Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Cristine H Legare


Associate ProfessorPh.D., University of Michigan

Cristine H Legare

Contact

Interests


Cognitive development, cultural learning, cognitive evolution

Biography


Cristine Legare is an associate professor of psychology and the director of the Cognition, Culture, and Development Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research examines the evolution and ontogeny of cognition and culture. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in southern Africa, and is currently doing research in Brazil, China, and Vanuatu (a Melanesian archipelago), using both experimental and ethnographic methods.

Her research and training reflect her commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of cognitive development. She draws on insights from cognitive, cultural, developmental, educational, and evolutionary psychology as well as cognitive and evolutionary anthropology and philosophy, with the aim of facilitating cross-fertilization within and across these disciplines. As an undergraduate, she took coursework from a variety of social science disciplines, double majoring in human development and cultural studies at the University of California, San Diego. In graduate school, she participated in the Culture and Cognition Program while completing her doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of Michigan.

Cristine's research has been widely published in journals such as Psychological ScienceTrends in Cognitive Sciences (TICS)Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Cognition, and Evolution and Human Behavior, and has been covered by a range of media outlets, including NPR, Nature, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American. Her research has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), the National Science Foundation, the McDonnell Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). Cristine was recognized with the 2015 APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions and the 2016 APA Boyd McCandless Award for her research on the evolution and ontogeny of cognition and culture.  

Please see lab site for a full list of publications.

Departmental Affiliations

Courses


PSY 394V • Evolution Of Childhood

42599 • Spring 2016
Meets W 1:00PM-4:00PM SEA 2.224

Seminars in Social and Personality Psychology. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

PSY 394U • Coevolution Of Cognitn/Culture

42530 • Fall 2015
Meets W 1:00PM-4:00PM SEA 1.332

This graduate seminar course will cover the coevolution of cognition and culture. The class features cutting edge research on cognitive and cultural evolution from cognitive, comparative, cultural, and developmental psychology as well as evolutionary anthropology.

PSY 333D • Intro To Developmental Psych

44010 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM NOA 1.124

Physical, social, and cognitive development in humans. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Psychology 304 and 333D may not both be counted. Psychology 333D and Women's and Gender Studies 345 (Topic 6: Introduction to Developmental Psychology) may not both be counted. Prerequisite: For psychology majors, upper-division standing and Psychology 301 and 418 with a grade of at least C in each; for nonmajors, upper-division standing, Psychology 301 with a grade of at least C, and one of the following with a grade of at least C: Biology 318M, Civil Engineering 311S, Economics 329, Educational Psychology 371, Electrical Engineering 351K, Government 350K, Mathematics 316, 362K, Mechanical Engineering 335, Psychology 317, Sociology 317L, Social Work 318, Statistics 309, Statistics and Scientific Computation 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 318.

PSY 394U • Curr Tpcs In Cognitive Science

44308 • Spring 2014
Meets F 12:00PM-3:00PM SEA 4.244

Seminars in Cognitive or Perceptual Systems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

PSY 394S • Fundmntls Of Devel Psychology

43970 • Fall 2013
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM SEA 5.106

Seminars in Developmental Psychology. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

 

PSY 394U • Cognition, Cul, & Development

43655 • Spring 2013
Meets W 1:00PM-4:00PM SEA 1.308

Seminars in Cognitive or Perceptual Systems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

PSY 394S • Cog Dev Underpinnings Cul Lrn

43500 • Fall 2012
Meets TH 11:00AM-2:00PM SEA 1.332

Seminars in Developmental Psychology. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

 

PSY 304 • Intro To Child Psychology

43620 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BUR 108

Course Description:

The primary goal of this course is to examine the physical, cognitive, social, and

emotional growth of infants, children, and adolescents, and the various factors (e.g.,

genetics, parenting, peer groups, schooling, and the media) that influence development.

Prominent theories of child development and research methods used in developmental

psychology are reviewed. Specific topics that are covered include: aggression,

attachment, gender roles, language development, moral development, cognitive

development, culture, and school achievement. The implications of course content for

child-rearing, education, and social policy will also be discussed.

The course will combine both lecture and seminar formats. I will generally introduce

each topic with some background information and/or lecture on some selected aspect of

each topic, but much of what you learn from the class will be information that you glean

from the readings and class discussions. Active student participation is required.

PSY 304 • Intro To Child Psychology

43780 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM NOA 1.124

General introduction to physical, social, and cognitive development from conception onward. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Psychology 304 and 333D may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Psychology 301 with a grade of at least C.

PSY 304 • Intro To Child Psychology

43980 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM NOA 1.124

Psychology 304  (Unique # 43980)

Introduction to Child Psychology

Fall 2009

 

Instructor:  Dr. Cristine Legare

            Class meets:  Tuesday, Thursday, 3:30-5:00

            Classroom:  NOA 1.124

            Office:  SEA 5.216

            Office hours: Tuesday 2-3, Thursday 2-3, and by appointment 

            Email: legare@psy.utexas.edu

 

Teaching Assistant:  Dorian Colbert                       

            Office: SEA 1.214E

            Office hours: Tuesday 2-3, Thursday 1-2, and by appointment

            Email: dcolbert@mail.utexas.edu

 

Course Description:

 

The primary goal of this course is to examine the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth of infants, children, and adolescents, and the various factors (e.g., genetics, parenting, peer groups, schooling, and the media) that influence development.  Prominent theories of child development and research methods used in developmental psychology are reviewed. Specific topics that are covered include: aggression, attachment, gender roles, language development, moral development, cognitive development, culture, and school achievement.  The implications of course content for child-rearing, education, and social policy will also be discussed.

 

The course will combine both lecture and seminar formats.  I will generally introduce each topic with some background information and/or lecture on some selected aspect of each topic, but much of what you learn from the class will be information that you glean from the readings and class discussions.  Active student participation is required.

 

Text:

 

1)  Siegler, R., DeLoache, J., & Eisenberg, N. (2006).  How children develop (2nd ed.). New

York, NY:  Worth Publishers.

 

Course Objectives:

 

  1. To introduce you to the field of child psychology.
  2. To provide you with the skills and information necessary to be a critical consumer of information.
  3. To excite you about the process of scientific discovery.
  4. To help you apply research in child psychology to real world concerns and your own experiences.

 

Course Requirements:

 

Prerequisites:

Please note that the Psychology Department will drop all students who do not meet the following prerequisites:

(a)  Completion of Psy 301 (Introductory Psychology)

(b)  Received at least a grade of C in Psy 301

 

Grading Policy and Requirements:

 

EXAMS:  Four examinations will be given during the semester.  The last of the four exams will be given during the final week of the course. Your cumulative exam grade will be the best 3 of the 4 grades.  The top three test scores will contribute equally toward the final grade, (i.e., each student's lowest exam score will be dropped). No make-up exams will be given for missed exams (a missed exam will count as your lowest grade, including the final exam).  All exams will be multiple-choice in format.  All course material is fair game for the exams.  This includes all of the information in the textbook, the lectures, and any films presented during lecture.  The exams will assess both conceptual knowledge and factual information, so be prepared to answer both kinds of questions.  The exams will not be comprehensive, (i.e., they will cover only that material assigned after the previous exam). Each will consist of 50 multiple-choice problems and thus, the total number of exam points it is possible to earn is 150. Dates of the exams are September 17, October 6, November 3, and December 3.  Review session will be held for each exam. There will be no exam during finals week.

 

 

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS:  Students are required to complete EITHER the INTERVIEW PROJECT OR THE MEDIA PROJECT (5 pages, 50 points each).  Projects are designed to provide hands-on experience both in collecting and presenting new data and in critiquing existing findings.  Your final project is due November 12th.  You are required to turn in your interview or coding sheet with your paper.  Five points (out of 50 total) will be given to project drafts brought in for feedback during office hours starting 6 weeks before the project is due.  A sign-up sheet will be distributed in class in early October. You must bring your project draft in person to office hours, emailing drafts is not sufficient to earn these 5 points.

 

The total number of points that it is possible to earn for the semester is 200.   Grades are a reflection of what you have earned and the course is not curved. 

A  =  93-100

A- =  90-92

B+ =  87-89

B   =  83-86

B- =  80-82

C+ = 79-77

C   = 73-76

C- =  70-72

D+ =  69-67

D   =  63-66

D- =  60-62

F   =  below 60

 

Incomplete grades will be given in extremely rare and extraordinary circumstances.  Students are expected to plan ahead in starting assignments and to keep up with the coursework throughout the term.  Any unusual circumstances that may impede a student’s progress in the course should be discussed with the instructors in a timely manner.

 

Assignment                                                                        Percentage of grade

Writing assignments:

Interview Project OR Media Project                                                25

Exams (Highest 3 out of 4 exam scores)                                                75

Total                                                                                                           100

Class Participation, Preparation, and Communication:

 

The bulk of class time will be devoted to introducing you to the study of child psychology, discussing the readings, and critically evaluating course material.  I highly encourage active class participation and reading the course material in advance.  Please take the opportunity to attend office hours as well, they allow for more in depth conversations about course material than is possible during lecture.  If you cannot attend scheduled office hours, contact us to schedule an appointment.

 

Email communication is also encouraged.  Please do treat email as a professional, formal means of communication and allow at least 1-2 days for an email response.

 

 

Course Policy:

Lectures will include material that is not in the textbook.  If you miss a class, it will be your responsibility to find out from a classmate what happened in class (including handouts, assigned readings, announcements, and lecture content).  Also, if your paper is turned in late, your paper will be marked down 10% (5 points) per day after the due date, unless there are compelling circumstances.

 

Notes:

1.  The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.

2.  Academic integrity is an integral part of the educational process. Please read the information about academic integrity on this website: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/acint_student.php

Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary penalties.

 

Psychology 304

Course Outline

DaTE

TOPIC

CHAPTER

 

8/27

Introduction: What is child psychology? 

1

 

9/1

Prenatal development

2

 

9/3

The newborn

 

 

9/8

Biology and behavior  

3

dominguez lecture on brain development

9/10

Genes and teratogens

 

 

9/15

Cognitive development

4

 

9/17

EXAM 1

 

 

9/22

Infant cognition

5

 

9/24

Language development and symbol use

6

COLBERT LEcture on language

9/29

Conceptual development

7

 

10/1

Intelligence and academic achievement

8

 

10/6

EXAM 2

 

 

10/8

Social development

9

 

10/13

Emotional development

10

 

10/15

Attachment and development of self

11

 

10/20

The family

12

 

10/22

Parenting

 

NEFF LECTURE ON dIVORCE

10/27

Parenting

 

 

10/29

Daycare

 

 

11/3

EXAM 3

 

 

11/5

Peer relationships

13

 

11/10

Peer relationships

 

 

11/12

Moral development PROJECT DUE

14

 

11/17

Gender development

15

 

11/19

Television and media

 

 

11/24

Adolescence

 

pasch lectue on adolescent health

11/26

Thanksgiving holiday-no class

 

 

12/1

Conclusions

16

 

12/3

EXAM 4

 

 

 

PSY 304 • Intro To Child Psychology

43020 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 101

General introduction to physical, social, and cognitive development from conception onward. Three lecture hours a week for one semester.  Psychology 304 an 333D may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Psychology 301 with a grade of at least C.

Cognition, Culture, and Development Lab


In the Cognition, Culture, and Development Laboratory, we study the ontogeny of cultural learning. Our team of cognitive developmental scientists studies the interplay of our universal mind and the variation of human culture.

 


The lab is located in the psychology department at The University of Texas at Austin. The members of the Cognition, Culture, and Development Laboratory are:

Lab Manager 

Adam is the CCD Lab Manager. Adam graduated from UT Austin with a B.A. in Psychology in 2013. He is also an alumnus of the Cognition, Culture, and Development Lab, where he focused on studying social and cognitive development displayed through parental influences in a cross-cultural context. After graduating, he spent 9 months teaching children in Costa Rica while volunteering with the Ministry of Environment and Energy, expanding his interests in cross-cultural development and environmental conservation.

Research Scientists

Rachel is a postdoctoral researcher at UT Austin. She has a doctorate in cognitive and evolutionary anthropology from the University of Oxford. Her research interests include cognitive and evolutionary approaches to understanding religion, cultural transmission, social learning, and ritual.

Andre is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of Alabama. His research focuses primarily on cognitive judgments, decision-making, and the development of belief systems. He investigates how feelings of uncertainty and modes of thinking affects the way people judge the efficacy of actions. He is also interested in quantitative analysis.  His expertise ranges from basic statistical models to advanced multivariate, structural equation modeling, Bayesian statistics and non-parametric statistical models. 

Alyana is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her doctorate in social psychology from the University of British Columbia. Her research interests focus around how basic cognitive functions, such as mind perception and causal reasoning, and cultural environments come together to create complex belief systems. She has conducted research on the religious, spiritual but not religious, and non-religious in North America and Europe, and is currently exploring the prevalence, causes, and consequences of witchcraft and karma beliefs around the world. She conducts field research in Fiji, where she works with Hindu, Muslim, and Christian populations exploring the bonds and divisions between religious and ethnic identities.

Graduate Students 

Jennifer is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate at UT Austin. She graduated from Emory University in 2011 with a B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics. She received her M.A. in Psychology in 2013 from UT Austin. Over the course of her graduate career, she has studied children’s use of imitation as a tool for social learning. Her research often involves exploring children’s social and cognitive development in context and she draws on her interdisciplinary training in order to develop studies that more accurately reflect children’s learning as it occurs in their daily lives.

Justin is a third year Ph.D. student at UT Austin. He received his B.A. in 2009 from the University of Colorado, Boulder in ecology and evolutionary biology and his M.A. in psychology in 2015 from UT Austin. Prior to coming to UT, he worked as a research assistant at the University of Colorado and Columbia University. Justin’s research interests include intuitive causal reasoning and studying religious cognition from an evolutionary perspective. He is also interested in science education.

Nicole is a third year Ph.D. student at UT Austin. She graduated from UT Austin in 2013 with a B.S. in Psychology, a B.A. in Plan II Honors, and a minor in history.She received her M.A. in Psychology in 2015 from UT Austin. Nicole's research interests include the development of social cognition and examining the imitative foundations of cultural learning. She is interested in examining the effects of social conventions on children’s social group cognition in order to understand how rituals facilitate group cohesion and identity formation. 

Frances is a fourth year Ph.D. student at UT Austin. She graduated from the University of Texas-Pan American in 2008 with a B.S. in Biology with a double minor in Chemistry and Spanish.  After graduation, she entered a post baccalaureate program at Baylor College of Medicine and later studied in Germany before deciding Psychology is the field which interests her most. In 2012, she received a M.A. in Experimental Psychology from UTPA and subsequently joined the Psychology Department at UT Austin. Her research interests include the development of social group cognition and reasoning about social information.

Collaborating Graduate Students 

Emily is a fourth year Ph.D. student at UC San Diego, where she is working in Professor Leslie Carver's Developmental Neuroscience Lab. She is currently a visiting student researcher in the CCD Lab at UT Austin. Emily received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010. Her research interests include how parent-infant interactions relate to early cognitive development in different cultural contexts.

Sarah is a third year Ph.D. student at the University of St Andrews under the supervision of Professor Andrew Whiten. She graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2012 with a B.Sc. in Psychology. She received her M.Sc. in 2013 from Queen's University Belfast in Atypical Child Development. Sarah's research interests include the evolution of culture with a comparative focus on behavioral flexibility in chimpanzees and children.

Dan is a fifth year Ph.D. student at UT Austin. He graduated from UT in 2011 with a B.S. in psychology. Dan is interested in all things evolution, but his research focuses on quantitative approaches to mate preferences and mate selection as well as relationships between fertility and psychology

2015 Lab

2014 Lab


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  • Department of Psychology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043
    512-471-1157