Rat in lab

Alliston K. Reid, Reeves Family Professor of Psychology

Dr. Alliston K. Reid

 Department of Psychology

B.S. Wofford College
Ph.D., Duke University
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Dr. Reid received his B. S. degree from Wofford College in 1975 with a major in psychology. As a student, he was passionately involved in research in experimental psychology and neuropsychology, working closely with Dr. Pilley and Dr. Scott on several research projects. Dr. Reid received his Ph.D. degree from Duke University in experimental psychology with a minor in zoology. While at Duke, Dr. Reid also studied electrical and computer engineering. Dr. Reid taught for three years in the graduate program of psychology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, Mexico, where he obtained tenure and received his first teaching award, teaching all his classes in Spanish. Dr. Reid also taught briefly in 1984 at Universidad Konrad Lorenz in Bogotá, Colombia, before returning to Duke University. In 1985 he moved to Oregon to teach computer science at Eastern Oregon State College (now Eastern Oregon University), where he eventually became full professor of computer science and psychology. During his 11 years in Oregon, Dr. Reid served as chairman of the mathematics & computer science program and later as chairman of psychology. While teaching computer science and later psychology in Oregon, Dr. Reid was awarded teaching awards seven times. He came to Wofford College in 1996 when his favorite mentor, Dr. John Pilley, decided to retire. Dr. Reid served as chairman of the psychology department from 1998 to 2004. At Wofford, Dr. Reid was awarded the Governor's Distinguished Professor Award by Governor Mark Sanford in 2004. At graduation in May 2005, Dr. Reid was awarded the Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science, which provides $50,000 over a ten-year period to promote faculty development. For three years, he served as Program Chair for the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior (SQAB) and special editor of the journal, Behavioural Processes, which publishes the proceedings of the SQAB conference as a special issue each year. Currently, Dr. Reid serves as President of the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior. In 2010 Dr. Reid was appointed Reeves Family Professor of Psychology due to the continued generosity of Ed Reeves and his family.

Dr. Reid's research interests center on the basic mechanisms of learning and memory across species. His research often focuses on the rules of integration of responding and environmental cues to produce adaptive patterns of behavior. His approach to these topics involves the experimental analysis of behavior with rats, pigeons, and humans, along with mathematical modeling and computer simulation of these basic processes. Students are involved in all aspects of this research and frequently are coauthors of published papers and conference presentations. Like his previous mentor, Dr. John Pilley, Dr. Reid's true passion is working closely with students in the lab. He even started liking basketball once he and his students learned to teach rats to play one-on-one, leading to tournaments such as the Final Four Rat Basketball Tournament and the Hoop-Rat Classic.

Presently, Dr. Reid teaches:

  • Science, Pseudoscience, and Belief (104) 
  • Behavior Analysis (104) 
  • Experimental Methods (200) 
  • Learning & Adaptive Behavior (300) 
  • Senior Thesis (451, 452) 
  • Introduction to Research (255, 256) 
  • Advanced Research (460) 
  • Interim 

During Interim terms, Dr. Reid often combines teaching with adventurous activities in other lands. Here are some examples of his interim courses:  "Kayaking the nature preserves," "Wetlands ecology by kayak," "Personal insight through tropical adventure," "Welcome to Oaxaca!", and "Eyewitness Testimony." Next year, he plans to take students to explore "Turkey: Where Europe meets Asia."