Research Symposium

Cemex Auditorium, Stanford University
Graduate School of Business, 641 Knight Way

Symposium: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Reception: 4:00pm - 5:00pm


Since opening its doors a half century ago, Bing Nursery School has been in the forefront for research in child development. Some of the most influential research studies in child development known around the world have been conducted at Bing including, Professor Albert Bandura’s Social Modeling Theory, Professor John Flavell’s Theory of Mind, and Professor Mark Lepper’s Intrinsic/Extrinsic Motivation research.

This symposium will draw together some of the most influential researchers from Bing’s early years to the present. Our panel of esteemed emeritus and current professors will provide reflections on their research experiences. Their work has shaped the fields of social psychology, metacognition, gender studies, motivation, language development and language acquisition. This is a rare opportunity to hear from some of the most prominent and promising researchers in psychology.

Panelists and speakers include:

Albert Bandura

Social learning theory. 

Recipient of the National Medal of Science, Bandura's groundbreaking research demonstrated both the negative and positive effect of exposure to social modeling. His theory on self-efficacy has had far-reaching influence in the United States and abroad. 

Eve Clark

How we learn to speak. 

Research has focused on how children acquire word meanings as they learn their first language. Clark has studied how children form and use words, and how they learn conventional usage.  

Carol Dweck 

Praising the process vs. the person.  

Children praised in a personal way prefer tasks they already do well and avoid ones in which they may make mistakes. However, when preschoolers are praised for their efforts, they want to challenge themselves, even if they fail at first, and are more likely to succeed in the long term. 

John Flavell 

What is real?

Research showed how a child learns about the difference between appearance and reality. Preschoolers can distinguish thinking from talking, feeling, seeing, or knowing. But they underestimate how much they and others think.   

Michael Frank

Language and cognition.

How do we go from being speechless infants to toddlers who can talk and understand language? Seeking to understand human language acquisition and its relationship to other aspects of cognition, including social interaction and conceptual structure.

Mark Lepper 

Value of intrinsic motivation. 

Children who were rewarded for undertaking tasks they already wanted to do demonstrated less interest in those tasks after receiving the reward. This has implications for using a reward system to modify child behavior. 

Eleanor Maccoby 

Positive interaction. 

Showed that children could be persuaded to comply with a parent’s wishes without resorting to rewards or punishments. Mothers learned to develop a reciprocal relationship with their child in which they followed his or her interests during play.

Jeanne Tsai

Does culture influence people's feelings? 

Comparing people's affect within and across cultures. The goal is to produce research and theory that broaden the current understandings of affect and culture in ways that are both scientifically and clinically useful.