# People

Lance Rips [rips at northwestern.edu]

My current research focuses on concepts of individual entities (individual people or dogs or chairs), mathematical concepts (e.g., natural numbers or groups), and types of reasoning related to these concepts (typically causal or mathematical reasoning). For a more complete description of the research going on in this lab, check the "Projects" section of this web site.

Nathan Couch [NathanCouch2020 (at) u.northwestern.edu]

My research is on how people reason about abstract domains, such as mathematics. Currently, I am focused on the role of explanation in mathematics, and what constraints people use when evaluating mathematical explanations, but I'm also interested in how people reason about number systems.

Jacob Dink [JacobDink2011 (at) u.northwestern.edu]

When we reason about the physical world, we don't just think about physical facts. We often ascribe purposes and goals to physical objects (e.g., knives are for cutting). This kind of thinking is common, but it intuitively has limits: it seems like purpose-based thinking shouldn't influence "objective" judgements, such as whether a particular object exists. My research focuses the surprisingly broad and pervasive influence of purpose-based thinking, even in apparently straightforward and objective contexts. I'm especially interested in how intentions and function influence people's individuation of objects.

Matthew Myers [MatthewMyers2020 (at) u.northwestern.edu]

My research interests are related to causal reasoning and causal directionality. The relationship between cause and effect is asymmetric (i.e., causes precede effects, not vice versa). As such, reasoning from cause to effect (predictive reasoning) and from effect to cause (diagnostic reasoning) entails the consideration of different relational variables. I’m interested in the differences between these two processes and how they can inform models of causal reasoning.

# Recent Alums

Jennifer Asmuth [Asmuth (at) Susqu.edu]

Winston Chang [WinstonChang2008 (at) u.northwestern.edu]

Andrea Proctor [AndreaProctor2008 (at) u.northwestern.edu]

Eyal Sagi [EyalSagi2009 (at) u.northwestern.edu]