Tech Mourns Passing of Fredda Blanchard-Fields

Fredda Blanchard-Fields, school chair and professor of psychology at Georgia Tech, died August 3. She was 61.

Fredda Blanchard-Fields
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Dr. Fredda Blanchard-Fields, professor of psychology at Georgia Tech from 1993-2010.

As director of the School of Psychology’s Adult Development Laboratory, Blanchard-Fields led research efforts that address social-cognitive processes in everyday life, from adolescence to older adulthood. Recognizing that a great deal of psychological research has focused on ways in which cognitive abilities in adulthood decline with older age, Blanchard-Fields and her colleagues focused on investigating domains in which adults continue to grow and develop throughout the lifespan.

Guided by a social-cognitive perspective, Blanchard-Fields focused on how older adults’ goals, beliefs, experiences, and changing roles come to bear on cognitive functioning in social situations. The long-term goal of her research was to broaden the understanding of the types of behaviors that are uniquely adaptive for adults over the lifespan and to contribute to their competence in the social realm.

A PhD graduate in developmental psychology from Wayne State University, Blanchard-Fields joined the Georgia Tech faculty in the fall of 1993. She was a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America. She was also a member of the American Psychological Society, the Society for Research in Child Development, and the Psychonomics Society.

The College of Sciences and the School of Psychology plan to honor Dr. Blanchard-Fields’ memory with a symposium on cognitive aging to take place in the spring of 2011.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Fredda's name to the Skin Cancer Foundation. For more information, visit