Ep. 30: Stephanie Carlson, Ph.D. - The Homer Simpson Effect

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Jan 18 2018 32 mins   1

The creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, once described Homer Simpson as “a loving father but he’s ruled by his impulses”.  Homer often comes across more of a juvenile adult than a parent; never quite equipped to handle Bart’s bratty behaviors or Lisa’s intellectual curiosity. In spite of being endowed, the virtuous, talented, and sensitive middle child Lisa is often ignored in the Simpsons household. As it is, parenting is hard but it’s even harder to tailor it to an individual child’s needs. Today, my guest, Dr. Stephanie Carlson, in her second interview will expatiate on how certain type of parenting can be instrumental in raising autonomous children who learn to temper their behaviors and emotions into resiliency.

About Stephanie Carlson, Ph.D.
Stephanie is currently a Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Director of Research at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, and Co-founder and CEO of Reflection Sciences, Inc

Dr. Carlson is a developmental psychologist and internationally recognized leader in the measurement of executive function in preschool children. She conducts research on ways to promote the healthy development of EF in children and their caregivers. Her work has received continuous funding since 2002 from federal agencies and non-profit foundations, including the National Institutes of Health, Institute of Education Sciences, John Templeton Foundation, and the Character Lab. Dr. Carlson’s research is highly cited and has been featured in several media outlets, including Time, New York Times Magazine, and National Public Radio.

B.A. (summa cum laude) with Honors in Psychology, Bucknell University (1991)
Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, University of Oregon (1997)

Organizations & Memberships
Dr. Carlson is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. She has served on several editorial boards, as Vice President of the Jean Piaget Society, and as an advisor to Transforming Education, the Minnesota Children’s Museum, Sesame Workshop, Playworks.org, and Understood.org. She has been nominated as a “Favorite Professor” by undergraduates and is frequently invited to speak at national and international meetings.



  • Sera, M., Maratsos, M., & Carlson, S. M. (Eds.) (2016). Culture and developmental systems. New York: Wiley.


  • Carlson, S. M., Claxton, L. J., & Moses, L. J. (2015). The relation between executive function and theory of mind is more than skin deep. Journal of Cognition and Development. 16, 186-197. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2013.824883
  • Lee, W. S. C., & Carlson, S. M. (2015). Knowing when to be “rational:” Economic decision-making and executive function in preschool children. Child Development, 86, 1434-1448. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12401
  • Meuwissen, A. S., & Carlson, S. M. (2015). Fathers matter: The role of father parenting in preschool children’s executive function. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 140, 1-15.
  • White, R. E., Prager, E. O., Schaefer, C., Kross, E., Duckworth, A. L., & Carlson, S. M. (2017). The “Batman Effect:” Improving perseverance in young children. Child Deve

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