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Katherine O’Doherty

Lecturer in the Department of Psychology

Katherine O’Doherty is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, whose research examines how young children learn from one-on-one social interaction as compared to indirect social experiences such as overhearing a conversation or watching people on television. She says, “I really enjoy that studying the development of young children allows us to explore topics at both a basic/theoretical level (What makes us human? What, if any, human capacities are innate?) as well as an applied level (What contributes to the United States high infant mortality rate? Do young children who spend a lot of time in daycare develop as well as children who stay at home with a family member?). It is at once highly relatable (we were all children at one point) and highly mysterious (how can ever we determine what a tiny infant who does not reach, crawl, or talk is thinking?).” She hopes that students will come away from her course with “a basic understanding of important questions in child development research, the best methods used to answer those questions, and the best answers we have at this time (recognizing that our understanding of human development is constantly changing particularly with advancements in neuroscience and genetics). Also I hope students leave with an excitement to embark on more social science research in their college careers.”

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