Ronfard, S., Brown, S., Doncaster, E., & Kelemen, D. (2021). Inhibiting intuition: Scaffolding children’s theory construction about species evolution in the face of competing explanations. Cognition. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104635 Data

#teaching #counterintuitive beliefs #natural selection


Ronfard, S., Chen, E. E., & Harris, P. L. (2021). Testing what you’re told: Young children’s empirical investigation of a surprising claim. Journal of Cognition and Development. Data

Testimony, Information Seeking, Testing Claims, Counterintuitive Beliefs, Cross-Cultural

Hermansen, T., K., Ronfard, S., Harris, P.L., Pons, F., & Zambrana, I., M. (2021). Young children update their trust in an informant’s claim when experience tells them otherwise. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2020.105063

#testimony #information seeking #testing claims 

Ronfard, S., *Wei, R., & Rowe, M. (In press). Uncovering the linguistic, social, and cognitive skills underlying processing efficiency as measured by the looking-while-listening paradigm. Journal of Child Language.  Data

*Denotes shared 1st authorship.

#word learning


Brown, S., Ronfard, S., & Kelemen, D. (2020). Teaching natural selection in early elementary classrooms: Can a storybook intervention reduce teleological misunderstandings? Evolution: Education and Outreach. PDF


Ronfard, S., Ünlütabak, B., Bazhydai, M., Nicolopoulou, A., & Harris, P. L. (2020). Preschoolers in Belarus and Turkey accept an adult’s counterintuitive claim and do not spontaneously seek evidence to test that claim. International Journal of Behavioral Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0165025420905344 PDF Data

Testimony, Information Seeking, Testing Claims, Counterintuitive Beliefs, Cross-Cultural


Wagner, N.J., *Waller, R., Flom, M., Ronfard, S., Fenstermacher, S., & Saudino, K.J. (2020). Less imitation of arbitrary actions is a specific developmental precursor to callous-unemotional traits in early childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13182 PDF

*Denotes shared 1st authorship.


Ronfard, S., & Lane, J. D. (2019). Children's and adults’ epistemic trust in and impressions of inaccurate informants. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Advance online publication.  doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13182 PDF Data

#testimony #updating trust

Wei, R., Ronfard, S., Leyva, D., & Rowe, M. L. (2019). Teaching a novel word: Parenting styles and toddlers' word learning. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2019.05.006. PDF 


Ronfard, S., Zambrana, I. M., Hermansen, T.K., & Kelemen, D. (2018). Question-asking in childhood: A review of the literature and a framework for understanding its development. Developmental Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.dr.2018.05.002 PDF

#question-asking #information seeking​

Ronfard, S., Nelson, L., Dunham, Y., & Blake, P. R. (2018). How children use accuracy information to infer informant intentions and to make reward decisions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.  doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2018.07.017 PDF Data

​#testimony #updating trust #theory of mind #cooperation


​(didn't fix this one yet)

Ronfard, S., Chen, E. E., & Harris, P. L. (2017). The emergence of the empirical stance: Children’s testing of counter-intuitive claims. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/dev0000455 PDF SOM (Coverage @ NPR)

Testimony, Information Seeking, Testing Claims, Counterintuitive Beliefs, Cross-Cultural​

Ronfard, S., Bartz, D., Cheng, L., Chen, X., & Harris, P.L. (2017). Children’s developing ideas about knowledge and its acquisition. Advances in Child Development and Behavior.  Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/bs.acdb.2017.10.005 PDF

Theory of Mind, Information Seeking

Ronfard, S., Lane, J.D., *Wang, M., & Harris, P.L. (2017). The impact of counter-perceptual testimony on children's categorization after a delay. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.06.006 PDF

Counterintuitive Beliefs, Testimony, Retention

Ronfard, S., & Harris, P.L. (2017). Children’s decision to transmit information is guided by their evaluation of the nature of that information. Review of Philosophy and Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s13164-017-0344-5 PDF

Teaching, Cumulative Culture, Counterintuitive Beliefs

Corriveau, K.H., Ronfard, S., & Cui, Y.K. (2017). Cognitive mechanisms associated with children's selective teaching. Review of Philosophy and Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s13164-017-0343-6 PDF

#teaching #cumulative culture #theory of mind

Burdett, E., Dean, L.G., Ronfard, S. (2017). A diverse and flexible teaching toolkit facilitates the human capacity for cumulative culture. Review of Philosophy and Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s13164-017-0345-4 PDF

Teaching, Cumulative Culture

Kory Westlund, J. M. ,Jeong, S., Park, H.W., Ronfard, S., Adhikari, A.,  Harris, P.L., DeSteno, D., & Breazeal, C. (2017). Flat versus expressive storytelling: young children’s learning and retention of a social robot’s narrative. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00295 PDF

​Social Learning, Robot, Storytelling

Lane, J. D., Ronfard, S., & El-Sherif, D. (2017). The influence of first-hand-testimony and hearsay on children’s belief in the improbable. Child Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12815 PDF

Testimony, Counterintuitive Beliefs


Ronfard, S., & Lane, J. D. (2017). Preschoolers continually adjust their epistemic trust based on an informant’s ongoing accuracy. Child Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12720 PDF 

​#testimony #updating trust 


Bempechat, J., Li. J., & Ronfard, S. (2016). Relations between cultural learning beliefs, self-regulated learning, and academic achievement for low-income Chinese American adolescents. Child Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12702 PDF 

Learning Beliefs, Cross-Cultural​

Ronfard, S., & Corriveau, K.H. (2016). Teaching and preschooler’s ability to infer knowledge from mistakes. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 150, 87-98. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.05.006 PDF

Teaching, Theory of Mind, Cumulative Culture


Harris, P.L., Ronfard, S., & Bartz, D. (2016). Young children’s developing conception of knowledge and ignorance: Work in progress. European Journal of Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/17405629.2016.1190267 PDF

​Theory of Mind, Information Seeking

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 PDF 

Imagination, Possibility Judgments, Counterintuitive Beliefs


Ronfard, S., *Was, A. M., & Harris, P. L. (2016). Children teach methods they could not discover for themselves. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 142, 107-117. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2015.09.032  PDF

*Denotes shared 1st authorship.

Teaching, Cumulative Culture, Exploration, Testimony



Ronfard, S., & Harris, P. L. (2014). When will Little Red Riding Hood become scared? Children's attribution of mental States to a story character. Developmental Psychology, 50, 283-292. doi: 10.1037/a0032970 PDF

Emotion, Theory of Mind, Storytelling


Bempechat, J., Ronfard, S., Mirny, A., Li, J., & Holloway, S.D. (2013). “I want teachers to be unbiased!”: The discourse of unfairness among Russian adolescents. Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, 7, 169-87 PDF 

Cross-Cultural, Fairness



Ronfard, S., Butler, L. P., & Corriveau, K.H. (2020). The Questioning Child: A Path Forward. In Butler, L. P., Ronfard, S., & Corriveau, K. H. (Eds.). The Questioning Child: Insights from Psychology and Education (pp. 301-320). New York: Cambridge University Press.



Corriveau, K.H., Kipling, R., Biarnes, M., Ronfard, S., & Harris, P.L. (2015). The Living Laboratory Model: Bridging child development research and informal science education. In D. Sobel & J. Jipson (eds.) Relating Research and Practice: Cognitive Development in Museum Settings (pp. 65-83). Psychology Press: UK. LINK 

museum partnership chapter​

Ronfard, S., Elizabeth, T., & Bempechat, J. (2015). Managing classroom discussions. In Scarlett G.W. (Ed.). The Sage Encyclopedia of Classroom Management (pp. 485-489). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc. PDF

classroom discussion chapter​


Harris, P.L., de Rosnay, M., & Ronfard, S. (2014). The mysterious emotional life of Little Red Riding Hood. In. K. H. Lagattuta (Ed.). New Insights into Developmental Affective Science (pp. 106–118). Basel, Switzerland: Karger. doi: 10.1159/000354364 PDF 

emotion theory of mind chapter