Academic Publications

Below are a list of publications that have come out of the lab. You will need a pdf reader in order to access many of them. Please limit use of these papers for personal or academic reasons only. If there is not a link to the paper, please email Prof. Sobel to request a copy. 

2017 and in press

Sobel, D. M. (in press). Causality. In Bornstein, M. (Ed.), Sage Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication Inc.

Sobel, D. M., & Letourneau, S. M. (in press-a). Preschoolers’ understanding of learning through play and instruction. Child Development.

Sobel, D. M., & Letourneau, S. (in press-b). Curiosity, exploration, and children’s understanding of learning. In M. Saylor, & P. Ganea (Eds.), Language and concept development from infancy through childhood: Motivation, cognition, and linguistic mechanisms of learning.

Erb, C., Moher, J., Song, J., & Sobel, D. M. (in press-a). Numerical cognition in action: Reaching behavior reveals numerical distance effects in 5- to 6-year-olds. Journal of Numerical Cognition.

Erb, C., Moher, J., Song, J., & Sobel, D. M. (in press-b). Reach tracking reveals dissociable processes underlying inhibitory control in 5- to 10-year-olds. Developmental Science

Legare, C. H., Sobel, D. M., & Callanan, M. (in press). Causal learning is collaborative: Examining explanation and exploration in social context. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Macris, D. M., & Sobel, D. M. (in press). Evidence diversity and explanation influence how children resolve counterevidence. Journal of Cognition and Development.

Erb, C. D., Moher, J., Song, J. H., & Sobel, D. M. (2017). Cognitive control in action: Tracking the dynamics of rule switching in 5-to 8-year-olds and adults. Cognition, 164, 163-173.

Letourneau, S., Meisner, R., Neuwirth, J. & Sobel, D. M. (2017). What do caregivers notice and value about how children learn through play in a children’s museum? Journal of Museum Education, 42, 87-98.

2016

Sobel, D. M. & Austerweil, J. (2016). Coding choices affect performance on a false belief measure. Cognitive Development, 40, 9-23.

Sobel, D. M., & Letourneau, S. M. (2016). Children’s developing knowledge of and reflection about teaching. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 143, 111-122.

Chernyak, N., & Sobel, D. M. (2016). Equal but not always fair: Value-laden sharing in preschool-aged children. Social Development.

Sobel, D. M., & Letourneau, S. (2016). Children's developing knowledge of and reflection about teaching. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 

Sobel, D. M., & Jipson, J. (2016). Relating research and practice: Cognitive development in museum settings. New York: Psychology Press.

Sobel, D. M., Letourneau, S., & Meisner, R. (2016). Developing Mind Lab: A University-Museum partnership to explore the process of learning. In D. M. Sobel & J. Jipson (Eds). Relating research and practice: Cognitive development in museum settings. New York: Psychology Press.

Jipson, J., & Sobel, D. M. (2016). The interaction between research and practice in museum settings: An introduction and synthesis. In D. M. Sobel & J. Jipson (Eds). Relating research and practice: Cognitive development in museum settings. New York: Psychology Press.

2015 

Sobel, D. M. (2015). Can you do it?: How preschoolers judge others have learned. Journal of Cognition and Development.  

Tenenbaum, E. J., Sobel, D. M., Sheinkopf, S. J., Malle, B. F., & Morgan, J. L. (2015). Attention to the mouth and gaze following in infancy predicts language development. Journal of Child Language.

Van Reet, J., Green, K. F., & Sobel, D. M. (2015). Preschoolers’ existing theory of mind knowledge influences whom they trust about others’ theory of mind. Journal of Cognition and Development.

Sobel, D. M. & Letourneau, S. (2015). Children’s developing understanding of what and how they’ve learned. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 132, 221-229.

2014

Sobel, D. M., & Legare, C. (2014). Causal learning in children. WIRE-Cognitive Science, 5, 413-427.

Sobel, D. M., & Weisberg, D. S. (2014). Tell me a story: How children’s developing domain knowledge affects their story construction. Journal of Cognition and Development, 15, 465-478.

Buchanan, D. W., & Sobel, D. M. (2014) Edge replacement and minimality as models of causal inference in children. In J. Benson (Ed.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior Volume 46 (pp. 183-213). Waltham MA: Academic Press.

Erb, C. D., & Sobel, D. M. (2014). The development diagnostic reasoning about uncertain events between ages 4-7. PLOS-One, 9, 1-6.

Knutsen, J., Frye. D., & Sobel, D. M. (2014). Theory of learning, theory of teaching, theory of mind: How socio-cognitive development influences children’s understanding of learning and teaching. In O. Saccaro & B. Spodek (Eds.), Contemporary Perspectives on Early Childhood Education. (pp 269-290). College Park, MD: Information Age Publishing.

Tummeltshammer, K. S., Wu, R., Sobel, D. M., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2014). Infants monitor the reliability of potential informants. Psychological Science, 25, 1730-1738.

2013

Sobel, D. M., & Kushnir, T. (2013). Knowledge matters:  How children evaluate the reliability of testimony as a process of rational inference. Psychological Review, 120, 779-797.

Sobel, D. M., & Macris, D. M. (2013). Children’s understanding of speaker reliability across linguistic domains. Developmental Psychology, 49, 523-532.

Erb, C., Buchanan, D. W., & Sobel, D. M. (2013). Variability indicates complexity in children’s inference about causal mechanisms. Cognition, 129, 494-500.

Tenenbaum, E. J., Shah, R. J., Sobel, D. M., Malle, B. F., & Morgan, J. L. (2013). Increased focus on the mouth among infants in the first year of life: A longitudinal eye-tracking study. Infancy, 18, 534-553.

Weisberg, D. S., Sobel, D. M., Goodstein, J., & Bloom, P. (2013). Young children are reality-prone when thinking about stories. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 383-407.

Yang, D. J., Bushnell, E. W., Buchanan, D. W., & Sobel, D. M. (2013). Infants’ use of contextual cues in imitation and generalization of effective causal actions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 116, 510-531.

2012

Sobel, D. M., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2012). The influence of social information of children’s statistical and causal learning. Advances in Child Development & Behavior, 43 (Guest Editors F. Xu & T. Kushnir, Rational Constructivism in Cognitive Development), 321-350.

Sobel, D. M., Sedivy, J., Buchanan, D. W., & Hennessey, R. (2012). The role of speaker reliability in children’s inferences about the meaning of novel words. Journal of Child Language, 39, 90-104.

Fernbach, P. M., Macris, D. M. & Sobel, D. M. (2012). Which one made it go?: The emergence of diagnostic reasoning in preschoolers. Cognitive Development, 27, 39-53.

Weisberg, D. S., & Sobel, D. M. (2012). Young children discriminate improbable from impossible events in fiction. Cognitive Development, 27, 90-98.

2011

Sobel, D. M. (2011) Domain specific causal knowledge and children’s reasoning about possibility. In C. Hoerl, T. McCormick & S. Beck (Eds.). Understanding Counterfactuals/Understanding Causation: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology (pp. 123-146). New York: Oxford.

Buchanan, D. W., & Sobel, D. M. (2011). Mechanism-based causal reasoning in young children. Child Development, 82, 2053-2066.

Buchanan, D. W. & Sobel, D. M. (2011). Children posit hidden causes to explain causal variability. Proceedings of the 33st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Boston, MA.

Cook, C. & Sobel, D. M. (2011). Children’s understanding of the fantasy/reality status of hypothetical machines. Developmental Science, 14, 1-8.

Griffiths, T. L., Sobel, D. M., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Gopnik, A. (2011). Bayes and blickets: Effects of knowledge on causal induction in children and adults. Cognitive Science, 35, 1407-1455.

2010

Sobel, D. M., Buchanan, D. W., Butterfield, J., & Jenkins, O. C. (2010). Interactions between causal models, theories, and social cognitive development. Neural Networks, 8-9, 1060-1071.

Sobel, D. M., & Corriveau, K. H. (2010). Children monitor individuals’ expertise for word learning. Child Development, 81, 669-679.

Sobel, D. M., & Sommerville, J. A. (2010). The importance of discovery in children’s causal learning from interventions. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 1, 176-183.

Buchanan, D. W. & Sobel, D. M. (2010). Causal stream location effects in preschoolers. Proceedings of the 32st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Portland, OR.

Buchanan, D. W., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Sobel, D. M. (2010). Edge replacement and nonindependence in causation. Proceedings of the 32st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Portland, OR.

2009

Sobel, D. M. (2009). Enabling conditions and children’s understanding of pretense. Cognition, 113, 177-188.

Sobel, D. M. (2009). Integrating top-down and bottom-up approaches to causal learning. In S. Johnson (Ed.), Neoconstructivism: The new science of cognitive development (pp. 159-179). New York: Oxford.

Sobel, D. M., & Buchanan, D. W. (2009). Bridging the gap: Causality at a distance in children’s categorization and inferences about internal properties. Cognitive Development, 24, 274-283.

Sobel, D. M., & Munro, S. A. (2009). Domain generality and specificity in children’s causal inferences about ambiguous data. Developmental Psychology, 45, 511-524.

Sobel, D. M., & Sommerville, J. A. (2009) Rationales in children’s causal learning from others’ actions. Cognitive Development, 24, 70-79.

Sobel, D. M., Sommerville, J. A., Travers, L. V., Blumenthal, E. J., & Stoddard, E. (2009). Preschoolers’ use of others’ beliefs to make causal inferences from probabilistic data. Journal of Cognition and Development, 10, 262-284.

Butterfield, J., Jenkins, O. C., Sobel, D. M., & Schwertfeger, J. (2009). Modeling aspects of theory of mind with Markov Random Fields. International Journal of Social Robotics, 1, 41-51.

Vander Wyk, B., Hudac, C., Carter, L., Sobel, D. M., &. Pelphrey, K. (2009). Action understanding in the Superior Temporal Sulcus region. Psychological Science, 20, 771-777. 

2008 and Earlier

Buchanan, D. W. & Sobel, D. M. (2008). Children’s developing inferences about object labels and insides from causality-at-a-distance. Proceedings of the 30th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Washington, DC.

Sobel, D. M. (2007). Children’s knowledge of the relation between intentional action and pretending. Cognitive Development, 22, 130-141.

Sobel, D. M., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2007). Bayes nets and blickets: Infants’ developing representations of causal knowledge. Developmental Science, 10, 298–306.

Sobel, D. M., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2007). Interactions between causal and statistical learning. In A. Gopnik & L. E. Schulz (Eds.), Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy, and Computation (pp. 139-153). New York: Oxford University Press.

Sobel, D. M., Li, J., & Corriveau, K. H. (2007). “They danced around in my head and then I learned them”: Children’s developing conceptions of learning events. Journal of Cognition and Development, 8, 345-369.

Sobel, D. M., Yoachim, C. M., Gopnik, A., Meltzoff, A. N., & Blumenthal, E. J. (2007). The blicket within: Preschoolers’ inferences about insides and causes. Journal of Cognition and Development, 8, 159-182.

Sobel, D. M. (2006). How fantasy benefits young children’s understanding of pretense. Developmental Science, 9, 63-75.

Sobel, D. M., & Kirkham, N. Z. (2006). Blickets and babies: The development of causal reasoning in toddlers and infants. Developmental Psychology, 42, 1103-1115.

Sobel, D. M., & Kushnir, T. (2006). The importance of decision demands in causal learning from interventions. Memory & Cognition, 34, 411-419.

Sobel, D. M., & Munro, S. A. (2006). When Mr. Blicket wants it, children are Bayesian. Proceedings of the 28th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Vancouver, CA.

Mitroff, S. R., Sobel, D. M., & Gopnik, A. (2006). Reversing how to think about ambiguous figure reversals: Spontaneous alternating by uninformed observers. Perception, 35, 709-718.

Sobel, D. M., Capps, L. M., & Gopnik, A. (2005). Ambiguous figure perception and theory of mind understanding in children with autistic spectrum disorders. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 23, 159-174.

Sobel, D. M. (2004). Children’s developing knowledge of the relation between mental awareness and pretense. Child Development, 75, 704-729.

Sobel, D. M. (2004). Exploring the coherence of young children’s explanatory abilities: Evidence from generating counterfactuals. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 22, 37-58.

Sobel, D. M., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Gopnik, A. (2004). Children’s causal inferences from indirect evidence: Backwards blocking and Bayesian reasoning in preschoolers. Cognitive Science, 28, 303-333.  

Gopnik, A. Glymour, C., Sobel, D. M., Schulz, L. E., Kushnir, T, & Danks, D. (2004). A theory of causal learning in children: Causal maps and Bayes nets. Psychological Review, 111, 3-32.

Sobel, D. M., & Kushnir, T. (2003). Interventions do not solely benefit causal learning: Being told what to do results in worse learning than doing it yourself. In R. Alterman & D. Kirsh (Eds.), Proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1100-1105). Boston, MA.

Sobel, D. M. & Lillard, A. S. (2002). Young children’s understanding of pretense: Do words bend the truth?  Developmental Science, 5, 87-97. 

Sobel, D. M., & Lillard, A. S. (2001). The impact of fantasy and action on young children’s understanding of pretense. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 19, 85-98.

Gopnik, A., Sobel, D. M., Schulz, L. E., Glymour, C. (2001). Causal learning mechanisms in very young children: Two, three, and four-year-olds infer causal relations from patterns of variation and covariation. Developmental Psychology, 37, 620-629.

Gopnik A., & Sobel, D. M. (2000). Detecting blickets: How young children use information about causal powers in categorization and induction. Child Development, 71, 1205-1222.

Lillard, A. S., & Sobel, D. M. (1999). Lion Kings or puppies: The influence of fantasy on children’s understanding of pretense. Developmental Science, 2, 75-80.