Cristine Legare is an associate professor of psychology and the director of the Evolution, Variation, and Ontogeny of Learning Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research examines how the human mind enables us to learn, create, and transmit culture. She conducts comparisons across age, culture, and species to address fundamental questions about cognitive and cultural evolution.
Her research and training reflect her commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of cognitive development. She draws on insights from cognitive, cultural, developmental, educational, and evolutionary psychology as well as cognitive and evolutionary anthropology and philosophy, with the aim of facilitating cross-fertilization within and across these disciplines. 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 doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of Michigan.
Cristine's research has been widely published in a number of high-impact journals, including Psychological Science, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Cognition, and Evolution and Human Behavior, and has been covered by a range of media outlets, including NPR, Nature, The Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American. Her research has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), the National Science Foundation, the McDonnell Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). Cristine was recognized with the 2015 APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions and the 2016 APA Boyd McCandless Award for her research on the evolution and ontogeny of cognition and culture.