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Ellen M. Markman


Ellen M. Markman

Senior Associate Dean for the Social Sciences and the Lewis M. Terman Professor of Psychology

Ellen M. Markman, the Lewis M. Terman Professor of Psychology, is the senior associate dean for the social sciences. Markman, who previously served in this role from 1998 to 2000, has been a member of the Department of Psychology for almost four decades and was its chair from 1994 to 1997. She is regarded as one of the nation’s leading developmental psychologists.

After earning a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and teaching at the University of Illinois, Markman joined Stanford’s faculty in 1975. Much of her research has focused on cognitive and early language development, understanding how very young children and infants use categorization and inductive reasoning to figure out what words mean. A current research project aims to lay the groundwork for a preschool curriculum on nutrition.

Markman is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. In 2004, she received the American Psychological Association’s Outstanding Mentoring Award, and in 2013, the Association for Psychological Science honored her with the William James Lifetime Achievement Award for Basic Research.

Markman has written and edited several influential books and published more than 80 articles in leading academic journals. She teaches undergraduates and graduate students, and has advised many doctoral candidates. Beyond her academic service, Markman was Stanford’s Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA and the Pacific-10 Conference from 2005 to 2010. In this role, she was responsible for monitoring student-athlete welfare.

    Honors, Publications, and Professional Experience:
  • American Psychological Society’s William James Lifetime Achievement Award for Basic Research (2013)
  • Elected a fellow of the Cognitive Science Society (2012), the National Academy of Sciences (2011), the Association for Psychological Science (2006), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2003), and the American Psychological Society (1989).
  • Recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Division 7 Outstanding Mentoring Award (2004)
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1982-83)
  • Categorization and Naming in Children: Problems of Induction (MIT Press/Bradford Books, 1989)
  • “Constraints children place on word meanings,” Cognitive Science (1990)
  • “Information conveyed in generic sentences becomes central to children’s biological concepts: Evidence from their open-ended explanations,” with A. Cimpian. Cognition (2009)
  • “Teaching young children a theory of nutrition: Conceptual change and potential for increased vegetable consumption,” with S. Gripshover. Psychological Science (2013)
  • Editorial board member of Cognitive Psychology, consulting editor for Child Development and Developmental Psychology, and editorial advisory board member of the Encyclopedia of Infant and Early Childhood Development.
  • Served on many boards and committees at Stanford, on external review committees of several universities, and on boards representing Markman’s professional field.
  • Received multiple research grants and citations.