Clare Porac, Ph.D.

Clare Porac, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita, Psychology

Mailing Address:
ERIE PA 16563

Dr. Clare Porac retired from Penn State Behrend in 2018. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and her Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in psychology from the New School for Social Research in New York, New York. From 1974 to 1999, she was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. In 1999, she returned to Pennsylvania to assume the positions of Professor of Psychology and Director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Penn State Behrend, a position she held from 1999 to 2002. In the academic year of 2005-2006, she spent a sabbatical serving as the Senior Scientist in the Science Directorate at the American Psychological Association. Dr. Porac returned to the American Psychological Association from 2007-2009 and served as the Associate Executive Director for Graduate and Postgraduate Education in the Education Directorate.

Dr. Porac’s research interests relate to human visual perception and lateralization and she has authored/coauthored over 200 scholarly papers/presentations and two books on these topics. She has served on the editorial boards of the Canadian Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. She is currently a member of the editorial boards of the journals Brain and Cognition and Laterality.

Dr. Porac is a fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, the Eastern Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Association (Divisions 1 and 3). She served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Psychological Association from 1996 to 1999. Dr. Porac is also a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and a member of the Psychonomic Society.

Courses Previously Taught

  • PSYCH 100, Introductory Psychology
  • PSYCH 253/PSY 202, Introduction to Psychology of Perception
  • PSYCH 256, Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYCH 260/PSY 203, Neurological Bases of Human Behavior
  • PSYCH 260A/PSY 203A, Neurological Bases of Human Behavior
  • PSYCH 261, Introduction to Psychology of Learning
  • PSYCH 404/PSY450, Principles of Measurement
  • PSYCH 416, Development Throughout Adulthood
  • PSYCH 439/PSYCH 440, History and Systems of Psychology
  • PSYCH 464/PSY 407, Behavior Genetics
  • PSYCH 478/PSY 484, Clinical Neuropsychology
  • PSYCH 492, Current Topics in Psychology


New Year resolutions for left-handers - December 31, 2016

Happy, sad, right and left - November 28, 2016

Identical twins: One right, one left - October (4th Quarter/Autumn) 21, 2016

USA presidential campaigns: A place for left-handers? - October (4th Quarter/Autumn) 13, 2016

Six questions left-handers ask: #6 - September 27, 2016

Six questions left-handers ask: #5 - August 31, 2016

Six questions left-handers ask: #4 - July (3rd Quarter/Summer) 26, 2016

Six questions left-handers ask: #2 - July (3rd Quarter/Summer) 8, 2016

Six questions left-handers ask: #1 - June 29, 2016

Fathers are not left out - June 15, 2016

Is there a season for the left-handed? - June 9, 2016

Left-handers in a right-handed world: Nuisance or opportunity? - May 26, 2016

Holding babies: Why is the left side favored? - May 17, 2016

A left-hander in the White House - May 11, 2016

Fetuses and newborns: What behaviors predict handedness? - May 3, 2016

Mother's age and left-handedness - April (2nd Quarter/Spring) 25, 2016

Left- vs. right-handed pitchers: Who has the advantage in baseball? - April (2nd Quarter/Spring) 12, 2016

Left-handers, guitars, David Bowie and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - April (2nd Quarter/Spring) 5, 2016

Left-handers are no fools - March 29, 2016

Left-handers on Facebook: Two - March 22, 2016

Left-handers on Facebook: One - March 16, 2016

It's an annniversary - March 4, 2016

It's official as of January 4, 2016 - February 4, 2016

Laterality: Exploring the Enigma of Left-handedness - January (1st Quarter/Winter) 4, 2016

Everybody’s right, so what’s left? Exploring the enigma of left-handedness

Considering graduate study - 2011

Hand preference and skilled hand performance among individuals with successful rightward conversions of the writing hand, Laterality - 2009

Manipulating the strength of the Ponzo and horizontal-vertical illusions through extraction of local cue information, American Journal of Psychology - 2009

Mary Henle (1913-2007), American Journal of Psychology - 2009

Survivor: Left-handedness. A review of Roth, M. (2005). The left stuff: How the left-handed have survived and thrived in a right-handed world, Laterality - 2008

Considering graduate study - 2008

Introductory psychology, then & now, Psychology Teacher Network - 2008

Cross-cultural comparison of pressures to switch left-hand preference: Brazil versus Canada, Laterality - 2007

Introductory comments on becoming Associate Executive Director for Graduate and Post Graduate Education - 2007

Patterns of handedness and footedness in switched and non-switched Brazilian left-handers: Cultural effects on the development of lateral preferences, Developmental Neuropsychology - 2007

A brief analysis of graduate student funding 1996-2003. Report prepared for the APA Presidential Task Force Supporting Early Career Psychologists - 2006

A year as senior scientist, The Psychological Science Agenda - 2006

Congressional briefings focus on science education, The Psychological Science Agenda - 2006

Dear Doctor column: Is psychology a science? , Psychology Teacher Network - 2006

Friends of NIDA coalition holds briefing on prescription drug abuse, The Psychological Science Agenda - 2006

National science board holds hearing on international science partnerships, Psychology International - 2006

Not strangers when we meet, Psychology International - 2006

Pseudoneglect: Evidence for both perceptual and attentional factors, Brain & Cognition - 2006

The relationship between hand preference consistency, health, and accidents in a sample of adults over the age of 65 years, Laterality - 2006

AAAS hosts workshop on science and human rights - 2005

Altering Mueller-Lyer illusion magnitude using figural additions at the wing-shaft intersections, The American Journal of Psychology - 2005

APA Science Directorate and tomorrow’s professors, The Psychological Science Agenda - 2005

Baruch Fischhoff treats pandemic flu on Capitol Hill - 2005

House Science Committee holds hearing on flu preparedness, Fischhoff testifies, The Psychological Science Agenda - 2005

Social science research and hurricanes Katrina and Rita, The Psychological Science Agenda - 2005

Variations on the theme of academic careers: The non-tenure track position, APA Online, Science Directorate, Careers in Psychology - 2005

Variations on the theme of an academic career: Beyond a psychology department, APA Online, Science Directorate, Careers in Psychology - 2005

What causes some people to be left-handed, and why are fewer people left-handed than right-handed?, Scientific American, Ask the Expert - June, 2004

First year experience-Are you ready? - 2003

Lateral preference profiles and right shift attempt histories of consistent and inconsistent left-handers, Brain and Cognition - 2003

The effects of hand preference side and hand preference switch history on measures of psychological and physical well-being and cognitive performance in a sample of older adult right- and left-handers, Neuropsychologia - 2002

Lateral preference patterns as possible correlates of successfully switched left hand writing: Data and a theory, Laterality - 2001

Hand preference side and its relation to hand preference switch history among old and oldest-old adults, Developmental Neuropsychology - 2000

Eye-dominance, writing hand and throwing hand, Laterality - 1999

Good news! Not so good news? , Psynopsis - 1999

A strategic action agenda - 1998

Strategy notes for the equity struggle: Women academics in a Canadian context - 1998

Illness and accidental injury in young and older adult left- and right-handers: Implications for genetic theories of hand preference, Developmental Neuropsychology - 1998

Eye preference patterns among left-handed adults, Laterality - 1997

Attempts to switch the writing hand: Relationships to age and side of hand preference, Laterality - 1996

Hand and foot preference in young and older adults: A comment on Gabbard and Iteya, Laterality - 1996

Genetic vs. environmental contributions to human handedness: Insights gained from the study of individuals with unilateral hand injuries, Behavior Genetics - 1995

Hand preference classification and variation: Implications for the right shift theory, Current Psychology of Cognition - 1995

Anomalous dominance, incidence rate studies and other methodological issues, Brain and Cognition - 1994

Comparison of wings-in, wings-out and Brentano variants of the Mueller-Lyer illusion, The American Journal of Psychology - 1994

Decrement and the illusions of the Mueller-Lyer figure, Perceptual and Motor Skills - 1994

Equity and university governance - 1993

Are age trends in adult hand preference best explained by developmental shifts or generational differences? , Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology - 1993

Hand preference and the incidence of accidental unilateral hand injury, Neuropsychologia - 1993

A visionary examines visual forms. A review of On Seeing Forms by William R. Uttal, Contemporary Psychology - 1990

Switching hands: A place for left hand use in a right hand world - 1990

Overt attempts to change hand preference: A study of group and individual characteristics, Canadian Journal of Psychology - 1990

Central and peripheral retinal sensitivity to temporally modulated stimuli presented to the sighting and the nonsighting eyes, Optometry & Vision Science - 1989

Is visual illusion decrement based on selective adaptation? , Perception & Psychophysics - 1989

The relationship between birth stress, handedness, and other forms of lateral preference: A critical review, Psychological Bulletin - 1989

A method to assess the relative contribution of lateral inhibition to the magnitude of visual-geometric illusions, Perception & Psychophysics - 1988

Familial resemblance in cognitive abilities: An indirect method of measurement, Perceptual and Motor Skills - 1988

Left Side, Right Side: A Review of Laterality Research by Alan Beaton, Contemporary Psychology - 1987

Set and subjective contour - 1987

Individual differences in visual-geometric illusions: Predictions from measures of spatial cognitive abilities, Perception & Psychophysics - 1987

Environmental factors in hand preference formation: Evidence from attempts to switch the preferred hand, Behavior Genetics - 1986

Rate of physical maturation and handedness, Developmental Neuropsychology - 1986

Sighting dominance and egocentric localization, Vision Research - 1986

Sighting dominance and utrocular discrimination, Perception & Psychophysics - 1986

The effects of perceptual set on the shape and apparent depth of subjective contours, Perception & Psychophysics - 1986

Individual differences in visual-geometric illusions - 1985

Monocular asymmetries in vision: one eye dominates. A reply to Steinbach, Howard, and Ono, Canadian Journal of Psychology - 1985

Transfer of illusion decrement: The effects of global versus local figural variations, Perception & Psychophysics - 1985

Instructor's manual to accompany - 1984

Sensation and Perception (2nd Ed.) - 1984

A review of M.C. Corballis, Human laterality and M.C. Corballis and I.L. Beale, The ambivalent mind. Canadian Journal of Psychology - 1984

Lateral preference and writing hand posture in left-handers: a reply to Levy, Brain and Cognition - 1984

Monocular asymmetries in vision: a phenomenal basis for eye signature, Canadian Journal of Psychology - 1984

Structural and cognitive components in the Muller-Lyer illusion assessed via Cyclopean presentation, Perception & Psychophysics - 1984

Writing hand posture and four indexes of lateral preference, Brain and Cognition - 1984

Inverted versus straight handwriting posture: a family study, Behavior Genetics - 1983

Subjective contours and apparent depth: a direct test, Perception & Psychophysics - 1983

The creation and reversal of the Mueller-Lyer illusion through attentional manipulation, Perception - 1983

Lateral preference and cognitive skills: an indirect test, Perceptual and Motor Skills - 1982

Monocular asymmetries in visual latency as a function of sighting dominance, American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics - 1982

The effects of specific birth stressors on four indexes of lateral preference, Canadian Journal of Psychology - 1982

The relationship between birth stress and writing hand posture, Brain and Cognition - 1982

The relationship between sighting dominance and the fading of a stabilized retinal image, Perception & Psychophysics - 1982

Instructor's manual to accompany - 1981

Lateral preferences and human behavior - 1981

Lateral preference behaviors in pre-school children and young adults, Child Development - 1981

Life-span trends in the perception of Mueller-Lyer: additional evidence for the existence of two illusions, Canadian Journal of Psychology - 1981

Birth factors and laterality: the effect of birth order, parental age and birth stress on four indices of lateral preference, Behavior Genetics - 1980

Human laterality: a multi-dimensional approach, Canadian Journal of Psychology - 1980

Lateral preference in retardates: relationships between hand, eye, foot, and ear preference, Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology - 1980

Life-span age trends in laterality, Journal of Gerontology - 1980

Sensation and Perception - 1979

A behaviorally validated self-report inventory to assess four types of lateral preference, Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology - 1979

A test of the validity of offsprings' report of parental handedness, Perceptual and Motor Skills - 1979

Heritability in visual-geometric illusions: a family study, Perception - 1979

Individual and familial patterns in four dimensions of lateral preference, Neuropsychologia - 1979

Monocular asymmetries in recognition after an eye movement: sighting dominance and dextrality, Perception & Psychophysics - 1979

Normative data on hand position during writing, Cortex - 1979

Techniques for the measurement of the Poggendorf and Zoellner illusions in large group situations, The Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society - 1979

Visual-geometric illusions: unisex phenomena, Perception - 1979

A new analysis of life-span age trends in visual illusions, Developmental Psychology - 1978

Depth in objective and subjective contour patterns, The Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society - 1978

Iris pigmentation and visual-geometric illusions, Perception - 1978

Relationships among lateral preference behaviors in human beings, The Behavioral and Brain Sciences - 1978

Sighting dominance and binocular rivalry, American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics - 1978

The validity and reliability of self-report items for the measurement of lateral preference, British Journal of Psychology - 1978

The effect of optical blur on visual-geometric illusions, The Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society - 1978

Fifty centuries of right-handedness: the historical record, Science - 1977

Independence of in vivo human lens pigmentation from ultra-violet light exposure, Vision Research - 1977

Standards for the evaluation of the academic curriculum vitae, The Wormrunner's Digest/The Journal of Biological Psychology - 1977

The assessment of motor control in sighting dominance using an illusion decrement procedure, Perception & Psychophysics - 1977

The case for misapplied constancy scaling: Depth associations elicited by illusion configurations, American Journal of Psychology - 1977

The effects of simulated refractive asymmetries on eye dominance, The Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society - 1977

The relationship between eye dominance and monocular acuity: an additional consideration, American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics - 1977

Distance makes the heart grow fonder: attributes and metrices in the cognitive macromaps - 1976

Size accentuation in the dominant eye, Nature - 1976

The dominant eye, Psychological Bulletin - 1976

The commonality of word and form associates, Perceptual and Motor Skills - 1976

Is eye dominance a part of generalized laterality?, Perceptual and Motor Skills - 1975

Ocular dominance: an annotated bibliography, JSAS Catalogue of Selected Documents in Psychology - 1975

Suppressive processes in binocular vision: ocular dominance and amblyopia, American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics - 1975

The assessment of components in illusion formation using the long-term decrement procedure, Perception & Psychophysics - 1975

The myth of the normal eye: a methodological note, Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society - 1975

The fading of stabilized images: eye movements and information processing, Perception & Psychophysics - 1974

Patterns of ocular dominance, American Journal of Optometry and Archives of the American Academy of Optometry - 1973

Clarity of Haidinger's brushes as a function of luminance, Behavior Research Methods and Instrumentation - 1972

Certificate Program in Conflict Resolution, Certificate Program in Conflict Resolution, Justice Institute of British Columbia

Post-doctoral Fellow, Behavior Genetics, Institute for Behavior Genetics, University of Colorado

Ph D, The New School for Social Research

MA, Psychology, The New School for Social Research

BA, Sociology, Duquesne University