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Amy E. Booth

Professor of Psychology and Human Development

My research focuses on cognitive development and learning in young children. In much of my work, I have specifically explored interactions between categorization, conceptual knowledge and word learning in infants and preschoolers. With the support of a grant from the National Science Foundation, I am currently investigating the relationship between  children’s early word-learning skills and their subsequent vocabulary knowledge and early literacy. In another line of work, also supported by the National Science Foundation, I am investigating the origins of children’s scientific literacy by examining early interests in, and ability to reason about, causal information. The long-term goals of both projects are to develop early interventions to close persistent achievement gaps and to optimize academic success for all children in both language and science.

Lab Website

Representative Publications

  1. Bauer, J., McGroarty-Torres, K. & Booth, A. E. (2016). Causally-rich group play: A powerful context for building preschoolers’ vocabulary. Frontiers in Psychology: Developmental Psychology, 7: 997. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00997. PMC4925663.
  2. Alvarez, A. & Booth, A. (2016). Exploring individual differences in preschoolers’ causal stance. Developmental Psychology, 52(3), 411-422. DOI: 10.1037/dev0000085
  3. Alvarez, A. & Booth, A. (2015). Preschoolers prefer to learn causal information. Frontiers in Psychology: Developmental Psychology, 6(60). DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00060. PMC4327508.
  4. Booth, A. (2015). Effects of causal information on early word learning: Efficiency and Longevity. Journal of Cognitive Development, 33, 99-107. DOI: 10:1016/j.cogdev.2014.05.001.
  5. Booth, A. & Alvarez, A. (2015). Developmental changes in causal supports for early word learning. Language Learning and Development, 11,(1), 80-92. DOI: 10.1080/15475441.2014.888900
  6.  Booth, A. (2014). Conceptually coherent categories support name-based inductive inference in preschoolers. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 123, 1-14. DOI:10.1016/j.jecp10.1016/j.jecp.2014.01.007
  7.  Alvarez, A.L.* & Booth, A.E. (2014). Motivated by meaning: Testing the effect of knowledge-infused rewards on preschoolers’ persistence. Child Development, 85(2), 783-791. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12151