I am a fourth year PhD candidate in the department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT working in ECCL and the Computational Cognitive Science group. I am advised by Laura Schulz and Josh Tenenbaum. My research is funded by the Center for Brains, Minds & Machines and the Simons Center for the Social Brain.

I am broadly interested in how humans interpret goal-directed behavior to learn about the world (Jara-Ettinger, Baker, & Tenenbaum, 2012), to learn about agents (Jara-Ettinger, Gweon, Tenenbaum, & Schulz, ), and to make social evaluations (Jara-Ettinger, Tenenbaum, & Schulz, 2013; Jara-Ettinger, Nate, Muentener, & Schulz, 2014). In parallel, I also study how humans learn formal systems of quantification (Jara-Ettinger, Piantadosi, Spelke, Levy, & Gibson, under review), and how they may affect how we reason about social agents (Jara-Ettinger, Gibson, Kidd, & Piantadosi, under review). To do this, I use a combination of computational modeling, quantitative studies with adults, qualitative studies throughout develoment, and cross-cultural studies.


Data from all publications where I am first author is available upon request.

  • Baker, C.L., Jara-Ettinger, J., Saxe, R., & Tenenbaum, J. B. (in prep). Human mentalizing supports rational quantitative belief, desire, and percept attribution. [ Email ]

  • Jara-Ettinger, J., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Schulz, L. E. (Under Review). Not so innocent: Toddlers' reasoning about costs, competence, and culpability. [ Email ]

  • Jara-Ettinger, J., Gibson, E., Kidd, C., & Piantadosi, S. T. (Under Review). Native Amazonian children forego egalitarianism when they learn to count. [ Email ]

  • Jara-Ettinger, J., Piantadosi, S.T., Spelke, E., Levy, R., & Gibson, E. (Under Review). Mastery of the logic of natural numbers is not the result of mastery of counting: Evidence from the Tsimane' of Bolivia. [ Email ]

  • Jara-Ettinger, J., Gweon, H., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Schulz, L. E. (Under Review). Children's understanding of the costs and rewards underlying rational action. [ Email ]

  • Piantadosi, S.T., Jara-Ettinger, J., & Gibson, E. (2014). Children's learning of number words in an indigenous farming-foraging group. Developmental Science.

  • Jara-Ettinger, J.*, Kim, N.*, Muentener, P., & Schulz, L. E. (2014). Running to do evil: Costs incurred by perpetrators affect moral judgment.In Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 684-688).

  • Jara-Ettinger, J., Gweon, H., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Schulz, L. E. (2014). That's the way the utility crumbles.In Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 678-683).

  • Jara-Ettinger, J., Tenenbaum, J.B., & Schulz, L. E. (2013). Not so innocent: Reasoning about costs, competence, and culpability in very early childhood. In Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 663-668).

  • Jara-Ettinger, J., Baker, C.L., & Tenenbaum, J.B. (2012). Learning What is Where from Social Observations. In Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 515-520).

  • Rodrigues, E.R., Achcar, J., & Jara-Ettinger, J. (2011). Using a Gibbs Sampling algorithm and a non-homogeneous Poisson model to estimate the ocurrence of ozone exceedances in Mexico City. Air Quality (Book Section).

  • Jara-Ettinger, J. (2011) Estimando el numero de excedencias de ozono en la Ciudad de Mexico usando procesos de Poisson no-homogeneos y Metodos Monte-Carlo via Cadenas de Markov. (Thesis)

  • Jara-Ettinger, J., & Valero, L. (2008). Cardinality preservation in centers of non-isomorphic groups with isomorphics tables of marks. In Proceedings of the XIII Congreso del Verano de la Investigacion Cientifica DELFIN.

  • Other