Ann S. Devlin
May Buckley Sadowski '19 Professor of Psychology
Psychology Department Chair, Fall 2014
Joined Connecticut College: 1973
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Michigan
Design of housing for the elderly
Gender differences in way-finding
Professor Devlin teaches courses on cognitive processes, industrial and organizational psychology, and environmental psychology at Connecticut College. She also teaches a junior seminar on current issues in psychology as well as the research methods course.
Her expertise lies in environmental psychology, particularly in the creation of more humanistic environments in housing for the elderly and psychiatric hospitals. She also specializes in way-finding, the study of the manner in which environments (through their design and layout) and people (through their creation of maps and other tools) provide cues to help people navigate from an origin to a destination.
Recently she has been using a touch-screen computer to conduct research on the types of cues (maps, photographs, written directions) that users find most helpful. Two articles using this technology, "Interactive Way-finding: Use of Cues by Men and Women," and "Interactive Way-finding: Map Style and Effectiveness," both co-authored with a student, were published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.
She led students on SATA Rome 2009 and SATA Vietnam 2011. At left, snorkeling with students off Nha Trang,Vietnam. Pictured below, Professor Devlin ( far right) with Connecticut College SATA Vietnam 2011 students in Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
Devlin, a former Woodrow Wilson Fellow, is the recipient of several Mellon Foundation grants. She received the Mellon Initiative on Multiculturalism (MIMIC) grant as well as a grant to develop the Freshman Focus Cluster, an integrative, writing-intensive program for incoming first-year students at Connecticut College.
She has been published in various journals, including Environment and Behavior, The Journal of Environmental Psychology, and the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. She is on the editorial review board of Environment and Behavior.
Her most recent book, from Cambridge University Press (2010), titled What Americans Build and Why:Psychological Perspectives, examines five areas of Americans' built environment: houses, healthcare facilities, schools, workplaces, and shopping environments. Synthesizing information from both academic journals and the popular press, the book looks at the relationships of size and scale to the way Americans live their lives and how their way of life is fundamentally shaped by the highway system, cheap land, and incentives. This book is timely because although Americans say they crave community, they continue to construct buildings, such as McMansions and big box stores, that make creating community a challenge.
Devlin published a research methods book for students in the social sciences titled Research Methods: Planning, Conducting, and Presenting Research (Thomson Wadsworth, 2005). It is a hands-on, student-friendly text that addresses the practical aspects of one-semester social science research projects, using examples from a variety of sources that illustrate successful projects. Her first book, Mind and Maze: Spatial Cognition and Environmental Behavior, was published in 2001 by Praeger.
Devlin enjoys working with students, and a number of her publications include student authors. In addition, she has a student research group whose projects have been presented at national conferences, including the Environmental Design Research Association. In 2000, she was elected to the Board of Directors of the Environmental Design Research Association. She is a recipient of the Student Government Association Teaching award for excellence in teaching and demonstrated caring for students.
Devlin was named college marshal in 2002. The main responsibility of the marshal lies in is its public ceremonial role, that of leading the processional during ceremonies such as Commencement.
Devlin was the recipient of the 2012 Helen B. Regan Faculty Leadership Award, which recognizes faculty members who exemplify the College's commitment to shared governance, democratic process and campus community development.