Dr. Kowalski

Patricia Kowalski

Patricia Kowalski
PHONE:(619) 260-4003
FAX:(619) 260-6867
OFFICE:Serra Hall 110


  • Ph.D., University of Denver, Developmental Psychology
  • M.A., California State University, Fullerton; Experimental Psychology
  • B.A., San Diego State University, Psychology
  • Post doctoral, University of California, Los Angeles Graduate School of Education; National Institute of Mental Health Grant to study student motivation

Patricia Kowalski, PhD, has been at USD since 1989. She teaches courses in Introductory Psychology and Developmental Psychology. She is an advisor to Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in psychology. Her research interests are in the area of educational psychology including student motivation to learn, student attitudes toward learning, and factors influencing student misconceptions in psychology and education. Research students regularly accompany Kowalski to the Western Psychological Association convention or the American Educational Research Association conference.

Scholarly Work

Kowalski’s research focuses on student motivation to learn and student misconceptions.  She has published articles on motivation in the Journal of Educational Psychology and the American Educational Research Journal. Together with Dr. Annette Taylor, she has published articles on student misconceptions in the Teaching of Psychology and other teaching journals and has given presentations at professional meetings including AAAS and The International Society for the Exploring of Teaching and Learning.

Using Goal Orientation to Predict Conceptual Change

Areas of Interest

Kowalski teaches Introductory Psychology as a Preceptorial for psychology students as well as for students interested in the Liberal Studies major. She also regularly teaches courses in Developmental Psychology including Child and Adolescent Development, Adult Development and Aging, and Research Methods in Developmental Psychology.