Fangzheng Zhao

Fangzheng Zhao

Graduate Student



Richard Mayer

Research Area

Cognition, Perception, and Cognitive Neuroscience


I completed my BS in Developmental Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. After graduation, I am now a first-year Ph.D. student working in Dr. Richard Mayer’s lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I am interested in exploring different learning methods of applying cognitive psychology theories to multimedia learning platforms and their effectiveness in students' learning performance. Until now, I have done several research projects, including two studies exploring how synthesized voice with different emotions can affect learning from the video lesson with gender matching of the instructor and students, two studies expanding the boundary of the emotional design by implementing emotional elements in cartoon lessons, and one study investigating how individual difference of cognitive flexibility affect the game learning performance differently. Besides, I am currently working on my dissertation project, which is about how affective factors of feedback affect students' learning experiences and outcomes.


Fangzheng's research is dedicated to integrating cognitive psychology theories into multimedia learning platforms, such as video lessons and instructional games. Her primary interest lies in the affective dimensions of learning, emphasizing the emotional tones, facial expressions, and body gestures of instructors, as well as the stylistic choices in the language used in educational materials.