We investigated adults’ reasoning about genetic inheritance. We found that adults have a fairly good understanding of how genetic inheritance works, but they reliably have two misunderstandings. The first one is that if the two parents have the same eye color (let's say dark brown) they think that it is more likely for the offspring to have a similar color (dark orange) than a different color (green). The second one is that they think that if the parents have different eye colors, they think that female offspring are more likely to resemble the mother and male offspring are more likely to resemble the father.
We examined whether the perceptual richness of a diagram influences children's learning and transfer of knowledge about metamorphosis. First and second graders who saw the rich diagram during the lesson learned more than those who saw the bland diagram during the lesson. Fourth and fifth graders who saw the bland diagram during the lesson incorrectly transferred more than those who saw the rich diagram during the lesson.
We asked parents to report the questions that their children asked the about the COVID-19 pandemic and how they responded. We found that children were more likely to ask questions about lifestyle changes, rather than about the virus. Parents often answered these questions and provided realistic explanations. Parents often discussed changes in social norms, their social responsibility to stop the spread of the virus, and tried to comfort their child. Thus, parent-child conversations about the pandemic might influence how children think about illness and social norm, and children's coping skills.
We examined the type of death information in children's films and parent- child conversations. We found that children's animated films contained a lot of biologically accurate information about death, however many of the deaths were implied and not explicitly shown. Children asked a lot of question about death in films, and these questions resemble their questions about death in other settings.
We investigated how parents make decisions about the healthiness of foods when presented with different representations of the same nutritional information. Providing parents with nutritional information did not influence their ratings of how healthy food items are. Parents reported talking with their children about nutrition, believed they are the best source of information for children about nutrition, and believed their nutrition beliefs influence their children's beliefs.
We examined the diagrams found in biology books and online to see if their design alligned with research-based practices. We found that many diagrams had perceptually rich backgrounds, which prior research suggests might hinder learning.
We examined whether the perceptual richness of a diagram influences adults' learning and transfer of knowledge about metamorphosis. Adults who saw the bland diagram during the lesson accurately transferred more than adults who saw the rich diagram during the lesson.
We examine how the framing around mental illness influenced how people thought about them. Describing mental illness with an essentialist framing led adult to think drug treatments (but not talk therapy) would be more effective.
We used a mixed-method approach to explore parent and child perspectives on death in Puebla, Mexico. While all children in this sample displayed a biological understanding of death, they also combined this knowledge with spiritual information.