Undergraduate Research Labs

My research is concerned with mental time travel, that is, how we think about the past and future and how memory and foresight abilities develop. We currently have a number of studies underway that examine various aspects of autobiographical memory and future thinking in children and adults:


  1. Development of future thinking in preschool children. We are collecting data on how children at 3 and 4 years of age reason about the future. Some of the questions we are concerned with include: Is it easier to imagine oneself in the future or another person? Is the ability to think about the future related to the development of working memory and/or executive function skills?
  2. Planning and time management. Is the ability to plan for the future related to the ability to manage one's time effectively?
  3. Mother-child interaction and the development of future thinking. How do conversations between mothers and children about future events contribute to the development of future thinking in young children?
  4. Development of time concepts. How do young children learn to think about the past and future in terms of conventional units of time (e.g., hours, days, months and so on)? What role do parents and teachers play in this development?