Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Arizona, 2007
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Notre Dame, 2000
Academic Appointments
  • Assistant Professor, Psychology, Simpson College, 2008-2012
Professional Honors
  • Injury Prevention Research Center Grant, Development of a Validated Video Library for Studying Perceptual Challenges of Lifeguard Surveillance, 2011
  • American Postdoctoral Fellow, American Association of University Women, University of Iowa, 2012
  • APA Dissertation Award, 2007
Professional Affiliations
  • Vision Sciences Society
  • American Psychological Society
  • Human Factors Ergonomics Society

Dr. Skow specializes in work related to human cognition and information processing, perception, attention, memory, and child development. She has done work examining the relevant cognitive, attentional, and perceptual factors in safety-related surveillance tasks; this expertise can be applied to tasks such as lifeguarding, medical image reading, driving, aviation, and military/security intelligence gathering. She has studied and published on the visual search demands and limitations associated with lifeguarding specifically. She also has expertise in perceptual organization, particularly with respect to the optimal layout of a computer display or on-product information. This knowledge has been applied to investigate human factors issues relating to the conspicuity of visually presented information, consumer product instructions, and warning effectiveness. She has developed and evaluated the adequacy of warnings, instructions, and safety information across a variety of consumer products. Dr. Skow also applies expertise in perception and memory to issues surrounding eyewitness testimony and memory distortion.

Dr. Skow has more than 15 years of experience as a researcher specializing in the design, execution, and analysis of human subject studies and has employed a variety of empirical methods and statistical techniques; for example, utilizing instrumented equipment to measure eye gaze and techniques to appropriately document visibility under nighttime conditions. She has performed product usability studies and examined the interactions of both children and adult users with a variety of products in a range of environments in order to understand those interactions in terms of human capabilities and limitations and the implications on product design. A significant portion of her work addresses issues surround children's safety, including supervision-related practices, the unique contribution of development to specific accident patterns, and the regulations associated with children's products. She utilizes large-scale injury and accident databases collected by governmental agencies to help identify injury patterns and perform hazard and risk analysis for products. Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Skow earned her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona, with a focus on cognition and neural systems. Her dissertation work investigated the role of learning and memory in visual search tasks. After graduate school, Dr. Skow accepted an academic appointment at Simpson College where she taught courses and supervised research in cognition, cognitive neuroscience, memory, perception, and research methodology and statistics. She also served on the steering committee for the Iowa Teachers of Psychology. Since joining Exponent, Dr. Skow has performed human factors analyses and product development evaluations for a variety of consumer products. She has investigated human factors issues in accidents, including motor vehicle, slips/trips and falls, consumer product usage, and aquatics.