Since earning her Ph.D. in 2013, Erin has taught at Emory University, Georgia State University, and Spelman College. In 2015 she became a Lecturer at the School of Psychology & Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews.
Erin's primary research interest is in the origins and development of social cognition, particularly moral reasoning. Her dissertation examined the development of inequity aversion in children three- to seven-years-old. Recent collaborations have replicated this work in children and adults of highly contrasted cultures including Vanuatu, Samoa, rural Mexico, South Korea, and Costa Rica.
As part of an on-going collaboration with the Emory-Tibet Partnership and Life University, Erin also studies the impact of contemplative practices on children's social-emotional health. Now in its third year, her team has tracked several cohorts of elementary school children who receive in-class training in either Cognitively-Based Compassion or general mindfulness practices. The goal of this research is to determine what—if any—elements of these practices can help reduce antisocial behavior in the classroom (including prejudice and bullying) while increasing prosocial behavior and compassion in young children.
As an educator, Erin advocates for active learning practices that bring the lab into the classroom. She is the recipient of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Teaching Award (2011), and her work on pedagogical practices earned her the Emory University O.R.D.E.R. Fellowship (2011), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Teaching in K-12 Education (GK-12) Fellowship (2011).
Erin Robbins, Ph.D.
36 Eagle Row
Atlanta, GA 30322