John Protzko

Research Interests

I am interested in Causality.

As causality is relevant to every field of inquiry, this interest has brought me to work in a number of areas. My primary research interests are in cognitive development, social cognition, and metascience (the science of how science is done).

Consulting work includes Education Assessment, Project Evaluation, Digitial Marketing. 


Some of the questions I am working on right now (in various stages from planning to active data collection):

What are the effects of focal cortical lesions on cognitive development?

Why do we believe in Free Will?

How do practicing scientists update their beliefs in light of new evidence?

Why do we believe the ideal world always seems to be in the past (this has been true for milennia)?

Can we get people to stop believing ‘kids these days’ are in decline?

What is the implication of measurement non-invariance of the positive manifold across development?

Do obligations follow someone over identity change?

Why do we send non-violent criminals to prison?

What is the covariance of counterfatual versus process-tracing reasoning across the sciences with the degree of individual differences among its subjects?

Can we make people smarter?

What are the limits of Verbal Overshadowing?




Funding Agencies
Fetzer Franklin Fund

Speaking Presentation Introduction

John Protzko is a cognitive scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His primary research interests include causaity in all its forms, when it arises, and when it doesn’t. His research often revolves around questions about change, how we change, and the implications of change.