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Kushnir CV



TAMAR KUSHNIR

Contact Information

B42 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall

Dept. of Human Development

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853-4401
Email: tk397@cornell.edu

Phone: 607-255-8486


Fax: 607-255-9856

Faculty Page: http://www.human.cornell.edu/bio.cfm?netid=tk397

Early Childhoood Cognition Lab: http://www.ecclabcornell.com/
Education

1996 B.A. in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude

Barnard College, Columbia University

2004 MA in Statistics

University of California, Berkeley

Advisor: David Brillinger, Ph.D.

2005 Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology

University of California, Berkeley

Thesis: Children and Adults Reason About Causal Uncertainty.

Advisor: Alison Gopnik, Ph.D.


Professional Positions

2015 – Present

Co-Director, Cognitive Science Program, Cornell University

2014 – Present

Evalyn Edwards Milman Associate Professor in Child Development, Department of Human Development, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University

2014- 2015

Visiting Scholar, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

2011 – 2014

Evalyn Edwards Milman Assistant Professor in Child Development, Department of Human Development, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University

2008 – 2011

Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University

2006-2008

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan
Research Interests

Cognitive development, causal learning, social cognition, moral reasoning, action understanding/action awareness, probability judgment, agency, choice and free will, computational models of learning and development


Grants and Awards

Pending


National Science Foundation: Maintaining trust in human-robot interactions across changes in perceived agency. Requested Amount: $670,902.00
National Science Foundation: Early understanding of personal and social causes of intentional action: A cross-cultural investigation. Requested Amount: $289,398.00
National Science Foundation: Creating a balanced self: How culture shapes children's beliefs about causal agency in personal and interpersonal contexts. Requested Amount: $138,000.00
NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA): Creating a balanced self: How culture shapes children's beliefs about causal agency in personal and interpersonal contexts.
Federal Capacity Fund Hatch (preproposal): “Yes I can!”: Investigating how imagining possibilities helps children face challenges, make choices, and succeed
2015

John Templeton Foundation Science of Self Control (with co-PIs Alison Gopnik, and John Campbell, UC Berkeley), “Self-Control and Conceptions of Free Will, Desire and Normative Constraint: A Cross-Cultural Developmental Investigation”

2015

NICHD National Research Service Award (for C. Vredenburgh). “Developmental and Proximate Causes of Young Children's Peer Collaboration”



2014

Administration for Children and Families - OPRE Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant entitled “Developmental Predictors of Preschoolers Peer Collaboration.” To support dissertation research of C. Vredenburgh (graduate student).

Bronfenbrenner Center (BCTR) Pilot Study Program for Innovation in Translational Research: “The Science Word Scavenger Hunt: Design, implementation, and assessment of a simple interactive museum experience to engage young children and their families in science learning.” (supports the research at the Ithaca Sciencenter)

2013


SENCER-ISE Civic Engagement Partnership Sub-Award, National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (through the Noyce Foundation): “Science from the Start: Engaging Researchers, Undergraduates and a Science Museum to Reach Early Learners and Set the Stage for STEM Learning” (supports the partnership between Co-PIs Kushnir & Ithaca Sciencenter)

2012, Fall

Institute of Social Sciences, Cornell University, Faculty Fellows Program, project entitled “Developing a concept of choice.”

2010-2013

NSF Award No. BCS-1023179; "The influence of developing social cognition on causal learning in the preschool years"

2010


Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society/Human Ecology Alumni Advising Award

2009 James McDonnell Causal Learning Initiative Sub-award; “Young Children's Understanding of Free Will”

2009 Institute of Social Sciences, Cornell University, small grants program; “Who knows best: Preschoolers' causal learning from experts in light of their own play experience”

2007- 2008

NICHD Developmental Training Grant (through University of Michigan Developmental Psychology)

2006


McDonnell Collaborative Initiative on Causal Learning Post-Doctoral Fellowship

2005


Society for Research in Child Development - Student Travel Award

2003


National Research Service Award (F31 MH066538-2), Causal Reasoning in Children and Adults (through 2006)

Society for Research in Child Development - Student Travel Award

2001

Institute for Human Development, UC Berkeley, Student Research Fellowship



1999

Hewlett Foundation Graduate Fellowship Award, UC Berkeley (through 2002)

1996

Departmental Thesis Distinction, Psychology Department, Barnard College



Departmental Honors, Psychology Department, Barnard College

Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society


Supervisory Roles Key (for publications and presentations)

* = Indicates graduate student under supervision

** = Indicates undergraduate student under supervision

Authorship order conventions (since 2008 with rare exception):

For empirical work in collaboration with graduate students, last authorship indicates that the work was conducted in my laboratory under my supervision; middle authorship indicates I was a contributor but work was conducted in the lab of the last author.

For other empirical work in collaboration with senior investigators, first authorship indicates that the work was conducted in my lab under my supervision.
Articles, Chapters, and Books

Kushnir, T. (forthcoming) Developmental and cultural psychology of free will. Philosophy Compass.

Wente, A., *Zhao, X, Gopnik, A. *Kang, C., & Kushnir, T. (forthcoming). The Developmental and Cultural Origins of Our Beliefs About Self-Control. In Mele, A. (Ed) Philosophy and Science of Self Control.

Eason, A. E., Doctor, D., Chang, E., Kushnir, T., & Sommerville, J. A. (in press). The choice is yours: Infants' expectations about an agent's future behavior based on taking and receiving actions. Developmental Psychology.

Chernyak, N. & Kushnir, T. (2018) The influence of understanding and having choice on children's prosocial behavior. Current Opinion in Psychology. 20, 107-110. doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.07.043

*Zhao, A. & Kushnir, T. (2018). Young Children Consider Individual Authority and Collective Agreement When Deciding Who Can Change Rules. Special Issue: Early Development of the Normative Mind, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 165, 101-116. doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2017.04.004

Van de Vondervoort, J., Aknin, L, Kushnir, T., & Hamlin, K. (2018). Selectivity in Toddlers’ Behavioral and Emotional Reactions to Prosocial and Antisocial Others. Developmental Psychology 54(1), 1. doi: 10.1037/dev0000404



Kushnir, T. & Koenig, M. (2017).  What I don't know won't hurt you: The relation between professed ignorance and later knowledge claims. Developmental Psychology. 53(5), 826-835. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000294

*Chernyak, N., **Trieu, B. & Kushnir, T. (2017). Preschoolers' selfish sharing is reduced by prior experience with proportional generosity. Open Mind 1(1), 42-52. doi:10.1162/OPMI_a_00004

*Vredenburgh, C., *Yu, Y., & Kushnir, T. (2016). Young Children’s Flexible Social Cognition and Sensitivity to Context Facilitates Their Learning. In Sommerville J. & Decety J. (Eds.). Social Cognition: Development Across the Life Span. Taylor & Francis.

*Yu, Y & Kushnir, T. (2016). When what’s inside counts: Sequence of demonstrated actions affects preschooler’s categorization by non-obvious properties. Developmental Psychology, 52(3). 400-410. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000088

Wellman, H. M., Kushnir, T., Xu, F. & Brink, K. (2016).  Infants Use Statistical Sampling to Understand the Psychological World. Infancy. 21(5), 668-676. DOI: 10.1111/infa.12131.

*Josephs, M, Kushnir, T., Gräfenhain, M., & Rakoczy, H. (2016) Children protest moral and conventional violations more when they believe actions are freely chosen. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 141, 247-255. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2015.08.002

Koenig, M., Cole, C., Meyer, M., Ridge, K., Kushnir, T. & Gelman, S. (2015). Reasoning about knowledge: Children's evaluations of generality and verifiability. Cognitive Psychology, 83, 22-39. doi:10.1016/j.cogpsych.2015.08.007

Kortenaar, M., Sribarra, A. & Kushnir, T. (2015). Engaging parents in early childhood learning: An issue of civic importance. Science Education and Civic Engagement, Summer Issue, 28-30.



Kushnir, T., Gopnik, A., *Chernyak, N., Seiver, E., & Wellman, H. M. (2015). Developing intuitions about free will between ages 4 and 6. Cognition.138, 79-101. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2015.01.003

*Vredenburgh, C. & Kushnir, T. (2015). Young Children’s Help-Seeking As Information Gathering. Cognitive Science. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12245

Deisendruck, G. Salzer, S., Kushnir, T, & Xu, F. (2015) When choices aren't personal: The effect of statistical and social cues on children's inferences about the scope of preferences. Journal of Cognition and Development. 16(2), 370-380. DOI: 10.1080/15248372.2013.848870

Gopnik, A. & Kushnir, T. (2014). The Origins and Development of Our Conception of Free Will. In A. Mele (ed) Surrounding Free Will. Oxford University Press.

*Vredenburgh, C., Kushnir, T., & Cassasola, M. (2014). Pedagogical Cues Encourage Toddlers’ Transmission of Recently Demonstrated Functions to Unfamiliar Adults. Developmental Science. DOI: 10.1111/desc.12233

Fedyk, M. & Kushnir, T. (2014). Development links psychological causes to evolutionary explanations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37(2), 142-143,

Lucas, C. G., Griffiths, T. L., Xu, F., Fawcett, C., Gopnik, A., Kushnir, T. Markson, L. (2014). The child as econometrician: A rational model of preference understanding in children. PLOS ONE, 9(3). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092160

*Chernyak, N., Kushnir, T. (2014). The self as a moral agent: Preschoolers behave morally but believe in the freedom to do otherwise. Journal of cognition and development, 15(3), 453-464. doi:10.1080/15248372.2013.777843

*Yu, Y. & Kushnir, T. (2014). Social Context Effects in 2- and 4-year-olds' Selective Versus Faithful Imitation. Developmental Psychology, 50(3). doi: 10.1037/a0034242

*Chernyak, N., Kushnir, T. (2013). Giving preschoolers choice increases sharing behavior. Psychological Science, 24(10), 1971–1979.

*Chernyak, N., Kushnir, T., **Sullivan, K., Wang, Q. (2013). A Comparison of American and Nepalese Children's Concepts of Freedom of Choice and Social Constraint. Cognitive Science, 37(7), 1343-55. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12046.

Sobel, D. M. & Kushnir, T. (2013). Knowledge matters: How children evaluate the reliability of testimony as a process of rational inference. Psychological Review, 120 (4), 779-797. doi: 10.1037/a0034191



Kushnir, T. (2013). How children learn from and about people: The fundamental link between social cognition and statistical evidence. In M. Banaji and S. Gelman (eds). The development of social cognition. Oxford University Press.

Kushnir, T., *Vredenburgh, C., & **Schneider, L. A. (2013). “Who can help me fix this toy?:” The distinction between causal knowledge and word knowledge guides preschoolers’ selective requests for information. Developmental Psychology. 49(3), 446–453.

Xu, F. & Kushnir, T. (2013). Infants are rational constructivist learners. Current directions in psychological science. 22(1) 28–32.



Kushnir, T. (2012). Developing a concept of choice. In Xu, F. & Kushnir, T (eds), Advances in Child Development and Behavior: Rational Constructivism in Cognitive Development. Waltham, MA: Academic Press.

Xu, F. & Kushnir, T. Eds (2012). Advances in Child Development and Behavior Volume 43: Rational Constructivism in Cognitive Development. Waltham, MA: Academic Press.

Kortenaar, M., Kushnir, T. and Trautmann. C. (2012) The Curiosity Corner: A Place for Young Scientists to Explore and Learn. Informal Learning Review.

Contribution: I, W

Kushnir, T. & Chernyak, N. (2010). Understanding the adult moralist requires first understanding the child scientist. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33 (4), 343-344.

Kushnir, T., Xu, F. & Wellman, H. M. (2010).  Young children use statistical sampling to infer the preferences of others. Psychological Science, 21, 1134-1140.

Kushnir, T., Gopnik, A., Lucas, C., & Schulz, L.E. (2010). Inferring hidden causal structure. Cognitive Science, 34, 148-160.

Kushnir, T., Wellman, H. M. & Gelman, S. A. (2009). A self-agency bias in children’s causal inferences. Developmental Psychology, 45, pp.597-603.

Kushnir, T., Wellman, H. M. & Gelman, S. A.(2008). The role of preschoolers’ social understanding in evaluating the informativeness of causal interventions. Cognition, 107, pp.1084-1092.

Kushnir, T. & Gopnik, A. (2007). Conditional probability versus spatial contiguity in causal learning: Preschoolers use new contingency evidence to overcome prior spatial assumptions. Developmental Psychology, 44, 186-196.

Schulz, L. E., Kushnir, T., & Gopnik, A. (2007). Learning from doing: Interventions and causal inference. In A. Gopnik & L. E. Schulz (Eds.), Causal Learning; Psychology, Philosophy and Computation, 67-86. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sobel, D. M. & Kushnir, T. (2006). The importance of decision-making in causal learning from interventions. Memory & Cognition, 34. 411-419.

Kushnir T. & Gopnik, A., (2005). Children infer causal strength from probabilities and interventions. Psychological Science, 16, 678-683.

Gopnik, A., Glymour, C., Sobel, D., Schulz, L. E., Kushnir, T., & Danks, D. (2004). A theory of causal learning in children: Causal maps and Bayes nets. Psychological Review, 111(1), 3-32.


Published Conference Proceedings

Kushnir, T. & Gelman, S. A. (2016). Translating testimonial claims into evidence for category-based induction. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J.C. Trueswell(Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1307-1312). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

*Zhao, A. & Kushnir, T. (2016). Children’s Awareness of Authority to Change Rules in Various Social Contexts. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J.C. Trueswell(Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1877-1882). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Wente, A., Ting, T., Aboody, R., Kushnir, T., & Gopnik A. (2016). The Relationship Between Inhibitory Control and Free Will Beliefs in 4-to 6-Year-Old-Children. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J.C. Trueswell(Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 770-775). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

*Yu, Y. & Kushnir, T. (2015). Understanding young children’s imitative behavior from an individual differences perspective. Noelle, D. C., Dale, R., Warlaumont, A. S., Yoshimi, J., Matlock, T., Jennings, C. D., & Maglio, P. P. (Eds.) (2015). Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

*Chernyak, N. & Kushnir, T. (2013). Inferring One’s Own Prosociality Through Choice: Giving Preschoolers Costly Prosocial Choices Increases Subsequent Sharing Behavior. Proceedings of the 34rd annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

*Vredenburgh, C. & Kushnir, T. (2013). Help-Seeking As A Cause of Young Children’s Collaboration. Proceedings of the 34rd annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

*Chernyak, N., Kushnir, T., Wang, Q. & Sullivan, K. (2011). A Comparison of Nepalese and American Children’s Concepts of Free Will. Proceedings of the 33rd annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

*Yu, Y. & Kushnir T. (2011). It’s all about the game: Infants’ action strategies during imitation are influenced by their prior expectations. Proceedings of the 33rd annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

*Chernyak, N., Kushnir, T., & Wellman, H. M. (2010).  Developing notions of free will: Preschoolers understanding of how intangible constraints bind their freedom of choice. In Camtrabone, R. and Ohlsson, S. (Eds), Proceedings of the 32nd annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. 2601-2606.

Kushnir, T., Wellman, H. M. & Chernyak, N (2009) Preschoolers' Understanding of Freedom of Choice. In Taatgen, N. and van Rijn, H. (Eds), Proceedings of the 31st annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. 87-92.

Kushnir, T., Xu, F, & Wellman, H. M. (2008). Preschoolers use sampling information to infer the preferences of others. Proceedings of the 30th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

Legare, C. H., Gelman, S. A, Wellman, H. M. & Kushnir, T. (2008). The function of causal explanatory reasoning. Proceedings of the 30th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.



Kushnir, T., Gopnik, A., Schulz, L. E., & Danks, D. (2003). Inferring hidden causes. Proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. 699-703.

Sobel, D. M., & Kushnir, T. (2003). Interventions do not solely benefit causal learning: Being told what to do results in worse learning than doing it yourself. Proceedings of the 25th annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.


Manuscripts under review/revision

*Kang, C. *Chernyak, N., & Kushnir, T. (under revision). Cultural and developmental differences between U.S. and Singaporean children’s explanations for freedom of choice. Developmental Psychology

*Yu, Y. & Kushnir, T. (under revision). The ontogeny of cumulative culture: Individual toddlers vary in how much they imitate and emulate. Cognition.

**Suarez, S., Koenig, M. & Kushnir, T (under review). The Cause of Success: Children’s Understanding of the Joint Influence of Agents’ Practical Knowledge and Object Properties

*Zhao, A., *Kang, C., Wente, A., Gopnik, A. & Kushnir, T. (under review). The Relationship Between Inhibitory Control and Free Will Beliefs in 4-to 8-year-olds across Three Cultures.
Select manuscripts in preparation

*Heck, I. Kushnir, T., & Kinzler, K. (2017, October). Building Bias: Children use statistical social information to reason about social preferences.



Kushnir, T. & Gelman, S. (in preparation). Testimonial claims shape the scope and generalizability of category based inferences from statistical evidence.

Kushnir, T, *Zhao, A, **Distenfeld, S., & Wang, Q. (in preparation). How mothers talk to children about moral, conventional, and personal choices.

*Zhao, A., Shtulman, A. & Kushnir, T.(in preparation). Differentiating immoral actions from impossible actions: Preschoolers’ beliefs about choosing to perform deviant actions.

*Zhao, A., Zhao, X., Gweon, H. & Kushnir, T.(2017, October). Leaving Choice for Others: Children’s Understanding of Social Mindfulness.

Refereed Conference Presentations (excluding proceedings listed above)

*Heck, I. Kushnir, T., & Kinzler, K. (2017, October). Building Bias: Children use statistical social information to reason about social preferences. Paper presented at the 10th biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Portland, OR.

*Zhao, A., Shtulman, A. & Kushnir, T.(2017, October). Differentiating immoral actions from impossible actions: Preschoolers’ beliefs about choosing to perform deviant actions. Poster presented at the 10th biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Portland, OR.

*Zhao, A., Zhao, X., Gweon, H. & Kushnir, T.(2017, October). Leaving Choice for Others: Children’s Understanding of Social Mindfulness. Poster presented at the 10th biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Portland, OR.

Wente, A., Kushnir, T., Segovia, D, Fernández Flecha, M., & Gopnik, A. (2017, October). The Relationship Between Self-Control Abilities and Beliefs About Self-Control. Poster presented at the 10th biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Portland, OR.

Kushnir, T. (2017, September). An implicit “theory of evidence” guides children’s social learning. Paper presented at the inaugural meeting of the Cultural Evolution Society. Jena, Germany.

Zhao, A., Kang, C., Wente, A., Gopnik, A. & Kushnir, T. (2017, June). The Relationship Between Inhibitory Control and Free Will Beliefs in 4-to 8-year-olds across Three Cultures. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Baltimore, MD.

*Kang, C. *Chernyak, N., & Kushnir, T. (2016, August). Children’s beliefs about choice across cultures. Paper presented at the International Conference on Thinking. Brown University, Providence RI.

Kushnir, T. & Gelman, S. A. (2016, June) Translating testimonial claims into evidence for category learning. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Austin, TX.

*Zhao, A. & Kushnir, T. (2016, June). Children’s Awareness of Authority to Change Rules in Various Social Contexts. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Austin, TX.

Eason, A. E., Doctor, D., Chang, E., Kushnir, T., & Sommerville, J. A. (2016, May). Infants' understanding of object preference through taking and receiving actions. Paper presented at the XX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, LA.

Julia Van de Vondervoort, J., Aknin, L, Kushnir, T., & Hamlin, K. (2016, May). Toddlers’ behavioral and emotional reactions to prosocial and antisocial others. Paper presented at the XX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, LA.

Legare, C. & Kushnir, T. (2015, October). Cultural diversity in social learning. Pre-conference workshop organized for the ninth biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Columbus, OH.

*Kang, C. *Chernyak, N., & Kushnir, T. (2015, October). Cross-Cultural Comparison of Children’s Concepts of Freedom of Choice and Social Constraint: Singapore & America. Poster presented at the ninth biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Columbus, OH.

Ridge, K., Koenig, M., Cole, C., Meyer, M., Kushnir, T. & Gelman, S. (2015, October). Generality and verifiability: Children’s use of epistemic properties of testimony. Poster presented at the ninth biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Columbus, OH.

*Zhao, X. & Kushnir, T (2015, October). How children talk about moral, conventional, and personal choices. Poster presented at the ninth biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Columbus, OH.

*Vredenburgh, C. & Kushnir, T. (2015, October). Proximate and Cognitive Predictors of Preschoolers’ Spontaneous Peer Collaboration. Poster presented at the ninth biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Columbus, OH.

Van de Vondervoort, J., Aknin, L., Kushnir, T, Hamlin, J. K. (2015, October). Toddlers’ selective responses to prosocial and antisocial others. Poster presented at the ninth biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Columbus, OH.

*Yu, Y. & Kushnir, T. (2015, October). Young children’s imitative behavior: Individual differences and developmental change. Poster presented at the ninth biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Columbus, OH.

*Chernyak, N., **Trieu, B. & Kushnir, T. (2015, June). Preschoolers' Selfish Sharing is Reduced by Prior Experience with Proportional Generosity. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Philosophy and Psychology. Durham, NC.



Kushnir, T. & Koenig, M. (2015, June). Children's Testimonial Learning: Is Ignorance an Epistemic Sin?. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Philosophy and Psychology. Durham, NC.

Kushnir, T., **Schneider, M., **Farber, M., Waas, A., & Gelman, S. (2015, March). Generic language interferes with children’s use of observed probabilities in their causal judgments. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

*Chernyak, N., **Trieu, B., & Kushnir, T. (2015, March). Preschoolers generous sharing is influenced by prior experience with proportional generosity. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

*Kang, C. *Chernyak, N., & Kushnir, T. (2015, March). Children’s concepts of freedom of choice and social constraint across cultures: Singapore & America. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

*Vredenburgh, C. & Kushnir, T. (2015, March). Children flexibly initiate and sustain peer collaborative interactions as a function of task difficulty. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



Kushnir, T., *Yu, Y. *Vredenburgh, C., & Casasola, M. (2014, July). What toddlers might learn from additional social cues when actions are equally intentional and equally causally efficacious. Paper presented at the International Conference on Infancy Studies (ICIS), Berlin, Germany.

Kushnir, T. (2014, July). Infants are active learners. Discussion presented at the International Conference on Infancy Studies (ICIS), Berlin, Germany.

*Yu, Y. & Kushnir, T. (2013, September). Timing and agent of causal actions influence preschoolers categorization. Paper presented at the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (ISSBD). Budapest, Hungary.

**Distenfeld, S., *Chernyak, N. & Kushnir, T (2013, October). How mothers talk to children about moral, conventional, and personal choices. Poster presented at the Eighth Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Memphis, TN.

*Chernyak, N., **Trieu, B., & Kushnir, T. (2013, October). Preschoolers infer their prosociality through statistical reasoning. Poster presented at the Eighth Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Memphis, TN.



Kushnir, T., *Chernyak, N., Seiver, E., Gopnik, A. & Wellman, H. M.(2013, June). Developing intuitions about Free Will between ages 4 and 6. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Jean Piaget Society. Chicago, IL.

**Bryce, C., *Chernyak, N. & Kushnir, T. (2013, April). Two-year-olds delay exploration to avoid harming others. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

*Chernyak, N. & Kushnir, T. (2013, April). Giving preschoolers choice increases sharing behavior. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

Diesendruck, G., Salzer, S., Kushnir, T. & Xu, F. (2013, April). When choices aren’t personal: The effect of statistical and social cues on children’s inferences about the scope of preferences. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

*Josephs, M. Kushnir, T. Gräfenhain, M. & Rakozcy, H. (2013, April). Children protest moral and conventional violations more when they believe actions are freely chosen. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

Kushnir, T. & *Chernyak, N. (2013, April). Developmental and cultural differences in judgments of free choice in the face of social and moral constraints. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

**Rucker, T., Aydin, C. & Kushnir, T. (2013, April). Children’s developing ability to reason about the source and possession of their own and others’ knowledge. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

**Suarez, S. & Kushnir, T (2013, April). You always do what you know: asymmetries in how preschoolers integrate social and physical explanations with evidence. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

*Vredenburgh, C. & Kushnir, T. (2013, April). Young children’s collaboration as information gathering. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

*Yu, Y. & Kushnir, T. (2013, April). Preschoolers refer to adult’s timing of intentional actions for object categorization. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

Kushnir, T. (2013, March). Children’s Learning from Others is Based on Their Own Knowledge. Discussion presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association. New York, NY.

*Chernyak, N., **Bryce, C. & Kushnir, T. (2012, June). Two-year-olds delay exploration to avoid harming others. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Boulder, CO.

*Yu, Y. & Kushnir, T. (2012, June). Young children use social cues to infer sorting strategies. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the International Conference for Infancy Studies. Minneapolis, MN.

*Chernyak, N., & Kushnir, T. (2011, October). The self as a moral agent: Linking moral cognition and moral action. In M. Rhodes (Chair). The Development of Moral Cognition. Paper presented at the Seventh Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Philadelphia, PA.

*Vredenburgh, C., Kushnir, T. & Latella, L. (2011, October). The role of children’s knowledge in their evaluation of informants’ accuracy. Poster presented at the seventh biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Philadelphia, PA.

*Chernyak, N., Kushnir, T., Wang, Q. & Sullivan, K. (2011, June). A Comparison of Nepalese and American Children’s Concepts of Free Will. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Montreal, CA.

**Clark, C. Kushnir, T. (2011, April). Preschoolers Use of Magic as a Causal Explanation When Events Violate Their Prior Causal Beliefs in Contact Causation. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, CA.

*Chernyak, N. & Kushnir, T. (2011, April). Is Morality a Choice? Investigating the Links Between Preschoolers' Awareness of Their Abilities to Act Morally or Immorally. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, CA.



Kushnir, T. & Vredenburgh, C. (2011, April). Who can Help Fix the Toy? The Distinction Between Conventional Knowledge and Causal Expertise Guides Preschoolers' Future Requests. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, CA.

*Yu, Y. & Kushnir, T. (2011, April). Toddlers' Imitation of Novel Causal Actions is Influenced by the Demonstrator's Prior Intention. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, CA.



Kushnir, T. (2010, August). Young children use statistical sampling to infer the preferences of other people. Paper presented at the 32nd annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Portland, OR.

*Vredenburgh C., **Schneider, L., **Hsia, A. & Kushnir, T. (2010, August). Knowing who knows best: Preschoolers selectively use others’ past accuracy in causal learning. Poster presented at the 32nd annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Portland, OR.

*Chernyak, N & Kushnir, T. (2010, July). Developing notions of free will: Preschoolers’ understanding of how intangible constraints bind their freedom of choice. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Portland, OR. (Winner: William James prize for best student paper)

Kushnir, T. (2009, October) Preschooler’s trust of others in causal learning. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. San Antonio, TX.

Seiver, E. & Kushnir, T. (2009, October). Children As Philosophers: Differing Conceptualizations Of Free Will At Ages 4 And 6.  Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. San Antonio, TX.

*Chernyak, N & Kushnir, T. (2009, October). Preschoolers' Understanding of Freedom of Choice. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. San Antonio, TX.

Kushnir, T., Wellman, H. M. & Chernyak, N (2009, June) Preschoolers' Understanding of Freedom of Choice. Poster  presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology.  Bloomington, IN.

*Chernyak, N & Kushnir, T. (2009, December). Preschoolers' Understanding of Free Will and the Actions that Constrain Us. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. New York, NY.



Kushnir, T., Haas, E., Xu, F. & Wellman, H. M. (2007, October). Preschoolers use sampling information to infer the preferences of others. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, Santa Fe, NM.

Kushnir, T., Wellman, H. M. & Gelman, S. A.(2007, March). Sources of evidence in children’s causal inferences. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, Ma.

Fawcett, C. A., Markson, L. & Kushnir, T. (2006, June). Social influences on 18-month-olds’ value assignment. Poster presented at the International Conference on Infancy Studies, Kyoto, Japan.



Kushnir, T., & Gopnik, A. (2005, May). Babies & Bayes Nets II: Observations, Interventions, and Prior Knowledge. Tutorial presented at the annual Formal Epistemology Workshop, Austin, TX.

Kushnir, T., Gopnik, A. & Schaefer, C. (2005, April). Children infer hidden causes from probabilistic evidence. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, GA.

Kushnir, T. (2004, May). Interventions and Causal Uncertainty. Paper presented at the 16th annual convention of the Association of Psychological Science, Chicago, IL.

Kushnir, T. (2003, April). Seeing versus doing: The effect of direct intervention on preschooler’s understanding of probabilistic causes. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, FL.

Kushnir, T. (2001, April). Action at a Distance: The role of physical contact in children’s causal categorization and intervention. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Minneapolis, MN.

Kushnir, T. & Crisafi, M. A. (1997, April). Preschoolers’ understanding of biological properties and the concept “alive.” Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Washington D.C.
Invited Presentations

Kushnir, T. (2017, November). Developing beliefs about free will in early childhood. Invited paper presented at the second meeting of the Experimental Philosophy Group. Osnabrück, Germany.

Kushnir, T. (2017, October). Developmental and cultural origins of free will beliefs. University of Ottowa, Developmental Speaker Series. Ottowa, Canada.

Kushnir, T. (2017, February). Exploring Culture-Mindedness through Counterfactual Questions. Deutsches Primatenzentrum Interdisciplinary Training Group “Understanding Social Relationships”. Goettingen, Germany.

Kushnir, T. (2017, January). Exploring Culture-Mindedness through Counterfactual Questions. University of Chicago, Psychology Department Developmental Area Brown Bag. Chicago, IL.

Kushnir, T. (2016, April). Developing beliefs about choice across ages and cultures. University of Maryland, Canter for Children Relationships and Culture, Graduate Field Committee in Developmental Science, and Vice President for Research Co-Sponsored Colloquium Series. College Park, MD.

Kushnir, T. (2016, March). Does testimony distort rational inference? University of California, Berkeley, Xu Lab meeting. Berkeley, CA.

Kushnir, T. (2016, February). Children are active social learners. Yale University, Developmental Area Brown Bag. New Haven, CT.

Kushnir, T. (2016, February). Children are active social learners. Princeton University, Cognitive Science Colloquium. Princeton, NJ.

Kushnir, T. & Koenig, M. (2015, October). Source monitoring and testimonial learning. Paper presented at More on Development (MOD), T. Ullman & L. Bonawitz (Organizers). Columbus, OH.

Kushnir, T. (2015, May). Seeing the road not taken: The origin of our beliefs about choice in childhood. University of California, Los Angeles, Developmental Area Colloquium. Los Angeles, CA.

Kushnir, T. (2015, April). Seeing the road not taken: The origin of our beliefs about choice in childhood. University of California, Davis, Developmental Area Colloquium. Davis, CA.

Kushnir, T. (2015, March). Meeting in the middle: acting and learning in social environments. University of British Columbia Developmental Area Speaker Series. Vancouver, BC.

Kushnir, T. (2015, February). Seeing the road not taken: The origin of our beliefs about choice in childhood. University of Arizona Cognitive Science Speaker Series, Tucson, AZ.

Kushnir, T. (2015, February). Meeting in the middle: acting and learning in social environments. UC Berkeley Developmental Psychology Brown Bag, Berkeley, CA.

Kushnir, T. (2015, January). Meeting in the middle: acting and learning in social environments. Santa Cruz Developmental Psychology Colloquium Series, Santa Cruz, CA.

Kushnir, T. (2014, December). Seeing the road not taken: The origin of our beliefs about choice in childhood. Stanford University’s Developmental Brown Bag Series, Palo Alto, CA.

Kushnir, T. (2014, October). Developmental and cross-cultural evidence for the emergence of beliefs about choice. Paper presented as part of an invited symposium “Developing a Social Mind.” Society for Experimental Social Psychology. Columbus, OH.

Kushnir, T. (2014, September). The role of statistical cues in shaping children’s early psychological inferences. Paper presented as part of an invited symposium “Mind Reading in Infancy.” European Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Noto, Italy.

Kushnir, T. (2014, April). Seeing the road not taken: The origin of our beliefs about choice in childhood. Cornell University’s Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research talk series, Ithaca, NY.

Kushnir, T. (2014, April). Constructing a concept of choice in childhood: What is possible, what is likely, and what are the alternatives? Developmental Area Brown Bag. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Kushnir, T. & Gopnik, A. (2013, December). Children’s Developing Ideas of Free Will Across Cultures and Domains. Invited paper presented at the Big Questions on Free Will conference. Tallahassee, FL.

Kushnir, T. (2013, October). Choice. Invited paper presented at preconference workshop “Computational models of Cognitive Development”. Eighth Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society. Memphis, TN.

Kushnir, T. (2013, July). Children use social knowledge to form a “theory of evidence” Invited Presentation at the Causality and Experimentation in the Sciences conference, Paris, France.

Kushnir, T. (2012, November). The curiosity corner: A place for young scientists to explore and learn. Presentation at the National Living Lab Symposium. Musem of Science, Boston, MA.

Kushnir, T. (2012, November). Developing a concept of choice. Consolider Seminar Series, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Kushnir, T. (2012, March). Children’s understanding of free will. University of California, Berkeley Change, Plasticity and Development Colloquium Series. Berkeley, CA.

Kushnir, T. (2011, October). Invited lecture: Young children’s causal learning from social evidence. The Cultural Constitution of Causal Cognition: Setting the Stage for a Cross-Disciplinary Endeavour. ZIF Interdisciplinary Institute, Bielefeld, Germany.

Kushnir, T. (2011, October). Young children’s causal learning from social evidence. Max Plank Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology Colloquium, Leipzig, Germany.

Kushnir, T. (2011, October). Young children’s causal learning from social evidence. University of Gottingen Colloquium Speaker Series, Gottingen, Germany.

Kushnir, T. (2011, March). Preschoolers’ intuitions about free will. Cognitive Science Brown Bag, Brown University, Providence, RI

Kushnir, T. (2011, November). Young children’s causal learning from social evidence. Cornell University Psychology Department Colloquium, Ithaca, NY.

Kushnir, T. (2010, November). Preschoolers’ intuitions about free will and situational constraints on action. Current work in developmental psychology series. Yale University, New Haven, CT.

Kushnir, T. & Gopnik, A. (2010, May). Free Will. James McDonnell Causal Learning Initiative Morality Research Kitchen, Ann Arbor, MI.

Kushnir, T. (2007, November). The Process of Causal Learning. Univeristy of Chicago Developmental Brown-Bag. Chicago, IL.

Kushnir, T. (2010, September). Toys not test tubes. Workshop given at the Child Development Council, Ithaca, NY.

Kushnir, T. (2010, February). Rational learning in preschool children. Human Development Faculty Seminar, Ithaca, NY.

Kushnir, T. (2009, May). The surprising rationality of children’s learning. Human Development Research Update, Ithaca, NY.

Kushnir, T. (2009, April). How to “like” with statistics. Human Development Department Brown Bag, Ithaca, NY.

Kushnir, T. (2007, April). Causal learning in preschoolers: Covariation, intervention, and self-agency. Barnard College, New York, NY.

Kushnir, T. (2007, March). “Picking the right tool:” Adaptive strategy use for causal learning. Commentary presented at University of Decision Consortium, Ann Arbor, MI.

Kushnir, T. (2006, Jan). Young children reason about causal uncertainty. University of Michigan Developmental Area Brown-Bag, Ann Arbor, MI.

Kushnir, T. (2005, May). Children infer hidden causes from probabilistic evidence. Paper presented at the annual Berkeley/Stanford/Santa Cruz Developmental Psychology talks, Palo Alto, CA.

Kushnir, T. (2004, October). Inferring Hidden Causal Structure. Paper presented at the Cogntition, Brain, and Behavior Departmental Colloquium Series, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA.

Kushnir, T. (2001, May). Action at a Distance: The role of physical contact in children’s causal categorization and intervention. Paper presented at the annual Berkeley/Stanford Cognitive Psychology talks, Berkeley, CA.
Teaching

HD1150/1160 – Infancy and Childhood (FA2013; FA2015; FA2016)

HD2300 - Cognitive Development (FA2008; FA2009; FA2010; FA2011)

HD4340 - Current Topics in Cognitive Development (SP2009)

HD4490 - Children’s Learning in Social Context.(SP2010; SP2011; FA2016)

HD4300 - Concepts and Theories in Childhood (SP2012; SP2013)

HD6310 - Proseminar in Cognitive Development (FA2009; FA2011; SP2016)

HD6380 - Evolutionary Perspectives on Developmental Social Cognition (SP2013)


Graduate Students

Nadia Chernyak

Years: 2009-2014

Role: PhD Committee Chair

Yue Yu

Years: 2010-2015



Role: PhD Committee Chair

Christopher Vredenburgh

Years: 2009-2010 – MA;

2010-2017, PhD

Role: Masters Chair (2010-2011) PhD Committee Chair

Youjeong Park

Years: 2010-2015

Role: PhD Committee, Minor member

Carissa Kang

Years: 2012-2017

Role: PhD Committee, Minor member

Marina Josephs

Visiting scholar, Spring 2011

Xin (Alice) Zhao

Years: 2014-present

Role: PhD Committee Chair

Isobel Heck

2016-present

Role: PhD Committee, Minor member

Ashley Ransom

2017-present

Role: PhD Committee, Minor member


Honors Students

2009 – 2010: Caitlin Clark

Thesis Title: Plausible Explanations: Magical Causal Explanation in

Preschoolers

2010 – 2011: Lauren A. Schneider

Thesis Title: Children’s Perceptions of Mechanical Knowledge as a

Function of Gender

2012 – 2013: Shelby Distenfeld

Thesis Title: Examining Parental Role in Children’s Concepts of Choice

2013 – 2014: Laura Gentilini

Thesis Title: Young Children Use Statistical Sampling to Infer Their Own Preferences
Professional Service

Associate Editor, Child Development (Journal; August 2017-present)

Board member, Society for Philosophy and Psychology (2017-present)

Program Co-Chair, Society for Philosophy and Psychology Annual Meeting (2016-2017)

Co-Chair, Cognitive Process Panel, Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting (2016-2017)

Associate Editor, Cognitive Science (Journal; January 2016-January 2018)

Board member, Cognitive Development Society (October 2015 – present)

Editorial Board, Cognitive Development (Journal; 2014-present)

Review board, Cognitive Science (Journal; 2011-present)

Review editorial board, Frontiers in Developmental Psychology (2010-present)

Program committee, Cognitive Science Society Annual Meeting, 2012

Meta-Reviewer for Annual Meeting of Cognitive Science Society (2004 - present)

Reviewer for Biennial Meeting of Society for Research in Child Development (2009-present)

Reviewer for International Conference of Infancy Studies (2009-present)

Reviewer for Society for Philosophy and Psychology (2015)

SRCD/Psi Chi Summer Research Sponsor, 2011

APS Reviewer for Student Grant/Student Research Competition (2005)

Ad-hoc grant reviewer for:

Canada Research Council

National Science Foundation, Developmental and Learning Sciences

National Science Foundation, Linguistics

US-Israel Binational Science Foundation

Ad-hoc reviewer for:

Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Cognition

Cognitive Science

Cognitive Development

Current Directions in Psychological Science

Developmental Psychology

Developmental Review

Developmental Science

Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition

Journal of Cognition and Development

Psychological Science

Psychological Review

Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Professional Affiliations

American Psychological Association

American Psychological Society

Cognitive Science Society (Associate Editor, 2015-2017)

Cognitive Development Society (Board Member, 2015-present)

International Society for Infancy Studies

Jean Piaget Society

National Living Labs Initiative

Society for Research in Child Development (Panel Co-Chair, 2016-2017)

Society for Philosophy and Psychology (Program Co-Chair, 2016-2017)


University (Extra-Departmental) Affiliations

Graduate Field, Psychology

Graduate Field, Cognitive Science

Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research

Institute of Social Sciences

Sigma Xi, Cornell University Chapter


University Service

Co-Director and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Cognitive Science Field (2015-present)

Ad-hoc tenure review committee (2016, Chair 2017)

Search Committee, Department of Human Development (2016-2017)

Search Committee, Department of Human Development (2011-2012)

Graduate Admissions Committee, Department of Human Development (2012-2016)

Graduate Review Committee, Department of Human Development (2014-2016)

President’s Family and Work Life Advisory Council (2011-2014)

Institute of Social Sciences Grant Reviewer (SP2012)

Graduate Studies Committee, Department of Human Development (2008-12, Alternate 2012-13)



Faculty Fellow, Rose House (2009-2010; 2011-2016)

Faculty Fellow, Just about Music (2010-2011)


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