Ryan Rush, Ph.D.

“We live in a diverse and constantly changing world. My goal as an instructor is to help students develop the skills necessary to think critically about information and new ideas, both inside and outside of the classroom.”


Associate Professor of Psychology and Department Chair

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., University of California, Riverside – Riverside, CA
  • M.A., University of California, Riverside – Riverside, CA
  • B.A., Pepperdine, University – Malibu, CA

Year Joined Franklin



Reading Ian McEwan’s Atonement in college jumpstarted my interest in the limitations of human memory. As an undergraduate, I investigated how emotion can play a role in the development of false memories. My passion for research resulted in the pursuit of graduate training in cognitive psychology, with an emphasis in the social factors that affect human memory. My research interests concern eyewitness memory and how the memories of one individual can contaminate the memories of another individual following conversational interactions. I apply my experience in researching these areas of cognition when teaching courses in cognitive psychology, and when teaching psychology and law.

How does psychology fit into a liberal arts curriculum?

Psychology is at the core of what a liberal arts education sets out to do. Psychology courses provides students with the skills necessary to pursue lifelong learning, adapt with change, and live humanely in a diverse and complex world. A bachelor’s degree in psychology from Franklin College provides students with strong communication skills and trains students to be an amicable skeptic, relying on scientific data and critical thinking skills to analyze claims presented to you on a daily basis.

What is the relationship between psychology and law and what kind of career could I pursue?

The relationship between the fields of psychology and law is complex and multifaceted. As a topic of study, psychology and law asks questions about human behavior and cognition as they relate to the legal system. An important facet of this topic of study is communication of the extant research to legal entities. As such, there are many careers one could pursue if interested in psychology and its application to the legal system (e.g., clinician, lawyer, police officer, etc.).

Selected Professional Accomplishments


Rush, R. A., King, Z., & Ravish, C. (2016, March). Appearance Change Instruction Helpful or Harmful to Eyewitness Identification. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Atlanta, GA.
Wysoki, L., Dury, S., & Rush, R. A. (2015, August). Deliberations in Chemistry 101: Approaches to Energy Policy. Paper presented at Wabash College Ides of August, Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN.
Rush, R. A., & Clark, S. E. (2014, February). Contagious Memory: Changes in Recall Accuracy Following Discussion. Poster presented at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Austin, TX.
Rush, R. A. & Clark, S. E. (2012, March). Eyewitness Identification: Absolute OR Relative Judgments and the Effects of Lineup Composition. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Clark, S. E., Moreland, M. B., Rush, R. A. (2015). Lineup composition and fairness. In T. Valentine, & J. Davis (Eds.), Forensic Facial Identification: Theory and Practice of Identification from Eyewitnesses, Composites and CCTV. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
Rush, R. A., & Clark, S. E. (2014). Social contagion of correct and incorrect information in memory. Memory, 22(8), 937-948.
Clark, S. E., Rush, R. A., & Moreland, M. B. (2013). Constructing the lineup: Law, reform, theory, and data. In B. L. Cutler (Ed.), Reform of eyewitness identification procedures. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

About Me

In my free time I like to be outdoors hiking and kayaking. I love traveling and taking road trips. During the summer I often hit the road to visit a national park or spend time in California (my second home). I am also a complete food and craft beer junkie. Fortunately, Franklin is located close to many amazing restaurants and breweries!