Su-hua Wang

TitleAssociate Professor
DivisionSocial Sciences Division
DepartmentPsychology Department
Web Site Personal Webpage
OfficeSocial Sciences 2, Room 257
Office HoursBy appointment (Spring 2018)
Campus Mail StopPsychology Faculty Services
Su-hua Wang

Research Interests

Su-hua Wang’s research investigates cognitive development situated in sociocultural contexts, including technology, parent-child interaction, and children’s play.

She studies children’s use of interactive technologies to see how it affects communication and children’s development. For example, in a current project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF 1617253), she  collaborates with researchers in Computer Science and Computational Media to study how interactive technologies facilitate cleft speech therapy; they do so by considering the development of language and communication skills and the role of individual differences.

Her research on parent-child interaction shows that when attempting to teach their babies, parents provide the type of guidance that is supported by their unique cultural values and beliefs. These cultural variations in parental guidance underscore the importance of considering diverse approaches and activities in studying or supporting young children's learning.

She also continues her research program on infant cognition. This work shows that infants under a year of age can learn a new concept through watching just a few examples, and that hands-on experience reduces the amount of examples needed. Furthermore, infants transfer their learning across different modalities, from visual perception to hands-on action, and vice versa.

Additionally, her work on theory of mind shows an early ability in children to match linguistic cues to intentional actions in the context of humor. Toddlers as young as 15 months attend to emotional information in speech (i.e., whether it was humorous or sweet) and expect the speaker’s action to match the utterance (i.e., whether she should act in a humorous or sweet manner).

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.S., M.S., National Taiwan University

Selected Publications

  • Wang, S., & Onishi, K. H. (in press). Enhancing young infants’ representations of physical events through improved retrieval (not encoding) of information. Journal of Cognition & Development.

  • Antrilli, N. K., & Wang, S. (2016). Visual cues generated during action facilitate 14-month-old infants’ mental rotation. Journal of Cognition & Development, 17, 418-429.

  • Wang, S., & Goldman, E. J. (2016). Infants actively construct and update their representations of physical events: Evidence from change detection by 12-month-olds. Child Development Research, 2016, 1-11.

  • Wang, S., Zhang, Y., & Baillargeon, R. (2016). Young infants view physically possible support events as unexpected: New evidence for rule learning. Cognition, 157, 100-105.

Courses Taught

Psyc 10: Introduction to Developmental Psychology
Psyc 118E: The World of Babies
Psyc 247: Special Topics in Developmental Psychology