Maria Vázquez Brown, Ph.D.

Maria Brown


How do our initial encounters influence our interactions with others? I study the inferences that children and adults make about people who behave differently. I am particularly interested in inferences about knowledge states and social category membership. For example, how fluent someone is in a particular language can be assessed rather quickly. This information may be used to determine how we will communicate with them in the future and what things we believe they know. I mainly explore this by looking at how monolingual and bilingual individuals determine linguistic expertise in others and use this to select sources of new information.

In addition to the research listed in my vitae, here are some examples of student research projects that I have directed:

  • Specific bilingual background and risk for cognitive impairment
  • Instructor feedback in second language acquisition
  • Racial attitudes and group perceptions
  • Children's and adults' use of conversation cues when selecting
    sources of information
  • Preschoolers' use nonverbal cues to identify reliable informants in word learning
  • Context cues and word learning in the preschool years
  • Language background and human lie detection
  • Dreaming during second language acquisition
  • Self-disclosure in human-computer interactions
  • Learning from robots vs. humans
  • Introversion, social support, and depression risk
  • Religiosity and attitudes about alcohol consumption
  • Plasticity in body mapping
  • Social anxiety and emotional intimacy in online relationships
  • Multidimensionality of American attitudes

Curriculum vitae

Personal Home page