Skip to content

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Dawn Sarno

Assistant Professor

Office: Brackett Hall 312-I

Phone: 864-656-4983


Personal Website:

Educational Background

Ph.D. Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology
University of Central Florida 2020

M.A. Applied Experimental Human Factors Psychology
University of Central Florida 2018

B.S. Psychology
Bridgewater State University 2015

Courses Taught

PSYC 3330 (Cognitive Psychology)
PSYC 8350 (Advanced Human Factors)
PSYC 4980 (Cyber Crime & Psychology)
PSYC 4980 (Applied Vision and HF)


Dr. Sarno is the director of the AVANT lab at Clemson. AVANT is French for before. As the name suggests, the Applied Visual AttentioN and Technology (AVANT) Lab aims to conduct cutting edge Human Factors research. The AVANT Lab applies visual attention techniques (e.g., eye tracking) to further our understanding of human performance in applied tasks such as baggage screening, radiology, and cybersecurity/online deception. Additionally, in each of these applied areas, the AVANT lab is interested in how we can develop interventions that improve human performance, particularly across the lifespan.

Research Interests

Dr. Sarno’s research interests broadly center around applied visual cognition, aging, working memory, cybersecurity and training.

Research Publications

1. Venkatakrishnan, R., Venkatakrishnan, R., B., Raveendranath, B., Sarno, D.M., Robb, A., Lin, W. & Babu, S. (In press). The effects of auditory, visual, and cognitive distractions on cybersickness in virtual reality. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.
2. Sarno, D.M., Harris, M.W., & Black, J. (2023). Which phish is captured in the net?: Understanding phishing susceptibility and individual differences. Applied Cognitive Psychology. doi: 10.1002/acp.4075
3. Sarno, D. M., & Black, J.(2023). Who gets caught in the web of lies?: Understanding susceptibility to phishing Emails, fake news headlines, and scam text messages. Human Factors, doi:10.1177/00187208231173263
4. Lees, J., McCarter, A., & Sarno, D. M. (2022). Twitter’s disputed tags may be ineffective at reducing belief in fake news and only reduce intentions to share fake news among Democrats and Independents. Journal of Online Trust and Safety, 1(3).
5. Sarno, D.M., & Neider, M.B. (2022). The depth of executive function: Depth information may aid executive function under challenging task conditions. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.
6. Sarno, D.M., McPherson, R. & Neider, M.B. (2022). Is the key to phishing training persistence?: Developing a persistent intervention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. doi: 10.1037/xap0000410
7. Sarno, D.M., & Neider, M.B. (2021). So many phish, so little time: Exploring email task factors and phishing susceptibility. Human Factors, 1-25. doi:10.1177/0018720821999174
8. Neider, M. B., Sarno, D. M., Lewis, J. E., Mishler, A. D., Hess, A. S., Bohil, C. J., & Kramer, A. F. (2021). Training detection of camouflaged targets in natural scenes: Backgrounds and targets both matter. Acta Psychologica, 219, 1-16. doi:10.1177/0018720821999174
9. Sarno, D.M., Lewis, J.E., Bohil, C.J., & Neider, M.B. (2020). Which phish is on the hook?: Phishing vulnerability for older versus younger adults. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 62 (5), 704-717. doi: 10.1177/0018720819855570
10. Patel, P., Sarno, D. M., Lewis, J. E., Shoss, M., Neider, M. B., & Bohil, C. J. (2019). Perceptual representation of spam and phishing emails. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 33(6), 1296-1304. doi:10.1002/acp.3594
11. Williams, S., Sarno, D., Lewis, J., Shoss, M., Neider, M., & Bohil, C. (2019). The Psychological interaction of spam email features. Ergonomics, 62(8), 983-994. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2019.1614681
12. Sarno, D.M., Lewis, J.E., Neider, M.B. (2019). Depth benefits now loading: Visual working memory capacity and benefits in 3-D. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 81(3), 684-693.


Faculty Interview

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences | 116 Edwards Hall