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Jonathan D. Lane

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Human Development

My research is focused on children’s social-cognitive development: their developing understandings of other people and minds, and the ways in which they learn from other people and minds. My work on children’s understanding of minds-- their "theory of mind"--has identified developmental predictors of children's theory of mind (e.g., temperament), social-cognitive consequences of theory of mind development (e.g., children’s moral reasoning, hostile attributions of intent, and social learning), and has explored the flexibility of children's theory of mind as evidenced in their understanding of extraordinary minds (e.g., omniscient beings). My work on how children learn from others has focused on how children’s conceptual development and beliefs are influenced by others’ claims about counter-perceptual phenomena (e.g., invisible entities that can cause observable phenomena) and counterintuitive phenomena (e.g., animals with extraordinary capacities). Most recently, my work on children’s social learning has begun to address questions of how children’s attitudes about new social groups are influenced by others’ claims about those groups.

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Lane, J. D., & Bowman, L. C. (in press). How children’s social tendencies can shape their Theory of Mind development: Access and attention to social information. Developmental Review.

Conder, E. B., & Lane, J. D. (in press). Overhearing brief negative messages has lasting effects on children’s attitudes toward novel social groups. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13547

Lane, J. D. (2021). Constructing ideas of the supernatural. Journal of Cognition and Development, 22, 343-355. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2021.1906679

Lane, J. D., Conder, E. B., & Rottman, J. (2020). The influence of direct and overheard messages on children’s attitudes toward novel social groups. Child Development, 91, 829-845. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13238

Lane, J. D. (2020). Probabilistic reasoning in context: Socio-cultural differences in children's and adults' predictions about the fulfillment of prayers and wishes. Journal of Cognition and Development, 21, 240-260. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2019.1709468

Danovitch, J. H., & Lane, J. D. (2020). Children’s belief in purported events: When claims reference hearsay, books, or the internet. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 193. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2020.104808

Lane, J. D. (2018). Children’s belief in counterintuitive and counter-perceptual messages. Child Development Perspectives, 12, 247-252. doi: 10.1111/cdep.12294

Lane, J. D., Ronfard, S., & El-Sherif, D. (2018). The influence of first-hand testimony and hearsay on children’s belief in the improbable. Child Development, 89, 1133-1140. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12815

Ronfard, S., & Lane, J. D. (2018). Preschoolers continually adjust their epistemic trust based on an informant’s ongoing accuracy. Child Development, 89, 414-429. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12720

Lane, J. D., & Shafto, P. (2017). Young children's attributions of causal power to novel invisible entities. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 162, 268-281. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.05.015

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., 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

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

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

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