James P. Byrnes, Ph.D.
Professor of Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Science
Psychological Studies in Education

1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
459 Ritter Annex, 
College of Education 
Philadelphia, PA 19122
phone: (215) 204-2813 

  • Ph.D. Temple University (Developmental Psychology)
  • B.S. St. Joseph's University
Areas of Professional Interest
  • Developing a comprehensive of model of academic achievement (explaining why some children attain higher levels of achievement than others)
  • Developing a comprehensive model of decision-making and risk-taking (explaining why some teens and adults take risks while other avoid risks)
  • Gender and ethnic differences in achievement
  • The development of mathematical expertise in children, adolescents, and adults
  • Critical thinking about neuroscientific research
Recent Scholarship

Byrnes, J. P., & Miller, D. C. (2007).  The relative importance of predictors of math and science achievement: An opportunity-propensity analysis.  Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32, 599-629.

Byrnes, J. P. (2008). Cognitive development and learning in instructional contexts (3rd edition). Needham Hts, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Byrnes, J. P. & Wasik, B. A. (2009). Language and Literacy development: What educators need to know. New York: Guilford.

Boyer, T., & Byrnes, J. P. (2009). Adolescent risk-taking: integrating personal, cognitive, and social aspects of judgment. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30, 23-33.

Byrnes, J. P., & Wasik, B. A. (2009). Factors Predictive of Knowledge Growth in Mathematics in Kindergarters, First Graders, and third graders: An Opportunity-Propensity Analysis. Contemporary Educational Psychology. 34, 167-183

Byrnes, J. P. (2011). How Neuroscience Contributes to Our Understanding of Learning and Development in Typically Developing and Special Needs Students. In K.R. Harris, S. Graham, & T. Urdan (eds), APA Handbook on Educational Psychology.  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Bernacki, M. L., Byrnes, J. P., & Cromley, J. G. (2012). The effects of achievement goals and self-regulated learning behaviors on reading comprehension in technology-enhanced learning environments. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37, 148-161.

Cromley, J., & Byrnes, J. P. (2012). Instruction and cognition. WIRES: Cognitive Science.

Wang, A. H.., Shen, F. & Byrnes, J. P. (2013). Does the opportunity-propensity model predict the early math skills of low-income pre-kindergarten children? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 38, 259-270.

Byrnes, J. P., & Dunbar, K. N. (2014).  The nature and development of critical analytical thinking, Educational Psychology Review, 26, 477-493.

Byrnes J.P. & Vu, L. (2015). Educational neuroscience: Definitional, methodological, and interpretive issues. Cognitive Science WIRES.