Alexander P. Burgoyne

Research Scientist II at Georgia Tech

Alexander Burgoyne Alexander P. Burgoyne was awarded the Rasmussen Fellowship upon enrolling in the doctoral program at MSU. In 2018, Alex was awarded the Future Academic Scholars in Teaching Fellowship, a Research Scholars Award from the College of Social Sciences, a Research Enhancement Award from the Department of Psychology, and the Thompson Endowment Fellowship Award. He's now working as a Research Scientist II at Georgia Tech. Photograph by Derrick Turner.

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Professor - Psychology 1101(G): General Psychology, Georgia Tech

Research Scientist II - Attention & Working Memory Lab at Georgia Tech

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow - Attention & Working Memory Lab at Georgia Tech

Laboratory Manager - The Expertise Lab at MSU

Webmaster - The Journal of Expertise, The Science of Expertise

Teaching Assistant - PSY 402(W): Sensation and Perception

Alexander P. Burgoyne

Hi, I'm Alex. I'm a cognitive scientist who's fascinated by expertise and the cognitive processes that support exceptional performance. I have three major research interests: 1) individual differences in complex skill acquisition, 2) academic achievement and educational interventions, and 3) intelligence, with a focus on problem solving, attention control, placekeeping ability, and working memory. I use a range of statistical approaches in my work, including meta-analysis, structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling, hierarchical regression, and anova. I also designed and maintain the website for the Journal of Expertise.
Drop me a line if you're interested in collaborating:

PhD in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
Michigan State University

Ongoing Projects:
How Firm Are the Foundations of Mindset Theory?
Much ado has been made about mindset in educational contexts. However, there is mixed evidence regarding central premises of mindset theory, including its impact on academic achievement. In this series of experiments, we're testing proponents' major claims about mindset.

Building a Better ASVAB
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) has been used since 1968 for personnel selection and classification by the US military, but the latest substantive update was made nearly twenty years ago. We're using measures of attention control, placekeeping ability, fluid intelligence, and multitasking to improve the predictive validity of the ASVAB. This is a joint research project at MSU and Georgia Tech, funded by the Office of Naval Research.

Developing Efficient, Reliable, and Valid Attention Control Tests
The study of individual differences in attention control has been stymied by the use of psychometrically unsound tasks. We are developing novel attention control tests that are highly efficient, reliable, and valid. This work combines data collected online, in our laboratory at Georgia Tech, and at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI) in Pensacola, Florida.

Cognitive Ability and Complex Task Performance
This collaborative project at Michigan State University, Case Western Reserve University, and Texas A&M examines the predictive validity of broad cognitive abilities for performance in different kinds of complex tasks before and after training.


Burgoyne et al. (in press)


Attention control and process overlap theory: Searching for cognitive processes underpinning the positive manifold

Burgoyne et al. (2021)

Clinical Psychiatry

Individual differences in spatial and mathematics skills: Implications for educational and clinical psychology.

Burgoyne & Macnamara (2021)

Journal of Intelligence

Reconsidering the use of the mindset assessment profile in educational contexts

Johnson, Burgoyne, Mix, Young, & Levine (2021)


Spatial and mathematics skills: Similarities and differences related to age, SES, and gender

Burgoyne & Engle (2020)

Current Directions in Psychological Science

Attention control: A cornerstone of higher-order cognition

Burgoyne, Mashburn, & Engle (2021)


Reducing adverse impact in high-stakes testing

Burgoyne et al. (2020)

Learning & Motivation

Can a brief intervention alter genetic and environmental influences on psychological traits?

Burgoyne et al. (2020)

Learning & Motivation

Differential and Experimental Approaches to Studying Intelligence in Humans and Non-Human Animals

Burgoyne, Hambrick, & Macnamara (2020)

Psychological Science

How Firm Are the Foundations of Mind-Set Theory? The Claims Appear Stronger Than the Evidence

Burgoyne, Hambrick, & Altmann (2020)

Psychological Research

Incremental Validity of Placekeeping as a Predictor of Multitasking

Hambrick, Burgoyne, & Altmann (2020)

The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence

Problem-Solving and Intelligence

Burgoyne & Engle (2020)

Journal of Intelligence

Mitochondrial Functioning and Its Relation to Higher-Order Cognitive Processes

Burgoyne, Harris, & Hambrick (2019)


Predicting piano skill acquisition in beginners: The role of general intelligence, music aptitude, and mindset

Burgoyne, Hambrick, & Altmann (2019)

The American Journal of Psychology

Placekeeping Ability as a Component of Fluid Intelligence: Not Just Working Memory Capacity

Hambrick & Burgoyne (2019)

Current Issues in Sport Science

Beyond nature vs. nurture in expertise research – comment on J. Baker and N. Wattie

Hambrick, Burgoyne, & Oswald (2019)

Vocational Interests in the Workplace: Rethinking Behavior at Work

The Role of Interests in the Development of Expertise: A Multifactorial Perspective

Burgoyne, Hambrick, & Altmann (2019)

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

Is Working Memory Capacity a Causal Factor in Fluid Intelligence?

Burgoyne et al. (2019)

The American Journal of Psychology

The Impact of Domain-Specific Experience on Chess Skill: Re-Analysis of a Key Study

Sisk & Burgoyne et al. (2018)

Psychological Science

To What Extent and Under Which Circumstances Are Growth Mind-Sets Important to Academic Achievement? Two Meta-Analyses

Hambrick, Burgoyne, & Oswald (2019)

The Oxford Handbook of Expertise

Domain-General Models of Expertise: The Role of Cognitive Ability

Mix et al. (2018)


The Latent Structure of Spatial Skill: A Test of the 2 x 2 Typology

Burgoyne et al. (2018)

Journal of Research in Personality

Analysis of a Mindset Intervention

Hambrick & Burgoyne et al. (2018)

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Toward a Multifactorial Model of Expertise: Beyond Born Versus Made

Hambrick, Altmann, & Burgoyne (2018)

The American Journal of Psychology

A Knowledge-Activation Approach to Testing the Circumvention-of-Limits Hypothesis

Hambrick & Burgoyne et al. (2018)

International Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning

Working Memory, Thinking, and Expertise

Macnamara et al. (2018)

The Science of Expertise

The Deliberate Practice View: An Evaluation of Definitions, Claims, and Empirical Evidence

Sala & Burgoyne et al. (2017)


Checking the “Academic Selection” Argument. Chess Players Outperform Non-Chess Players in Cognitive Skills Related to Intelligence: A Meta-Analysis

Burgoyne et al. (2016)


The Relationship between Cognitive Ability and Chess Skill: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis

Popular Writing


These programs were developed for E-Prime by Alex Burgoyne.
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