Cognitive and Intellectual Development
The development of cognitive abilities such as information processing, memory, or knowledge and the application of these abilities to achieve major developmental tasks are central themes in the development sciences. HDFS graduate students work with faculty who study cognitive functioning and change across a variety of phases in life, ranging from early childhood to adulthood and old age. Research projects target topics as diverse as the development of early reading skills, peer influences on academic achievement and performance on standardized achievement tests in adolescence, the cognitive components of saving and investment behaviors in adulthood, similarities of cognitive development between married spouses, or the question of maintaining cognitive fitness at the end of life. Methodologically, researchers in the department analyze how performance on cognitive tests or achievement in school settings fluctuate or change across numerous time scales, ranging from structuring the pattern or amount of fluctuations across seconds or days to examining lasting changes across multiple years. Students and faculty in these areas have links with other areas and centers in the department, including the Prevention Research Center, the Center for Healthy Aging, and the Methodology Center.
Faculty the department currently includes as studying cognitive development: