Sara Finley

Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Sara Finley

Office Location: Ramstad Hall - 106E

  • Professional
  • Biography


  • Ph.D., Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University, 2008
  • M.A., Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University, 2005
  • B.A., Psychology, Linguistics, UC Santa Cruz, 2003

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Cognitive science
  • Language learning
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Phonology
  • Speech perception

Selected Articles

  • Finley, S. "Morphological cues as an aid to word learning: A cross-situational word learning study." Journal of Cognitive Psychology 2022:
  • Finley, S., Milward, B., Lewis, T., and Charania, S. "Gender bias in morphological inferences." Language and Cognition 2022:
  • Wang, S. and Finley, S. "Directionality Effects and Exceptions in Learning Phonological Alternations." In Proceedings of the 45th Annual Penn Linguistics Conference 2022:
  • Finley, S. "Learning exceptions in phonological alternations." Language and Speech Vol. 64, 2021: 991-1017.


  • Associate Editor, Glossa, 2023-present
  • Benson-Starkovich Award 2017, 2018, 2019, PLU
  • K.T. Tang Faculty Excellence Award for Research 2017, PLU
  • Karen Hille Phillips Regency Advancement Award Recipient 2015-2016, PLU


I primarily teach Introduction to Psychology and upper level experimental classes, such as Neuropsychology and Learning. Teaching a wide range of courses allows me to expose students to the many ways in which we can understand human behavior, and try to solve the puzzle of how the mind works. I am fascinated by the human capacity for thought and language, and our extraordinary ability to learn. I am dedicated to exposing undergraduates to research in psychology while spreading my passion for creativity and discovery in psychological science.