Mapping Daily Stress to Health and Well-being: Adventures in the Web of the Unremarkable
This talk will cover recent research on the effects of biological and self-reported indicators of daily stress on health. This research documents that minor yet frequent daily stressors are better predictors of important health outcomes than major life events, which have been the focus of research for decades. Findings are drawn from the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE), the largest longitudinal diary study of daily experiences and health in the U.S. Discussion will highlight the measurement of naturally occurring stressors and positive experiences to provide insights into how exposure and reactivity to these events in daily life can influence biomarkers, cognitive processing as well has global health and well-being.
Variability and Consistency in Early Language Learning: The Wordbank Project
Every typically developing child learns to talk, but children vary tremendously in how and when they do so. What predicts this variability? And which aspects of early language learning are consistent across the world’s languages and cultures? We use data from tens of thousands of children learning dozens of different languages to create a data-driven picture of universals and variation in early language learning.
Rethinking Education for All Children: Montessori’s Approach
Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, made a series of astute observations concerning optimal conditions for children’s development—observations that are supported by our research today. From these she developed an education system for children from birth to 18 years of age. I will overview some of her observations and their support (such as embodied cognition and the benefits of self-determination), overview what Montessori education is, and then provide empirical evidence for Montessori’s efficacy for all children, including those low in executive function and those from lower income homes. I will also address pretend play and whether concern about its relative absence in Montessori preschools is well-placed.
Studying the Shape and Structure of Longitudinal Cognitive Change: A Lifespan Perspective
In this lecture, I will report recent work on individual differences in adult cognitive development with two interrelated goals in mind: (a) to highlight key methodological issues in the study of lifespan change, and (b) to showcase individual differences in brain maintenance as a major determinant of individual differences in late-life cognition. Methodological considerations will include a reiteration of the critique of cross-sectional mediation as well as issues of statistical power and model misspecification in longitudinal research designs. Substantive considerations will focus on the covariance structure of cognitive change, and its implications for the theory of crystallized versus fluid intelligence.
How was your day at school? What educational and developmental research can gain from asking school children day by day
There is a lot to learn and profit from examining school children’s cognitive performance and asking about their experiences in school on a daily basis, and to do so as close as possible in time and space to the actual everyday contexts. In the talk, I will review research using ambulatory assessment and intensive longitudinal designs showing that a) daily fluctuations exist, are substantial in magnitude, and can be reliably measured for many important psychological constructs, b) fluctuations in cognitive performance and affective well-being are coupled within children and across time to antecedent factors such as sleep, motivation, and peer relatedness, and importantly, c) children differ in the strength of these couplings. Such heterogeneity in the importance of antecedent factors opens up new perspectives for investigating individual differences in developmental trajectories and new opportunities to tailor interventions aiming to optimize individual development.
In this talk, I describe the integrated theory of numerical development, which attempts to integrate two crucial aspects of numerical development: learning the magnitudes of individual numbers and learning arithmetic. The theory identifies 3 pervasive trends: from non symbolic to small symbolic numbers, from smaller to larger whole numbers, and from whole to rational numbers. Applications to education are discussed.