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Jonathan D. Lane

Assistant Professor

My research is characterized by two interrelated themes. One theme is children's understanding of the mind or their "theory of mind." My studies examine developmental predictors of children's theory of mind (e.g., temperament), social-cognitive consequences of theory of mind development (e.g., moral reasoning, hostile attributions of intent, and how children learn from others), and the flexibility of children's theory of mind as evidenced in their understanding of non-human minds (e.g., all-knowing minds). The second theme focuses on children's understandings of the counterintuitive and counter-perceptual. Much of my work is focused on how children mentally represent ideas that defy their intuitions or first-hand perceptions (e.g., understanding that invisible entities can cause observable phenomena), as well as factors that influence children's belief in such ideas—including the nature of the claims, the expertise of the informants, and children’s own representational abilities and intuitions. 

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Lane, J. D., & Shafto, P. (in press). Young children's attributions of causal power to novel invisible entities. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.05.015

Lane, J. D., Ronfard, S., & El-Sherif, D. (in press). The influence of first-hand testimony and hearsay on children’s belief in the improbable. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12815

Ronfard, S., & Lane, J. D. (in press). Preschoolers continually adjust their epistemic trust based on an informant’s ongoing accuracy. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12720

Lane, J. D., & Dolins, F. (2016). Socio-cultural differences in judgments about the power of thought. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 27, 174-191. doi: 10.1163/9789004322035_012

Lane, J. D., Ronfard, S., Francioli, S., & Harris, P. L. (2016). Children’s imagination and belief: Prone to flights of fancy or grounded in reality? Cognition, 152, 127-140. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2016.03.022

Lane, J. D., Evans, E. M., Brink, K. A., & Wellman, H. M. (2016). Developing concepts of ordinary and extraordinary communication. Developmental Psychology, 52, 19-30. doi: 10.1037/dev0000061

Lane, J. D., Liqi, Z., Evans, E. M., & Wellman, H. M. (2016). Developing concepts of the mind, body, and afterlife: Exploring the roles of narrative context and culture. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 16, 50-82. doi: 10.1163/15685373-12342168

Lane, J. D., Evans, E. M., Brink, K. A., & Wellman, H. M. (2016). Developing concepts of ordinary and extraordinary communication. Developmental Psychology, 52, 19-30. doi: 10.1037/dev0000061

Heiphetz, L., Lane, J. D., Waytz, A., & Young, L. (2016). How children and adults represent God’s mind. Cognitive Science, 40, 121-144. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12232

Lane, J. D., & Harris, P. L. (2015). The roles of intuitions and informants’ expertise in children’s epistemic trust. Child Development, 86, 919-926. doi: 10.111/cdev.12324

Brink, K., Lane, J. D., & Wellman, H. M. (2015). Developmental pathways for social understanding: Linking social cognition to social contexts. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00719

Lane, J. D., & Song, J. (2015). Behavioral inhibition and social withdrawal across cultures. In Wright, J. D. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed., pp. 456-462). Oxford, UK: Elsevier Science Ltd.

Lane, J. D., Wellman, H. M., & Evans, E. M. (2014). Approaching an understanding of omniscience from the preschool years to early adulthood. Developmental Psychology, 50, 2380-2392. doi: 10.1037/a0037715

Lane, J. D., & Harris, P. L. (2014). Confronting, representing, and believing counterintuitive concepts: Navigating the natural and the supernatural. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9, 144-160. doi: 10.1177/1745691613518078

Lane, J. D., Harris, P. L., Gelman, S. A., & Wellman, H. M. (2014). More than meets the eye: Young children’s trust in claims that defy their perceptions. Developmental Psychology, 50, 865-871. doi: 10.1037/a0034291

Harris, P. L., & Lane, J. D. (2013). Infants understand how testimony works. Topoi: An International Review of Philosophy. doi: 10.1007/s11245-013-9180-0

Choe, D. E., Lane, J. D., Grabell, A. S., & Olson, S. L. (2013). Developmental precursors of young school-age children’s hostile attribution bias. Developmental Psychology, 49, 2245-2256. doi: 10.1037/a0032293

Lane, J. D., Wellman, H. M., & Gelman, S. A. (2013). Informants' traits weigh heavily in young children's trust in testimony and in their epistemic inferences. Child Development, 84, 1253-1268. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12029

Lane, J. D., Wellman, H. M., Olson, S. L., Miller, A. L., Wang, L. & Tardif, T. (2013). Relations between temperament and theory of mind development in the United States and China: Biological and behavioral correlates of preschoolers’ false-belief understanding. Developmental Psychology, 49, 825-836. doi: 10.1037/a0028825

Lane, J. D., Wellman, H. M., & Evans, E. M. (2012). Sociocultural input facilitates children’s developing understanding of extraordinary minds. Child Development, 83, 1007-1021. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01741.x

Wellman, H. M., Lane, J. D., LaBounty, J., & Olson, S. L. (2011). Observant, nonaggressive temperament predicts theory of mind development. Developmental Science, 14, 319-326. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2010.00977.x

Lane, J. D., Wellman, H. M., & Evans, E. M. (2010). Children’s understanding of ordinary and extraordinary minds. Child Development, 81, 1475-1489. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01486.x

Lane, J. D., Wellman, H. M., Olson, S. L., LaBounty, J., & Kerr, D. C. R. (2010). Theory of mind and emotion understanding predict moral development in early childhood. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 28, 871-889. doi: 10.1348/026151009X483056


Honors

National Research Service Award,  National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2012

Rackham School of Graduate Studies Doctoral Candidate Research Grant, Univ. of Michigan, 2011

Rackham School of Graduate Studies Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2010

Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Honor Society, 2009

Rackham School of Graduate Studies Pre-candidate Research Grant, University of Michigan, 2008

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NRSA trainee, U. of Michigan, 2006 - 2007