Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

Richard Bowen

Name: Richard Bowen

Title: Professor, Ph.D.

Office: 215  Coffey Hall

Phone: 773.508.3045

Email: rbowen@luc.edu


Background Information

Post-Doctorate Fellowship(s)
Doctorate: Ph.D. Columbia University in the City of New York    



I teach General Psychology (Psychology 101), a large lecture class of 150 students of more. General Psychology is the flagship of the Psychology curriculum.  The course is a lecture-format introduction to the broad and influential “hub science” known as psychological science. The lectures dwell on topics as diverse, but interrelated, as the neuroscience of brain and behavior, the development in childhood of cognitive and ethical capacities, the power of social influence to shape opinion and command obedience, and the nature of narcissistic and anti-social personality disorders.  Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on psychological and neuroscience data, both classic and modern, that inform the study of perception, cognition, memory, learning, consciousness, developmental psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, and the clinical treatment of psychological disorders.

I also teach Research Methods in Psychology (Psychology 306), a critical thinking-grounded requirement for Psychology majors.  This small class (maximum of 18 students) is composed of Psychology majors and minors. I teach this course in an interactive fashion with high student engagement. More than a third of the requirements involve individual class presentations to peers and myself. The presentations are “Design Critiques,” imagined research scenarios that have serious ethical or technical flaws (followed by class discussion to identify and correct the flaws) and a research proposal (subject to revision based on class discussion). My students appreciate and learn from these exercises in critical thinking and skepticism regarding science and life.

On August  16, 2017,  I presented a workshop at a Loyola Focus on Teaching and Learning bi-annual retreat:


The workshop introduced  the “Design Critique” as an important component of the teaching of Research Methods: 

R.W. Bowen, “The Design Critique: Stimulating Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Active Learning in Research Ethics and Methodology.” 


From 2007 until 2012,  I was a faculty member of the Psychology and Wellness Learning Community,  teaching a small section of General Psychology as a dedicated course for Wellness Community members.  I took that class on various cultural and culinary adventures with me in the Chicago metropolis during the fall semester, a program I dubbed “Culture and Cuisine in Chicago.”


Research Interests:

Human vision and visual perception

Graphic literacy and analysis

Perceptual processing in dyslexia

Assessment and evaluation in the teaching of psychology

Determinants of self-knowledge

The Chicago hot dog


Selected Publications:

Bowen, R. W., Wingo, J.M. and Heath, L. A new analysis of the remarkable consistency of multiple-choice test performance in Introductory Psychology. Presented at the meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, DC, May, 2011

Bowen, R. W. and Udo, Maria. High consistency and low trajectory of multiple-choice test performance in Introductory Psychology and Introductory Physics.  Presented at the National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology, St. Pete Beach, FL, January, 2012

Bowen, R. W. and Wingo, J.M.  (2012) Predicting success from early testing in Introductory Psychology: High consistency and low trajectory of multiple-choice test performance, North American Journal of Psychology 14, 3, 419-434.


Other Research Publications (abbreviated curriculum vitae)

Bowen, R. W., Pola, J. and Matin, L.  Visual persistence: Effects of flash luminance, duration and energy.   Vision Research 14, 295-303, 1974

Matin, L. and Bowen, R. W.  Measuring the duration of perception.  Perception and Psychophysics 20, 66-76, 1976

Bowen, R. W. and Markell, K. A.  Temporal brightness enhancement studied with a large sample of observers: Evidence for individual differences in brightness perception.  Perception and Psychophysics 27, 465-467, 1980 

Bowen, R. W., Pokorny, J. and Smith, V. C.  Isolating colour vision mechanisms with hue substitution.  Nature 285,440, 1980

Bowen, R. W.  Latencies for chromatic and achromatic visual mechanisms.  Vision Research 21, 1457-1466, 1981

Bowen, R. W. and Hood, D. C.  Improvements in visual performance following a pulsed field of light: A test of the equivalent background principle.  Journal of the Optical Society of America 73, 1551-1556, 1983

Bowen, Rich and Fay, Dick, Hot Dog Chicago, A Natives Dining Guide, Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1983

Bowen, R. W.  Two pulses seen as three flashes: A superposition analysis. Vision Research 29, 409-417, 1989

Bowen, R. W., Pokorny, J. and Smith, V. C. Sawtooth contrast sensitivity: Decrements have the edge.  Vision Research 29, 1501-1509, 1989

Bowen, R. W.   Graph It!   How to Make, Read, and Interpret Graphs, Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1992

Bowen, R. W. and Wilson, H. R.  A two-process analysis of pattern masking.  Vision Research 34, 645-657, 1994

Bowen, R. W.   Isolation and interaction of ON and OFF pathways in human vision: Pattern polarity effects on contrast discrimination.  Vision Research 17, 2479-2490, 1995

Bowen, R. W. and de Ridder, H.  Dynamic contrast perception assessed by pattern masking.   Journal of the Optical Society of America A 15, 570-578, 1998.

Wright, B. A., Bowen, R.W. and Zecker, S. G. Nonlinguistic perceptual deficits associated with reading and language disorders.  Current Opinion in Neurobiology 10, 482-486, 2000.

Recently my long-standing expertise on the famous and wonderful Chicago hot dog has been rediscovered by the media, and since August of 2015, I have been in demand as a speaker on that subject. I have given 10 presentations, including one to the Culinary Historians of Chicago and three speaker appearances at the annual Chicago Hot Dog Fest in August, a Chicago History Museum-sponsored celebration of the Chicago dog, with vendors, bands, speakers (such as myself) and activities for kids.


My Chicago Hot Dog Fest presentations included Adventures in the Weiner City, Chicago— What a Weinerful World and, in August, 2017, The Chicago Hot Dog: An Urban Icon. These presentations in the real world have been a passion for me, and I speak with humor and authority on a topic of tremendous civic and national interest. A hot dog is not just a hot dog in Chicago, it is a pillar of its popular culture.




Since 2004, I have served 5 terms as a member of Faculty Council, the highest elected faculty body associated with Shared Governance at Loyola University.  

I was a Member, of two successive Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panels. “Developmental Disabilities, Communication and Science Education” and “Small Business: Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes across the Lifespan” National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland  from July 2004 to March 2011.  I was Chair of these panels from July  2005 to March 2011.