Pre-Conference Workshops

All the workshops will be held on Thursday, October 17th at the Galt House Hotel.

All Day Workshops

Open developmental science

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Sponsored by:
National Sciences Foundation
Society for Improvement of Psychological Science

Sabine Doebel, University of Colorado Boulder

Invited Speakers:
Krista Byers-Heinlein, Concordia University
Michael Frank, Stanford University
Kiley Hamlin, University of British Columbia
Jessca Kosie, University of Oregon
Lisa Oakes, University of California Davis
Mark Sabbagh, Queen’s University
Kim Scott, MIT
Emily Sumner, University of California Irvine
Ingmar Visser, University of Amsterdam

This NSF-funded workshop will teach skills and practices that will help developmental researchers engage in open science, allowing others to more easily build on their work. Workshops and talks will cover the following topics: preregistration; using git/github for version control; multi-site collaborations; R for beginners and advanced users; online developmental data collection using Look-It; reproducible workflows; and bayesian statistics. The sessions will be led by cognitive developmental scientists, with a view to addressing specific barriers confronting developmental researchers in embracing open science practices. Attendees will leave the workshop with the practical knowledge and skills needed to engage in reproducible, replicable developmental science. Coffee breaks and lunch will be provided, and small travel awards will be provided (application required). More information on the preconference can be found here.

$25 for students and post-docs
$50 for faculty
Includes lunch and coffee breaks

Digital Media & Cognitive Development

8:30 AM – 5:00 PM


Heather Kirkorian, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rebekah Richert, University of California-Riverside
Koeun Choi, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Confirmed Invited Speakers:

Patricia Ganea, University of Toronto
Lauren Myers, Lafayette College
Rebecca Dore, The Ohio State University
Angeline Lillard, University of Virginia
Gabrielle Strouse, University of South Dakota
Fashina Alade, Michigan State University
Glenda Revelle, University of Arkansas
Lynn Liben, Pennsylvania State University
Ellen Wartella, Northwestern University
Jennifer Jipson, California Polytechnic State University

Workshop Summary:

Digital media represent an influence in children’s lives that have effects on varying levels of cognition, learning, and social interaction, and which, to an increasing degree, crosscuts socioeconomic strata. This workshop will build on the success of our 2017 CDS workshop on Digital Media & Cognitive Development, which had 47 registrants (19 faculty, 10 postdoc, 18 graduate students). The proposed workshop Digital Media and Cognitive Development comes at a critical time as researchers grapple with the theoretical and practical implications of digital media for cognitive development. This workshop will convene top scholars in cognitive development broadly and those who study the impact of digital media specifically. Additionally, this workshop will provide infrastructure for mentoring early career scholars who are interested in digital media and cognitive development. The current research landscape will be weighed in three panels of speakers: Direct and Indirect Learning from Digital Media (Panel 1), Digital Media and Social Cognition (Panel 2), and Translating Developmental Science on Digital Media (Panel 3). In addition, workshop attendees will have the opportunity to share their own research during a poster session that is designed to connect junior scholars, emerging scholars, and top researchers in one-on-one discussions. As in 2017, we will also match junior scholars with established researchers for informal mentoring.

More information can be found on the workshop website, including information on a call for abstracts.

$45 for Students
$55 for Post Docs
$85 for Faculty
Includes lunch and coffee breaks


The development of political thought

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Isobel Heck, Cornell University
Vivian Liu, New York University
Radhika Santhanagopalan, Cornell University
Dr. Katherine Kinzler, Cornell University
Dr. Andrei Cimpian, New York University

Confirmed Invited Speakers:
Christia Spears Brown, University of Kentucky
Andrei Cimpian, New York University
Yarrow Dunham, Yale University
Katherine Kinzler, Cornell University
Michal Reifen Tagar, IDC Herzliya
Marjorie Rhodes, New York University
Steven O. Roberts, Stanford University

On the surface, political thought bears little relation to values and attitudes held in childhood, as politics involves complex considerations of policies, governing strategies, and financing. Yet, a growing body of research in social-cognitive development suggests that long before children can engage in the political system directly, the seeds of political thought and attitudes take root (e.g., Hussak & Cimpian, 2015, 2017; Reifen Tagar, Hetherington, Schulman, & Koenig, 2017). This pre-conference focuses on highlighting what we know already and what we have yet to understand with respect to the development of political reasoning. In doing so, we focus on questions such as the following: What proto-political values do children hold, and how do these values shape children’s thinking about government and leadership? What do children think about various types of political systems and practices? How do children think about social status hierarchies broadly, and how might this thinking operate when applied specifically to the domain of politics? What factors shape children’s own motivations to participate in politics in ways such as voting or leadership? In this workshop, we bring together researchers from across career levels and areas of the social sciences who are interested in investigating the development of political thought and working toward a research agenda for future empirical investigation on this topic.

The workshop is co-organized by: Isobel Heck (, Cornell University), Vivian Liu (, New York University), Radhika Santhanagopalan (, Cornell University), Dr. Katherine Kinzler (, Cornell University), and Dr. Andrei Cimpian (, New York University).

More information can be found on the workshop website, including information on a call for abstracts.

$45 for Students and Post-Docs
$85 for Faculty
Includes lunch and coffee breaks

Interdisciplinary advances on the development of emotion understanding

8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Hyowon Gweon, Stanford University
Laura Schulz, MIT
Yang Wu, Stanford University

Confirmed Speakers:
Lisa Feldman Barrett, Northeastern University
Alan Cowen, University of California, Berkeley
Ori Friedman, University of Waterloo
Hyowon Gweon, Stanford University
Dae Houlihan, MIT
Kristin Lagattuta, University of California, Davis
Vanessa LoBue, Rutgers University – Newark
Erik Nook, Harvard University
Seth Pollak, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Lindsey Powell, MIT
Peter Reschke, Brigham Young University
Rebecca Saxe, MIT
Laura Schulz, MIT
Elizabeth Spelke, Harvard University
Amrisha Vaish, University of Virginia
Henry Wellman, University of Michigan
Yang Wu, Stanford University
Fei Xu, University of California, Berkeley

In our everyday lives, what we think and what we feel are intertwined in complex ways. Despite remarkable progress on our understanding of what children know and how they learn about the objects and forces, number and space, and agents and goals, we still understand relatively little about children’s early representations of emotions. Recently however, researchers across multiple disciplines have used diverse approaches to advance our scientific understanding of how the ability to reason about emotion develops from infancy into adulthood. The goal of this workshop is to provide a forum for sharing the latest findings, discussing the promises and limitations of these advances, and thinking about how these findings not only inform cognitive development but also advance our understanding of the human mind as a whole. This interdisciplinary preconference brings together scientists from developmental, cognitive, and affective sciences at different stages of their careers. In particular, we are inviting those who have adopted diverse theoretical frameworks in investigating emotion understanding using developmental, neural, computational, and machine learning approaches. The preconference aims to foster lively discussions and stimulate interest among attendees in this growing area, and to encourage new empirical and theoretical collaborations across disciplines.

More information can be found on the workshop website.

$40 for Students
$50 for Post-Docs
$60 for Faculty
Includes lunch and coffee breaks

From social cognition to social competence: An interdisciplinary discussion of strengths and limitations

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Amanda Rose¹, Lindsay Bowman², Kristen Dunfield³, Melanie Dirks⁴, Annette Henderson⁵, Holly Recchia³, Mark Sabbagh⁶
¹University of Missouri, ²University of California Davis, ³Concordia University, ⁴McGill University, ⁵The University of Auckland, ⁶Queen’s University

The aim of this preconference is to address a meaningful gap in developmental science. For the most part, developmental psychologists would agree that there must be some meaningful link between aspects of children’s developing social cognitive skills and their emerging social competence. Yet, these links are only rarely directly examined. Part of the difficulty likely stems from the fact that social cognition and social competence, as topics of study, lie in different areas of psychology, each with their own theoretical traditions, methodological techniques, and debates about best practices and central research questions. Fortunately, however, there is a growing body of researchers interested in the topic, and a handful of researchers who are actively attempting to bridge this divide. This preconference will bring together individuals from the fields of social development and cognitive development who are studying social cognition and social competence to explore ways in which we can broaden our capacity to make meaningful research connections and highlight future directions for this important and growing field of inquiry.

$25 for Students
$35 for Post Docs
$45 for Faculty
Includes lunch and coffee breaks

Afternoon Workshops

Beyond the ivory tower: Non-academic career paths for cognitive and developmental scientists

Sponsored by:

1:00 PM – 5:00PM

Vanessa Simmering¹, Carissa Shafto²
¹ACT, Inc, ²Brighfield Strategies, LLC


Research on cognition and development has far-reaching implications, but many graduate students are trained with only an academic career in mind. Academic skills such as research, publishing, grant-writing, teaching, and student mentorship have direct application in non-academic positions, but graduate and post-doctoral training often does not address the translation of these skills to other work environments. Doctoral students and recipients who want to explore non-academic employment options may not know where to turn for guidance. The goal of this professional development workshop is to provide an opportunity for scholars who are considering careers outside of academia to (1) learn about the process of finding and applying for appropriate positions, (2) develop a way to present their skills and interest to prospective employers, and (3) network with other scholars in similar situations. The session will be led by Dr. Carissa Shafto (data scientist, Brightfield Strategies) and Dr. Vanessa Simmering (research scientist, ACT, Inc.) who have previously worked in academic positions, providing them with insights into the similarities and differences in these career paths. The workshop will begin with a series of brief presentations describing the training and positions of a range of successful non-academic researchers. Participants will then work individually and in small groups to develop concise and compelling descriptions of what they are looking for in a job and what they have to offer as a candidate. We will conclude with an opportunity for feedback to participants and open discussion of any remaining questions and concerns about non-academic career paths.

$20 for Students and Post Docs
$35 for Faculty
Includes one coffee break

More information including activities and resources can be found on the workshop website.