (Undergraduate), most semesters including Fall 2021

Courses taught

RSE 4100, CLAS to Career (Undergraduate, Winter 2020)

PSY 7080, Human Cognition (Graduate, Fall 2019)


Citation index