Human Development

G331A Martha Van Rensselaer Hall



David is a JD/PhD student in Law, Psychology, and Human Development. Currently, he is the laboratory leader of Dr. Valerie Reyna's Laboratory for Rational Decision Making, where he also serves as the leader of the Neuroscience and Health & Medical Decision Making teams. Prior to coming to Cornell, he graduated with highest distinction from the University of Michigan, where he was a research assistant under Professor Ethan Kross.

David's research interests primarily lie in cognitive theory and neuroscience, with his main focus on judgment and decision making. At the moment, his research examines the perception of risks and risk taking within the context of sports and the cognitive and neural effects of concussive and sub-concussive injuries. He also conducts research on memory across the lifespan and is using advanced models and theory to detect the development and progression of possible neurodegenerative diseases in at-risk populations.

Garavito, D. M. N., Reyna, V. F., DeTello, J. E., Landow, B. R., & Tarpinian, L. M. (Under review). Intentions to report concussion symptoms in nonprofessional athletes: A fuzzy-trace theory approach. Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Garavito, D. M. N. (2019). Note: The Prisoner’s Dementia: Ethical and Legal Issues Regarding Dementia and Healthcare in Prison. Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Nolte, J., Garavito, D. M. N., & Reyna, V. F. (2019). Decision making. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Funke (Eds.), The Psychology of Human Thought (pp. 177-199). Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing. doi: 10.17885/heiUP.470

Garavito, D. M. N., Reyna, V. F., DeTello, J. E. (2018). A concussion by any other name: Differences in willingness to take risks by label and participation in sports. Applied Cognitive Psychology. doi: 10.1002/acp.3481.

My teaching philosophy has always been based upon the premise that all people, at whatever stage in their education, are students with the desire and capacity for intellectual growth. That is, I am not, as a teacher, a mere fund or source of information. I am, rather, a person whose own education thus far has provided me with the experience to help formulate the questions which lead to a more profound understanding not only of science, but of nature in general and the history of ideas. My classroom is above all a forum for a never-ending dialog and a communal exploration of scientific and humanistic propositions.

As a laboratory supervisor, I am always with the students, testing with them these hypotheses. This one-on-one type of interaction is the most essential part of an educator's responsibilities. Only through personal interaction can I find which methods have been successful and how to refine or alter those which are not. Certainly, individual attention and mentorship is desired and needed at all stages of learning, even among college students. In the lecture hall, however many students there may be (from a small prison class of 10-15 to a large hall of over 500), it is still vitally important that the students see my presentations not as reiterations of conclusions and dogmas, but as demonstrations of discoveries in which they, the students, are equally involved.

HD3620: Human Bonding (Spring 2020)

GOVT 2055: Psychology & Law (Fall 2019)

HD2580/4580: Six Pretty Good Books (Fall 2019)

Intro to the American Legal System (Fall 2019)

Human Development 1170: Adolescence and Early Adulthood (Spring 2016/2019, Summer 2019)

Human Development 1150 & 1160: Infancy and Childhood (Fall 2015/2018)

J.D. - 2020 - Cornell Law School

M.A. - 2017 - Cornell University - Human Development

B.A. - 2015 - University of Michigan - Psychology & Political Science

With highest distinction, Phi Beta Kappa

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