Notable Achievements

Assistant Professor of Psychology Karen Lara had an article titled “This Is Not What I Expected: The Impact of Prior Expectations on Children’s and Adults’ Preferences and Emotions” recently published in the journal Developmental Psychology.

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Expertise

Developmental Psychology, Social Cognition (theory of mind), Emotions, Affect, Expectations

I received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis in 2010 and my Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis in 2019. Currently, I teach Principles of Psychology, Lifespan Development, and the Developmental Psychology Capstone. I love teaching and working closely with students. I strive for the combination of an exciting and caring learning environment. I want students to love psychology as much as I do.

  • I received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis in 2010 and my Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis in 2019. Currently, I teach Principles of Psychology, Lifespan Development, and the Developmental Psychology Capstone. I love teaching and working closely with students. I strive for the combination of an exciting and caring learning environment. I want students to love psychology as much as I do.

  • My program of research surrounds understanding children’s and adults’ beliefs about and experiences of the connections between expectations and affective experiences (i.e., preferences and emotions). I enjoy involving undergraduate researchers in all aspects of research.

  • Lara, K. H., Kramer, H. J., & Lagattuta, K. H. (2021). This is not what I expected: The impact of prior expectations on children’s and adults’ preferences and emotions. Developmental Psychology.

    Kramer, H. J., Wood, T., Lara, K. H., & Lagattuta, K. H. (2021). Children’s and adults’ beliefs about the stability of traits from infancy to adulthood: Contributions of age and executive function. Cognitive Development.

    Kramer, H. J., Parra, L. A., Lara, K. H., Hastings, P., & Lagattuta, K. H. (2020). Consistencies among social groups in judging emotions across time. Emotion, advanced online publication

    Lara, K. H., Lagattuta, K.H., & Kramer, H. J. (2019). Is there a downside to anticipating the upside? Children’s and adults’ reasoning about how prior expectations shape future emotions. Child Development, 90, 1170–1184.

    Hjortsvang, K. & Lagattuta, K. H. (2017). Emotional development. In A. E. Wenzel (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology (pp. 1322). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

    Lagattuta, K. H., Kramer, H. J., Kennedy, K., Hjortsvang, K., Goldfarb, D., & Tashjian, S. M. (2015).  Beyond Sally’s missing marble: Further development in children’s understanding of mind and emotion during middle childhood. In J.B. Bensen (Ed.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior (volume 48). Waltham, MA:  Elsevier.

    Lagattuta, K. H., Hjortsvang, K., & Kennedy, K. (2014). Theory of mind and academic competence during early childhood: Emotion understanding, relationships, and learning from others. In O. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.), Contemporary perspectives on research in theories of mind in early childhood education (pp. 245-267). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.