In keeping with the distinguished history of the Developmental program at Yale University, faculty and students within this program study a wide range of populations (non-human primates, infants, children of all ages, adults) to investigate the ontogenetic and phylogenetic origins and development of cognitive and social processes. The areas of study are diverse, including conceptual development, social cognition, judgment and decision-making, moral cognition, causal understanding, categorization, and prosocial behavior.
The heart of the program is direct involvement in research: First term developmental graduate students begin to work with student and faculty colleagues in the exploration and systematic study of problems involved with the rich variety of child behavior. In their first year, students complete a first year research project, led by the student, that includes the collection and analysis of new data, and culminates in a formal paper and presentation of their findings. Throughout their program of study, students are encouraged to attend multiple lab meetings in order to better understand the types of research going on in the department and to help nurture their own interests. In addition to considerable and diverse research experience, the developmental area offers a range of courses and seminars taught by our faculty, as well as a weekly speaker series in which our own faculty and students, as well as visitors from other parts of the university and other universities, present their recent work.
In addition to the primary developmental faculty, many faculty in other areas of the Department also have interests relating to development (students are encouraged to consult the web pages of individual faculty). Students are encouraged to attend the courses of and/or to work with faculty members in other areas of our department: clinical, cognitive, neuroscience, and social psychology. There is also considerable developmental research at Yale beyond the Psychology Department, including, for example, the Yale Child Study Center, the Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, and Haskins Laboratories. In addition, students in the developmental area, routinely attend weekly talk series in clinical, cognitive, neuroscience, and social psychology as well as talk series in cognitive science. The presence of a vibrant and active community of researchers, interested in all aspects of development, enables students to construct a highly individualized program of study tailored to their specific interests.