Hillary Harner and Laura Kelly successfully completed their NRC Postdoctoral Fellowships this Fall — congratulations to them both! Throughout their years at NRL, Laura and Hillary made some important discoveries into how people reason about durations and how they reason about desire.
Laura Kelly‘s work in the Reasoning Lab focused on how people reason about durations (Kelly, Prabhakar, & Khemlani, 2019): she discovered that they mentally simulate how events relate to one another, though they tend to reason with only one simulation at a time (Kelly & Khemlani, 2019; Kelly, Khemlani, & Johnson-Laird, 2020). She also found that they exhibit systematic biases when they reason about duration (Kelly & Khemlani, 2020). Likewise, when they detect conflicts in temporal information, they build explanations to resolve those temporal conflicts (Kelly & Khemlani, 2021).
Hillary Harner‘s work in the Reasoning Lab focused on desire: how people understand, comprehend, and reason about the word “want”. She found that people make systematic inferences about the world from knowledge of people’s desires (Harner & Khemlani, 2020). Likewise, she found that people distinguish between desires and intentions (Harner & Khemlani, 2021). And, in her ongoing work, she used corpus analysis methodologies to discover how children’s production of the word “want” develops in early childhood (Harner & Khemlani, under review). Beyond her research on desire, Harner collaborated with Gordon Briggs and others to work on how people construct quantified descriptions of groups (Briggs, Harner, & Khemlani, 2020, 2021), how the construct referring expressions (Briggs & Harner, 2019) and how they reason about omissive causal relations (Briggs, Harner, Wasylyshyn, Bello, & Khemlani, 2019; Khemlani, Bello, Briggs, Harner, & Wasylyshyn, 2021). Hillary joined Altamira Corporation as a Behavioral Scientist.
Best of luck to Laura and Hillary!