Picture of John DeFord

John "Kevin" DeFord


Professor of Psychology


College of Arts and Sciences

Office Location:

Bristol Campus: Bristol Hall 212

Office Phone:



This is the final test of a gentleman: his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him.
William Lyon Phelps

Makin' their way
The only way they know how
That's just a little bit more
Than the law will allow.
Waylon Jennings


Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, University of Louisville, Louisville , KY

M.A., Psychological Science, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN, 

B.A., Academic Psychology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Recent Publications and Presentations

  • DeFord, JK & Hughes, RA (2018, March).  Methods of assessment in the psychology curriculum: A survey of Project Syllabus. Poster session accepted to the Southeastern Psychological Association conference, Charleston, SC.
  • Barker, S. & DeFord, JK (2017, March). Does Recent Injuries and Safety Equipment Affect Risk-Taking? Poster session given at the CEPO/Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Poster Session at the Southeastern Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA.
  • Burke, T. & DeFord, JK (2017, March). Implicit and Explicit Assessment of Student Development and Spiritual Formation. Poster session given at the CEPO/Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Poster Session at the Southeastern Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA.
  • DeFord, JK, Macione, BH, Rémillard, A. (2015, October).  Collaborative Efforts across Disciplines to Improve Undergraduate Research. Paper session given at the ACA Summit, Kingsport TN.
  • DeFord, JK (2014, March).  The History of the Psychology Department at King University. Paper session given at the Southeastern Psychological Association conference, Nashville, TN.
  • DeFord, JK, Nidiffer, AR, and Sutherland, MA. (2008, March).  Visual and auditory sensitivity to changes in the amplitude spectrum of temporal noise.  Poster session given at the Eastern Psychological Association conference, Boston, MA.
  • Essock, EA, Sinai, MJ, DeFord, JK, Hansen, BC, & Srinivasan, N. (2004) Human Perceptual Performance With Nonliteral Imagery: Region Recognition and Texture-Based Segmentation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 10(2), 97-110.
  • Hansen BC, Essock EA, Zheng Y, & DeFord JK. (2003)  Perceptual anisotropies in visual processing and their relation to natural image statistics. Network 14(3),501-526. 
  • Essock EA, DeFord JK, Hansen BC, Sinai MJ. (2003) Oblique stimuli are seen best (not worst!) in naturalistic broad-band stimuli: a horizontal effect.  Vision Research 43(12) 1329-1335.  

Current research

In graduate school, my research interests and experience were in applied vision science and human factors. My research examined human perceptual performance with night-vision imagery, human sensitivity to orientation with varied frames of reference (with applications to altered states of gravity) and human sensitivity to orientations in natural images. In each of these projects, my interests were in research topics that had direct application. While at King, my research interests have broadened. I have three primary research interests. These research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, the explicit and implicit religious attitudes of college students and the perceptual and cognitive processes as they relate to human interaction with systems.

Courses recently taught

PSYC 1520 LECT Introductory Psychology
PSYC 3000 LECT Social Psychology
PSYC 3040 LECT Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 3100 LECT Statistics for Social Sciences
PSYC 3150 LECT Research Methods & Measurement
PSYC 3200 LECT Individual Research Project
PSYC 3530 LECT Sensation and Perception
PSYC 3900 LECT Special Topics