Andrei Cimpian

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The gender imbalance in STEM subjects dominates current debates about women's underrepresentation in academia. However, women are well represented at the Ph.D. level in some sciences and poorly represented in some humanities (e.g., in 2011, 54% of U.S. Ph.D.'s in molecular biology were women versus only 31% in philosophy). We hypothesize that, across the(More)
Are preschoolers’ reactions to setbacks influenced by whether their successes are rewarded with generic or nongeneric praise? Previous research has focused on the role of category-referring generics (e.g., ‘‘Dogs are friendly’’) in shaping children’s knowledge about natural kinds (see Gelman, 2004). Generic sentences can, however, refer to individuals as(More)
Nuances in how adults talk about ability may have important consequences for children's sustained involvement and success in an activity. In this study, I tested the hypothesis that children would be less motivated while performing a novel activity if they were told that boys or girls in general are good at this activity (generic language) than if they were(More)
There is debate about whether preschool-age children interpret words as referring to kinds or to classes defined by shape similarity. The authors argue that the shape bias reported in previous studies is a task-induced artifact rather than a genuine word-learning strategy. In particular, children were forced to extend an object's novel label to one of(More)
Common stereotypes associate high-level intellectual ability (brilliance, genius, etc.) with men more than women. These stereotypes discourage women's pursuit of many prestigious careers; that is, women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance (such as physics and philosophy). Here we show that these stereotypes are endorsed by, and(More)
Artifacts pose a potential learning problem for children because the mapping between their features and their functions is often not transparent. In solving this problem, children are likely to rely on a number of information sources (e.g., others' actions, affordances). We argue that children's sensitivity to nuances in the language used to describe(More)
What are the representations and learning mechanisms that underlie conceptual development? The present research provides evidence in favor of the claim that this process is guided by an early-emerging predisposition to think and learn about abstract kinds. Specifically, three studies (N=192) demonstrated that 4- to 7-year-old children have better recall for(More)
Generic sentences (e.g., "Birds lay eggs") convey generalizations about entire categories and may thus be an important source of knowledge for children. However, these sentences cannot be identified by a simple rule, requiring instead the integration of multiple cues. The present studies focused on 3- to 5-year-olds' (N = 91) use of morphosyntactic cues--in(More)
The ability to explain enables humans to understand their world and informs much of their behavior. And yet, little is known about the psychological processes bywhich explanations are generated. Here, I describe a recent proposal on this topic. According to this proposal, people come up with explanations much as they come up with solutions to other complex(More)