Department of Psychology and the College
Daniel Casasanto studies the mind in context: how language, culture, and bodily experiences influence the way people think, feel, learn, and make decisions, and how these processes are instantiated in their brains. His work has advanced research in the field of linguistic relativity, the theory that people who speak different languages also think differently. He has also proposed the theory of bodily relativity, the idea that people with different kinds of bodies, who interact with their environments in systematically different ways, think differently as a consequence.
Casasanto received a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health, a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award, and the Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science. He is the scientific director and cofounder of The Think Tank, a mobile cognitive science lab and education station that forges new pathways to success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields for underrepresented students. Previously he served as a senior scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, and as an assistant professor at The New School for Social Research.
Casasanto received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed postdoctoral training at Stanford University. A former opera singer, he earned a BA in English literature and vocal performance from Oberlin College and Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Casasanto joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2013.