You are here


Cristine H. Legare, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
UT Austin
Faculty Profile
Dr. Legare is the director of the Cognition, Culture, & Development (CCD) Lab. Her training and research reflect her commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to the study of cognitive development. As an undergraduate, she took coursework from a variety of social science disciplines, double majoring in Human Development and Cultural Studies at the University of California, San Diego. In graduate school, she participated in the Culture and Cognition Program while completing her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Legare studies the intersection of several topics in the field of cognitive development: causal reasoning, social learning, and the development of scientific and supernatural belief systems. Her approach is to integrate theory and research from cognitive psychology and anthropology to examine basic cognitive processes in particular content areas and cultural contexts. She has done extensive field work in southern Africa, and is currently doing research in Brazil, China, and Vanuatu (a Melanesian archipelago), using both experimental and ethnographic methods.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows
Rachel Watson-Jones, Ph.D.
Rachel is a postdoctoral researcher at UT Austin. She has a DPhil in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology from the University of Oxford. Her research interests include cognitive and evolutionary approaches to understanding religion, cultural transmission, social learning, and ritual.

Yinjing Shen, Ph.D.
Yinjing is a postdoctoral researcher at UT Austin. Her research interests include creativity and math education, the Reggio Emilia approach to early education, culture and learning beliefs, and qualitative methods. Yinjing has a Ph.D. in Human Sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.
Graduate Students
Jennifer Clegg, M.A.
Jen is a fourth year Ph.D. student at UT Austin. She graduated from Emory University in 2011 with a B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics and a minor in Italian Language. Jennifer's research interests include cross-cultural models of early childhood education and the development of prosocial behavior.

Justin Busch, B.A.
Justin is a second year Ph.D. student at UT Austin. He received his B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder in ecology and evolutionary biology with a certificate in neuroscience. Prior to coming to UT, he worked as a research assistant at the University of Colorado and Columbia University. Justin’s research interests include intuitive causal reasoning and studying religious cognition from an evolutionary perspective. He is also interested in science education.

Nicole Wen, B.S.
Nicole is a second year Ph.D. student at UT Austin. She graduated from UT Austin in 2013 with a B.S. in Psychology and Plan II Honors and a minor in History. Nicole's research interests include the development of social cognition and cultural learning.

Emily Little, B.A.
Emily is a third year Ph.D. student at UC San Diego, where she is working in Dr. Leslie Carver's Developmental Neuroscience Lab. She is currently a visiting student researcher in the CCD Lab at UT Austin. Emily received her B.A. in Psychology from University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010. Her research interests include how parent-infant interactions relate to early cognitive development in different cultural contexts.
Lab Staff
Alexander Etz, B.A.
Alex is the Cognition, Culture, and Development Lab Manager. He graduated in 2013 with a B.A. from The George Washington University, majoring in Psychology with a Mind-Brain Studies minor. His research interests include how children and adults form statistical concepts, as well as how scientists think about and interpret uncertainty in their data.
Research Assistants
  • Niki Akhaveissy, Intellectual Entrepreneurship Intern
  • Courtney Crosby
  • Benjamin Cox, M.A.
  • Stephanie Gonzalez, Intellectual Entrepreneurship Intern
  • Irene Jea
  • Elena Keltner
  • Michael Leberknight
  • Dorothy Pang
  • Alexa Perlick
  • Bella Prines
  • Sarrah Ratcliffe, Intellectual Entrepreneurship Intern
  • Annabel Reeves
  • Michelle Ross
  • Allison Tsao
  • Monica Vela
  • Holly Weir
  • Debbie Yeh
  • Rithika Yogeshwarun
  • Alumni
  • Adam Alcott, B.A. Intern at the Thinkery (Austin Children's Museum)
  • Andrea Argueta, B.A.
  • Sara Baird, M.S.W. Therapist at San Marcos Treatment Center
  • Joseph Barron, B.A. Masters Student in Educational Psychology at UT Austin
  • Erica Beall, M.A. Doctoral Student in Social Psychology at USC
  • Casey Brown, B.S. Assistant Director at The Goddard School
  • Molly Callahan, B.A. Therapist at Center for Autism and Related Disorders
  • Victoria Chapman, B.A. Masters Student in Counseling at St. Edwards
  • Christine Chevis, B.A.
  • Stephani Clayton, B.A.
  • Kellie Connors, B.A. Insurance Broker at MDO Insurance
  • Katherine Cullum, B.A. (former lab manager) Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology at Emory University
  • Nathan Davis, M.A. Wellness Community Manager at
  • Monika Demkowicz, B.S., Masters Student in Marriage and Family Counseling at Texas State
  • Cissé Dramé, M.A., Graduate Student in Counseling Psychology, Texas A&M International University
  • Sabrina Elddine, M.S.W. TIDES Program Individual/Family Counselor, YMCA of San Diego County
  • Jennifer Feld, M.H.A. Project Manager at Rush/Stroger Primary Care Residency Program
  • Adrienne Fowler, M.A. Commercial Analyst at ConocoPhillips
  • Sonali Gadkari, M.S. Organizational Development Consultant for Marathon Oil
  • Claudia Garate, B.A. Program Outreach Specialist for GENaustin
  • Chelsea Goforth, M.A. Doctoral Student in Political Psychology at the University of Virginia
  • Lauren Gragg, B.A. Preschool Teacher at The Goddard School
  • Erin Griffin, B.A. Graduate Student in Speech and Language Pathology at U of Memphis
  • Paige Hartman, B.A. Doctoral Student in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Auburn University
  • Eric Harvey, B.A. Doctoral Student in Neuroscience at UCLA
  • Patricia Herrmann, Ph.D. (former postdoctoral research fellow) Research Analyst at Banks Environmental Data
  • Cintia Hinojosa, B.A. Lab Manager for the Adolescent Development Research Group, UT Austin
  • Lacey Hutchison, B.A. Research Coordinator at The Menninger Clinic
  • Milla Impola, B.A. Campaign Manager at Camino Public Relations
  • Anna Johnson, B.A. Masters Student in Social Work at University of Houston
  • Michelle Jorgenson, B.A. Preschool teacher at Child's Day
  • Andrea Kiss, M.S. Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology at U of Toledo
  • Starr La Salde, B.A. Patient Advocate at Whole Woman's Health
  • Abby Lavine, B.A. Doctoral Student in Developmental Psychology at UC Davis
  • Riley Little, B.S.
  • Christin Lusk, B.A.
  • Daniel Martinez, B.S.
  • Kaitlin McLaughlin, B.A. Associate Director of Development at Parish School
  • Sarah Mohkamkar, B.A.
  • Linzi Moss, B.S. Medical Student at Texas Tech
  • Victoria Nava, B.A. Pre-service Teacher at UT
  • Rebecca Nekolaichuk, B.S.
  • Elyssa Proby, B.A.
  • Leigh Plummer, B.A. (former lab manager)
  • Cam Plummer, B.A. Nursing Student at Texas Christian University
  • Tiffany Roshanian, B.A. Intern at the Jane Goodall Institute
  • Naomi Schwendemann, B.A. Masters Student in Social Work, Portland State University
  • Jenna Segraves, B.S. Doctoral Student in Physical Therapy at University of Delaware
  • André L. Souza, Ph.D. (former graduate student and postdoc). Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Alabama
  • Emily Shanks, B.A.
  • Ariana Stern-Luna, B.A. Masters Student in Counseling at University of North Texas
  • Lukas Thompson, B.A. Project Support Specialist for Gerson Lehrman Group
  • Viviana Wan, B.A.
  • Brooke Wooley, M.A. Doctoral Student at Murdoch University
  • Rebecca Yasskin, B.A. Teacher at The University of Texas Child Development Center
  • Maya Zein, B.S. Tennis Instructor for Westside Tennis and Fitness