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.
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 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.
Thalia is interested broadly in what it means to understand and to think well. She is currently studying what people think makes a good explanation, and how this might agree with or deviate from ideal Bayesian reasoning. Her previous research focused on stereotyping and social inferences: specifically, using Bayesian models to clarify the ways in which people use and mis-use social group information, as well as how this relates to the moral implications of stereotyping. Thalia holds a Ph.D in Psychology from the University of Toronto.
(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@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maya is fascinated by efficient learning and teaching. Her current research involves both modeling teaching interactions and understanding how humans categorize when given very few examples. She hopes to use her findings to improve pedagogical choices and learning environments. She completed her B.A. in Cognitive Science at University of California, Berkeley. Maya also works as a lab manager in Tom Griffiths' Computational Cognitive Science Lab.
Dr. Anahid Modrek is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Thomas Jefferson University, where she is PI directing the Leaning to Learn (L2L) Lab studying cognitive and sociocultural processes that affect the development of reasoning, learning, and achievement. Dr. Modrek’s research program bridges the fields of cognitive science and education, with L2L’s work guided by a broader goal of informing policy, practice, and intervention that aim to reduce societal inequalities, some of which stem from learning environments and social contexts. Dr. Modrek is a 2023 Provost's Early Career Faculty Achievement Awardee, a 2022 Jefferson Emerging Medical Scholars (JEMS) Awardee, and a 2021 Deeper Learning Fellow with the American Education Research Association (AERA) with projects funded by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Prior to her faculty appointment she completed postdoctoral fellowships at UCSD and UCLA as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. William A. Sandoval. Dr. Modrek received her PhD in Developmental Psychology in 2016 working with Dr. Deanna Kuhn at Columbia University.
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@example.com.
Ellie is broadly interested in decision-making and more specifically understanding decision-making under moral uncertainty. Ellie is currently an undergraduate student in the computer science department, obtaining a certificate in cognitive science. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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@example.com.
Former Lab Members
& former positions within the lab