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

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

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

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

Gratitude in Development: Cognitive, Affective and Normative Dimensions
09/01/2012 - 07/31/2013 (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.

  1. Corbit J, McAuliffe K, Callaghan TC, Blake PR, Warneken F. Children's collaboration induces fairness rather than generosity. Cognition. 2017 11; 168:344-356. PMID: 28797935.
  2. Blake PR. Giving what one should: explanations for the knowledge-behavior gap for altruistic giving. Curr Opin Psychol. 2018 Apr; 20:1-5. PMID: 28822896.
  3. Harvey T, Davoodi T, Blake PR. Young children will lie to prevent a moral transgression. J Exp Child Psychol. 2018 Jan; 165:51-65. PMID: 28735681.
  4. Blake PR, Corbit J, Callaghan TC, Warneken F. Give as I give: Adult influence on children's giving in two cultures. J Exp Child Psychol. 2016 Dec; 152:149-160. PMID: 27552298; DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.07.010;.
  5. Schroeder KB, Asherson P, Blake PR, Fenstermacher SK, Saudino KJ. Variant at serotonin transporter gene predicts increased imitation in toddlers: relevance to the human capacity for cumulative culture. Biol Lett. 2016 Apr; 12(4). PMID: 27072408; PMCID: PMC4881356; DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0106;.
  6. Blake PR, McAuliffe K, Corbit J, Callaghan TC, Barry O, Bowie A, Kleutsch L, Kramer KL, Ross E, Vongsachang H, Wrangham R, Warneken F. The ontogeny of fairness in seven societies. Nature. 2015 Dec 10; 528(7581):258-61. PMID: 26580018; DOI: 10.1038/nature15703;.
  7. Blake PR, Rand DG, Tingley D, Warneken F. The shadow of the future promotes cooperation in a repeated prisoner's dilemma for children. Sci Rep. 2015; 5:14559. PMID: 26417661; PMCID: PMC4586758; DOI: 10.1038/srep14559;.
  8. McAuliffe K, Chang L, Leimgruber K, Spaulding R, Blake PR, Santos L. Capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) show no evidence for inequity aversion in a costly choice task. Animal Behaviour. 2015; 103:65-74. View Publication
  9. McAuliffe K, Blake PR, Warneken F. Children reject inequity out of spite. Biol Lett. 2014 Dec; 10(12):20140743. PMID: 25540156; PMCID: PMC4298187; DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0743;.
  10. Blake PR, Piovesan M, Montinari N, Warneken F, Gino F. Prosocial norms in the classroom: The role of self-regulation in following norms of giving. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 2014; 115:18-29. View Publication
Showing 10 of 21 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 21 publications over 10 distinct years, with a maximum of 3 publications in 2013 and 2014 and 2015 and 2017

Contact for Mentoring:

64 Cummington St
Boston MA 02215
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