Dr Emma Flynn, Ph.D.
My research focuses on various aspects of socio-cognitive development, including social learning (observational learning, peer tutoring and collaboration), the acquisition, transmission and evolution of cultural behaviours and the development of, and inter-relations between, theory of mind and executive functioning. In my work I have adopted specialised methods, including the microgenetic method, diffusion chains and open diffusion.
- Mechanisms of observational learning (including imitation and emulation)
- Processes and strategies of information transmission
- Acquisition of artefact knowledge and tool use
- Social learning: Observational learning, collaboration and peer tutoring
- Cumulative culture
- The development of socio-cognitive skills (theory of mind and executive functioning)
Indicators of Esteem
- 2013: Associate Editor for PLOSOne:
- 2012: International Panel Member for the Romanian Government’s National Research Council:
- 2012: Invitation to attend the Ernst Strugmann Forum on Cultural Evolution, Frankfurt.:
- 2012: National Seminars: Institute of Education; Bangor University; Plymouth University:
- 2012: Presentation at the International Conference on Infant Studies, Minneapolis, US.:
- 2012: Reviewer for the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, US:
- 2011: International Presentation at the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal.:
- 2011: Invited Conference Address at the AHRC Culture and the Mind: Artefacts and Material Culture Series, University of Sheffield.:
- 2011: Invited Conference Address at the Physical Cognition and Problem Solving Series, University of Birmingham.:
- 2011: National Seminars: University of York; University of Lancaster; University of Northumbria; City University:
- 2011: Presentations at the British Psychological Society Developmental Conference, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities:
- 2010: Invited Seminar at the Max Plank Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig.:
- 2010: Presentation at the British Psychological Society Developmental Conference, Goldsmiths, University of London:
- 2007: Guest Editor for Special Issue, Infant and Child Development:
'Using microgenetic methods to investigate cognitive development'
- 2005: Symposium Invitation, Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta USA.:
- 2005: Symposium Invitation, European Conference for Developmental Psychology, Tenerife Spain.:
- 2003: Symposium Invitation, Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa USA.:
- Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
- Developmental Psychology
- Social, Emotional and Evolutionary Psychology
- Flynn, E. (2010). Underpinning Collaborative Learning. In Self and Social Regulation: Social interaction and the development of social understanding and executive functions. Sokol, B., Muller, U., Carpendale, J., Young, A. & Iarocci, G. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 312-336.
- Bancroft, D. & Flynn, E. (2005). Early cognitive development. In Psychological Development and Early Childhood. Oates, J., Grayson, A. & Wood, C. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 131-166.
- Flynn, E. (2004). Understanding minds. In Children's Cognitive and Language Development. Oates, J. & Grayson, A. Milton Keynes: Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the Open University. 231-258.
- Ding, S. & Flynn, E. (2000). Collaborative Learning- an underlying skills approach. In Rethinking Collaborative Learning. Joiner, R. Littleton, K., Faulkner, D. & Miell, D. London: Free Association Press. 3-18.
Journal papers: academic
- Wood, L.A., Kendal, R. & Flynn, E. (2013). Copy you or copy me?: The effect of prior personally-acquired, and alternative method, information on imitation. Cognition 127: 203-213.
- Flynn E.G., Laland K.N., Kendal R.L. & Kendal J.R. (2013). Developmental niche construction. Developmental Science 16(2): 296-313.
- Wood, L., Kendal, R. & Flynn, E. (2012). Context-dependent model-based biases in cultural transmission: Children’s imitation is affected by model age over model knowledgeable state. Evolution and Human Behavior 33(4): 387-394.
- Vale, G.L., Flynn, E.G. & Kendal, R.L. (2012). Cumulative culture and future thinking: Is mental time travel a prerequisite to cumulative cultural evolution?. Learning and Motivation 43: 220-230.
- Flynn, E. & Whiten, A. (2012). Experimental 'microcultures' in young children: identifying biographic, cognitive, and social predictors of information transmission. Child Development 83(3): 911-925.
- Kaley, F., Reid, V. & Flynn, E. (2012). Investigating the biographic, social and temperamental predictors of young infants’ sleeping, crying and feeding routines. Infant Behavior and Development 35: 596-605.
- Flynn, E. & Smith, K. (2012). Investigating the mechanisms of cultural acquisition: How pervasive is overimitation in adults? Social Psychology 43(4): 185-195.
- Kaley, F., Reid, V. & Flynn, E. (2011). The psychology of infant colic: A review of current research. Infant Mental Health Journal 32(5): 526-541.
- Hopper, L., Flynn, E., Wood, L. & Whiten, A. (2010). Observational learning of tool use in children: Investigating cultural spread through diffusion chains and learning mechanisms through ghost displays. Journal Of Experimental Child Psychology 106(1): 82-97.
- Flynn, E.G. & Whiten, A. (2010). Studying children’s social learning experimentally “in the wild”. Learning and Behavior 38(3): 284-296.
- Whiten, A. & Flynn, E. (2010). The Transmission and Evolution of Experimental Microcultures in Groups of Young Children. Developmental Psychology 46(6): 1694-1709.
- Flynn, E. & Whiten, A. (2008). Cultural transmission of tool use in young children: A diffusion chain study. Social Development 17(3): 699-718.
- Flynn, E. & Whiten, A. (2008). Imitation of hierarchical structure versus component details of complex actions by 3- and 5-year-olds. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 101(4): 228-240.
- Flynn, E (2008). Investigating children as cultural magnets: Do young children transmit redundant information along diffusion chains?. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363(1509): 3541-3551.
- McGuigan, N., Whiten, A., Flynn, E. & Horner, V. (2007). Imitation of causally-opaque versus causally-transparent tool use by 3- and 5-year-old children. Cognitive Development 22: 353-364.
- Flynn, E. & Siegler, R. (2007). Measuring change: Current trends and future directions in microgenetic research. Infant and Child Development 16: 135-149.
- Flynn, E. (2007). The role of inhibitory control in false belief understanding. Infant and Child Development 16: 53-59.
- Flynn, E., Pine, K. & Lewis, C. (2007). Using the microgenetic method to investigate cognitive development: introduction to a special issue. Infant and Child Development 16: 1-6.
- Flynn, E. (2006). A microgenetic investigation of stability and continuity in theory of mind development. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 24(3): 631-654.
- Horner, V., Whiten, A., Flynn, E. & de Waal, F. (2006). Faithful replication of foraging techniques along cultural transmission chains by chimpanzees and children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103(37): 13878-13883.
- Whiten, A., Flynn, E., Brown, K. & Lee, K. (2006). Imitation of hierarchical action structure by young children. Developmental Science 9(6): 575-582.
- Flynn, E., O'Malley, C. & Wood, D. (2004). A longitudinal, microgenetic study of the emergence of false belief understanding and inhibition skills. Developmental Science 7(1): 103-115.
Journal papers: professional
- Flynn, E., Pine, K. & Lewis, C. (2006). The microgenetic method: Time for change?. The Psychologist 19(3): 152-155.
- 2012: ESRC Grant Award, 'Uncovering the determinants of the discovery, utilisation and transmission of information through social learning and innovation in young children' PI (2012- 2015: £252000), Co-I is Prof Luc-Alain Giraldeau
- 2008: Mentor for an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, ‘The development of social learning in children: The interplay between imitation and emulation’ Dr Lydia Hopper (£81076)
- 2007: ESRC Research Seminars Award 'Using the microgenetic method to investigate cognitive development' (2005: £12000)
- 2004: British Psychological Society Research Seminars Award ‘Using the microgenetic method to investigate cognitive development’ (£3000)