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David C Witherington

Associate Professor

Photo: David Witherington
(505) 277-4805
Logan Rm 112
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1998
Curriculum vitae

Research Area/s:

Evolution and Development

Research Interests:

  • Dynamic Systems and Metatheory
  • Emotional development in infancy and early childhood
  • Cognitive development in infancy and early childhood
  • Development of fear of the dark in preschoolers
  • Development of perception and action relations in infancy

Selected Publications

  • Witherington, D. C. (in press). On the need to seriously challenge the empiricist side of the nativist-empiricist debate. Research in Human Development.
  • Witherington, D. C., & Heying, S. (in press). The study of process and the nature of explanation in developmental science. Review of General Psychology.
  • Witherington, D. C. (2015). Dynamic systems in developmental science. In W. F. Overton & P. C. M. Molenaar (Vol. Eds.) & R. M. Lerner (Ed.-in-Chief), Handbook of child psychology and developmental science. Vol. 1: Theory & method (7th ed., pp. 63-112). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Witherington, D. C. (2014). Self-organization and explanatory pluralism: Avoiding the snares of reductionism in developmental science. Research in Human Development, 11, 22-36.
  • Harriger, J. A., Witherington, D. C., & Bryan, A. D. (2014). Eating pathology in female gymnasts: Potential risk and protective factors. Body Image: An International Journal of Research, 11, 501-508.
  • Dahl, A., Campos, J. J., Anderson, D. I., Uchiyama, I., Witherington, D. C., Ueno, M., Lejeune, L., & Barbu-Roth, M. (2013). The epigenesis of wariness of heights. Psychological Science, 24, 1361-1367.
  • Witherington, D. C., & Heying, S. (2013). Embodiment and agency: Toward a holistic synthesis for developmental science. In R. M. Lerner & J. B. Benson (Eds.), Advances in child development and behavior, Vol. 44:Embodiment and Epigenesis: Theoretical and Methodological Issues in Understanding the Role of Biology within the Relational Developmental System Part A: Philosophical, Theoretical, and Biological Dimensions (pp. 161-192). Oxford: Elsevier Inc Academic Press.
  • Margett, T. E., & Witherington, D. C. (2011). The nature of preschoolers’ concept of living and artificial objects. Child Development, 82, 2067-2082.
  • Witherington, D. C., & Margett, T. E. (2011). How conceptually unified is the dynamic systems approach to the study of psychological development? Child Development Perspectives, 5, 286-290.
  • Witherington, D. C. (2011). Taking emergence seriously: The centrality of circular causality for dynamic systems approaches to development. Human Development, 54, 66-92.

Courses Taught

PSY 220: Developmental Psychology (undergraduate)

PSY 324: Infant Development (undergraduate)

PSY 373: Psychology of Horror (undergraduate)

PSY 450: Development and Evolution (undergraduate)

PSY 507: Teaching Seminar in Psychology (graduate)

PSY 521: Advanced Developmental Psychology (graduate)


Cheryl Bryan
Developmental processes of personality and coping, especially related to major life changes (e.g. divorce, going from grade school to middle school, etc.)

Likelihood of accepting a new student in 2016: High