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David H. Uttal

David H. Uttal

  • Professor, Education
  • Professor, Psychology

Swift Hall Room 102, 2029 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Mental representation, cognitive development, spatial cognition, early symbolization.



  • PhD, University of Michigan, 1989

Awards and Honors

  • 2022 – Winner of the  International Mind, Brain, and Education Society’s research translation award
  • 2014 – Winner of the George A. Miller Award from the American Psychological Association for the most distinguished publication in general psychology
  • 2008 – Associate Editor, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
  • 2008 –  Member, Standing Grant Review Panel, Mathematics and Science, Institute for Education Sciences, U. S. Department of Education
  • 2007 – Member of the Math and Science Education grant review panel of the Institute of Educational Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education
  • 2007 – Advisory board, Assembly of curriculum materials for a general-education course in spatial thinking, tying in spatial analysis and geography

Selected Publications

Jant, Erin; Haden, Catherine; Uttal, David; Babcock, Elizabeth (2014). Conversation and object manipulation influence children’s learning in a museum. Child Development.

Jee, Benjamin; Gentner, Dedre; Uttal, David; Sageman, Bradley; Forbus, Kenneth; Manduca, Cathryn; Ormand, Carol; Shipley, Thomas; Tikoff, Basil (2014). Drawing on Experience: How Domain Knowledge Is Reflected in Sketches of Scientific Structures and Processes. Research in Science Education.

Jee, Benjamin; Uttal, David; Gentner, Dedre; Manduca, Cathy; Shipley, Thomas; Sageman, Bradley (2013). Finding faults: Analogical comparison supports spatial concept learning in geoscience. Cognitive Processing; 14(2): 175-187.

Uttal, David; Miller, David; Newcombe, Nora (2013). Exploring and Enhancing Spatial Thinking: Links to Achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics?. Current Directions in Psychological Science; 22(5): 367-373.

Uttal, David; Meadow, Nathaniel; Tipton, Elizabeth; Hand, Linda; Alden, Alison; Warren, Christopher; Newcombe, Nora (2013). The malleability of spatial skills: A meta-analysis of training studies. Psychological Bulletin; 139(2): 352-402.