With Dr. Frank Keil in the Cognition & Development Lab, I study how young children understand the relationship between observable effects and the underlying causal mechanisms that enable them. Specifically, can children use information about a machine’s functional output to make inferences about the complexity of its “inside parts?” Do children, like adults, believe that machines performing complex sets of actions must have complex internal mechanisms? With Dr. Yarrow Dunham in the Social Cognitive Development Lab, I study how children use information about others’ preferences to inform their social judgments. How might children differentially use information about others’ likes vs. dislikes when reasoning about the desirability of social partners? I am also evaluating the merits of various explanations for young children’s robust social preferences for resource-rich individuals.