• Michelle Hurst
  • Michelle Hurst
  • Assistant Professor
  • Phone: 1.8484451601
  • Office: Psychology A103
  • Campus: Busch
  • Areas: Cognitive Psychology

I am interested in systematic variation in human cognition that arises between people across development and within a person across contexts. In my lab, we study this systematic variation by using behavioral experiments, mathematical and computational models, and a wide developmental perspective – from infancy to adults. Currently, most of our work is in the domain of mathematical and numerical cognition. Specifically, proportional reasoning provides an interesting and important case study because it often causes difficulty in older children and adults, and yet infants and young children have good intuitions about how to use proportional information. What do these early intuitions look like? When and why do older children and adults make errors? What cognitive processes are people using to reason about proportion, and how do they change across development? What experiences cause people to use incorrect or suboptimal processing strategies? These are the kinds of questions we address in my lab, with the goal of building more complete cognitive theories of how the human mind works and to develop better ways of teaching and learning difficult mathematical concepts. In my lab, we believe in the importance of fostering an inclusive and supportive environment, and actively work to create such an environment. We also believe in the principles of open and transparent science, and do our science with that in mind, including pre-registration, open materials, open data, and so on. Some of our work is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), an institute of the NIH.