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Florencia K. Anggoro

Psychology Department

Associate Professor 
Ph.D., Northwestern University


Fields:  Language and conceptual development; science learning; spatial and relational thinking; culture and cognition

• CV (PDF) »

Office Phone: 508-793-2748
Office: Beaven 323
PO Box: 224A
Office Hours: Mon. and Wed. 9:00am-10:30am, Thurs. 1:00pm-2:00pm and by appointment



How do humans think and learn? My research focuses on conceptual development in different contexts, specifically, how language, culture, and formal learning experiences shape children’s and adults’ knowledge about the world. In one line of research, I have examined how people’s conceptions of the biological world are shaped by the naming practices of their communities. A second line of research examines the conditions that support children’s learning in the STEM disciplines. In an IES-funded project, we are exploring ways to support children’s spatial-relational thinking in elementary astronomy. Specifically, we are testing whether successive comparisons of different perspectives of the solar system (i.e., Earth-based vs. space-based) help children integrate the different perspectives and better understand scientific explanations of the day-night cycle.


  • MONT 102S  Culture in Mind: Cognitive Development (Fall)
  • MONT 103S  Culture in Mind: Language and Thought (Spring)
  • PSYC 100     Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC 225     Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 237     Psychology of Language
  • PSYC 326     Cognition Across Cultures

Selected Publications

*Gaudreau, C. M., Anggoro, F. K., & Jee, B. D. (2020) Children’s spontaneous gestures reflect verbal understanding of the day/night cycle. Frontiers in Psychology: Developmental Psychology  *Holy Cross student co-author

Jee, B. D. & Anggoro, F. K. (2019). Relational scaffolding enhances children’s understanding of scientific models. Psychological Science, 30(9), 1287-1302.  

Anggoro, F. K. (2014). Language defies logic? Naming practices trump logical consistency for Indonesian adults. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 14(3-4).

Jee, B. D., & Anggoro, F. K. (2012). Comic cognition: Exploring the potential cognitive impacts of science comics. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 11(2), 196-208.

Anggoro, F. K. (2012). A mammal that is not an animal? Naming and the animal concept in English and Indonesian speakers. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 12(1-2), 31-48.

Gentner, D., Anggoro, F. K., & Klibanoff, R. S. (2011). Structure mapping and relational language support children’s learning of relational categories. Child Development, 82(4), 1173-1188.

Anggoro, F. K., Medin, D. L., & Waxman, S. R. (2010). Language and experience influence children’s biological induction. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 10(1-2), 171-187

Anggoro, F. K., Waxman, S. R., & Medin, D. L. (2008). Naming practices and the acquisition of key biological concepts: Evidence from English and Indonesian. Psychological Science, 19(4), 314-319.

Selected Awards

  • 2020-2023 “The Development of Scientific and Religious Concepts in Indonesia.” Templeton Foundation subaward through the University of Texas at Austin. Role: PI. 
  • 2019-2022 “Scaffolding to Highlight Abstract Patterns in Exhibits.” Scholarship in Action Grant, College of the Holy Cross. Role: PI. 
  • 2015-2020    “Seeds of STEM: The Development of An Innovative Early Childhood STEM Curriculum.” Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Role: Co-PI.
  • 2015-2018    “When STARS Align: Exploring Spatial Thinking And Relational Scaffolding (STARS) in Elementary Astronomy.” Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Role: PI.