Katherine Binder

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology
How context influences forms of ambiguity in language

We constantly use idioms in our speech and writing (dying to know; for the birds), but how exactly do they work? How does the context in which we encounter idiomatic phrases and words with multiple meanings affect our understanding of what we read?

Context is everything for Katherine Binder, who studies the role of context in the process of reading. The results of her research have been published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

A member of the Mount Holyoke faculty since 1999, Binder teaches Experimental Methods, Cognitive Psychology, Seminar in Cognition: Inhibition, and Lab in Cognition.

Courses Taught

  • Research Methods
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Lab in Cognition
  • Seminar in Cognition: Inhibition


Recent Campus News

This is a composite graphic showing featuring photographs of people presenting against a blue background. The words "Senior Symposium" are written in white against a green background.

Senior Symposium 2021

The culmination of Mount Holyoke students’ academic careers, Senior Symposium marks the metamorphosis from student to expert.

A 3D toolkit for students with visual impairments that contains a Braille label maker, Braille playing cards and three hardboard distributions.

A toolbox for more accessible statistics

Mount Holyoke faculty and staff have created the first website of its kind addressing statistic students’ accessibility needs. 

These are side-by-side photos of Shreya Nair and Shuyang Lin.

Psych students win at top comms conference

Mount Holyoke juniors Shreya Nair and Shuyang Lin co-authored a paper that won third at an international conference for visual communication.

This is a photo of the awardees standing with Dean of Faculty Jon Western and Acting President Sonya Stephens.

Four faculty members honored with awards

Four Mount Holyoke professors received awards for outstanding teaching and scholarship, a celebration of the hard work and academic success of faculty.

Mount Holyoke College Library reading room. Photo by Michael Malyszko

New grants to Mount Holyoke and its faculty.

Mount Holyoke College and its professors received numerous grants and fellowships between May and October 2015.

Recent Publications

Binder, K. S., Magnus, B., Lee, C., & Gilbert Cote, N. (2015). To tell a morphologically complex tale: Investigating the story-telling abilities of children and adults with low literacy skills. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 10.1007/s11145-015-9560-5.

Fracasso L.E., Bangs, K., & Binder, K.S. (2014). The contributions of phonological and morphological awareness to literacy skills in the adult basic education population. Journal of Learning Disabilities.

Lee, C.S., & Binder, K.S. (2014). Atypically deviant or appropriately delayed? An investigation into semantic and phonological processing in Williams Syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.

Talwar, A., Gilbert Cote, N., & Binder, K.S. (2014). Investigating Predictors of Spelling Ability for Adults with Low Literacy Skills. Journal of Research and Practice for Adult Literacy,Secondary, and Basic Education.

Zawoyski, A. M., Ardoin, S. P., & Binder, K. S. (2014). Using eye tracking to observe differential effects of repeated readings for second-grade students as a function of achievement level. Reading Research Quarterly, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1002/rrq.91