Rick Dale, Ph.D.

Rick Dale


Society for Computers in Psychology


Rick Dale, Ph.D.

University of California, Merced

"Deciphering Clues in Human Behavior"

Dr. Rick Dale is an internationally recognized authority in the experimental and computational analyses of language, human interaction, language evolution, cognitive dynamics, and big data. He uses computational modeling, analysis of naturalistic behavior, and human experimentation to investigate a range of linguistic behaviors related to conversation, thinking, sentence processing, word categorization, and deception.

Dale is known for a number of contributions but he is particularly well known for inventing technologies to measure subtle supportive nonlinguistic gestures that people make during conversation (e.g., eye and arm movements) and for his sophisticated application of numeric methods including dynamical systems theory to make sense of how those gestures impact and influence peoples’ comprehension and interaction. He is also very well known for his efforts to step outside of a limited analysis of linguistic behaviour to build a comprehensive analysis of how people use and understand language in naturalistic settings and without the imposition of too-artificial constraints. The fact that he makes progress on such an ambitious goal is impressive. He is quickly gaining a reputation for forging new paths and inventing techniques to tackle the frustratingly complex problem of how to measure, quantify, and examine the very difficult problem of unconstrained everyday linguistic behaviour.

Dale has already published an astounding 73 articles and has exerted an influence on the field. Google Scholar calculates his h-index at 29, his i10- index at 46, and his citation count at 2784. He collaborates with a large number of junior scientists and an impressive number of prominent senior scientists from around the world.

Dale is engaged in outreach and science advocacy. He has been cited and played roles in discussion of popular articles on language and psychology for The Economist, ABCnews.com, and Science Magazine. He has serve as an Associate Editor to several journals including Behavior Research Methods, Discourse Processes, and Cognitive Science. He also edited the Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, which he also hosted in Pasadena. He is an active member of several academic societies. For example, Dale has also served as a program coordinator for meetings of the Cognitive Science Society and the International Conference on Development and Learning. Finally, Dale has been an extremely active member of SCiP for close to a decade, both as a researcher and as an invaluable part our leadership (he is the current secretary-treasurer).

Dr. Dale is an associate professor in the Cognitive & Information Sciences Department at the University of California, Merced and earned his doctorate in experimental and computational psychology in 2006 from Cornell University.