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Steven Sutherland

Steven Sutherland, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology,
College of Human Sciences and Humanities

Contact number: 281-283-3474
Office: Bayou 2233.08


Dr. Sutherland earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and completed his postdoctoral training in the Game Design program at Northeastern University. He is an associate professor in the Human Factors Psychology program in the Department of Psychology and the program director for the undergraduate and graduate Serious Games and Simulations programs.

Dr. Sutherland's research lies in the broader areas of human-computer interaction and human judgment and decision-making. He has two main research areas. His first research area focuses on understanding expert advice utilization and the factors associated with trust in, compliance with, and reliance on automation. His research takes place in virtual/game environments, lending to his second research area in the design of and use of serious games.

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

  • Judgment and decision-making
  • Human-automation interaction
  • Serious games
  • Human factors


  • Duke, T., Althoff, W., Schouten, D., Matuk, C., Harteveld, C., Smith, G. M., & Sutherland, S.C. (2020). User support systems: Lessons learned from implementing multiple interaction methods during testing. In Proceedings of the 2020 Human Factors and Ergonomic Society (HFES) 64th International Annual Meeting, Virtual Conference.
  • Amato, A., Matuk, C., Schouten, D., Sutherland, S. C., Smith, G. M., & Harteveld, C. (2020). What do students learn about experimental research by designing interactive fiction games? In Proceedings of the 2020 International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2020), Nashville, TN. (Online conference due to COVID-19; papers and posters published in proceedings)
  • Carstensdottir, E., Partlan, N., Sutherland, S. C., Duke, T., Ferris, E., Richter, R. M., Valladares, M., & Seif El-Nasr, M. (2020). Progression Maps: Conceptualizing narrative structure for interaction design support. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM CHI 2020), Honolulu, HI. (Online conference due to COVID-19; papers and posters published in proceedings)
  • Mahajan, S., Bunyea, L., Partlan, N., Schout, D., Harteveld, C., Matuk, C., Althoff, W., Duke, T., Sutherland, S.C., & Smith, G. (2019). Toward automated critique for student-created interactive narrative projects. In Proceedings of the 15th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE 2019) Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (EXAG 2019), Atlanta, GA.
  • Richter, R.M., Valladares, M.J., & Sutherland, S.C. (2019). Effects of the source of advice and decision task on decisions to request expert advice. In Proceedings of the ACM 24th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (ACM IUI 2019), Marina del Ray, CA.
  • Young, M.E., Sutherland, S.C., & McCoy, A.W. (2018). Optimal go/no-go ratios to maximize false alarms. Behavior Research Methods, 50(3), 1020-1029.
  • Althoff, W., Sutherland, S.C., & **Chambers, J. (2017). Emotional factor impacts on user compliance with an automated advisor system. In Proceedings of the 2017 Human Factors and Ergonomic Society (HFES) 61st Annual Meeting, Austin, TX.
  • Sutherland, S.C., Harteveld, C., & Young, M.E. (2016). Effects of the advisor and environment on requesting and complying with automated advice. ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems: Special Issue on Human Interaction with Artificial Advice Givers, 6(4), 1-36.
  • Sutherland, S.C., Harteveld, C., & Young, M.E. (2015). The role of environmental predictability and costs in relying on automation. In Proceedings of the 2015 ACM Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM CHI 2015), Seoul, South Korea.
  • Sutherland, S.C., Harteveld, C., Smith, G., Schwartz, J., & Talgar, C. (2015). Exploring digital games as a research and educational platform for replicating experiments. In Proceedings of the 2015 Northeast Decision Sciences Institute Conference, Cambridge, MA. [Best Paper in Innovative Education Award]

Awards and Accomplishments

Grants Awarded:

  • 2021- Collaborative Research: StudyCrafter: An AI-Supported Platform for Engaging Learners to Conduct Research with Human Subjects. National Science Foundation (NSF: IUSE). $450,000. ($2M in total across 4 institutions) (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • 2017- EXP: Collaborative Research: Empowering Learners to Conduct Playful Experiments. National Science Foundation (NSF: Cyberlearning). Total award for individual portion: $70,000 ($549,662 in total across 4 institutions). (Co-Principal Investigator)