Michigan State University

College of Social Science

Human Development Initiative

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The Human Development Initiative, begun in 2009, is a community of scholars throughout the university interested in development across the lifespan. The initiative creates venues where scholars involved in cutting-edge research in the social and health sciences (including genetics, neuroscience, and psychosocial development) can focus on the intersections between their own work and that of other researchers. We invite faculty and graduate students to join us at our bi-weekly brown bag speaker series and our fall and spring colloquia.

Danovitch Judith Danovitch
Assistant Professor
Primary Program: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
225B Psychology
(517) 432-3461

Research Statement

Dr. Danovitch’s research focuses on how children seek out, evaluate, and share information.

Recent projects have investigated the processes underlying young children's understanding of expertise, children's understanding of knowledge acquisition and decision-making, and how children think about technology-based information sources.

Other recent work focuses on the development of moral reasoning and disgust, and the development of intense special interests in children with autism.

Research Publications    
2012Mills, C. M., Danovitch, J. H., Grants, M. G., & Elashi. F. B. (2012). Little pitchers use their big ears: Preschoolers solve problems by listening to others ask questions. Child Development, 83 (2), 568-580.
2010Danovitch, J. H., Greif, M. L., & Mills, C. M. (2010). Working with undergraduate research assistants: Setting-up and maintaining a research lab. Association for Psychological Science Observer, 23, 29-32.
2009Danovitch, J. H., & Bloom, P. (2009). Children’s extension of disgust to physical and moral events. Emotion, 9, 107-112.
2008Baum, L. A., Danovitch, J. H., & Keil, F. C. (2008). Children’s sensitivity to circular explanations. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 100, 146-155.
2008Danovitch, J. H., & Keil, F. C. (2008). Young Humeans: The role of emotions in children’s evaluation of moral reasoning abilities. Developmental Science, 11, 33-39.
2007Danovitch, J. H, & Keil, F. C. (2007). Choosing between hearts and minds: Children’s understanding of moral advisors. Cognitive Development, 22, 110-123.
2007Klin, A., Danovitch, J. H., Merz, A. B., & Volkmar, F. R. (2007). Circumscribed interests in higher-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders: an exploratory study and a theory. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 32, 89-100.
2004Danovitch, J. H., & Keil, F. (2004). Should you ask a fisherman or a biologist?: Developmental shifts in ways of clustering knowledge. Child Development, 75, 918-931.