Liza Ware
Associate Professor
MRC 548


My research explores the development of object perception, cognition, language, and conceptual knowledge, with an emphasis on understanding how children learn to organize the world into coherent categories. I investigate how children use both perceptual features (e.g., shape, color) and deeper conceptual properties (e.g., causal properties, functions) to perceive, interact with, categorize, and make inferences about objects. My research has shown how functions and properties with causal implications play a uniquely influential role in shaping children’s and adults’ concepts.

Publications, Presentations, and Performances

Ware, E.A., & Gelman, S.A. (2014). The importance of clarifying evolutionary terminology across disciplines and in the classroom: A reply to Kampourakis. Cognitive Science, 39, 838-841.

Gelman, S. A., Ware, E. A., Kleinberg, F., Manczak, E. M., & Stilwell, S. (2014).  Individual differences in children's and parents' generic language.  Child Development, 85, 924-940.

Ware, E.A. & Gelman, S.A. (2014). You get what you need: An examination of purpose-based inheritance reasoning in undergraduates, preschoolers, and biological experts. Cognitive Science, 38, 197-243.

Gelman, S.A., Ware, E.A., Manczak, E.M., & Graham, S.A. (2013). Children’s sensitivity to the knowledge expressed in pedagogical and non-pedagogical contexts. Developmental Psychology, 49, 491-504.

Ware, E.A. & Gelman S.A. (2013). Knowledge acquisition in development. In H. Pashler, T. Crane, F. Ferreira, M. Kinsbourne, & R. Zemel (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage Publications.

Ware, E.A., Gelman, S.A., & Kleinberg, F. (2013) The medium is the message: Pictures and objects evoke distinct conceptual relations in parent-child conversations. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 59, 50-78.