How do social processes influence the development of self-control?
I use developmental, experimental, and individual differences methods to examine the role of social processes in executive functions and related cognitive abilities.
We weren’t born with self-control. Children are notorious for struggling to resist urges, plan ahead, and delay gratification. Developmental improvements in self-control depends on key cognitive processes termed executive functions. Decades of research have advanced our understanding of the neurocognitive systems and psychological traits that support developing executive functions; however, like other cognitive skills, executive functions do not develop in isolation, they develop in a sociocultural context. I examine the role of social processes, such as language and group behavior, in children’s executive functions. This work can expand our understanding of how executive functions develop, and the fundamental interplay between social and cognitive processes.
I am funded by an individual NIH-NICHD Postdoctoral Fellowship (sponsor: Yuko Munakata) and am conducting my research in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado – Boulder. I completed my Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the Institute of Child Development in Minnesota, my B.A. in psychology at York University in Toronto, and also studied philosophy at the University of Toronto.