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Meet Dr. Shaylene Nancekivell

Dr. Nancekivell is an Assistant Professor in the Developmental Psychology Program and the Director of the Young Minds Research Lab. She earned her BA in Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario and her MASc. in Developmental Communication Science at the University of Waterloo, where she also completed her PhD in Developmental Psychology.

Shaylene has received substantial funding to undertake her research; her PhD work was supported by an award from the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada and her Postdoctoral work was supported by a Partnership Engage Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Prior to joining UNCG in 2019, she was an Adjunct Professor at Renison University College and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan.

Broadly, Shaylene’s research is aimed at understanding how the mind develops, with particular focus on the nature of conceptual representations and intuitive theories across the lifespan. She has two main lines of research: (1) how children reason about possessions and artifacts; (2) the developmental origins of people’s beliefs about learning. She uses a multi-method approach in her work, including behavioral experimental studies, observational studies in real world learning environments, and qualitative explanation-based measures. Shaylene’s research has been published in a wide range of top developmental and cognitive science journals, including Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Child Development, Journal of Educational Psychology, and Developmental Psychology.

In her spare time, Shaylene enjoys hiking, field hockey, jujitsu, reading books, and binge watching Netflix with her cat.