Laura Hennefield, PhD

Laura Hennefield, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Email: lhennefield@wustl.edu

Laura’s research interests broadly revolve around the question of how children acquire knowledge, with an emphasis on the social and cognitive constraints and/or biases that affect the learning process. Her doctoral research broadly focused on social influences – specifically others’ preferences – on infants and young children’s own choices and evaluative judgments of options. More recently, her research focus shifted to questions concerning the development and maintenance of optimism (as a cognitive bias) in preschoolers. A core goal of her research is to elucidate how the optimism bias affects how children learn from and about the world around them, including the role of early experiences on this process.