Department of Psychology

Dr. Megan Conrad

Megan Geerdts_PhD.jpg

Office: Science East 2053
Phone: 973-720-3318
Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00 am-12:30pm

Department: Psychology
Position: Assistant Professor

Area Specialization

Educational Background:
  • Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Rutgers University – Newark
  • M.A. in Cognitive Psychology from Rutgers University – Newark
  • B.A. in Psychology (Minor in Sociology) from The College of New Jersey
Research Interests:
  • Children’s cognitive development
  • Family interactions in informal learning settings
  • The role of early exposure to animals in the development of anthropomorphic beliefs and biological knowledge
  • The effect of realism on learning from media
  • Children’s learning about threat-relevant stimuli
  • Colin Beer Distinguished Teaching Award, Rutgers University-Newark Department of Psychology, 2013.
  • Publishing Collaborations Initiative Research Award, Parent’s Preferences for Educational Claims in Infant Media, Rutgers University Graduate School-Newark, 2013.
  • Teaching Assistant of the Year Award, Rutgers University-Newark, Psychology, May 2012
Selected Publications: 

Geerdts, M. (in press). (Un)Real Animals: Anthropomorphism and early learning about animals. Child Development Perspectives.

Geerdts, M., Van de Walle, G. A., & LoBue, V. (in press). Learning about real animals from anthropomorphic media. Journal of Imagination, Cognition, and Personality.

Geerdts, M., Van de Walle, G. A., & LoBue, V. (2015). Daily animal exposure and children’s biological concepts. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 130, 132-146.

Geerdts, M., Van de Walle, G. A., & LoBue, V. (2015). Parent-child interaction about animals in informal learning environments. Visitor Studies, 18(1), 39-63.

Invited talks:

Geerdts, M. (2015, April). “Young Children’s Learning from Storybooks.” Experimental Psychology Program’s Hard Data Café, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC.

Geerdts, M. (2015, April). “Studying Learning in Museum Settings.” Departmental Brown Bag, Museum Studies Program, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC.

Chaired conference symposium:

Geerdts, M. (2015, October).  Learning outside the lab: Factors that contribute to memory and learning in informal learning environments. Chair of paper symposium presented at the Cognitive Development Society biennial meeting, Columbus, Ohio. Speakers: Brooke Miller, Dr. Janet Boseovski, & Dr. Megan Geerdts: Discussant: Dr. David Uttal

Conference talks:

Geerdts, M. & Marcovitch, S. (2015, October).  The effect of anthropomorphic language on learning about zoo animals. Paper presented at the Cognitive Development Society biennial meeting, Columbus, Ohio.

Pathman, T., Boseovski, J., Marcovitch, S., Geerdts, M., Marble, K., Scales, M., Stark, J., & Chen, Y. (2015, October). Children's selective trust and retention of information from educators and parents in a science center setting. Paper presented at the Cognitive Development Society biennial meeting, Columbus, Ohio.

LoBue, V., Blacker, K. A., Geerdts, M. (2015, March). Children’s Behavioral Avoidance of Contagion. Talk presented at biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.