I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Psychology Department at University of California, Berkeley and a Researcher in the ABC (Adaptive Behavior and Cognition) group of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. My research is supported by the Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship, within the 7th European Community Framework Programme.

I work in Professor Fei Xu's Berkeley Early Learning Lab, Professor Alison Gopnik's Cognitive Development Lab and Professor Tania Lombrozo's Concepts and Cognition Lab. 

My research investigates theoretically and empirically how children actively seek information in their physical and social environments as evidence to test and dynamically revise their hypotheses and theories over time. My program explores the development of active learning across the life span, analyzing the effectiveness of children’s information search and hypothesis testing strategies, such as question asking and selective exploration, and identifying potential sources of developmental change. In particular, my work inaugurates the developmental investigation of “ecological learning”, defined as the ability to flexibly and dynamically select those active learning strategies that maximize learning efficiency in different learning environments. Finally, I am interested in developing an approach to classroom learning that leverages children’s active learning strategies and theory-building abilities and harnesses them to inform education policy.

By bringing together methods and insights from developmental and cognitive psychology, philosophy, education, Bayesian reasoning, information theory and computational modeling, my approach offers a unique, multidisciplinary perspective to shed light on the cognitive, social and cultural mechanisms underlying active and ecological learning. 

Contact Information:

email: a.ruggeri@berkeley.edu or ruggeri@mpib-berlin.mpg.de