Dr. Mariana V. C. Coutinho

Assistant Professor

B.S. Psychology, The College at Brockport, SUNY

M.A. Psychology, University at Buffalo, SUNY

Ph.D. Cognitive Psychology, University at Buffalo, SUNY


Mariana V. C. Coutinho joined Zayed University in August of 2015. Since then she has taught various courses in psychology including Cognitive Psychology, Health Psychology, Introduction to Counseling, Social Psychology and Organizational Psychology. Before joining Zayed University, she spent six months at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee serving as a postdoctoral researcher where she conducted studies in implicit memory. Her current research focuses on how epistemic beliefs and personal attributes influence metacomprehension accuracy.

Google Scholar Profile


Zayed University: 2015 - present


Abu Dhabi - Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi Campus, FF1-1-014

Teaching Areas

Cognitive Psychology

Self-regulated Learning



Research and Professional Activities

My primary research interest is in metacognition—the ability to monitor cognitive processes and to engage in regulatory activities to control these processes—and how it relates to learning. Particularly, my research seeks to answer four main questions: (1) Why do people have poor insights about their mental processes? (2) What role do conscious and unconscious processes play in the construction of metacognitive judgments? (3) How do personality traits like grit mediate the influence of metacognitive judgments on learning? (4) What are the most effective strategies that learners can use to strengthen metacognitive capacities? My research explores these questions within the context of memory and categorization tasks.


European Society of Cognitive Psychology

Psychonomic Society

Association for Psychological Science

Society for the Teaching of Psychology


Coutinho, M. V. C., Redford, J. S., Church, B., Zakrzewski, A. C., Couchman, J. J., & Smith, J. D. (2015). The interplay between uncertainty monitoring and working memory: Can metacognition become automatic? Memory & Cognition, 43, 990-1006.

Mercado, E., Church, B. A., Coutinho, M. V. C., Dovgopoly, A., Lopata, C., Toomey, J. A., Thomeer, M. L. (2015). Heterogeneity in Patterns of Perceptual Generalization by Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.

Zakrzewski, A. C., Coutinho, M. V. C., Boomer, J., Church, B. A., & Smith, J. D. (2014). Decision deadlines and uncertainty monitoring: The effect of time constraints on uncertainty and perceptual responses. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 763-770.

Smith, J. D., Coutinho, M. V. C., Church, B. A., & Beran, M. J. (2013). Executive-attentional uncertainty responses by rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142, 458-475.

Couchman, J. J., Beran, M. J., Coutinho, M. V. C., Boomer, J., Zakrzewski, A., Church, B. J., & Smith, J. D. (2012). Do actions speak louder than words? A comparative perspective on implicit vs. explicit metacognition and theory of mind. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 30, 210-221.

Smith, J. D., Coutinho, M. V. C., Boomer, J., & Beran, M. J. (2012). Metacognition across species. In J. Vonk and T. Shackelford (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Comparative Evolutionary Psychology (pp. 271-294). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Coutinho, M. V. C., Couchman, J. J., Redford, J. S., & Smith, J. D. (2010). Refining the visual-cortical hypothesis in category learning. Brain and Cognition, 74, 88-96.

Couchman, J. J., Coutinho, M. V. C., Beran, M. J., & Smith, J. D. (2010). Beyond stimulus cues and reinforcement signals: A new approach to animal metacognition. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 124, 356-368.