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Tamar Kushnir

Evalyn Edwards Milman Associate Professor in Child Development

Tamar Kushnir

Beebe Hall, Room 34



Tamar Kushnir is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development, and the director of the Early Childhood Cognition Laboratory and co-director of the Cognitive Science Program.  She received her M.A. in Statistics and Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a Post-Doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. 

Kushnir has served as an associate editor at Child Development and Cognitive Science, and currently serves on the boards of the Society of Philosophy and Psychology and the Cognitive Development Society. 

Graduate Fields

  • Psychology


  • College of Human Ecology: Human Development


Kushnir's research examines learning and conceptual change in young children with a focus on social learning and social cognition.  Kushnir’s work is motivated by a long-standing curiosity about the developing mind, and in particular by how children learn about themselves and others from actively exploring the world around them.  Research topics include: mechanisms of causal learning, the developmental origins of our beliefs in free will and agency, cultural influences on early social and moral beliefs, normative reasoning, and epistemic trust, and the role of imagination in social cognition, motivation and decision making.