David Menendez

David Menendez
University of Michiga · Psychology

Doctor of Psychology

About

26
Publications
3,285
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
191
Citations
Citations since 2016
26 Research Items
191 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
Introduction
I am interested in how children come to understand the natural world. I use a mix of quantitative and qualitative techniques to examine how socio-cultural factors influence the informal learning of scientific concepts. I also examine how instructional factors, such as the use of visual representations, influence learning of STEM concepts in formal educational environments.

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
People often have difficulty understanding processes of biological change, and they typically reject drastic life cycle changes such as metamorphosis, except for animals with which they are familiar. Even after a lesson about metamorphosis, people often do not generalize to animals not seen during the lesson. This might be partially due to the perc...
Article
Children’s understanding of death has been a topic of interest to researchers investigating the development of children’s thinking and clinicians focusing on how children cope with the death of a loved one. Traditionally, researchers in cognitive development have studied death from a biological perspective. Current research suggests that exploring...
Preprint
With the resumption of face-to-face classes in schools, children have begun to ask questions about the COVID-19 outbreak not only to parents but also to teachers. However, there has not been any research examining children’s questions and teachers’ responses about the Covid-19 pandemic. The study examined 3-12-year-old children’s questions and teac...
Article
Do adults think about genetic inheritance as a deterministic or probabilistic process? Do adults display systematic biases when reasoning about genetic inheritance? Knowing how adults think about genetic inheritance is valuable, both for understanding the developmental end point of these concepts and for identifying biases that persist even after f...
Thesis
Visualizations are an integral part of education, and the features of visualizations have been associated with differences in learning and generalization. I propose that students use the features of visualizations, such as their perceptual richness, as cues to infer the generality of the information presented in lessons. I test this proposal in 10...
Preprint
Why do people shift their strategies for solving problems? Past work has focused on the roles of contextual and individual factors in explaining whether people adopt new strategies when they are exposed to them. In this study, we examined a factor not considered in prior work: peoples’ evaluations of the strategies themselves. We presented undergra...
Article
Visualizations are commonly used in educational materials; however, not all visualizations are equally effective at promoting learning. Prior research has supported the idea that both perceptually rich and bland visualizations are beneficial for learning and generalization. We investigated whether the perceptual richness of a life cycle diagram inf...
Preprint
Do people think about genetic inheritance as a deterministic or probabilistic process? Do adults display systematic biases when reasoning about genetic inheritance? Knowing how adults think about genetic inheritance is valuable, both for understanding the developmental endpoint of these concepts and for identifying biases that persist even after fo...
Article
Full-text available
Parent-child conversations are important for children's cognitive development, children's ability to cope with stressful events, and can shape children's beliefs about the causes of illness. In the context of a global pandemic, families have faced a multitude of challenges, including changes to their routines, that they need to convey to their chil...
Article
We present three studies examining death in children’s animated films. Study 1 is a content analysis of 49 films. We found that death is often portrayed in films, but many deaths occurred off-screen. Deaths were mostly portrayed in a biologically accurate manner, but some films portrayed biological misconceptions. Study 2 (n = 433) reports on paren...
Preprint
We present three studies examining death in children’s animated films. Study 1 is a content analysis of 49 films. We found that death is often portrayed in films, but many deaths occurred off-screen. Deaths were mostly portrayed in a biologically accurate manner, but some films portrayed biological misconceptions. Studies 2 and 3 (n = 433) report o...
Preprint
During the COVID-19 pandemic, resources informing parents on how they should discuss the topic with their children surfaced. However, little is known about the questions that children ask about COVID-19 (and the pandemic in general) and how parents respond to those questions. In this exploratory mixed-method study, we recruited 349 predominantly Wh...
Article
Full-text available
Two foundational concepts in biology education are 1) offspring are not identical to their parents, and 2) organisms undergo changes throughout their lives. These concepts are included in both international and U.S. curricular standards. Research in psychology has shown that children often have difficulty understanding these concepts, as they are i...
Preprint
This study examines how children learn information about the causes of illness (such as germs or cold weather) through conversations with their parents in two cultures. Mexican (Study 1, N = 35) and European-American (Study 2, N = 31) mothers and their children (ages 4 to 6) read picture books in which one of the characters either got sick or did n...
Article
Parents are typically in charge of purchasing the food that their children eat, but little is known about how parents decide if particular foods are healthy for their children and how their beliefs about nutrition influence their children’s beliefs. In two studies, we investigated how parents of children ages 4–12 (N = 826) make decisions about the...
Article
People believe that treatments for illnesses are effective when they target the cause of the illness. Prior work suggests that biological essentialist explanations of mental illness lead people to prefer medications or other pharmacological treatments. However, prior work has not distinguished between biological and essentialist explanations. In th...
Preprint
People often have difficulty understanding processes of biological change, and they typically reject drastic life cycle changes such as metamorphosis, except for animals with which they are familiar. Even after a lesson about metamorphosis, people often do not generalize to animals not seen during the lesson. This might be partially due to the perc...
Article
Full-text available
Using a mixed-methods approach, we examined how participants’ memories of socialization regarding death might influence their self-reported coping with losses in childhood and adulthood. We recruited 318 adults to complete an online survey. Path analyses indicated that participants who remembered their parents shielding them less from issues relate...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Why do people change their strategies for solving problems? In this research, we tested whether negative feedback and the context in which learners encounter a strategy influence their likelihood of adopting that strategy. In particular, we examined whether strategy adoption varied when learners were exposed to a target strategy in isolati...
Article
A mixed‐method approach was used to explore parent and child perspectives on death in Mexico. Parents’ and children’s death‐related experiences and understanding of death were examined. While all children in this sample displayed a biological understanding of death, older children were less likely to endorse that all living things die. Children als...
Chapter
Learning, development, and response to instruction often involve changes in the strategies that learners use to solve problems. In this chapter, our focus is on mathematical problem solving in both children and adults. We offer a selective review of research on three classes of factors that may influence processes of strategy change in mathematical...
Article
In recent years, Mexico has seen one of the largest increases in suicide rates worldwide, especially among adolescents and young adults. This study uses data from the 1,071 respondents who participated in a two-wave longitudinal study when they were between 12 and 17 years of age, and again when they were between 19 and 26 years of age. The World M...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
What factors affect whether learners adopt a new problem-solving strategy? Potential factors include learners' evaluations of alternative strategies and the degree of similarity between their existing strategy and the alternatives. A first step in answering this question is investigating how people evaluate strategies. This exploratory study invest...
Article
Lockhart and Keil have written an interesting monograph focusing on the development of reasoning about medicine, a relatively underexplored area of research with potentially broad implications with respect to the design of more‐effective medical interventions. In a set of 15 studies with well over 2,200 participants, they examine how children and a...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated children's (n = 120; 3- to 11-year-olds) and adults' (n = 18) reasoning about life-cycle changes in biological organisms by examining their endorsements of four different patterns of life-span changes. Participants were presented with two separate tasks: (a) judging possible adult versions of a juvenile animal and (b) judging possib...
Article
Objective: To report results from a follow-up study of alcohol, cannabis and other drugs on suicidal behavior. Method: We estimated prospective associations of substance use as a risk factor for incident suicide ideation and attempt, from a follow-up conducted in 2013 (n = 1071) of the original Mexican Adolescent Mental Health Survey conducted i...

Network

Cited By