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Dr Anne Schlottmann
UCL, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences
26 Bedford Way
London
WC1E6BT
Appointment
  • Reader in Cognitive Development
  • Developmental Science
  • Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Research Themes
Research Summary
I study cognition in children and adults, in particular the intuitive and perceptual bases of our understanding, how they develop from infancy, and how they interact with more reasoned conceptions later on. My work focuses on two of our core concepts, causality and probability/utility.

One major interest is causal understanding, with a focus on the perceptual pre-configurations that underlie many of our deepest beliefs about the world. These may operate from infancy and initially serve as developmental mechanisms, but continue to constrain reasoning even in adults. To study this, I use animated motion events designed to capture minimal information for causality and animacy, such that seeing blobs engage in these events still results in meaningful perceptions. While my earlier work concerned the perception of physical causality and how this links to reasoning, in recent years the focus has been on the perception of social causality and, very recently, on the perception of goal-directed and animate motion. Methodologically, I like to consider the whole age range. I have always studied observers between preschool age and adulthood, and I still do, but in recent years a strong emphasis has been on habituation studies with infants.

My second major interest is the development of judgment and decision. This work uses the framework of Information Integration Theory to study intuitions of probability and expected utility in children from pre-school age. Contrary to popular belief, even very young children have good capabilities in this area (in line with work on animals, but contrary to the heuristics biases approach to human decision-making; the difference in impression is largely due to differences in method). I currently study childrenâ??s reactions to probable losses rather than gains, framing effects in judgment and choice, their assessment of uncertain goals in achievement-motivated situations, and conditions that induce very early understanding of multiplicatie compensation as in expectancy-value tradeoffs. The overall goal of this work is a developmental theory of intuitive reasoning about uncertainty.
Academic Background
1991 PhD Doctor of Philosophy University of California - San Diego
1987 MA Master of Arts University of California - San Diego
1983 Vord. Vordiplom Ruhr-Universitat Bochum
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