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2015 - SRCD Biennial Meeting Words: 476 words || 
1. Luchkina, Elena., Sommerville, Jessica. and Sobel, David. "Toddlers prefer to imitate intentional actions to equally causally effective accidental actions" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SRCD Biennial Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Mar 19, 2015 <Not Available>. 2019-12-07 <>
Publication Type: Individual Poster
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Many theories of causal learning focus on children’s capacity to appreciate conditional probability information from the environment (see e.g., Gopnik et al., 2004; Gopnik & Wellman, 2012). Such capacities are present at very early ages (Sobel & Kirkham, 2006; Xu & Garcia, 2008). These theories raise a question: to what extent do children learn from the data they observe in the environment and to what extent are they influenced by situational factors that affect their attention to such data? Experimental evidence shows that 4-year-olds are more influenced by the data they generate themselves (Kushnir & Gopnik, 2005). They are sensitive to the rationales others have for generating data, and only learn when those rationales relate to their own (Sobel & Sommerville, 2009). Four-year-olds also learn better from cases where they discover new information as opposed to confirming another’s discovery (Sobel & Sommerville, 2010). These findings suggest that 4-year-olds are not just making causal inferences based on conditional probabilities but moving beyond the data in various ways.

What about younger children? In this study, we considered whether toddlers would be influenced by the intentionality of an action, even though the efficacy they observed was identical. Such a finding is consistent with toddlers’ understanding others’ intentions in social learning situations (e.g., Carpenter et al., 2002).
Twenty-four 2.5-year-olds (13 girls, M age =31 months, Range 25-35 months) were recruited for this study. Children sat across from an experimenter who introduced them to a novel machine that would light up and play music when objects were placed on it. The experimenter showed the child two blocks – “intentional” (I) and “accidental”(A). She placed block I on the machine, which activated. Block I was then removed from the machine and placed in a new location. After that, the experimenter picked up block A and started to move it towards that same location, but accidentally dropped it, such that it landed on the machine, which activated. The experimenter removed block A from the machine. The order of moving blocks I and A was counterbalanced. At test, children were given blocks I and A and the machine and were asked to “make the machine go.” We examined which block children used first to activate the machine.

A control trial was also administered with two different blocks. Both of these blocks were placed on the machine intentionally, but one activated it and the other did not. Again, children were asked to make the machine go, and we only considered the data on the test trial from children who placed the efficacious object on the machine on this control. On the test trial, the majority of children (18/24) first placed block I on the machine, significantly more than chance, (Binomial test, p = .02). These data suggest that toddlers are also moving beyond the data when making causal inferences, and are influenced by their understanding of intentionality.

2016 - The Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Words: 142 words || 
2. Compton, Kimberly. "Social Work and Participatory Action Research: Why Action and Power Matter" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, May 18, 2016 <Not Available>. 2019-12-07 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Participatory action research is rising in popularity as a social work methodology, however its benefits can be diluted when conflated with other types of participatory research. Social work researchers cite PAR’s radical view of the participant as researcher and its emphasis on critical reflexivity as most closely aligned with social work values. Still, there have been only a few recent examples of connecting participation and reflexivity to action and power. PAR is set apart from other community-based and action-research methods when these four concepts are integrated as a philosophically informed methodology. This presentation intends to provide an introduction to the philosophical roots of PAR, a review of how PAR has been used in social work literature, an analysis of what is missing from recent PAR endeavors, and an interactive discussion of how to overcome current barriers to fully implementing PAR methodologies.

2017 - Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology Words: 123 words || 
3. Cakal, Huseyin., Diaz, David. and Eller, Anja. "Collective Action on behalf of the Underdog: Past participation predicts violent political action on behalf of the disadvantaged indigenous groups in Chile and Mexico" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K., Jun 29, 2017 <Not Available>. 2019-12-07 <>
Publication Type: Paper (prepared oral presentation)
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In two correlational studies in Chile (Study 1; n=208, non-Indigenous Chileans) and Mexico (Study 2; n=200, Mestizos), we surveyed the impact of past participation on violent political action behalf of the disadvantaged indigenous groups in both countries, Indigenous and Mapuches respectively. Using Structural Equation Modelling we found that past participation in collective action positively predicted willingness to engage in violent collective action on behalf of disadvantaged indigenous groups via group efficacy and anger and these effects were positively moderated by trust in governmental institutions. Our findings suggest that political action by the members of the advantaged group in favour of extremely disadvantaged groups such as indigenous people in Chile and Mexico are influenced by a history of politicization and trust in macro-level institutions.

2018 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Words: 231 words || 
4. Pitts, Kristin. and Henry, Kandace. "Sociological Learning to Action: Using Social Action Projects to Promote Community Engagement beyond the Classroom" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center & Philadelphia Marriott, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 09, 2018 <Not Available>. 2019-12-07 <>
Publication Type: Informal Discussion Roundtable
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This discussion will involve how the presenters implemented a sociology term social action project and evaluated the efficacy of the educational intervention. Recent news highlights have shown a plethora of social movements and social action issues across the world, but most seem to fade out before issues are addressed and resolved. The presenters of this workshop saw an opportunity in the classroom to engage students in a way that would help promote social action beyond academia. The presenters implemented a social action term project to address the issue of human trafficking in the local area. The project involved five sociology classes at two colleges and focused on teaching the students about the impact they can create within their community. Presenters divided groups into four engagement platforms: social media, community event, traditional media, and legislative. Students worked in small groups to design a social action campaign for their assigned platform and then carried out the campaign on their college campuses and in the local community. An evaluation was done to determine the impact students made in their community. There were three objectives of the social action term project: illustrate how a small group can create a big impact in the world; give students an opportunity to learn how to leverage scarce resources to accomplish a task; and ultimately to promote future social advocacy among students.
Supporting Publications:
Supporting Document

2010 - North American Association For Environmental Education Words: 268 words || 
5. Dyck, Shannon. "Examining how family participation in an action based EE program affects the daily actions of participants" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Association For Environmental Education, Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, Buffalo, NY, <Not Available>. 2019-12-07 <>
Publication Type: 45-Minute Traditional Presentation
Abstract: Individuals and families are now seen as important drivers for environmental change, yet little research has been done that studies if and how families change if given the opportunity to participate in action-based environmental education contexts. Therefore, this research studies how a family-based environmental education program can help lead to the production of environmental action that is effective, desirable, and maintainable in participants’ daily lives. The pillars of action, participation, and learning are combined as stimuli for change. If families are provided with a number of environmental action items (e.g., a list of what individuals, families, and communities can do to reduce their ‘negative’ environmental impacts), given the opportunity to set their own goals for change alongside family and community members, and supplied with resources that describe how humans impact the environment (e.g., pollution, over consumption, rapid resource use), how does this combination affect participants’ actions? Furthermore, if family members change their actions, which actions do they change and why? Do they think they will be able to maintain their goals once the study is over? And, do they plan on making further changes once the research process is over? Given the focus on action, participation, and learning, components of the Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology (such as participant planning, inquiry and reflection) framed the data collection and analysis, which are ongoing. Focus groups, family interviews, and participant action diaries are being used as methods to explore the goals that participants make and achieve, to discuss what participants feel is environmentally ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ and to examine how individuals and families fit into the bigger picture of environmentalism.

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