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

PhD, Harvard University
EdD, Harvard University
MEd, Harvard University
MBA, Boston University
BA, University of Rochester

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

Why Giving Half is Easy, But Giving More than Half is Hard: A Developmental Theory of Generosity
09/01/2022 - 08/31/2024 (PI)
John Templeton Foundation

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)
The Regents of the University of California (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.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Blake PR. A developmental perspective on the minimalist model: The case of respect for ownership. Behav Brain Sci. 2023 Oct 10; 46:e328. PMID: 37813406
  2. Amir D, Melnikoff D, Warneken F, Blake PR, Corbit J, Callaghan TC, Barry O, Bowie A, Kleutsch L, Kramer KL, Ross E, Vongsachang H, Wrangham R, McAuliffe K. Computational signatures of inequity aversion in children across seven societies. J Exp Psychol Gen. 2023 Oct; 152(10):2882-2896. PMID: 37155284
  3. Harvey T, Blake PR. Developmental risk sensitivity theory: the effects of socio-economic status on children's risky gain and loss decisions. Proc Biol Sci. 2022 Sep 28; 289(1983):20220712. PMID: 36168761; PMCID: PMC9515640; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2022.0712;
  4. Gerdemann SC, McAuliffe K, Blake PR, Haun DBM, Hepach R. The ontogeny of children's social emotions in response to (un)fairness. R Soc Open Sci. 2022 Aug; 9(8):191456. PMID: 36061521; PMCID: PMC9428536; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.191456;
  5. Stowe LM, Peretz-Lange R, Blake PR. Children Consider Procedures, Outcomes, and Emotions When Judging the Fairness of Inequality. Front Psychol. 2022; 13:815901. PMID: 35310214; PMCID: PMC8927918; DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.815901;
  6. Peretz-Lange R, Harvey T, Blake PR. From "haves" to "have nots": Developmental declines in subjective social status reflect children's growing consideration of what they do not have. Cognition. 2022 06; 223:105027. PMID: 35124455
  7. Peretz-Lange R, Harvey T, Blake PR. Socioeconomic status predicts children's moral judgments of novel resource distributions. Dev Sci. 2022 07; 25(4):e13230. PMID: 35023241
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
Showing 10 of 40 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 40 publications over 16 distinct years, with a maximum of 5 publications in 2022

Contact for Mentoring:

64 Cummington St
Boston MA 02215
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