David S Yeager


Faculty Research AssociatePh.D., Stanford University

Associate Professor of Psychology
David S Yeager

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-1846
  • Office: SEA 5.224
  • Office Hours: By Appointment

Interests


Social-cognitive development, Motivation, Aggression, Adolescence, Research methodology, and Psychological interventions

Biography


Dr. Yeager is interested in understanding the processes shaping adolescent development, especially how social cognitive factors interact with structural and physiological factors to create positive or negative trajectories for youth.  He is also interested in learning how to influence these psychological processes, so as to improve developmental and educational outcomes for youth.  He primarily conducts randomized experiments in school settings because he believes, as Bronfenbrenner and Lewin did, that a good way to understand the system of forces affecting behavior and development is to try to change it.  In addition, in the process of designing experiments, we may create interventions that, with some adaptation, may be useful for addressing important problems facing society. 

Representative Publications (See lab site for full list of publications)

Yeager, D. S. (in press). Dealing with social difficulty during adolescence: The role of implicit theories of personality. Child Development Perspectives.

Yeager, D. S., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Hooper, S. Y. and Cohen, G. L. (2017). Loss of institutional trust among racial and ethnic minority adolescents: A consequence of procedural injustice and a cause of life-span outcomes. Child Development.

Bryan, C., Yeager, D. S., Hinojosa, C.,* Chabot, A. M.,* Bergen, H.,* Kawamura, M.* & Steubing, F. (2016). Harnessing adolescent values to reduce unhealthy snacking. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(39), 10830-10835. 

Yeager, D.S., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Yang, S., & Cohen, G.L. (in press). Declining institutional trust among racial and ethnic minority adolescents: Consequence of procedural injustice, cause of behavioral disengagement. Child Development.

Yeager, D. S., Walton, G., Brady, S., Akcinar, E. N.*, Paunesku, D., Keane, L., Kamentz, D., ... & Dweck, C. S. (2016). Teaching a lay theory before college narrows achievement gaps at scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113, E3341-E3348.
+ Yeager and Walton contributed equally to this research

Yeager, D.S., Lee, H.Y.* & Jamieson, J. (2016). How to improve adolescent stress responses: Insights from an integration of implicit theories and biopsychosocial models. Psychological Science27, 1078-1091.

Yeager, D.S., Romero, C., Paunesku, D., Hulleman, C., Schneider, B., Hinojosa, C., Lee, H.Y., O’Brien, J., Flint, K., Roberts, A., Trott, J., Walton, G.M. & Dweck, C.S. (2016). Using design thinking to make psychological interventions ready for scaling: The case of the growth mindset during the transition to high school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(3), 374-391. 

Miu, A. & Yeager, D.S. (2015). Preventing symptoms of depression by teaching adolescents that people can change:  Effects of a brief incremental theory of personality intervention at 9-month follow-up.  Clinical Psychological Science, 3, 726-743. 

Duckworth, A.L., & Yeager, D.S. (2015). Measurement matters: Assessing personal qualities other than cognitive ability. Educational Researcher, 44, 237-251.

Yeager, D.S., Henderson, M., Paunesku, D., Walton, G., Spitzer, B., D’Mello, S., & Duckworth, A.L. (2014). Boring but important: A self-transcendent purpose for learning fosters academic self-regulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107, 559-580.

Yeager, D.S., Johnson, R., Spitzer, B., Trzesniewski, K., Powers, J., & Dweck, C.S. (2014). The far-reaching effects of believing people can change: Implicit theories of personality shape stress, health, and achievement during adolescence.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 867-884

Yeager, D.S., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Garcia, J., Apfel, N., Pebley, P., Master, A., Hessert, W., Williams, M. & Cohen, G.L. (2014). Breaking the cycle of mistrust: Wise interventions to provide critical feedback across the racial divide. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General143, 804-824.

Yeager, D.S., Miu, A.*, Powers, J., & Dweck, C.S. (2013). Implicit theories of personality and attributions of hostile intent: A meta-analysis, an experiment, and a longitudinal intervention. Child Development, 84, 1651-1667.

Yeager, D.S., Trzesniewski, K., & Dweck, C.S. (2013).  An implicit theories of personality intervention reduces adolescent aggression in response to victimization and exclusion. Child Development, 84, 970-988.

Yeager, D.S. & Dweck, C.S. (2012). Mindsets that promote resilience: When students believe that personal characteristics can be developed. Educational Psychologist, 47, 1-13.

Yeager, D.S., Bundick, M.J. & Johnson, B. (2012). The role of future work goal motives in adolescent identity development: A longitudinal mixed-methods investigation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37, 206-217.

Yeager, D.S. & Krosnick, J. (2011).  Does mentioning “some people” and “other people” in a survey question increase the accuracy of adolescents’ self-reports? Developmental Psychology, 47, 1674-1679.

Yeager, D.S., Trzesniewski, K., Tirri, K., Nokelainen, P., & Dweck, C.S. (2011). Adolescents’ implicit theories predict desire for vengeance: Correlational and experimental evidence. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1090-1107.

Yeager, D.S. & Walton, G. (2011). Social-psychological interventions in education: They’re not magic. Review of Educational Research, 81, 267-301.

Yeager, D.S., Krosnick, J., Chang, L-C., Javitz, H., Levendusky, M., Simpser, A. & Wang, R. (2011). Comparing the accuracy of RDD telephone surveys and Internet surveys conducted with probability and non-probability samples. Public Opinion Quarterly, 75, 709-747.

Courses


T C 302 • Adolescence: Self And Society

42425 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM CLA 0.106

Description:

Adolescence is a unique time in a person’s life. In addition to rapid biological changes, teenagers also experience new challenges in their personal relationships with friends, family, and romantic/sexual partners, and begin to occupy new roles in society. This class will integrate research and scholarship from medicine, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, literature, and law in order to understand adolescent development. Topics include the biological changes of puberty; how the adolescent brain is different from the adult brain; how relationships with parents, friends, and romantic partners change during the teenage years; the emergence of mental health problems; laws regarding when teenagers are granted privileges and responsibilities (e.g., being tried as an adult, being able to buy alcohol legally); and how contemporary American society understands and treats adolescents in comparison to other cultures, past and present. In addition to reading non-fiction and fiction books, students will learn to locate and read articles published in scientific journals. Students will also respond critically to television and film representations of adolescence.

 

Texts (may be excerpted):

Columbine by Dave Cullen (Grand Central Publishing)

Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex by Amy T. Schalet (University of Chicago Press)

Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Marriage before Motherhood by Kathryn Edin (University of California Press)

Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead (William Morrow)

Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation by Neil Howe and William Strauss (Vintage Books)

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic)

 

Additional texts, including scientific journal articles, are to be determined.

• Example: Steinberg, L. (2013). The influence of neuroscience on U.S. Supreme Court decisions about adolescents’ criminal culpability. Nature Neuroscience, 14, 513-518.


Assignments:

Writing

Posts to Discussion Board: Students will be required to post a brief (300-500 words) reading response to the Canvas discussion board at least once per week. These are informal, blog-like posts intended to stimulate active thinking about readings before the beginning of seminar discussions. Responses will be graded as good, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory/incomplete. [10% of final grade]

Film Responses: Students will write two 2-page response papers that respond to television shows or films that represent teenage life (e.g., Boyhood, The Hunger Games, My So-Called Life). [10% of final grade]

Short Papers: Students will write two 3-4 page papers. One paper will be on adolescent experiences in armed conflict, and may draw on the novel, Fallen Angels, and materials from the Vietnam exhibit of the Lyndon B. Johnson library. (See “Gems of the University” below.) The second will be on pubertal and sexual development in adolescence, and may draw on Coming of Age in Samoa, Not Under My Roof, and/or Promises I Can Keep. Each paper will be submitted twice (first draft and revision after comments from peers and instructor) for a total of four graded assignments. [20% of final grade]

 

Final Paper: Students will be required to choose one controversy regarding law or public policy (e.g., parental notification for elective abortion, life without parole for teenage offenders, graduated drivers’ licenses) and write an 8-page paper describing the controversy, their policy recommendation, and evidence from research in neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, and/or sociology that supports this recommendation. There will be a number of smaller assignments throughout the semester to scaffold completing this assignment, including completing an annotated bibliography and structured outline. Students will be required to circulate first drafts of their papers for peer review. [25% of final grade]

This course meets the requirements of the Writing Flag.


Oral Presentation

Students will give a 10-15 minute presentation summarizing the arguments from their final paper. Students may use visual aids (e.g., Powerpoint slides). The class will be given the opportunity to respond to the speaker’s presentation with comments and questions. [10% of final grade]

 

Discussion

The majority of class time will be devoted to group discussion. To facilitate discussion, students will be required to post a brief reading response to a Canvas discussion board before class (see “Writing”, above). [25% of final grade]

 

Information Literacy

In order to prepare students to write their final paper, there will be a number of tutorials on using library databases and search engines (e.g., Google Scholar) to locate and download scientific articles, distinguishing reputable from untrustworthy internet sources, preparing citations and references sections, and avoiding plagiarism. Students will also be required to complete an annotated bibliography as part of the Final Paper assignment.

 

Gems of the University

During one class period, we will visit the “Vietnam Conflict” exhibit at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. Insights and impressions from this visit will be used in our discussion of adolescents as soldiers, and students will draw on this experience when writing one of their short papers.


University Lecture Series

One lecture from the University Lecture Series (to be determined) will be required. Students will be asked to comment on the lecture in their weekly post to the Canvas discussion board, and the lecture content will be discussed during the next class period.

 

Instructor Biography

Dr. Harden is a clinical psychologist who conducts research on puberty, delinquency, alcohol problems, and sexual relationships in adolescence and young adulthood. Before coming to the University of Texas in 2009, she completed a Ph.D. at the University of Virginia and then did a clinical internship at Harvard Medical School working with adolescent girls with serious eating disorders. She has published over 50 scientific articles on adolescent development and psychopathology. When not in the lab, Dr. Harden enjoys reading mystery novels, quilting, and going to Zilker Park with her husband and two young children.

 

PSY 341K • Devel Sci Of Adolescence

43131 • Fall 2017
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM BUR 136

In this course we will be studying the attachment relationship. We'll begin with historical foundations for the construct as we understand it today. Then we'll look at some of the correlates of attachment security. Precursors to attachment security comprise characteristics of the infant (nature) as well as the characteristics of the enviroment (nurture). We'll examine evidence for the contributions of each of these possible influences. In order to evaluate predictions from security status and precursors to such security, we'll also look at what attachment looks like beyond childhood. Finally, we'll look at clinical problems that can arise from insecurity.

 

Topics of contemporary interest that may vary from semester to semester. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. 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 394S • Adv Dev Sci Of Adolescence

43469 • Spring 2017
Meets M 9:00AM-12:00PM 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 394S • Adv Dev Sci Of Adolescence

43383 • Fall 2016
Meets M 3:30PM-6:30PM 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 394S • Fundmntls Of Devel Psychology

42515 • Fall 2015
Meets TH 4:00PM-7:00PM 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 394S • Workshop Psychol Interventions

44295 • Spring 2014
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM 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 333D • Intro To Developmental Psych

43355 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM FAC 21

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 333D • Intro To Developmental Psych

43215 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WEL 1.316

This course is designed to introduce students to thinking like a developmental psychologist. Why do this? Because thinking like a developmental psychologist helps you to (1) understand human nature and (2) solve social problems. By understanding the patterns and systems of influences that shape us from infancy to adulthood, you gain a novel perspective on what it means to be a human. You can also apply these insights to create wise and developmentally appropriate interventions, both in everyday life and in the policies you endorse as a citizen.

Thinking like a developmental psychologist involves: (a) asking big questions about human development; (b) designing and carrying out studies that turn those questions into testable hypotheses; and (c) explaining to others what the specific test they conducted says about the big question they asked. Therefore this introductory course has three objectives:

1. Learn what central questions have been addressed in the field of developmental psychology and what their theoretical, philosophical, and practical implications are.

• They are: (a) nativism vs. empiricism; (b) active vs. passive development; (c) continuous vs. discontinuous development; and (d) stability vs. plasticity.

  1. Learn about the design and results from prominent studies that have addressed these central questions.

  2. Learn how to interpret the data from developmental psychological studies and clearly explain how they address these central questions.

In the service of these objectives, the course will involve lectures, four writing assignments (~1 page each), three in-class exams, and a final paper (1500 words or less). TA sessions will also be scheduled on Fridays to review for exams, prepare for writing assignments, etc.

The course content will cover 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 will be reviewed. Specific topics that will be 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.

Publications


Representative Publications

(See lab website for full list of publications)

Yeager, D. S., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Hooper, S. Y. and Cohen, G. L. (2017). Loss of institutional trust among racial and ethnic minority adolescents: A consequence of procedural injustice and a cause of life-span outcomes. Child Development.

Bryan, C., Yeager, D. S., Hinojosa, C.,* Chabot, A. M.,* Bergen, H.,* Kawamura, M.* & Steubing, F. (2016). Harnessing adolescent values to reduce unhealthy snacking. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(39), 10830-10835. 

Yeager, D.S., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Yang, S., & Cohen, G.L. (in press). Declining institutional trust among racial and ethnic minority adolescents: Consequence of procedural injustice, cause of behavioral disengagement. Child Development.

Yeager, D. S., Walton, G., Brady, S., Akcinar, E. N.*, Paunesku, D., Keane, L., Kamentz, D., ... & Dweck, C. S. (2016). Teaching a lay theory before college narrows achievement gaps at scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113, E3341-E3348.
+ Yeager and Walton contributed equally to this research 

Yeager, D.S., Lee, H.Y.* & Jamieson, J. (2016). How to improve adolescent stress responses: Insights from an integration of implicit theories and biopsychosocial models. Psychological Science27, 1078-1091.

Yeager, D.S., Romero, C., Paunesku, D., Hulleman, C., Schneider, B., Hinojosa, C., Lee, H.Y., O’Brien, J., Flint, K., Roberts, A., Trott, J., Walton, G.M. & Dweck, C.S. (2016). Using design thinking to make psychological interventions ready for scaling: The case of the growth mindset during the transition to high school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(3), 374-391. 

Miu, A. & Yeager, D.S. (2015). Preventing symptoms of depression by teaching adolescents that people can change:  Effects of a brief incremental theory of personality intervention at 9-month follow-up.  Clinical Psychological Science, 3, 726-743. 

Duckworth, A.L., & Yeager, D.S. (2015). Measurement matters: Assessing personal qualities other than cognitive ability. Educational Researcher, 44, 237-251.

Yeager, D.S., Henderson, M., Paunesku, D., Walton, G., Spitzer, B., D’Mello, S., & Duckworth, A.L. (2014). Boring but important: A self-transcendent purpose for learning fosters academic self-regulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107, 559-580.

Yeager, D.S., Johnson, R., Spitzer, B., Trzesniewski, K., Powers, J., & Dweck, C.S. (2014). The far-reaching effects of believing people can change: Implicit theories of personality shape stress, health, and achievement during adolescence.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 867-884

Yeager, D.S., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Garcia, J., Apfel, N., Pebley, P., Master, A., Hessert, W., Williams, M. & Cohen, G.L. (2014). Breaking the cycle of mistrust: Wise interventions to provide critical feedback across the racial divide. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 804-824.

Yeager, D.S., Miu, A.*, Powers, J., & Dweck, C.S. (2013). Implicit theories of personality and attributions of hostile intent: A meta-analysis, an experiment, and a longitudinal intervention. Child Development, 84, 1651-1667.

Yeager, D.S., Trzesniewski, K., & Dweck, C.S. (2013).  An implicit theories of personality intervention reduces adolescent aggression in response to victimization and exclusion. Child Development, 84, 970-988.

Yeager, D.S. & Dweck, C.S. (2012). Mindsets that promote resilience: When students believe that personal characteristics can be developed. Educational Psychologist, 47, 1-13.

Yeager, D.S., Bundick, M.J. & Johnson, B. (2012). The role of future work goal motives in adolescent identity development: A longitudinal mixed-methods investigation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37, 206-217.

Yeager, D.S. & Krosnick, J. (2011).  Does mentioning “some people” and “other people” in a survey question increase the accuracy of adolescents’ self-reports? Developmental Psychology, 47, 1674-1679.

Yeager, D.S., Trzesniewski, K., Tirri, K., Nokelainen, P., & Dweck, C.S. (2011). Adolescents’ implicit theories predict desire for vengeance: Correlational and experimental evidence. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1090-1107.

Yeager, D.S. & Walton, G. (2011). Social-psychological interventions in education: They’re not magic. Review of Educational Research, 81, 267-301.

Yeager, D.S., Krosnick, J., Chang, L-C., Javitz, H., Levendusky, M., Simpser, A. & Wang, R. (2011). Comparing the accuracy of RDD telephone surveys and Internet surveys conducted with probability and non-probability samples. Public Opinion Quarterly, 75, 709-747.


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