curriculum vitae

 
Employment

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University & MIT 2018-2021

NIH National Research Service Award

Mentors: Elizabeth Spelke & Rebecca Saxe

Education

University of California, Irvine 2013-2018

Doctorate, Psychology

University of California, Irvine 2013-2015

Masters, Psychology

University of California, Berkeley 2004-2008

Bachelor of Arts, Architecture

Awards, Honors, Grants

 

NIH National Research Service Award, 2018-2021

Grant Title: How infants use the affiliations of their caregivers to evaluate others.; Grant Number: 1F32HD096829; Co-PIs Elizabeth Spelke and Rebecca Saxe

NSF, SBE Postdoctoral Fellowship (declined)

Grant Title: Finding one's social circle: How caregivers influence the social evaluations of infants.;  Grant Number: 1810526; Co-PIs Elizabeth Spelke and Rebecca Saxe

 

Associate Dean’s Fellowship, 2017.

Recognizes graduate students who are making excellent progress in their graduate program. It will take the place of a TA fellowship during my dissertation year.

 

Annual Jean-Claude Falmagne Award, 2017.

Awarded to one advanced graduate student from the Cognitive Science Department, accompanied by $5000.

 

Annual Jean-Claude Falmagne Award, runner up, 2016.

Awarded to one advanced graduate student from the Cognitive Science Department, I received the runner-up prize, which was accompanied by $500.

 

Annual Yellott Scholar Award, 2015.

Given to one graduate student, who has not yet advanced, from the Cognitive Science Department. I received the runner-up prize, which was accompanied by $500.

 

Experimental Social Science Graduate Student Workshop Program 

Research Grant, 2014.

Awarded to two students after a workshop where students presented research proposals, $500.

 

Merit Fellowship, 2013-2018.

This award is granted to students entering the PhD program at the University of California, Irvine, to replace four quarters of TA fellowships.

Publications
Publications Under Review

Thomas, A.J., Sumner, E., Sarnecka, B.W. (under review)  pre print here

Publications in Prep

Thomas, A.J., Mitchelle, V., Piff, P., Terrizzi, B., Sarnecka, B.W.(in prep). Do preschool children prefer hierarchical or egalitarian groups?

Invited Talks & Media

Invited Talks

Thomas, A.J. Friendly or Fearsome, Children’s Representations of Social Hierarchy. Invited by the

Social Psychology Seminar Series, University of Oslo, Norway.

2/6

Thomas, A.J. No Child Left Alone: Moral judgments about parents affect estimates of risk to

children. Invited by the department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of California,

Irvine

 

Media Interviews

NPR Toddlers Like Winners, But How They Win Matters. 27 August 2018

NPR Why Do We Judge Parents for Putting Kids At Perceived — But Unreal — Risk? 22 August

2016.

Rising Up with Sonali on KPCC Radio No Child Left Alone: Moral Judgments About Parents.

29 August 2016.

Top of Mind with Julie Rose, BYU Radio Sepsis a Medical Emergency, Judging Parents, Thai

Fractures. 29 August 2016.

KUCI Ask a Leader. 27 September 2016.

Bloomberg View Don’t Leave Your Kids Near Judgmental Strangers. 12 September 2016.

Quartz Parents’ judginess of other parents is making their kids less able to deal with life. 7

September 2016.

Media Coverage

Psychology Today Young Children Value Kindness Over Winning in a Conflict. 12 September 2018

NPR Unlike Humans, Bonobos Shun Helpers And Befriend The Bullies. Work on toddlers mentioned

by Hamlin. 4 January 2018

Washington Post The perils of condemning parents for exposing kids to supposed dangers that

aren’t real. 23 August 2016.

Psychology Today Unattended Children, Harm, and the Nature of Moral Judgment. 23 August

2016.

New York Magazine The Surprising Way We Judge Who’s a Bad Parent. 26 August 2016.

Scientific American Mind When Can You Leave a Child Unattended? 1 January 2017.

Toronto Star If you leave your kids alone, it’s not predatory strangers who are a risk. September

13, 2016.

Athiestically Speaking No Child Left Alone. 21 September 2016.

KPCC AirTalk with Larry Mantle. 25 August 2016.

Savage LoveCast Episode 515. September 2016.

Radio Calgary Danielle Smith News Talk 770. 15 September 2016.

CBC The Current.8 November 2016.

Bad Mother Podcast Episode 186. 05 January 2017.

Feminist Philosophers Judgments of risk to children and parental culpability. 22 August 2016.

UCI News Why are we so afraid to leave children alone? 23 August 2016.

Science Daily Why are we so afraid to leave children alone? 23 August 2016.

Washington Post The perils of condemning parents for exposing kids to supposed dangers that

aren’t real. 23 August 2016.

Slate’s XXfactor blog Our Assessment of Parents Is More Informed by Moral Judgment Than

Actual Risks. 24 August 2016.

Babble Why are we so Irrationally Afraid of Leaving our Kids Alone? 24 August 2016.

The Daily Mail Leaving a child at home alone ISN’T always unsafe - it’s just socially unacceptable,

study claims. 25 August 2016.

NostroFiglio.it Perché i genitori hanno così tanta paura a lasciare un bambino da solo? 25 August

3/6, 2016.

New York Magazine The Surprising Way We Judge Who’s a Bad Parent. 26 August 2016.

Univision ¿Por qué tenemos tanto miedo de dejar a los niños solos? 26 August 2016.

Consumer Affairs Why parents are afraid to leave their kids alone? It’s judgment, not danger, that

parents fear most. 29 August 2016.

WRDW News 12 NBC 26 This Morning On Your Side News Program. 29 August 2016.

Fox 29 Good Day Philadelphia. 30 August 2016.

FreeRangeKids.com Our Moral Judgement Influences How Dangerous We Believe The Situation

Is. 30 August 2016.

The Psychology Community I’m Morally Outraged, Therefore That Child is in Danger. 31 August

2016.

Vital Veszélyben van az egyedül hagyott gyermek? 1 September 2016.

The Federalist How Judging Other Parents Can Equal Class Warfare. 2 September 2016.

The American Spectator Mothers are the Worst. . . .to Other Mothers. 6 September 2016.

The Library of Economics and Liberty Helicopter Parenting and Moral Causation .6 September

2016.

The New York Post Why parents need to judge other parents. 8 September 2016.

Reason.com Former Latch-Key Kids Who Are Now Parents, Unite! 15 September 2016.

Treehugger Why do we judge parents for leaving kids unattended when it’s perfectly safe? 20 September 2016.

Fast Company Why Do We Punish Parents For Letting Their Kids Go Outside Unattended? 26

September 2016.

Huffington Post Fact-Checking Is Largely Irrelevant Because Deceit Is Not What’s Causing Moral

Outrage, Clinton’s Gender Is. 27 September 2016.

Psych Central What ‘Stranger Things’ Can Teach Us about Parenting. 28 September 2016.

The American Spectator New laws continue to embolden a growing legion of moral busybodies.

29 September 2016.

Hartford Courant How Did Unsupervised Kids Become A Moral Failing? 18 December 2016.

Psychology Today Social Norms, Moral Judgments, and Irrational Parenting. March 2017

Symposia and Events Organized

Pre-conference: Developing Theories on Naïve Sociology. Co-Chaired with Elizabeth Enright-Ake at the Cognitive Development Society Meeting, Portland, OR. 2017.

Symposium: The Powerful and Mighty: How Social Dominance shapes children’s preferences, trust

and social inferences. Co-Chaired with Lotte Thomsen at The Society for Research on Child

Development Conference, Austin, TX. 2017.

Organized Graduate Student Writing and Accountability Group, University of California, Irvine

(2015-2016) 

Conference Presentations

Thomas, A.J., Sarnecka, B.W. (2019). Infants prefer those who 'bow out' of zero-sum conflicts. Presented at the 31st Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Boston, MA.

Thomas, A.J., Abramyan, M., Lukowski, A., Thomsen, L., Sarnecka, B.W. (2017). Toddlers prefer those who win but not when they win by force. Presented at the 31st Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Boston, MA.

 

Thomas, A.J., Sumner, E., Sarnecka, B.W. (2019). Children Expect Leaders to Protect but not to Bully. Presented at the Society for Research on Child Development Conference, Baltimore, MD.

 

Thomas, A.J., Abramyan, M., Lukowski, A., Thomsen, L., Sarnecka, B.W. (2017). Toddlers like winners, but not bullies. Presented at the at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Atlanta, GA.

 

Thomas, A.J., Abramyan, M., Lukowski, A., Thomsen, L., Sarnecka, B.W. (2017). Toddlers like winners, but not bullies. Presented at the Evolutionary Psychology Pre-conference at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Atlanta, GA.

 

Thomas, A.J., Abramyan, M., Lukowski, A., Thomsen, L., Sarnecka, B.W. (2017). Toddlers like winners, but not bullies. Presented at the Naive Sociology Preconference at the Cognitive Development Society, Portland, OR.

 

Thomas, A.J., Sarnecka, B.W. (2017). Children Expect Leaders to be Protectors, Not Bullies.

Presented at the Cognitive Development Society, Portland, OR.

 

Thomas, A.J., Abramyan, M., Lukowski, A., Thomsen, L., Sarnecka, B.W. (2017). Toddlers like winners, but not bullies. Cognitive Development Society, Portland, OR.

 

Thomas, A.J., Abramyan, M., Lukowski, A., Thomsen, L., Sarnecka, B.W. (2017). Mighty or the Meek: Changes in social preferences across the first two years of life. Presented at the Society for Research on Child Development Conference, Austin, TX.

 

Thomas, A.J., Abramyan, M., Lukowski, A., Thomsen, L., Sarnecka, B.W. (2017). Mighty or the meek: Toddlers prefer novel, dominant individuals. Presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX. **Outstanding Poster Award**

 

Thomas, A.J., Abramyan, M., Lukowski, A., Thomsen, L., Sarnecka, B.W. (2017). Mighty or the Meek: Changes in social preferences across the first two years of life. Presented at the Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, Budapest, Hungary.

 

Thomas, A.J., Piff, P., Sommerville, J., Sarnecka, B.W. (2017). Three to Five-year-old children prefer hierarchical dyads to non-hierarchical dyads. Presented at the Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, Budapest, Hungary.

 

Thomas, A.J.,Abramyan, M., Lukowski, A., Thomsen, L., Sarnecka, B.W. (2016). Preferring the Mighty to the Meek. Toddlers Prefer Novel Dominant Agents. Presented at the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Philadelphia, PA.

 

Thomas, A.J.,Abramyan, M., Lukowski, A., Thomsen, L., Sarnecka, B.W. (2016). Preferring the Mighty to the Meek. Toddlers Prefer Superiors to Subordinates. Presented at the 42nd annual Society for Philosophy and Psychology Conference, Austin, TX.

 

Thomas, A.J., Stanford, P.K., Sarnecka, B.W. (2016). No child left alone: Moral judgments about parents affect estimates of risk to children. Presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference, San Diego, CA.

 

Thomas, A.J., Sarnecka, B.W. (2015). Children’s ideas about fairness. Do children believe in a meritocracy? Presented at the Symposium on Cognition and Language Development, Irvine, CA.

Thomas, A.J., Sarnecka, B.W. (2015). Hard Work, Drive, or Talent? How children reason about the causes of scholastic success. Presented at the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.

 

Thomas, A.J., Sarnecka, B.W. (2015). Is it the Thought that Counts? How children allocate rewards based on effort and outcome. Presented at the Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, Budapest, Hungary.

 

Thomas, A.J., Sarnecka, B.W. (2014). Implicit Theories of Intelligence, Essentialism, and the Brain. Presented at the Symposium on Cognition and Language Development, Los Angeles, CA.

 

Negen, J., Thomas, A.J., Sarnecka, B.W. (2014). Young children hear more number words if they use number words themselves. Presented at the Meeting for the Jean Piaget Society, San Francisco, CA.

Teaching & Mentoring

Courses Taught as an Instructor

Introduction to Psychology

University of California Irvine, Summer Session 2016

 

Introduction to Psychology

University of California Irvine, Summer Session 2015

 

Courses Taught as an Assistant

Developmental Psychology

 

Introduction to Psychology for Psychology Majors

 

Research Methods

 

General Social Sciences

Mentoring

I have mentored several undergraduate research assistants through the UCI Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). 

Interested in collaborating? Let's talk >>

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