Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington
B.S., Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington
Experimental Psychology teaches both content and a way of thinking: about how to form testable hypotheses, about operational definitions and measurement, about analysis, and about alternative explanations. I teach students both the content and the experimental psychologists way of thinking. They will be better consumers of knowledge both within and outside of child development if I succeed. Thus, for every concept that I teach, I also teach how to creatively construct methodologies for answering empirical questions about that content, how to think critically about the results and conclusions from published studies and about what one may or may not logically to conclude from the results. I also try to teach the importance of being able to communicate arguments and results and the importance of being able to make the implications of one’s arguments clear. Science is also a social endeavor, achieved in groups, and thus I also use collaborative methods to nurture students’ learning of these skills and knowledge. Also, collaboration is very common and important skill in any discipline. I hope that students become interested in and excited about research and come to value an evidenced-based approach to any question. My hope is that knowledge of basic concepts, skills in logical thinking (with a bit of skepticism), communication, and creativity would be useful to students no matter what they might decide to do in future.
My program of research investigates cross-cultural differences in cognitive development. My goal is to understand how language and cultural experiences set off different pathways that lead to different cognitive styles shown in older children and adults. I am working on two lines of research to address this question. The first line focuses on the origin and nature of these cultural differences – how early can we see the differences and in what kinds of tasks they first emerge. The second line focuses on how these differences may be passed down to younger generations.
Kuwabara, M. & Smith, L.B. (2012). Cross cultural differences in cognitive development: Attention to relations and objects. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 113, 20-35.
Kuwabara, M., Son, J.Y., & Smith, L.B. (2011). Attention to context: U.S. and Japanese children’s emotional judgment. Journal of Cognition and Development, 12(4), 502-517.
Yoshida, H., Tran, D.N., Benitez, V., & Kuwabara, M. (2011). Inhibition and adjective learning in bilingual and monolingual children. Frontiers in Psychology, 2(210), 1-14.