Professor John Flavell

Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences (Emeritus)
https://web.stanford.edu/dept/psychology/cgi-bin/drupalm/jflavell


Research Summary

John H. Flavell (Ph.D., Clark University, 1955 and 2 domestic and international honorary degrees) Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Flavell produced over 24 books and chapters and over 115 articles on theoretical and experimental work on cognitive growth in children. Flavell conducted extensive research into metacognition and the child’s theory of mind. One of his most famous contributions to the field is his work on children’s developing understanding of the distinction between appearance and reality. The appearance-reality paradigm, along with the false-belief task, is widely used as diagnostic of theory of mind development during early childhood. Flavell’s other work addressed children’s developing understanding of perception, perspective-taking, and their introspective insight into their own subjective experiences. Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1990) and the National Academy of Sciences (1994), Flavell is a recipient of the American Psychological Associations Distinguished scientific Contribution Award (1984), the G. Stanley Hall Award (1986) the Society for Research in Child Development Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (1995) and American Psychological Association Mentor Award (2002).

Select Publications

Flavell, J.H., & Hartman, B.M. (2004). Research in Review. What children know about mental experiences. Young Children, 59 (2): 102-109.

Flavell, J.H. (2004). Development of knowledge about vision. In D.T. Levin (Ed.), Thinking and seeing: Visual metacognition in adults and children. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.

Flavell, J.H. (2003). Development of children’s knowledge about the mind: Vol. 25, Heinz Werner Lecture Series. Worcester, MA: Clark University Press.

Flavell, J.H. (2000). Development of children’s knowledge about the mental world. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24(1), 15-23.

Flavell, J.H. (1999). Cognitive development: Children’s knowledge about the mind. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 21-45.

Feinfield, K.A., Lee, P.P., Flavell, E.R, Green, F.L. & Flavell, J.H. (1999). Young children’s understanding of intention. Cognitive Development, 14, 463-486.

Flavell, John H., Miller, Patricia H., Miller, Scott A. (2001) Cognitive Development (4th edition). Prentice Hall.

Lagattuta, K.H., Wellman, H.M., & Flavell, J.H. (1997). Preschoolers’ understanding of the link between thinking and feeling: Cognitive cueing and emotional change. Child Development, 68, 1081-1104.

Flavell, J.H., Green, F.L., Flavell, E.R, & Grossman, J.B. (1997). The development of children’s knowledge about inner speech. Child Development, 68, 39-47.

Flavell, J.H., Green, F.L., & Flavell, E.R (1995). The development of children’s knowledge about attentional focus. Developmental Psychology, 31, 706-712.

Flavell, J.H., Green, F.L., & Flavell, E.R (1995). Young children’s knowledge about thinking. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 60 (1, Serial No. 243).

Lyon, T.D., & Flavell, J.H. (1994). Young children’s understanding of “remember” and “forget”. Child Development, 65, 1357-1371.

Flavell, J.H. (1993). The development of children’s understanding of false belief and the appearance-reality distinction. International Journal of Psychology, 28, (5), 595¬-604.

Lyon, T.D., & Flavell, J.H. (1993). Young children’s understanding of forgetting over time. Child Development, 64. 789-800.

Flavell, J.H. (1993). Young children’s understanding of thinking and consciousness. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2(2), 40-43.

Flavell, J.H., Green, F.L., & Flavell, E.R. (1993). Children’s understanding of the stream of consciousness. Child Development, 64, 387-398.

Lillard, A.S., & Flavell, J.H. (1992). Young children’s understanding of different mental states. Developmental Psychology, 28, 626-634.

Flavell, J.H., Lindberg, N.A., Green, F.L., & Flavell, E.R. (1992). The development of children’s understanding of the appearance-reality distinction between how people look and what they are really like. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 4, 513-524.

Flavell, J.H., Mumme, D., Green, F.L., & Flavell, E.R. (1992). Young children’s understanding of different types of beliefs. Child Development, 63, 960-977.

O’Neill, D.K., Astington, J.W., & Flavell, J.H. (1992). Young children’s understanding of the role that sensory experiences play in knowledge acquisition. Child Development, 63, 474-490.

Flavell, J.H., (1992). Perspectives on perspective-taking. In H. Beilin & P.B. Pufall (Eds.)., Piaget’s theory: Prospects and possibilities. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Flavell, J.H. (1991). What young children know about the mind. Contemporary Psychology, 36, 741-742.

Flavell, J.H., Green, F.L., Herrera, C. & Flavell, E.R. (1991). Young children’s knowledge about visual perception: Lines of sight are always straight. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9, 73-88.

Flavell, J.H., Flavell, E.R., Green, F.L., & Moses, L.J. (1990). Young children’s understanding of fact beliefs versus value beliefs. Child Development, 61, 915-928.

Flavell, J.H., Flavell, E.R., Green, F.L., & Korfmacher, J.E. (1990). Do young children think of television images as pictures or real objects? Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 34, 399-417.

Flavell, J.H., Green, F.L., & Flavell, E.R. (1990). Developmental changes in children’s knowledge about the mind. Cognitive Development, 5. 1-27.

Moses, L.J., & Flavell, J.H. (1990). Inferring false beliefs from actions and reactions. Child Development, 61, 929-945.

Lillard, A.S., & Flavell, J.H. (1990). Young children’s preference for mental state versus behavioral descriptions ofhuman action. Child Development, 61, 731-741.

Flavell, J.H., Flavell, E.R., & Green, F.L. (1989). A transitional period in the development of the appearance-reality distinction. International Journal of Behavioral Development, l2, 509-526.

Flavell, J.H., Green, F.L., & Flavell, E.R. (1989). Young children’s ability to differentiate appearance-reality and Level 2 perspectives in the tactile modality. Child Development, 60, 201-213.

Flavell, J.H. (1988). The development of children’s knowledge about the mind: From cognitive connections to mental representations. In J.W. Astington, P.L. Harris, & D.R. Olson (Eds.), Developing theories of mind. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Flavell, J.H., Flavell, E.R, & Green, F.L. (1987). Young children’s knowledge about the apparent-real and pretend-real distinctions. Developmental Psychology, 23, 816-822.

Flavell, J.H., Green, F.L., Wahl, K.E., & Flavell, E.R (1987). The effects of question classification and memory aids on young children’s performance on appearance¬-reality tasks. Cognitive Development, 2, 127-144.

Pillow, B.H., & Flavell, J.H. (1986). Young children’s knowledge about visual perception: Projective size and shape. Child Development, 57, 125-135.

Flavell, J.H. (1986). Really and truly. Psychology Today.

Flavell, J.H. (1986). The development of children’s knowledge about the appearance-reality distinction. American Psychologist, 41, 418-425.

Flavell, J.H., Green, F.L., & Flavell, E.R. (1986). Development of knowledge about the appearance-reality distinction. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 51, (1, Serial No. 212)

Pillow, B.H., & Flavell, J.H. (1985). Intellectual realism: The role of children’s interpretations of pictures and perceptual verbs. Child Development, 56, 664-670.

Taylor, M., & Flavell, J.H. (1984). Seeing and believing: Children’s understanding of the distinction between appearance and reality. Child Development, 55, 1710-1720.

Flavell, J.H., Flavell, E.R, & Green, F.L. (1983). Development of the appearance-reality distinction. Cognitive Psychology, 15, 95-120.

Flavell, J.H., Flavell, E.R, Green, F.L., & Wilcox, S.A. (1981). The development of three spatial perspective-taking rules. Child Development, 52, 356-358.

Flavell, J.H., Everett, B.A., Croft, K., & Flavell, E.R. (1981). Young children’s knowledge about visual perception: Furthering evidence for the Level 1-Level 2 distinction. Developmental Psychology, 17, 99-103.

Flavell, J.H., Flavell, E.R., Green, F.L., & Wilcox, S.A. (1980). Young children’s knowledge about visual perception. Effect of observer’s distance from target on perceptual clarity of target. Developmental Psychology, 16, 10-12.

Flavell, J .H., Shipstead, S.G., & Croft, K. (1980). What young children think you see when their eyes are closed. Cognition, 8, 369-387.

Flavell, J.H., Shipstead, S.G., & Croft, K. (1978). Young children’s knowledge about visual perception: Hiding objects from others. Child Development, 49, 1208-1211 .