Dr. Craig Smith’s research focuses on children’s social cognitive development and links to social behavior. Examples of specific areas of interest are: children’s developing understanding of distributive and retributive justice, children’s understanding of antisociality, children’s reactions to conflicts and mitigating accounts (apologies, confessions, etc.), influences on children’s money saving and spending behaviors, links between math performance and cognition about fairness, and children’s use of social input as a guide for future thinking.
Craig is currently the director of the Living Lab project at the University of Michigan. The Living Lab is a research/education model that brings developmental research into community settings such as museums and libraries. The UM Living Lab sites currently include the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, the UM Museum of Natural History, and the main branch of the Ann Arbor District Library. Since the start of the Living Lab project in 2012, over 6,000 children and families have participated in research in these community settings, and thousands more have had opportunities to converse with researchers studying child development.