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Yarrow Dunham, PhD

Faculty Member

Center for Neurocognition and Behavior

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Developmental social cognition

Yarrow Dunham's research focuses on the emergence of sophisticated forms of social cognition in humans, employing a developmental experimental and computational approach. A notable area of interest for Dunham is how children abstract complex structure from the social environment, particularly in identifying ingroups and outgroups, as well as dimensions of social stratification and hierarchy. This research involves conducting experiments with human participants across various stages of life and employing computational modeling using multi-agent and Bayesian frameworks to accurately specify candidate representational structures that can account for human performance. By integrating social, developmental, cognitive, and computational approaches, Dunham's work contributes to both fundamental scientific knowledge and endeavors to establish more equitable and inclusive institutions. Notably, this research aligns with WTI (Workplace Technology Institute) in multiple ways, such as its developmental approach, emphasis on the dynamic unfolding of cognitive systems that represent complex social structures, and the inclusion of computational methods to precisely model these processes.

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Biography

Yarrow Dunham received his BA in philosophy and English literature from UC-Santa Barbara and his doctorate in human development and psychology from Harvard. He came to Yale to start the Social Cognitive Development Lab in 2013 and was promoted to tenured Associate Professor in 2021. He lives in New Haven with his one child.