Dr. Lou Manza
Chair & Professor of Psychology
Academic Areas of Expertise:
- Statistics & Data Analysis
- Cognitive Science
- History of Psychology
- Junk Science & Paranormal Phenomena
- Independent Laboratory Research
- Professional Development
Broadly-speaking, my research interests in psychology focus on cognitive processes.
One specific line of work is focused on how people come to believe in supernatural phenomena, and whether or not exposure to rational explanations of paranormal events alter individuals’ belief systems; the results of this work have direct applications to educational approaches to scientific literacy.
Another area of interest is on how individuals approach intellectual tasks (i.e., habits of mind), and persevere (or not) when working to complete such tasks (i.e., grit), and attempting to understand the categorical factors that may underlie the studied traits.
Positions & Awards
- Chair & Professor of Psychology (LVC), 2004-present
- Who’s Who in America (2008 and 2009)
- Who’s Who Among American Teachers & Educators, 11th Edition (2006-07)
Manza, L. (2017, November 20). How cult leaders like Charles Manson exploit a basic psychological need. The Conversation. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/how-cult-leaders-like-charles-manson-exploit-a-basic-psychological-need-57101
Manza, L. (2015, October 2). Should the voting age be lowered to 16? No. CQ Researcher, 25(35), p. 833. Retrieved from http://www.cqresearcher.com
Niculescu, M., Cerullo, K.J., Hess, K., Rupslaukyte, R.E., Stoothoff, B., Enman, N., Hesterberg, K., Manza, L., & Hutchinson, K.E. (2015). The involvement of the CNR1 gene in impulsivity and stress response in alcohol-related behaviors. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 146, e51.
Manza, L., Hilperts, K., Hindley, L., Marco, C., Santana, A., & Hawk, M. V. (2010). Exposure to science is not enough: The influence of classroom experiences on belief in paranormal phenomena. Teaching of Psychology, 37(3), 165-171.
Manza, L. (2009). Instructor’s manual and test bank for Terry’s “Learning and memory: Basic principles, processes, and procedures (4th Ed.).” Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Manza, L. and Bornstein, R. (1995). Affective discrimination and the implicit learning process. Consciousness and Cognition, 4, 399-409.
Recent Conference Presentations
Anderson, S., Manza, L., Anderson, M., Galvin, M., Gabriel, J., Kintzer, A., & McIlhenny, R. (2021). Roles of self-awareness and metacognition when assessing grit: Self vs. observer ratings. Poster presented at the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association [online; COVID-19 pandemic].
Dotey, A., Manza, L., Anderson, S., Ebersole, G., & Petrasic, S. (2020). Metacognition and academic pressure: Predicting beliefs in paranormal phenomena and junk science. Poster presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA [online; COVID-19 pandemic].
Riley, A., Manza, L., Grinestaff, M., Boltz, S., Toth, S., Dotey, A., Yoder, J., Schlusser, E., Mogle, A., Hiller, S., Davis, H., Howard, A., & Nicolaro, S. (2019). Connections between fabricated beliefs, metacognition, and knowledge domains. Poster presented at the 90th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, New York, NY.
Mann, S., Manza, L., Nicolaro, S., Mogle, A., Riutzel, H., & Schlusser, E. (2018). The impact of mindset and grit on writing-based skills and attitudes. Poster presented at the 89th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA.
Mass Media Interviews
Walmer, D. (2018, December 14). Home alone: Isolation imperils Lebanon’s elderly residents, officials warn. Lebanon Daily News. Retrieved from https://www.ldnews.com/story/news/local/2018/12/14/police-seek-annville-man-who-secretly-wiretapped-employer-jamie-wagner-carlisle/2269322002/ This article contained details about risks that people face when living in isolation; my comments focused on balancing introverted tendencies with social contact.
Miller, J.A. (2017, December 21). Can a fitness tracker help you run a better race? The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/well/move/can-a-fitness-tracker-help-you-run-a-better-race.html. This article contained details about the effectiveness of wearable devices relative to road-running; my comments focused on how one might be better served by focusing on actual somatosensory feedback over computer devices when exercising.
Vozza, S. (2017, August 10). It’s not just you: These super successful people suffer from imposter syndrome. Fast Company. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/40447089/its-not-just-you-these-super-successful-people-suffer-from-imposter-syndrome. This article contained details about how some people feel inadequate and/or unworthy of their attained status; my comments focused on the need to quiet any internal dialogue surrounding these negative misperceptions.
Lush, T. (2016, December 29). With the loss of its celebrities, Gen X ponders mortality. Associated Press. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/12/28/with-loss-its-celebrities-gen-x-ponders-mortality.html. This article contained details about the deaths of 1980s-era celebrities such as David Bowie and Carrie Fisher; my comments focused on the role of television and social media in forging emotional connections between famous people and the public.
Tapley, B. (2015, November 8). Between perseverance and surrender. OnBeing.org. Retrieved from http://www.onbeing.org/blog/between-perseverance-and-surrender/7990. This article contained information about why people do or do not persist when engaging in various tasks, with my comments focusing on the value of grit as it pertains to important life choices.
Video and Radio Apperances
Manza, L. (2019, May 5). Science vs. Religion. Retrieved May 6, 2019, from the World Wide Web: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxq7hSfTw4c&feature=youtu.be. This was video produced by LVC undergrad Hannah Pietzsch for a final project in COE 224; I was interviewed and appeared in the final cut, with my comments focusing on differences between science and religion.
Manza, L. (2016, April 19). Cults, religion and #ThePath discussed with Psych Prof Lou Manza in 10. Listen: http://bit.ly/1StVqIh; Interviewed by Dan Riendeau for Corus Radio Network (Calgary, Canada); http://www.newstalk770.com/dan-riendeau/
Manza, L. (2014, August 13). Do You Believe? Science and Paranormal Phenomena. Televised lecture and question/answer session for WITF Television’s MindMatters series.
Manza, L. (2014, August 7). Criminal misconduct complaints against teachers in PA growing. Member of on-air panel discussion for WITF Radio’s Smart Talk series.