Samuel Ronfard

Assistant Professor
CCT 4059


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Cognitive Development
  • Conceptual Development
  • Social Learning
  • Culture and Cognition

My research explores how children learn about, come to believe in, and come to understand ideas and concepts that defy their everyday experiences and their intuitive theories about how the world works. My recent work can be divided into three streams: (1) investigating the factors that promote conceptual change and influence children’s beliefs in counterintuitive and counter-perceptual phenomena, including the types of claims and explanations that children are given, children’s own cognitive abilities and intuitions, and the development of children's ability to confirm what they have been told by seeking additional information; (2) the development of question-asking in childhood and the role of parental beliefs, culture, cognitive abilities and temperament in that development; (3) information transmission and our ability to transfer knowledge through teaching.