Paul Thibodeau

  • Associate Professor of Psychology

Areas of Study


  • 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's Research Featured on Podcast and NPR

November 21, 2019

Associate Professor of Psychology Paul Thibodeau's research on word aversion was featured on the podcast Subtitle and on NPR.

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.


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.”