Cognitive Development, Numerical Cognition, Spatial Cognition, Achievement Motivation


Elizabeth Gunderson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Temple University. Dr. Gunderson’s research focuses on the cognitive and socio-emotional factors that affect young children’s academic achievement, especially in the domain of mathematics. She is currently investigating how visuo-spatial skills relate to children’s early number knowledge; how preschoolers develop number concepts; and how parental interactions impact children's skills and motivation in math and spatial domains. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Chicago and her B.A. in Computer Science & Psychology from Yale University. Dr. Gunderson's research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.


Selected Publications

  • Ren, K., & Gunderson, E. A. (in press). Malleability of whole-number and fraction biases in decimal comparison. Developmental Psychology. doi:10.1037/dev0000797
  • Gunderson, E. A., Hamdan, N., Hildebrand, L., & Bartek, V. (2019). Number line unidimensionality is a critical feature for promoting fraction magnitude
  • concepts. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 187, 104657. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2019.06.010
  • Gibson, D. J., Gunderson, E. A., Spaepen, E., Levine, S. C., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2019). Number gestures predict learning of number words. Developmental Science, 22(3), e12791. doi:10.1111/desc.12791
  • §Ren, K., §Lin, Y., & Gunderson, E. A. (2019). The role of inhibitory control in strategy change: The case of linear measurement. Developmental Psychology, 55(7), 1389-1399. doi:10.1037/dev0000739
  • §Both authors contributed equally.
  • Spaepen, E., §Gunderson, E. A., Gibson, D., Goldin-Meadow, S., & Levine, S. C. (2018). Meaning before order: Cardinal principle knowledge predicts improvement in understanding the successor principle and exact ordering. Cognition, 180, 59-81.doi:
  • §Both authors contributed equally.
  • Gunderson, E. A., Sorhagen, N.S., Gripshover, S., Dweck, C., Goldin-Meadow, S., & Levine, S. C. (2018). Parent praise to toddlers predicts fourth grade academic achievement via children’s incremental mindsets. Developmental Psychology, 54(3), 397-409. doi: 10.1037/dev0000444, 10.1037/dev0000444.supp (Supplemental)
  • Hamdan, N., & Gunderson, E. A. (2017). The number line is a critical spatial-numerical representation: Evidence from a fraction intervention. Developmental Psychology, 53(3), 587-596. doi: 10.1037/dev0000252, 10.1037/dev0000252.supp (Supplemental)
  • Gunderson, E. A., Spaepen, E., Gibson, D., Goldin-Meadow, S., & Levine, S.C. (2015). Gesture as a window onto children’s number knowledge. Cognition, 144, 14-28. doi:
  • Gunderson, E. A., Ramirez, G., Beilock, S. L., & Levine, S. C. (2012). The relation between spatial skill and early number knowledge: The role of the linear number line. Developmental Psychology, 48(5), 1229-1241. doi: 10.1037/a0027433

Courses Taught

  • Cognitive and Language Development
  • Phases of Development: Infancy
  • Capstone in Psychology: Psychology in Education
  • Graduate Seminar in Developmental Psychology: Mathematical Development