Research News

UW–Madison's Vlach to receive McCandless Award from American Psychological Association

November 04, 2019

UW-Madison’s Haley Vlach was selected to receive the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Boyd McCandless Award. 

Vlach, an associate professor with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology, will be presented with the award at the 2020 APA Convention in Washington, D.C., Aug. 6-9, where she will also deliver a presentation. 

Haley Vlach
This honor is a prestigious early career award in developmental psychology and human development. More information about the awards can be found here

“I first learned about Boyd McCandless’ research as a graduate student," says Vlach, who also serves as the director of the Learning, Cognition, and Development Lab. ​"At the time, I never imagined that I would later receive an award in Boyd’s name, and join the incredible list of scientists that have previously received this recognition. I am extremely honored to have been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Boyd McCandless Award.”

Vlach’s research examines the mechanisms underlying children’s thinking and learning. She has conducted pioneering research on children’s memory, language learning, and conceptual development. 

In particular, her work has generated cognitive theories that have implications for understanding children’s cognitive development and the design of educational interventions. For instance, Vlach’s forgetting-as-abstraction theory has been used to explain how children acquire new words, categorize the world, and learn STEM concepts.