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Kristi Erdal

Professor, Chair HBK

Kristi has conducted clinical and experimental research in depression and anxiety in Parkinson’s disease, and on cross-cultural issues in depression and its treatment. She has conducted experimental research in the malingering of head injury, placebo sleep, while in recent years focusing on sport-related topics such as sport superstition, sport concussion, stereotyping in athletes, and on how athletes may fake neuropsychological baseline tests to affect return-to-play decisions postconcussion. 

Erdal2018bookKristi’s 2018 book, The Adulteration of Children’s Sports:  Waning Health and Well-being in the Age of Organized Play (Lexington Books, a division of Rowman & Littlefield), was written with the support of the Robert C. Fox Professorship at Colorado College. Discount Offer

Professor of Psychology: 2009-present
Associate Professor of Psychology: 2001-2009
Assistant Professor of Psychology: 1995-2001
First year at Colorado College: 1995

Research Interests

Sport psychology issues of concussion, superstition, and stereotyping in athletes; Cross-cultural issues in depression and other mental illness; Depression and anxiety in neurological disorders; Malingering of neuropsychological impairment

Representative Publications & Presentations

*Riciputi, S. and Erdal, K. (2017). The effect of stereotype threat on student-athlete math performance. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 32, 54-57.

*Kelly, K. & Erdal, K. (2016). Diagnostic terminology, athlete status, and history of concussion affect return to play expectations and anticipated symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury. Journal Of Clinical And Experimental Neuropsychology, 39, 587-595. doi:10.1080/13803395.2016.1250870

*Pfeffer, C. and Erdal, K. (2015). Perceptions of former child soldiers and LRA victims with post-traumatic stress among health professionals and lay people in Northern Uganda. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation, 4(2), 128-141.

*Draganich, C., & Erdal, K. (2014). Placebo sleep affects cognitive functioning. Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory and Cognition, 40, 857-864.

Erdal, K. (2012). Neuropsychological testing for sports-related concussion: How athletes can sandbag their baseline testing without detection. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 27, 473–479.

Erdal, K. *Singh, N., & *Tardif, A. (2011).  Attitudes about depression and its treatment among mental health professionals, lay persons and immigrants and refugees in Norway.  Journal of Affective Disorders, 133,  481–488.

Erdal, K. (2009). Why one fakes a head injury affects how one fakes a head injury. Applied Neuropsychology, 16, 42-48.

*Wright, P. and Erdal, K. (2008). Sport superstition as a function of skill level and task difficulty. Journal of Sport Behavior, 31, 187-199 .

Erdal, K. (2004). The effects of motivation, coaching, and knowledge of neuropsychology on the simulated malingering of head injury. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 19, 73-88.

Erdal, K. (2001). Depressive symptom patterns in patients with Parkinson's disease and other older adults. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57, 1559-1569 .

Erdal, K. (2001). Depression and anxiety in Parkinson's disease patients with and without “on-off” phenomena. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 8, 293-299.

*Shields, J., Erdal, K., Skrinjaric, J., & Majic, G. (1999). Post-traumatic stress symptomatology among health care professionals in Croatia . American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 69, 529-535.

Reich, J., Erdal, K., & Zautra, A. (1997). Beliefs about control and health behaviors. In D. Gochman (Ed.) Handbook of health behavior research I: Personal and social determinants, pp. 93-111. New York: Plenum.

Erdal, K. and Zautra, A. (1995). The psychological impact of illness downturns: A comparison of new versus chronic conditions. Psychology and Aging, 10, 570-577.

Johnstone, B. and Erdal, K. (1995). The relationship between the WMS-R Attention Index and putative measures of attention. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 2, 195-204.

Youngjohn, J., Burrows, L., & Erdal, K. (1995). Brain damage or compensation neurosis? The controversial post-concussion syndrome. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 9(2), 112-123.

Publications in Undergraduate Journals

*Polk, D. and Erdal, K. (2002). Gender and sport differences in the emphasis on the physical and mental aspects of athletics . Journal of Psychological Inquiry, 7, 25-30.

* Colorado College students


2014 Baccalaureate Address, Colorado College

2008 Fulbright Scholar, University of Bergen, Norway

2000 Project Kaleidoscope, Faculty for the 21 st Century; Class of 2000

1998-2000 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Assistant Professor of Psychology

Regular Classes

PY100 Introduction to Psychology: Bases of Behavior
PY202 Research Design
PY251 Psychological Investigations
PY362 Abnormal Psychology
PY363 Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology
PY412 Human Neuropsychology
PY426 Sport Psychology
PY451 Final Project

View the Course Schedule >>


  • PY100 – Introduction to Psychology: Bases of Behavior