Hirschfeld, Lawrence A.

Lawrence Hirschfeld Pic

Lawrence A. Hirschfeld
PhD, MPhil, and MA, Anthropology, Columbia University;
BA, University of Michigan
Professor, Anthropology & Psychology

My research explores the psychological aspects of cultural life and the cultural dimension of mental life.   I am especially interested in how young children come to understand and use social categories like race, gender, age, etc., particularly how children’s culture shapes the meaning of these categories for both the child and the adult.
Courses Taught:
  • The Conceptual Politics of Race
  • Childhood in Culture
  • Culture and Cognition
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Essentialisms
Recent Publications:
  • Biological and Cultural Bases of Human Inference (with R. Viale, D. Andler), Lawrence Erlbaum Publ. 2006
  • "Children's understanding of racial groups." In M. Barrett & E. Buchanan-Barrow (eds.), Children's understanding of society. 2005
  • "The cognitive foundations of cultural stability and diversity" (with Dan Sperber), Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 2004
Office Location:
The New School for Social Research
Anthropology Department
65 5th Ave, Room 323
New York, NY  10011
Phone Number/Extension:
212-229-5757 x3116


Research Interests:
Cognitive Science; Developmental Psychology; Conceptual Politics of Race; Cultures of Childhood.
Professional Affiliations:
  • Cognitive Science, Associate Editor
  • Culture and Cognition, Editorial Board
  • Evolutionary Psychology, Editorial Board
  • American Anthropological Association
  • American Ethnological Society
  • American Psychological Society
  • Cognitive Development Society
  • Society for Research on Child Development
  • Society for Psychological Anthropology
  • International Society for Research on Emotions

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