Denis Dumas


I am fascinated by the way humans learn. As a psychologist of creative education, I work to deepen the evidence available for scientifically understanding learning and creativity, while also supporting the needs of educational stake-holders to make informed, data-driven decisions.

To accomplish this, my collaborators and I have built new tests and measures, tracked nonlinear learning trajectories over the course of schooling, and modeled the cognitive processes involved in expert performance, among many other projects. As an overarching goal, I seek to identity students’ potential to learn that may otherwise be under-estimated.

My work has been funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the Naval Research Lab, and the National Academy of Education, and I have published approximately 80 peer reviewed works in the scholarly literature. I am currently an Associate Editor at Thinking Skills and Creativity, and serve on the editorial boards of Journal of Educational Psychology, Review of Educational Research, Contemporary Educational Psychology, and Journal of Creative Behavior.

Some selected Awards/Honors:

  • 2023– The David Berlyne Award for early career scholarship on the psychology of creativity from Division 10 of the APA.
  • 2022– Educational Psychology Review most productive educational psychologists (#4 early career, #24 overall).
  • 2021– Tanaka Award for best paper from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (with Dan McNeish and Kevin Grimm).

Recent News Media Coverage:

More information about the Measure of Original Thinking in Elementary School, including information on how to access and administer the test can be found here.

If you are interested in using the Open Creativity Scoring freeware, you can find it here.

Interested in becoming an educational psychologist? Email me about joining the lab as a funded graduate student.

Areas of Expertise

  • Creativity
  • Psychometrics
  • Reasoning
  • Test development
  • Domain learning
  • Measurement validity


  •  PhD in Human Development (Specialization in Educational Psychology), 2016
    University of Maryland
  •  MA in Educational Measurement and Statistics, 2015
    University of Maryland
  •  BA in English Literature, 2010
    Temple University