Office: PCD 4152
Dr. Judith Becker Bryant is Professor of Psychology and a member of the Doctoral Program in Cognition, Neuroscience, and Social Psychology. Bryant graduated from Yale University and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development in child psychology. Her research focuses on language development. She is best known for her work on pragmatic socialization and lexical innovation in the preschool years. Recently she has conducted research on gender and age differences in expressions of affection and people’s use and understanding of so-called gender neutral pronouns. Bryant has received numerous teaching awards and particularly enjoys teaching Developmental Psychology and Discovering Research in Psychology.
Ph.D. Area: Cognition, Neuroscience, and Social Psychology
Language Development, Pragmatics, Language and Social Competence, Language and Affection, Language and Gender
Most recently I have been studying age and gender differences in children’s verbal expressions of affection. Girls, but not boys, begin to mask or mitigate expressions of anger in early childhood, but the possibility that boys mitigate expressions of positive emotion has not yet been investigated in either the language development or emotional development literatures.
In other work, in collaboration with Jane Noll, I am exploring adults’ use and understanding of so-called gender neutral pronouns. In fact, English has no gender neutral pronoun. Often, writers and speakers use “he” or “they” in sentences in which the gender of a referent is unknown. We are conducting sentence comprehension experiments, content analyses of editorials, and content analyses of both formal written language and more informal oral language.