People at the Concepts & Cognition Lab

Dr. Tania Lombrozo, Director

 

Tania LombrozoTania Lombrozo is a Professor of Psychology at Princeton University, as well as an Associate of the Department of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values. She previously served as a Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University in 2006 after receiving a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and a B.A. in Philosophy from Stanford University. Dr. Lombrozo’s research aims to address foundational questions about cognition using the empirical tools of cognitive psychology and the conceptual tools of analytic philosophy. Her work focuses on explanation and understanding, conceptual representation, categorization, social cognition, causal reasoning, and folk epistemology. She is the recipient of numerous early-career awards including the Stanton Prize from the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, the Spence Award from the Association for Psychological Science, a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, and a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award in Understanding Human Cognition. She blogs about psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science at Psychology Today and for NPR’s 13.7: Cosmos & CultureTania Lombrozo CV

 

 

Postdoctoral Scholars 

 

Corey CusimanoCorey Cusimano
(website) Corey investigates lay theory of mind and moral responsibility. He asks questions such as: what norms govern our beliefs, desires, and emotions?  When, and why, do people expect mental states to change? And, why do people blame and punish others for their mental states? He has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Email: cusimano@princeton.edu.

 

 

 

Emily Foster-HansonEmily Foster-Hanson
(website) Emily studies how adults and children represent categories and use them to learn. Specifically, her research focuses on why people sometimes think of categories, like different animal species or groups of people, in terms of prescriptive beliefs about what they think they should be like. She has a PhD in Psychology from New York University.

 

 

 

 

David KinneyDavid Kinney
(website) David is interested in both descriptive and normative aspects of explanation, causal reasoning and inference, and decision making, primarily in scientific contexts but also in the lives of non-scientist agents. Increasingly, he is interested in how attitudes towards risk and uncertainty affect agents' socially-relevant decisions and epistemic states. In addition, he has broad interests in formal epistemology and philosophy of probability. He has a PhD in Philosophy from the London School of Economics, and was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute.

 

 

 

Graduate Students 

 

Picture of RachitRachit Dubey
Rachit is a graduate student in computer science and is curious about curiosity. Specifically, his research is aimed at understanding the function, origins, and development of curiosity and how it relates to other aspects of cognition such as reward learning, insight, and metareasoning. By studying these questions through a computational lens, he intends to develop a better theoretical foundation which can hopefully lead to applications in various pedagogical settings. Rachit also works in Tom Griffiths's Computational Cognitive Science Lab at Princeton.

 

 

Sarah JooSarah Joo 
(website) Sarah is a graduate student starting in fall 2022. Her research prior to grad school has focused on understanding folk teleology and teleological explanation (or reasoning about purposes and explanations referring to those purposes). More broadly, Sarah is interested in what makes an intuitively satisfying explanation and what role those intuitions should play in broader theories. She currently works in Frank Keil’s Cognition and Development Lab and can be reached at sehrang.joo@yale.edu.

 

 

 

Casey LewryCasey Lewry  
(website) Casey is a graduate student studying how causal reasoning how people attribute causes to outcomes, events, or beliefs – and moral reasoning how people decide who, what, and when to morally blame are intertwined. Specifically, how do people form explanations for why things happen, and what kinds of explanations are viewed as good or preferable? In what ways does this process of forming explanations shape the moral judgments that we make, and vice versa? Casey studies these topics in both adults and children from perspectives of psychology and philosophy.

 

 

Kerem OktarKerem Oktar
(website) Kerem is passionate about understanding belief formation and updating. His research aims to unravel the conditions under which these crucial phenomena—forming an opinion and changing one’s mind—occur, both explicitly and implicitly. Currently, he is interested in exploring situations in which epistemic and non-epistemic functions of beliefs are in conflict. He can be reached at oktar@princeton.edu.

 

 

 

Lab Manager

 

Maya MalaviyaMaya Malaviya

Maya is fascinated by curiosity and learning. She hopes to use recent findings from psychology, neuroscience, and computer science to improve pedagogical choices and learning environments. She completed her B.A. in Cognitive Science at University of California, Berkeley. Maya also works in Tom Griffiths' Computational Cognitive Science Lab.

 

 

 

Lab Visitors

 

Picture of EugeniaEugenia (Gena) Gorlin
(webite) Eugenia is an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. She pursues interdisciplinary research on the moral, epistemic, and psychological foundations of adaptive self-change. She is particularly interested in what motivates people to think actively and honestly about their reasons for acting, even when doing so is painful or difficult. She  completed her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia and her clinical psychology internship training at Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety, depression, and related concerns. 

 

 

Former Lab Members

Postdocs

Daniel Wilkenfeld

Daniel

Azzurra Ruggeri

Azzu

Thomas Blanchard

Thomas Blanchard

Dylan Murray

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Sara Aronowitz

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Ny Vasil

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Telli Davoodi

Telli Davoodi

 

Graduate Students

Joe Austerweil

Joe Austerweil

Brian Edwards

Brian

James Genone

James

Nicholas Gwynne

Nicholas

M Pacer

Michael

Elizabeth Seiver

Elizabeth

George Tsai

George

Kevin Uttich

Kevin

Caren Walker

caren

Joseph Williams

Joseph

Carly Giffin

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Sara Gottlieb

Sara Gottleib

Emily Liquin

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Staff

Sophie Bridgers

Sophie Bridgers

Chris Holdgraf

Chris Holdgraf

Dillon Plunkett

Dillon Plunkett

David Schwantes 

David Schwantes

Ellie Kon

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Undergraduates

Alexia Martinez

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Corey Lau

Corey Lau