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Professor Oakes Wins Maccoby Book Award

Psychology Professor Lisa Oakes Receives Book Award from APA

Professor Lisa Oakes was announced as the winner of the prestigious "Eleanor Maccoby" Book Award from the American Psychological Association Developmental Psychology Division for 2022. The Maccoby Award honors a book in the field of psychology that has had or promises to have a profound effect on developmental psychology. The book is titled "Developmental Cascades" and was co-authored with colleague David H. Rakison from Carnegie Mellon University. 

In her nomination letter, professor Vanessa LoBue from Rutgers University summarized the significant contributions of this book:  "In this book, it is proposed that all change can be explained in terms developmental cascades such that events that occur at one point in development set the stage or cause a ripple effect for the emergence or development of different abilities, functions, or behavior at another point in time. It is argued that these developmental cascades are influenced by different kinds of constraints that do not have a single foundation: they may originate from the structure of the child’s nervous system and body, the physical or social environment, or knowledge and experience. These constraints occur at multiple levels of processing, change over time, and both contribute to developmental cascades and are the product of cascades. The book presents an overview of this developmental cascade perspective as a general framework for understanding change throughout the lifespan, although it is applied primarily to cognitive development in infancy. The book also addresses issues how a cascade approach obviates the dichotomy between domain-general and domain-specific mechanisms and the origins of constraints. The framework is applied in detail to three domains within infant cognitive development—namely, looking behavior, object representations, and concepts for animacy—as well as two domains unrelated to infant cognition (gender and attachment)."