Amy Booth, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology & Human Development
Overview of Interests
Dr. Booth's research focuses broadly on early cognitive development and learning. She has explored interactions between categorization, conceptual knowledge and word learning in infants and young children, but has recently expanded her research to encompass scientific literacy as well. With support from the National Science Foundation, In two ongoing projects, Dr. Booth is exploring the origins and outcomes associated with early individual variability in pre-academic skills. One project specifically focuses on individual variability in children’s word-learning skills as a potential mediator between early home language experiences and persistent socioeconomically related disparities in vocabulary and early literacy. The other project focuses on the origins of children’s scientific literacy by examining early interests in, and ability to reason about, causal information over the course of a four-year period from preschool to 2nd grade. Parental input, classroom environment, and intrinsic child characteristics are considered as potential influencing factors. The goal of both of these projects is to better understand individual variability in key foundational skills so that we can develop innovative approaches to assessment and intervention that will maximize the developmental outcomes for all children.