Peter Blake, EdD
Assistant Professor
Boston University College of Arts and Sciences
Dept of Psychological and Brain Sciences

PhD, Harvard University
MEd, Harvard University
MBA, Boston University
EdD, Harvard University

Peter Blake is an assistant professor of psychology at Boston University and the director of the Social Development and Learning Lab. He received his doctorate in human development and psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to his appointment at Boston University he held a position as a postdoctoral researcher at the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University. He currently collaborates with game theorists, anthropologists, and other developmental psychologists to create new approaches to studying cooperation in children.

Research Interests:
Peter's general interest is in social cognitive development, but his research focuses on three important foundations of human life: cooperation, fairness and ownership. He is interested in the cognitive and social processes that underlie children’s social interactions around material goods. More concretely, he asks questions such as: when should you share and when should you compete for resources? Is equal always fair or can you sometimes keep more for yourself? How do you know when a toy is owned and what does that mean? His experiments are based on game theory, which means that children can gain or lose resources like candy or stickers depending on their decisions. He is currently extending projects to different cultures in order to look for common developmental patterns and assess cultural variables that influence cooperation.

Boston University College of Arts and Sciences
Psychological and Brain Sciences
Child Development Labs

Individual Differences and Children's Motivations for Forgiveness
07/01/2019 - 06/30/2022 (PI)
John Templeton Foundation

Developing A Program Model for High School Science Research, Communication and Education Experiences in Living Laboratory
12/01/2018 - 11/30/2021 (Subcontract PI)
Museum of Science National Science Fdn

The Role of Gratitude in Early Presocial Behavior
09/01/2015 - 08/31/2017 (Subcontract PI)
University of California, Berkeley John Templeton Fdn

Cognitive Underpinning and Consequences of Generosity
09/01/2015 - 08/31/2017 (Subcontract PI)
Trustees of Boston College John Templeton Fdn

Gratitude in Development: Cognitive, Affective and Normative Dimensions
09/01/2013 - 07/31/2014 (Subcontract PI)
Yale University John Templeton Fdn

Gratitude in Development: Cognitive, Affective and Normative Dimensions
09/01/2012 - 07/31/2013 (Subcontract PI)
The Trustees of Princeton University John Templeton Fdn


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Smith-Flores AS, Applin JB, Blake PR, Kibbe MM. Children's understanding of economic demand: A dissociation between inference and choice. Cognition. 2021 09; 214:104747.View Related Profiles. PMID: 33971529
  2. Rottman J, Zizik V, Minard K, Young L, Blake PR, Kelemen D. The moral, or the story? Changing children's distributive justice preferences through social communication. Cognition. 2020 12; 205:104441. PMID: 33045639
  3. Gonzalez G, Blake PR, Dunham Y, McAuliffe K. Ingroup bias does not influence inequity aversion in children. Dev Psychol. 2020 Jun; 56(6):1080-1091. PMID: 32297762
  4. McAuliffe K, Blake PR, Warneken F. Costly fairness in children is influenced by who is watching. Dev Psychol. 2020 Apr; 56(4):773-782. PMID: 31999186
  5. McLoughlin N, Leech KA, Chernyak N, Blake PR, Corriveau KH. Conflicting perspectives mediate the relation between parents' and preschoolers' self-referent mental state talk during collaboration. Br J Dev Psychol. 2020 06; 38(2):255-267. PMID: 31825541
  6. Chernyak N, Leimgruber KL, Dunham YC, Hu J, Blake PR. Paying Back People Who Harmed Us but Not People Who Helped Us: Direct Negative Reciprocity Precedes Direct Positive Reciprocity in Early Development. Psychol Sci. 2019 09; 30(9):1273-1286. PMID: 31381490
  7. McAuliffe K, Warneken F, Blake P. Children's Sense of Fairness: Respect Isn't Everything. Trends Cogn Sci. 2019 09; 23(9):715-716. PMID: 31285105
  8. Davoodi T, Soley G, Harris PL, Blake PR. Essentialization of Social Categories Across Development in Two Cultures. Child Dev. 2020 01; 91(1):289-306. PMID: 30644543
  9. Chernyak N, Harvey T, Tarullo AR, Rockers PC, Blake PR. Varieties of Young Children's Prosocial Behavior in Zambia: The Role of Cognitive Ability, Wealth, and Inequality Beliefs. Front Psychol. 2018; 9:2209.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30505288; PMCID: PMC6250828; DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02209;
  10. Davoodi T, Nelson LJ, Blake PR. Children's Conceptions of Ownership for Self and Other: Categorical Ownership Versus Strength of Claim. Child Dev. 2020 01; 91(1):163-178. PMID: 30320431
Showing 10 of 33 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 33 publications over 14 distinct years, with a maximum of 4 publications in 2018 and 2019

Contact for Mentoring:

64 Cummington St
Boston MA 02215
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