Michael Goldstein is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and a member of the Biopsychology and Perception, Cognition, and Development areas of the Department of Psychology. He studies infant development in the context of the family, with a focus on mechanisms of social learning. How do family members influence infants’ ability to learn and develop? Typically, familial context (e.g. size, structure, socio-economic status) is studied in terms of its effects on developmental outcome. The processes that bring about these developmental outcomes, however, are largely unknown. Goldstein’s research is designed to identify the mechanisms by which family members influence infant learning by examining the social processes that induce, facilitate, and maintain infants’ attainment of developmental milestones in speech, word learning, and language.To investigate the processes by which infant development is constructed from interactions with caregivers, Goldstein takes a micro-analytic approach to social learning. He observes and manipulates parent-child interactions at small time scales to understand mechanisms of developmental change. His primary research goal is to identify parameters of social interaction that are crucial for infant learning, so as to better understand causal forces of development. This general goal has given rise to two research programs. The first program investigates the development of babbling, specifying the relative contributions of infant and caregiver behavior in the generation of new vocal forms. The second program explores the socially distributed structure of learning opportunities perceived by infants that guide them across the transition from babbling to words. By studying social interaction and learning as it occurs in moment-to-moment interactions, Goldstein intends to connect our knowledge of family influences on developmental outcomes with specific mechanisms of social learning.