Susan Gelman is a Heinz Werner Collegiate Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the topics of cognitive development, language acquisition, categorization, inductive reasoning, causal reasoning, and relationships between language and thought. Gelman subscribes to the domain specificity view of cognition, asserting that the mind is composed of specialized modules subserving specific cognitive functions.
Her brother is the statistician Andrew Gelman.
Education and Awards 
Gelman received a B.A. in psychology and classical Greek from Oberlin College in 1980 and a Ph.D. in psychology with a minor in linguistics from Stanford University in 1984, since which time she has been employed at University of Michigan. Her research has been recognized by several awards including the James McKeen Cattell Fund Fellowship (2007-2008), the American Psychological Foundation Robert L. Fantz Award (1992), and the Eleanor Maccoby Book Prize from Division 7 of the American Psychological Association (2005) for The Essential Child.
Representative Publications 
- Gelman, S. A., Taylor, M G., and Nguyen, S. (2004). Mother-child conversations about gender: Understanding the acquisition of essentialist beliefs. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development. Volume 69, No. 1.
- Gelman, S. A. (2003). The essential child: Origins of essentialism in everyday thought. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Gelman, S. A., and Bloom, P. (2000). Young children are sensitive to how an object was created when deciding what to name it. Cognition, 76, 91-103.
- Gelman, S. A. (2000). The role of essentialism in children's concepts. In H. W. Reese (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior, Vol. 27 (pp. 55-98). San Diego: Academic Press.
- Gelman, S. A., and Heyman, G. D. (1999). Carrot-eaters and creature-believers: The effects of lexicalization on children's inferences about social categories. Psychological Science, 10, 489-493.
- "The Essential Child" at Amazon
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