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Category: Resources for Researchers

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Pretend Play in Child Development

According to pretend play in child development expert, Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota, and Reflection Sciences Co-founder, Dr. Stephanie M. Carlson, “Play is about as ‘blueprinted’ a behavior as you can have in terms of basic survival and reproduction.” Play, which by definition has no immediate purpose other than recreation, is…

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Marshmallow Test

Many people are familiar with the late 60s, early 70s study called the “Marshmallow Test” by American psychologist Dr. Walter Mischel. Mischel and his research team put a marshmallow in front of a child and told them that they had two options: they could eat the marshmallow now, or they could wait for a said amount…

children taking early learning readiness tests
Resources for Researchers

Development of Consciousness in Childhood

The development of consciousness in childhood in relation to Executive Function (EF) skills is one that psychologists are just beginning to understand. Dr. Phil Zelazo is Reflection Sciences’ co-founder and the Nancy M. and John E. Lindahl Professor at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. In this online lecture featured by…

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Interview Dr. Philip David Zelazo

In this interview Dr. Philip David Zelazo, Co-founder of Reflection Sciences and leading researcher in the field of developmental psychology, answers important questions from Ellen Galinsky, Executive Director and Chief Science Officer of Mind in the Making at the Bezos Family Foundation, Co-founder and President of Families and Work Institute (FWI), and Vroom Advisor. The interview was…

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Pretend Play – How To Get Kids to Focus Using Superheroes

For young children, pretend play is so much more important than just having fun. In a study by Dr. Stephanie M. Carlson, University of Minnesota Professor and Reflection Sciences CEO and Co-founder, and U of MN alums Dr. Rachel White, Dr. Emily Prager, and Catherine Schaefer, children who pretend to be their strong-minded hero are…

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Executive Function Issues: OCD

When children suffer from executive function issues, it can contribute to separate, but related, disorders. Children who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often struggle with executive function (EF), such as the ability to shift their attention to a new idea once they get stuck in a repetitive cycle. A child with OCD won’t necessarily experience every…

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Strategies for Parents: Goldilocks Parenting

Reflection Sciences Co-founder Dr. Stephanie Carlson explains how “goldilocks parenting”, or finding techniques that are “just right” for a child’s autonomy development, affects the child’s executive function development. When parents interact with their child in a way that balances patience, helpfulness, and involvedness, the child develops the ability to reflection on choices and make decisions according to their own…

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Executive Function Issues or Laziness?

This 2-part series by Dr. Lynn Margolies of Psych Central features the published work of Reflection Sciences Co-founder, Dr. Phil Zelazo. Part 1 of the series describes how Executive Function issues, the new “hot” umbrella term being used by teachers, counselors, and parents to describe an array of learning and attentional issues, differs from laziness. Part…

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Executive Function + ADD and ADHD

Executive functions and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADD and ADHD, often go hand-in-hand. In fact, when a doctor screens a patient for ADD and ADHD, deficiencies in executive functions are some of the most important signs they look for. There are several ways to examine for ADD and ADHD, but they all serve the same purpose:…

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How to Close the Achievement Gap with Executive Function Training

In a Q & A with Chalkbeat Colorado at U Denver, Reflection Sciences Co-Founder Dr. Stephanie Carlson explains how we can help close the achievement gap and even the playing field for low-income children, starting with executive function brain-based skills. See the full interview here.