Peter Blake, Ed.D., is associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University. His general interest is in social cognitive development, but his research focuses on three important foundations of human life: cooperation, fairness, and ownership.
He is interested in the cognitive and social processes that underlie children’s social interactions around material goods. More concretely, he asks questions such as: When should you share and when should you compete for resources? Is equal always fair or can you sometimes keep more for yourself? How do you know when a toy is owned and what does that mean? His experiments are based on game theory, which means that children can gain or lose resources like candy or stickers depending on their decisions. He is currently extending projects to different cultures in order to look for common developmental patterns and assess cultural variables that influence cooperation.