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Hiromi Masunaga


Professor/Program Coordinator, MA in Education, Sep 2011 - Present
Option in Educational Psychology EDPAC, College of Education, CSULB

Associate Professor/Program Coordinator, MA in Education, Sep 2006 - Aug 2011
Option in Educational Psychology EDPAC, College of Education, CSULB

Assistant Professor/Program Coordinator, MA in Education, Sep 2002 - Aug 2006
Option in Educational Psychology EDPAC, College of Education, CSULB

Assistant Professor, Clinical Sep 1999 - Aug 2002
Learning and Instruction Rossier School of Education University of Southern California

Research Associate June 1997 - Aug 1999
Adult Development and Aging Department of Psychology University of Southern California


2011     Outstanding Professor Award, California State University, Long Beach

2011     Certificate of Recognition, California State Legislature, Senator Lowenthal

2011     Presenter, Women's Research Colloquium, Sponsored by CSULB President's Commission on the State of Women


Ph.D. (Educational Psychology) , University of Southern California , 1997

MS (Educational Psychology) , University of Southern California , 1994

Graduate Certificate (Gerontology) , University of Southern California , 1998

Research Interests

  • Life-span Development of Human Cognitive Abilities
  • Relationship between Expertise Development and Life-span Development of Human Cognitive Abilities
  • Factors that Facilitate Development of Advanced Expertise
  • Effective teaching that Facilitate Optimal Learning

Representative Publications

Masunaga, H., & Lewis, T. (2011). Self-perceived dispositions that predict challenges during student teaching: A data mining analysis. Issues in Teacher Education, 20(1), 35-49.

Masunaga, H., & Hitchcock, M. (2011). How does Gender Interact with Clinical Teachers’ Perceptions of Clinical Teaching? NASP Journal about Women in Higher Education, 4(1), 50-72.

Masunaga, H., & Hitchcock, M. (2011). Aligning Teaching Practices with an Understanding of Quality Teaching: A Faculty Development Agenda.Medical Teacher, 33(2), 124-130.  

Masunaga, H., & Hitchcock, M. (2010). Residents’ and faculty’s beliefs about ideal clinical teacher. Family Medicine, 42, 116-120.

Masunaga, H., Kawashima, R., Horn,.J., Sassa, Y, & Sekigushi, A. (2008). Neural Substrates of the Topology Test to Measure Fluid Reasoning: An fMRI Study. Intelligence, 36, 607-615. 

Horn, L.J., & Masunaga, H. (2006). A Merging Theory of Expertise and Intelligence. In K. A Ericsson, N. Charness, P.J. Feltovich, & R.R. Hoffman (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook on Expertise and Expert Performance (pp. 587-612).Cambridge University Press.

Morrison, E., Hitchcock, Harthill, M., Boker, J., & M., Masunaga, H.(2005). The On-Line Clinical Teaching Perception Inventory: A snapshot of North American medical teachers. Family Medicine, 37, 48-53.

Masunaga, H. & Horn, J.(2001). Expertise and Age-related Changes in Components of Intelligence. Psychology and Aging, 16(2),293-311. 

Masunaga, H. & Horn, J.(2001). Characterizing mature human intelligence: Expertise development. Learning and Individual Differences, 12, 5-33.

Horn, J. & Masunaga, H.(2000). On the emergence of wisdom: Expertise development. Chapter 10 in W. S. Brown (Ed.). Understanding Wisdom: Sources, Science and Society(pp. 245-276). Radnor, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.

Horn, J. & Masunaga, H.(2000). New directions for research into aging and intelligence: The development of expertise. Chapter 5 in T. Perfect, & E. Maylor (Eds.) Models of Cognitive Aging. (pp. 124-159). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Campus Leadership


Academic Senate

Academic Senate Nominating Committee
Curriculum and Educational Policies Council
Teacher Preparation Committee


Faculty Council
Chair, Faculty Council Budget Subcommittee 

Veffie Milstead Jones (VMJ) Encowment Committee
Nominations and Elections Committee
Graduate Committee


Chair, Educational Psychology Search Committee
Curriculum Committee
Department Advisory Committee
Facilitator/Chair, Program Evaluation Committee
Educational Psychology Program Coordinator

Current Projects

Dr. Masunaga's endeavors have resulted in significant findings about developmental changes in human intellectual abilities and their relationship with establishment of advanced expertise (Horn & Masunaga, 2000a, 2000b, 2006; Masunaga & Horn, 2001a, 2001b). To further solidify our understanding of life-span changes in human cognition, her research has been expanded to delineate relationships between age-related changes as they occur in the brain and as they are manifested in human behaviors. The goal of this expansion is to explicitly understand and explain “how and why” cognitive functioning changes with age (Masunaga et al., 2008). It is expected that findings from this line of studies will help us build solid interventions to help individuals maintain important cognitive abilities as long as and as well as possible. Such interventions might start as early as in P-5 education. Relatedly, she has been conducting studies to examine elements of effective teaching that facilitate optimal learning and optimal development of advanced expertise in subject matters. The association between human learning and expertise development is essential. As the National Research Council (2000) posited in How People Learn, it is important that education be directed at developing advanced expertise in subject matters.