Tania 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 & Culture.
Alejandro Vesga is a philosopher joining the UCHV as a postdoctoral research associate in the Cognitive Science of Values. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Cornell University and did his BA and MA in philosophy at Universidad de los Andes, in Bogotá, Colombia. His interests revolve around the nature and cognition of various kinds of normativity. He is interested in how the instrumental rationality of cooperative action provides a unifying fulcrum to explain the epistemic, linguistic, moral, and social norms that govern human communication. Currently, he is developing empirical work on whether our explanatory cognition behaves differently when we judge why some things should be the case and why some things are actually the case. Beyond these topics, he is also interested in Latin American and social-political philosophy.
(website) Sarah is a graduate student studying explanation. 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 can be reached at [email protected].
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 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 [email protected].
Francisco Cruz is a visiting graduate student from the University of Lisbon, where he is presently conducting research on lay beliefs about psychological science. Specifically, he studies the perceptions of the general public about the explanatory power of psychological science, how to circumvent skepticism towards psychology, and the sources of information people defer to across sciences. Having broad research interests, from fundamental to applied, and an interdisciplinary approach, Francisco also works on topics as diverse as face and word processing, perceptions of heterogeneity in social groups, and expert trespassing testimony.
Logan is fascinated by abstract representations. Abstractions provide a basis for generalization, reasoning, inferences from sparse data, etc. Bayesian probabilistic models capture abstraction well, but it is less clear how neural networks could embody and manipulate such abstractions. He hopes to illuminate this problem through novel ways of visualizing and probing neural networks, and by drawing from philosophical concepts regarding the structure of beliefs and knowledge. He can be reached at [email protected].
Sana is fascinated by the intersection of clinical, social, and developmental psychology. She is keen on researching how moral, interpersonal, and intrapersonal factors influence cognition and motivate behavior in children, adolescents, and adults. In addition, how do these factors influence their overall development? Sana is currently pursuing her A.B. in Psychology and certificate in South Asian Studies at Princeton University. She can be reached at [email protected].
Josh Schoenberg is an undergraduate student, studying cognitive science and computer science. He enjoys studying how and when people form beliefs, and he is passionate about understanding the root causes of disagreement. He hopes to combine his love for cognitive science with his interest in Computer Science through computational work. He can be reached at [email protected].
Former Lab Members
& former positions within the lab