College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Steve Yussen

  • Professor Emeritus

  • Educational Psychology
    250 Education Sciences Bldg.
    56 East River Road
    Minneapolis, MN 55455

Steve Yussen

Areas of interest

  • Memory and comprehension of stories
  • Narrative exchanges between children and parents (e.g., storybook reading, reminiscence)
  • The role of culture on narrative storytelling and memoryCognitive development, reading processes, schooling, and development

Ph.D., 1973 University of Minnesota


Steve Yussen's interests are broadly in cognitive development, instructional psychology—particularly reading, and the intersection of schooling and children’s development. One strand of his earlier research examined children’s understanding of stories. Stories, including fictional narratives, are a major source for children to learn a great deal of information about the world and about language, through both oral and written means. In that earlier research, studies variously focused on children’s ability to recall simple, experimentally designed, stories; to identify central ideas in the stories; and to identify errors including mis-ordered information. Future work is planned on the development of children’s understanding of more complex narratives, such as actual short stories, and children’s source of learning to understand selected literary features of the stories such as narrator voice and perspective, tone, and characterization.


Yussen, S. R. (1985). The role of metacognition in contemporary theories of cognitive development. In D. Forrest-Pressley and G. Waller (Eds.). Contemporary Research in Cognition and Metacognition. Orlando: Academic Press.

Yussen, S. R., Mathews, S. Huang, T., & Evans, R. (1988). The robustness and temporal course of the story schema’s influence on recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 14, 171-179.

Yussen, S. R. & Smith, M. C. (Eds.). (1993). Reading across the lifespan. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Yussen, S. R. & Ozcan, N. M. (1996). The development of knowledge about narratives. Issues in Education: Contributions from Educational Psychology, 2(1), 1-68.

Yussen, S. R. (1998). A map of psychological approaches to story memory. In B. Lounsberry, S. Lohafer, M. Rohrberger, S. Pett, & R. Fedderson (Eds.), Telling tales: Perspectives on the short story. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Liu, Y. & Yussen, S. R. (2005). A comparison of perceived control beliefs between American and Chinese students about academic achievement. The International Journal of Behavioral Development. 29(1), 14-23.