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Overview of Research

Faculty and student research has both a basic and applied focus. We are engaged in research regarding the social and cultural contexts of human development with particular emphasis on issues concerning linguistic and cognitive development in both children and adults. Particular social and cultural contexts concern, for example, the effects of medical trauma, urban poverty, literacy, work-place environments, gender, minority status, and urban schooling.  The range of developmental topics studied includes such classical areas as Cognition, Social Development, Infancy, Perceptual Development, and Language Development and such emerging areas as Sociocultural Theory, Cultural Psychology, Narrative Analysis, Semiotics, Activity Theory, Adult Development, Pediatric Psychology, and Environmental Psychology. While our basic research draws upon the resources of New York City and often has been cited as evidential bases for social policy, many of our faculty and students also engage in applied research directly addressing practical problems related to the quality of life.

Areas of Inquiry

  • Social-cognitive & moral development
  • Social interaction
  • The cultural nature of development
  • Cognition and affect
  • Learning & development
  • Representation
  • Media studies
  • Philosophy of science
  • Adult development in the workplace
  • Socio-cultural analysis and activity theory
  • Diversity in development
  • Discourse Theory and Analysis
  • Semiotic and activity theory
  • Language and cognitive development
  • Effects of Extreme Social & Physical Environments
  • Memory development
  • Language and thought
  • Conceptual development
  • Self and identity development
  • Gender development
  • Parent-child relations
  • Literacy and knowledge
  • Peer culture
  • Atypical infant development
  • Communication practices
  • Urban education
  • Feminist psychology
  • Ecological studies of children’s environments
  • Infant perceptual and motor development
  • Evolution and development
  • Biology and ethics
  • Nature-nurture dichotomy
  • Social constructionism
  • Unconscious cognitive processes
  • Family and peer interaction
  • Levels of organization
  • Child abuse
  • Dialects in context
  • Ethnolinguistic studies
  • Child forensic psychology
  • Body image
  • Theories of development