Tamar Kushnir
Tamar Kushnir


Tamar Kushnir is a 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'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. 

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. 

HD1150: Infancy and Childhood

HD2300: Cognitive Development

HD4340: Current Topics in Cognitive Development

HD4490: Children’s Learning in Social Context

HD4300: Concepts and Theories in Childhood

HD/COGST6310: Advanced Topics in Cognitive Development

HD6380: Evolutionary Perspectives on Developmental Social Cognition

HD/COGST/PSYCH4470/6470: Psychology of Imagination

HD/COGST6625 : Moral Learning

COST6101 : Proseminar in Cognitive Science

Current Professional Positions

Co-Director and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Cognitive Science @ Cornell 

Graduate Studies, Department of Human Development

Board member, Cognitive Development Society

Board member, Society for Philosophy and Psychology


Current University (Extra-Departmental) Affiliations

Graduate Field, Psychology

Graduate Field, Cognitive Science 

Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research

Institute of Social Sciences


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