Tamar Kushnir is the Evalyn Edwards Milman Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University and director of Cornell’s Early Childhood Cognition Laboratory. 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. Dr. Kushnir's research examines how children acquire causal and conceptual knowledge about the physical, psychological, and social world.
I am interested in how the philosophical arguments of free will can be empirically researched in young children's intuitions and beliefs. Specifically, I study how young children's understanding of free will relates to their social and moral relationships with other people and non-human agents (like robots). Outside of the ECC lab, I am also the secretary for Cornell's Graduate Women in Science organization, and I am in Ithaca's comedy improv group, Comedy FLOPs.
I am interested in children’s social learning in different contexts from late infancy to middle childhood. My research explores ways children learn anything from words to social norms from other people early in life and how that might vary across individual differences (e.g. cognitive and social skills or parenting style ) and group differences (e.g. culture or socioeconomic status). When I’m not in the lab negotiating with preschoolers and wrangling toddlers, you can find me hiking a nearby trail or cooing over strangers’ dogs.
I am a graduate student in Human Development. I am broadly interested in how children come to think about the social world. I joined the ECC Lab because I am interested in applying tools from cognitive development to better understand kids' social cognition. I'm currently working on projects related to children's conceptions of preference, choice, and group-based attitudes. When I'm not in the lab, I can be found hiking, finding new places to swim, trying out new recipes or cleaning up after my two kittens.
I am a graduate student in Human Development. My research interest involves young children's understanding of choice, rules and norms in various cultural contexts. I am currently investigating 1) children’s awareness of authority to change rules and norms 2) children’s self-control capacity and concept of choice, and 3) how parents and children talk about choice.
I'm Janet Li, a Biology and Society major in the class of 2019, and I'm currently helping out with the Parent Regulation Study! I joined the ECC Lab because I was looking for research that could be scientific and highly enjoyable at the same time, and found that through learning about children and their early cognition. Wanting to work in a pediatric field in the future, I'm come to love being around children and specifically learning about how they develop. After graduation, I hope to attend physician assistant school. Outside of classes, I like to play music (piano, viola, classical guitar), take photographs, and get to know people better.
Hi! My name is Karen Shek and I am a Biological Sciences major (conc. Human Nutrition) and minoring in Psychology in the Class of 2019. I’m from New York City. Unlike many of my other biology majors, I am actually not pre-med, but am rather more interested in public health because I want to empower people through knowledge about their health. I heard about the ECC lab through a wonderful fellow lab member, and decided to join because I’ve worked with young children in a variety of educational programs, but I wish to learn more about how their cognition “blooms.” So far, I’ve been involved in two projects; Choice Storytelling and Social Mindfulness, and I look forward to learning more about choice! A fun fact about me would be that I have a nine year-old yellow teddy bear named ‘Cream Cheese,’ and I still adore it! Perhaps, that’s why I get along with children so well!
Hi! My name is Livvy Cashen and I am from Hudson, New York. I am a Human Development major in the Class of 2019. I have always loved working with children and am especially interested in studying early childhood development and education. I joined the ECC lab because I am excited to learn more about how children perceive the world around them. In addition to doing research, I am on Cornell’s Rowing team and am involved with Big Red Buddies.
Hi! My name is Regina Longley and I’m a Spanish major on the pre-medical track in the College of Arts and Sciences. I joined the ECC Lab because I love playing and learning with kids. I’ve spent a lot of time working in a daycare in my hometown and I think teaching and helping children is one of the most rewarding and entertaining experiences you can have. I hope to someday work as a pediatrician and put all of my knowledge of how kids work to great use!
Hello! My name is Zehra Jafri. I am a Human Biology, Health, and Society major in the class of 2019 that is interested in biomedical engineering, human development, research, and medicine. I joined the ECC Lab because I love interacting with children, and especially hearing their stories and discovering how their imaginations work! At Cornell I’m a part of Alpha Epsilon Delta, Cornell Undergraduate Research Board, and the Pakistani Students Association. During school breaks at home in Boston you can catch me baking desserts from all around the world, playing basketball, singing, playing the violin, and binge watching almost anything on Netflix!
Hello! My name is Rebecca Li, and I am a Human Development major, in a pre-med track in the class of 2019. I joined the ECC lab, because I am fascinated by the exponential growth that occurs during early childhood. I enjoy spending time with children, and I devote much of my time throughout the summer and school year to work with children in classrooms, hospitals, and pregnancy crisis centers. I love exploring new places, especially the scenic areas of Ithaca!
Hi, my name is Aliza Adhami and I am an HBHS major. I joined the ECC lab because I am fascinated with how young minds develop. I love working with children because their curiosity sparks so many different ways of learning, both for themselves and for us as researchers! On campus, I am involved in cultural clubs and advocacy, as president of the Pakistani Students' Association, advocacy chair for SAC, and a member of the Human Ecology Dean's Advisory Council. I am currently working on the Imagination Fluency project and am very excited to see some interesting results and future directions involving resilience.
I am Lucie in the class of 2019, majoring in Human Biology, Health and Society. I joined the ECC lab because early childhood cognitive development has always intrigued me, especially after I took the Early Childhood and Infancy class. Through examining the development of early executive function, we are able to better understand how choices are made since a young age. One fun fact about me is that I have been to around 15 different countries.
Hello! My name is Jason Lin and I am a freshman in the College of Human Ecology, majoring in Human Biology, Health and Society. Given that I am the youngest child in my family, I did not have much experience working with children growing up. Back home (NYC!!), I took the opportunity to develop that certain social skill by tutoring grade school children in afterschool programs, something that I found to enjoy. Spending time with my students, I’ve wondered why children in certain ages behave the way they do. The ECC Lab allows me to get more experience working with children and to also learn about their cognitive thinking during early developmental stages of life in a non-lecture setting.
Fun childhood fact: I was born left-handed but switched to my right hand entering Pre-K.
Human Biology, Health, and Society
Class of 2018
Hi! My name is Emily Woo and I am a Human Biology, Health, and Society major, class of 2018. I joined the ECC lab because I love working with children! I look forward to learning more about how children think about and discover the world. Apart from doing research, I love to sing, cook, and watch movies. After I graduate, I would like to attend medical school.
Hi, my name is Sammi and I am a Human Biology Health & Society major in the Class of 2018. I am from Brooklyn, New York and plan to pursue a career in healthcare with a focus in pediatrics. I joined the ECC lab because I enjoy interacting with children and learning more about childhood cognition. Outside of lab, my hobbies include playing volleyball and practicing calligraphy.