Photo of Paul Thibodeau
  • Associate Professor of Psychology


  • BA, Swarthmore College, 2006
  • PhD, Stanford University, 2012


I am a cognitive psychologist interested in language. I teach Cognitive Psychology, Advanced Methods in Cognitive Psychology, Introductory Psychology, Statistics, and a seminar on Language and Thought. My lab investigates some of the ways that language influences cognition. One of our primary interests in how people process metaphors and use metaphors to think.

  • Thibodeau, P.H., Peebles, M.M.*, Grodner, D.J., & Durgin, F.H. (In press). The Wished-For Always Wins until the Winner was Inevitable all along: Motivated Reasoning and Belief Bias Regulate Emotion during Elections. Political Psychology.
  • Thibodeau, P.H., Flusberg, S.J., Glick, J.J., & Sternberg, D.A. (2013). An emergent approach to analogical inference. Connection Science, 25(1), 27-53. doi:09540091.2013.821458
  • Thibodeau, P.H., & Boroditsky, L. (2013). Natural language metaphors covertly influence reasoning. PLoS ONE, 8(1): e52961. doi:10.1371/journal.- pone.0052961
  • Thibodeau, P.H., & Durgin, F.H. (2011). Metaphor aptness and conventionality: A processing fluency account. Metaphor and Symbol, 26, 206-226. doi:10.1080/10926488.2011.583196
  • Thibodeau, P.H., & Boroditsky, L. (2011). Metaphors we think with: The role of metaphor in reasoning. PLoS ONE, 6(2): e16782. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016782
  • Flusberg, S.J., Thibodeau, P.H., Sternberg, D.A., & Glick, J.J. (2010). A Connectionist approach to embodied conceptual metaphor. Frontiers in Psychology, 1:197. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00197
  • Thibodeau, P.H., & Durgin, F.H. (2008). Productive figurative communication: Conventional metaphors facilitate the comprehension of related novel metaphors. Journal of Memory and Language, 58, 2, 521-540. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2007.05.001


  • Paul Thibodeau Gives Televised Talk

    August 12, 2019

    Associate Professor of Psychology Paul Thibodeau gave a talk at the United States Institute of Peace on the language of violent extremism on August 6, 2019. It was nationally televised by C-SPAN.

  • Paul Thibodeau Research Press Coverage

    May 11, 2016

    Research on word aversion conducted by Assistant Professor of Psychology Paul Thibodeau has been featured in a number of notable publications, including The New York Times, the New Yorker, NPR, BBC, and Forbes. Thibodeu’s research has also been covered by various local news outlets, including Fox 8 Cleveland.


Faculty Members Receive Promotions

May 15, 2019
Eleven faculty members have been promoted to the rank of professor or associate professor. We asked each about their most memorable experience and what they enjoy about being a professor.

Why 'Moist' Makes us Cringe

August 21, 2015
Assistant Professor of Psychology Paul Thibodeau studies the social science behind “word aversion.”