I’m Aarti. I grew up in the Seattle area and completed my B.S. Psychology at the University of Washington (June 2019), and my M.S. Psychology at Villanova University. I’m currently a PhD student at Boston University, in the department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (Developmental Science division).

Before I came to BU, I completed my Master’s degree at Villanova University in 2021. My Master’s thesis research in Dr. Deena Weisberg’s Scientific Thinking and Representation Lab investigated how children learn about environmental sustainability through educational media.

Prior to this, I also graduated from the University of Washington in 2019 with my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Global Health. At UW, I was an Honor’s student in Dr. Jessica Sommerville’s Early Childhood Cognition Lab, and my honor’s thesis investigated how infants develop an understanding of prosociality, and how this understanding may be influenced by various social factors. So in summary, I’ve been lucky enough to see learning across all of childhood through my research! As a PhD student, I work mostly with children in early elementary school, but some of my research also involves adolescents and adults.

Broadly, my PhD research investigates how children learn to think about the natural world, and the development of their science reasoning skills. More specifically, my current research examines children’s explanatory preferences when it comes to science, and how children’s understanding of science and concept of science is influenced by social and identity factors.

I conduct this research in a variety of settings- from museums and public parks to elementary school settings.

My career goal is to help ensure that all children have access to quality science education, starting from their early years. Outside of cognitive development research, I’m also interested in learning about education policy, the philosophy of science and statistics.

Outside of the research, I love exploring new cities/places, spending time with others and frequenting cafes, and knitting! (Check out my Etsy shop, now open!) 🙂

If you’re interested in this same kind of research, check out the Child Cognition Lab’s website and feel free to reach out with questions/ideas!

Contact: abodas@bu.edu