I am a clinically-trained research psychologist whose work focuses on understanding the cognitive structure and neurological underpinnings of language. I have a particular interest in semantics, or what it means for words to have meaning. I mainly use experimental methods and statistical/ computational modeling, and, occasionally, functional imaging and patient studies.

About me

I am a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. My office is located in P577 Biological Sciences Building, which is on the fifth floor directly behind the  exit from the elevators. The building is oddly designed: the floors are not all connected up across the building and it is not always obvious how to take the stairs from one floor to another. If you want to see me, your best bet is take the elevator in the Department of Psychology.

My mailing address is: P217 Biological Sciences Building, Department of Psychology, University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E9.

I am not so fond of the phone, which I consider obsolete technology in this age of asynchronous communication, but if you must, you can call me at 780-492-5275.

I am very fond of the asynchronous communication enabled by e-mail. You can e-mail me at chrisw@ualberta.ca.

I am currently teaching PSYCO303 History of Psychology [to 1950], PSYCO304 History of Ideas in Psychology [since 1950], and PSYCO431 Introduction to Psychometrics.

Some of my hobbies also reflect my love of language. I have published one novel, The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even, about two obsessive-compulsive art lovers who go on a road trip from Boston to visit the collection of Marcel Duchamp's works at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I support the decades-long development of my user-configurable dynamic textual projective surface, JanusNode (actively supported on OS X, and more occasionally supported on Windows). 

Selected recent publications

Keith, J., Westbury, C., & Goldman, J. (In press). Performance Impact of Stop-Lists & Morphological Decomposition on Word-Word Corpus-based Semantic Space Models. Accepted for publication in: Behavioral Research Methods.

Shaoul, C., Westbury, C. & Baayen, H. (2013) The subjective frequency of word n-grams. Psihologija, 46 (4), 497–537

Westbury C.F., Shaoul C., Hollis G., Smithson L., Briesemeister B.B., Hofmann M.J., & Jacobs A.M. (2013). Now you see it, now you don’t: On emotion, context, & the algorithmic prediction of human imageability judgments. Frontiers in Psychology, 4:991.

Westbury, C. (2013). You can’t drink a word: Lexical and individual emotionality affect subjective familiarity judgments. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 43(5), 631-49.

Murphy, C. & Westbury, C. (2013). Expanding the Scope of Selective Exposure: An Objective Approach to Measurement of Media Ideology. Communication Methods and Measures, 7, 145-168.

Ozier, D. & Westbury, C. (2013). Experiencing, psychopathology, and the tripartite mind. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 3(2), 252-275.