Ep. 28: Phil Zelazo, Ph.D. - Know Thyself

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Jan 03 2018 43 mins   1

The end of the year inventory often reveals a track record of failed diets, disorganization, and an ever-so thinning bank balance which is why a recent poll suggested that "lose weight," "get organized," and "spend less money" are the top 3 New Year’s resolutions. To change your ways upon self-reflection you need strong Executive Function skills. It’s the self-aware people who create attainable and reasonable New Year’s resolutions, but better yet, it is the self-regulated people who see them through. Striving to better oneself means developing a better relationship with yourself and cultivating strong habits. Today, my guest, Phil Zelazo, Ph.D. discusses how parents and teachers can promote the development of strong Executive Function and how better regulated members of the classroom, household, or community foster better, more modulated responses – which is the true foundation of a harmonious society.

About Philip Zelazo, Ph.D.
Philip David Zelazo (PhD, Yale, 1993) is currently the Nancy M. and John E. Lindahl Professor at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota.  He was previously on the faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto, where he held the Canada Research Chair in Developmental Neuroscience.  Professor Zelazo’s research has helped shape current scientific understanding of executive function and its development, including the key roles of reflection, rule use, hierarchical complexity, mindfulness, and emotion (hot versus cool EF). This work has led to the design of widely used standardized measures of EF skills (e.g., the NIH Toolbox measures of EF) and to the creation of effective interventions for promoting the healthy development of EF in early childhood.  Professor Zelazo’s research has been honored by numerous awards, including a Boyd McCandless Young Scientist Award from the American Psychological Association (APA), and a Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award. He is a Fellow of APA, the Association for Psychological Science (APS); Senior Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute; and Scientific Advisor for Vroom and Understood.org. He serves on numerous editorial boards (e.g., Development and Psychopathology), was lead editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness (2007) and was editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Developmental Psychology (2013).



  • Budwig, N., Turiel, E., & Zelazo, P. D. (2017). New perspectives on human development. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Zelazo, P. D., & Sera, M. (2013). Developing cognitive control processes: Mechanisms, implications, interventions. New York: Wiley.
  • Zelazo, P. D. (2013). The Oxford handbook

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