Skip to content Skip to navigation

Current Researchers

Faculty Sponsors

Eve Clark


Professor Clark is currently investigating the pragmatic information that adults convey when they talk to small children, and children’s ability to use this information to make inferences about unfamiliar words and their relations to familiar words.  She is also concerned with children's inferences about where to 'place' unfamiliar words, that is, how they identify the relevant semantic domains, and what they can learn about conventional ways to say things based on adult responses to child errors during acquisition. One current project is concerned with how children and adults place information in common ground over the course of an exchange.

Carol Dweck


My work bridges developmental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology, and examines the self-conceptions (or mindsets) people use to structure the self and guide their behavior. My research looks at the origins of these mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes.

Michael Frank

Associate Professor

How do we learn to communicate using language? I study children's language learning and how it interacts with their developing understanding of the social world. I use behavioral experiments, computational tools, and novel measurement methods like large-scale web-based studies, eye-tracking, and head-mounted cameras.

Hyowon Gweon

Assistant Professor

I am broadly interested in the representations and inferential processes that underlie learning in social contexts. By using a combination of developmental, neuroimaging, computational, and clinical approaches, my current projects study social evaluations and pragmatic inferences in communicative contexts, neural development of Theory of Mind and its role in social learning, and various factors that affect our decision to teach others and to learn from others.

Ellen Markman


Ellen Markman’s research interests include the relationship between language and thought; early word learning; categorization and induction; theory of mind and pragmatics; implicit theories and conceptual change. She is the Lewis M. Terman Professor at Stanford. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2011. She is a recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Division 7 Outstanding Mentoring Award and the American Psychological Society’s William James Lifetime Achievement Award for Basic Research.

Jeanne Tsai

Associate Professor

Does culture influence people's feelings? To answer this question, our lab uses a variety of methods (survey, archival, interview, observational, experimental, experience sampling, and psychophysiological) to compare people's affect (i.e., emotions, moods, and other feeling states) within and across cultures. Our goal is to produce research and theory that broaden our current understandings of affect and culture in ways that are both scientifically and clinically useful.


Eleanor Chestnut

3rd-year PhD student, Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Ellen Markman

Language is a powerful way of transferring knowledge to children. Not only can language be used to explicitly teach, it can also affect perception, beliefs, and conceptual development in many subtle and implicit ways. In my work, I explore the kinds of information adults communicate implicitly to children. Specifically, I am interested in whether language intended to express equivalence may instead backfire and create contrasts between concepts. 

Rodolfo Cortes

6th year PhD student, Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Carol Dweck

My primary research addresses how children learn to model their behavior on reliably occurring behavior exhibited by others. I am also interested in how children and adults infer personality characteristics from limited perceptual features. 

Kyla Haimovitz

4th-year PhD student, Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Carol Dweck

I study the development and socialization of achievement motivation and self-regulation. I'm interested in how we can use the beliefs people hold about basic human qualities to positively affect self-control, learning, achievement, and health.

Taylor Holubar

6th-year PhD student, Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Ellen Markman

My interests are in the development of social cognition in the preschool years. In particular, I explore how children learn and reason about the contents of others’ minds. At Stanford, I’ve investigated how children learn from other’s testimony, and whether they prefer to learn from certain kinds of informants about certain domains of knowledge. I’m also interested in how college students’ “theories of knowledge” influence what and how they want to learn.

Masoud Jasbi

PhD Student, Linguistics
Faculty Sponsor: Eve Clark

I'm a third-year PhD student in the Stanford Department of Linguistics. My research covers topics in first language acquisition, formal semantics/pragmatics, and their interface. I am interested in the mapping problem of first language acquisition: the question of how children attach the forms of language to the things they experience in the world. I investigate the mapping problem for presupposition words such as "too". In semantics, I am interested in definiteness, indefiniteness, and specificity. I am also interested in the semantics of differential object marking.

Ann Nordmeyer

4th-year PhD student, Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Michael Frank

Ann completed a B.A. in Psychology at Smith College, where she worked for three years in the de Villiers lab studying language acquisition and language and thought. She is currently interested in examining pragmatic, semantic, and conceptual issues in the development of negation. Even though she spends her time thinking about negative utterances, she is actually a very positive person!

Kara Weisman

2nd-year PhD student, Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Ellen Markman

I am interested in children's developing "philosophy of mind" - specifically, how children (and adults) reason about sentience, consciousness, and personhood. How do we know when we're in the presence of a sentient creature? What kinds of capacities or properties do we expect sentient creatures to have, or not to have? Answers to these questions might change over development and are likely to differ across individuals with different cultural and educational experiences, with consequences in both the cognitive and sociomoral domains. 

Erica Yoon

2nd-yr PhD student
Faculty Sponsor: Michael Frank

Erica completed a B.A.Sc. in Cognitive Science at McGill University. She worked in the Onishi lab, studying how infants use cues for speech segmentation, and also how adults interpret sentences with ambiguous meanings. She is interested in looking at how children use linguistic and contextual cues to make inferences about speakers' intentions.