David Boynton Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology

David Boynton


B.A., Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Maine
Postdoctoral Training in Quantitative Methods, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Areas of Expertise:

Cognitive psychology, with a specialization in judgment and decision making

Courses I Teach:

Cognitive Psychology
Psychology and Law
History and Issues
Research Methods
Positive Psychology

My Saint Michael’s:

It was evident from the day I stepped on campus for the first time that Saint Michael’s College students, faculty, and staff are deeply committed to the values of respect for others, care, and excellence. Our students are smart, engaging, and thoughtful, and our instructors are truly top-notch – devoted to providing quality education and, most important, to getting to know and understand their students. Such reciprocity produces a unique and transformational learning environment for students and faculty alike. It’s a great place to be.


I am interested in cognitive psychology: the scientific study of the mind. The main goal of cognition is to make inferences about the world around us. This is as true for basic perception and attention, as it is for memory, language, judgment, and problem solving. But, the process of making inferences is not always conscious to the person making them. In the area of human judgment and decision making – a particular interest of mine – lack of awareness of how judgment processes work has led many people, even some scholars, to think of judgment as an enigmatic gift that some people have and some people don’t. This folk belief is mistaken. Psychological science has made great strides in understanding human judgment, and all aspects of cognition. I am always looking for students who have an interest in understanding how the mind works, and are willing take the initiative to be involved in scientific research.

Recent News

David Boynton, associate professor of psychology, published an article on the psychology of judgment and decision-making in the Journal of Mind and Behavior early this year, and shortly thereafter, published a book review in The Humanistic Psychologist
(posted June 2017)